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Yeast start issues in Cranberry wine.

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jmac

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Put on three gallon batch of cranberry wine this morning. Used one half pound of white raisins steeped in the sugar dissolving, 1 gallon of ocean spray 100% juice... the mixed kind, not 'cocktail. I was concerned with the fact that the raisins had a mild preservatives, sodium dioxide...noticed after the fact... I know nube mistake. I have used the same raisins with fresh D47 in the past to start a stopped Mead and it worked fantastic.

I was also concerned because of the pH of the cranberry juice, 2.3ish. I was hoping that the 7.0 pH of the sugar would temper that some bit.

Being timid this time, I drew a small amount of must to start with a portion of yeast as a starter Two times and it failed both.

3 gallon nominal carboy.
3 - 101.4 oz of ocean spray 100% juice
5 lbs white sugar
1/2 lbs sunkist golden raisins
1/2 tsp yeast nutes/gal
Lav D47 yeast
OG 1.14

I guess I'm just looking for some input from the collective experience-base before I commit the rest of the last yeast pack that I have on me to a best-guess of mine.

Thanks.
 

salcoco

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you are going to have to tame the high acid low ph of the must before you can get anything started. calcium carbonate at this stage can be used to lower the acid. it need to be at least 3.3 you can also add water to get the acid level down. it also seems the specific gravity is to high. sg = 1090 would be better. water will help here also.
minimum yeast required is one gram per gallon.
 

jmac

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Thanks for the suggestion. I was teetering on adding the water, 7.0 distilled, but was hoping to keep my OG high. I am interested in jacking a portion as an experiment. Have some hard apple cider finishing it second week for an apple jack. Oh well, it had a starting OG of 1090. It would make a good side by side comparison. Thanks!
 

jmac

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@salcoco I appreciate your this input, as well as that other Ph post that I caught. I pulled out enough must base to get my OG down to a 1090. The added 7.0 water should, by calculations, bring the Ph to 3.3 to 3.5. Pitched the yeast and waiting on the payoff. If I'm going to play with those acidic berries, I have to get an acid test kit.

Lol, now I have enough hi-sugar cranberry juice to make a syrup for that vanilla ice cream in the freezer.
 

salcoco

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cranberry is hard to ferment under normal circumstances. do not be surprised that the ferment will take some time. it took me a month once to get mine done.

another suggestion to increase the final alcohol level is add sugar as the fermentation progresses. once the sg=1010 ad sugar to sg=1020, dependent on yeast you can continue to do this until it will not ferment any loner. can achieve levels of 18-20% with this method.
 
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