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Old 12-02-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
bluue13
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Default 5 gal/stuck ferm?

So I've been making wine for about a year mostly in 1 gal batches so that I can get the hang of it.

I have had great success so far with fruit wines and have not yet attempted grape.

My question is this:

I have had successful fermentations in all of my 1 gal batches, but the two 5 gal batches I have made (apple and blueberry respectively) I have had to restart. Does anyone think its a specific problem to the larger batch size? or perhaps im doing something wrong?

I use red star winemaking yeast and follow all instructions of sanitation and waiting 24 hours after adding campden, etc.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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Old 12-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Batch size shouldn't matter at all. I wonder what else is going on to stall fermentation. Is it actually totally and completely stalled, or is it just slow? Do you rack at 1.010-1.020, or wait until it's finished? What are your temperatures like?

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Old 12-02-2009, 11:45 PM   #3
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As far as racking I usually give it about a week to two weeks in primary depending on the fruit and then rack to secondary. Then I will rack every 2-3 months after that again depending on the amount of lees I see. Temp is around 62-64 which I know is a bit on the cooler side but usually what is happening is it does well for a week or so after racking into secondary and then stalls out. Currently my 5 gal blueberry was reading 1.040 for a week (SG from the start was 1.090)

Anything?

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Old 12-03-2009, 12:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluue13 View Post
As far as racking I usually give it about a week to two weeks in primary depending on the fruit and then rack to secondary. Then I will rack every 2-3 months after that again depending on the amount of lees I see. Temp is around 62-64 which I know is a bit on the cooler side but usually what is happening is it does well for a week or so after racking into secondary and then stalls out. Currently my 5 gal blueberry was reading 1.040 for a week (SG from the start was 1.090)

Anything?
Well, the first thing is you can't just rack whenever. You have to let the fermentation go until 1.020-1.010 or lower. When you rack, you're removing the wine from the majority of the yeast. You only want to rack the first time when fermentation slows, or when you're at 1.020-1.010 or lower. After you're at .990 (or wherever you finish) you can rack as needed.

So, next time, start your wine and let it go until 5-7 days or until the SG is 1.020-1.010 or lower. If it's cool, it'll take longer. Ideally, you'd be around 70 degrees. Don't rack if the fermentation is really active- you'll just be slowing it down. And never, ever rack at a high SG like 1.040. Sure, you'll have some lees but in active fermentation that's not a problem for a while.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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ok thanks! I'll try to take some more readings in the future and rack less and then see what happens!

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