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Old 10-09-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
GurraG
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Default Another newbie question about stuck fermentation

I am making a batch of plum dessert wine, using Jack Keller´s recipe number two here: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques12.asp

The recipe calls for additions of sugar in three stages, once in primary and then twice with rackings in between. The primary fermentation went well, and after racking into secondary (and adding sugar) the fermentation kept going, if slowly. After I rácked it and added the final amount of sugar the fermentation ceased. Unfortunately I didn't take any hydrometer readings in the primary or the "first secondary", but now the SG is 1.110.
At first I waited about a week for the fermentation to restart, and when it didn´t I (in an ever so slight panic) pitched a packet of Lalvin K1-V1116. Now, three days after the re-pitching there are still no signs of fermentation, and the SG hasn´t changed. I have put the carboy in a warm place, aerated the must twice daily, and added a pinch of yeast nutrient.
When I aerate the must there is a build up of foam, and a "fizzing" sound coming from the must, but this quickly subsides.
Any thoughts on what I am to do, am I simply being impatient here?

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Old 10-09-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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does his recipe call for fermentation to continue after the last addition of sugar? Perhaps it's intended as sweetening.

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Old 10-09-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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The recipe says: "Rack after 30 days, add remaining sugar, stir well to dissolve sugar, top up, and refit airlock. Rack every 30-45 days until wine clears." I take this to mean that the fermentation is supposed to continue. Plus, the wine, as it is now, with a SG of 1.110 is very very sweet, plus, according to my calculations is around 13 % ABV, whereas the recipe says the wine will be "high alcohol" which I would suppose is at least 15 % ABV.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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haha lots of assumptions floating around. And you know what happens when you assume.

I experienced a similar problem with an over sugared wine. I had to dilute the sugar with water. I took out about a gallon from the five gallon batch and refilled with water (mixed with concentrate in this situation) and then it took off. It was really dry in the end so I was able to stabilize and use the gallon I took off to sweeten.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Yeah, lots 'o assumptions. Perhaps I should attempt a dilution.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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I've had a couple batches stick at really high gravities -- much too sweet to drink -- that I've been unable to restart. I've just made a duplicate batch that I would take good care of to ferment dry. Then I blend the two together. Last one was a grape wine that stuck at about 1.020 -- much sweeter than the 1.010 that I wanted. But blended together it was just right. :-)

*edit* Was the gravity of 1.110 *after* fermentation? That's a pretty high gravity to start at, let alone finish... :-P

*2nd edit* I'm pretty noobie when it comes to winemaking, but I've noticed that following a number of Jack Keller's recipes has resulted in super-sky high gravities. I've cut the sugar/honey way down on several of his recipes and still had initial gravities of like 1.110 or 1.120, with great results.

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:28 AM   #7
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i have the same issue with jack's grape wine, i've transferred to the secondary and added my sugar to bring up the SG from 1035 to 1090 how long do i wait for the fermentation to start? should i pitch another yeast packet, energizer, do i cover with cheese cloth again when doing this? or am i thinking too much and should just shut up sit on my hands and watch some MNF? thanks

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