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-   -   Used Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast before? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/used-lalvin-ec-1118-wine-yeast-before-88635/)

JMO 11-14-2008 12:01 AM

Used Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast before?
I just made and barleywine and decided to use 2 different types of yeast for primary and secondary. My initial fermentation was with safale 04 and last only about 48hrs. It started really fast and went from a 6inch krausen to nothing overnight. I then racked it to my secondary and added some liquified belgian candy sugar, aerated, and pitched some Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast. I'm seeing airlock activity but it's only bubbling every 25-29 seconds. There is no foam/krausen (what it says it's supposed to look like) but I'm seeing lot's of tiny CO2 bubbles popping on the surface, much like a beer with no head. With this being the first time using EC-1118 I was hoping someone had some experience with it.

syd138 11-14-2008 12:13 AM

I just used it to make a batch of apfelwein.. took a couple days to even start bubbling after that it wasn't much activity.

boo boo 11-14-2008 12:26 AM

I use it to make blueberry wine with and find it fantastic. Slow to start sometimes, but I ferment on the low side with it. About 62 to 64f. Takes a while to develop a krausen, but it will.

mrfocus 11-14-2008 12:31 AM

You may have missed the Kraeusen.

EC-1118 is known for being a low foaming yeast. It has the initial Krauesen at the heighth of yeast reproduction, an afterwards the foam disappears, leaving way to only bubbles. You should post your O.G. and S.G. readings.
From your description of the bubbles I'm afraid it may not be fermenting, but simply release excess CO2 that's in solution. Take a hydrometer reading in a few days to verify if the density is lowering.
If not, I'm afraid you will have to take more aggressive action to get the fermentation going again. I would recommend correctly rehydrating the yeast before pitching it (instructions are on the pack, or here). You may want to (read should) add some of the wort to the rehydrated yeast gradually before pitching (start with 1/2 ounce, wait 15 minutes, add 2 ounces, wait, etc.)
Essentially, you want to acclimate the yeast to the (toxic) environment, since there is alcohol already present and a high level of sugar, both very stressful on yeast.

Don't despair though, there is always a way to restart a stuck fermentation (maybe not if you add yeast killing preservatives used in wine making), and EC-1118 is the best yeast to do this.

JMO 11-14-2008 12:45 AM

thanks for the replies. I think you're right on the stuck fermentation. Unfortunately I don't have any yeast handy (it's on it's way in the mail). I'll check the SG and post it this weekend. I think I may have screwed up the rehydration part. I used 2 cups of 100 deg water instead of 2 oz and only let it sit about 10 min instead of 15 ish. Thanks again!

mrfocus 11-14-2008 01:05 AM

Well then since you've already tried the simple rehydration, I would do the more complex one where you add wort to the yeast. If you have a flask or gallon jug, building it up to 0.5 - 1 gallon would really get you off to a great fermentation.

JMO 11-14-2008 01:20 AM

So I would basically rehydrate the yeast, put in in a flask or jug, then add wort from the secondary. Once a good fermentation starts add it back to the carboy? I'll give it a shot. thanks!

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