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Wine Fermentation. When to know if stuck.

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asylum

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I am making my first wine. I am using elderberries I picked from my land last fall. I have followed instructions I found online and also in a book. I can't remember exactly, but I used about 20 lbs of berries, 18lbs of sugar, total of 6 gallons of liguid, among other ingredients. The first week I fermented it in a large plastic tub. It was fermenting well. Then after one week, I racked it to a 6 gallon plastic container and put an airlock on it. Week 2 is almost over, but the fermentation process has slowed greatly. Is this normal? I need to rack it to the carboy and let it sit 4 or so months. I'm worried about the fermentation of it. Is there a foreseeable problem?

Thanks
Bob
 

peagen

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That is ALOT of sugar. What was your S.G. when you started. That could be your problem. I have a batch that I started back in August with cherry Koolaid that is stuck also. I havent figured it out yet.
 

asylum

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All the recipes we found called for 2.5 to 3 lbs sugar per gallon for elderberrys. Yes, that sure is a lot of sugar.

As for the readings, I'm new at this and I don't think I took the reading correctly, so I am not too sure. I think it was near 1.1 (I think I misread it the first time). AFter a week, when I transferred it to the primary, it was 1.035 or so. The temp is mid 60s where it sits. The first week it was very active, then it died down dramatically after racking to primary.
 

peagen

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What kind of yeast did you use. some of them work faster at warmer temps. Also some of them will die off when the alcohol gets to high. Google "wine yeast" and you can find the yeast you used and the info about it, alcohol tolerence, temp. range ect..
 

asylum

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I don't have a name for you right now since it is at home, but I did buy the yeast from a wine supply store or a winery. I visited both the same day and bought yeast for wine.
 

wingnutooa

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That is ALOT of sugar. What was your S.G. when you started. That could be your problem. I have a batch that I started back in August with cherry Koolaid that is stuck also. I havent figured it out yet.
kookaide wine? this is intriguing.

my girlfriend calls koolaide "getto juice"
 

Luc

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So if I am reading this right:

When you transferred the wine to secondary the SG was at 1035 and now we are one week further and it is still fermenting....

I would not worry too much.
Take a reading again and look where it is at.

Just let it go.

I make all my elderberry wines sweet with high alcohol.

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/scroll-down-for-english-version-ik-had.html

That way you will get a port-style wine.

Luc
 

asylum

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Hi, it has been two more weeks and now it has stopped fermenting all together. Should I be concerned?

Blob
 

Racer

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Whats the sg of the wine now?
 

asylum

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I haven't checked it since I put it in the secondary 2 weeks ago. Is it okay for me to take the lid off and check it? The reason I ask is if it is not fermenting, then oxygen will get into the space and I read that is not good for the wine.

Bob
 

Racer

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Yes its ok to check the sg. Your right about not exposing the wine to oxygen but what that means is to take your sample without alot of splashing the wine around. Use your wine thief or baster to draw off a sample, test it and slowly pour it back into the carboy, Do make sure you have sanitized all your equipment first though.
 
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