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Old 03-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
Daze
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Default Any idea why this wine is taking SOOOOOO long to ferment out???

I have told the long version of this story many times here on the forum so now I will give you the short version. About 10 almost 11 years ago I made 11 gallons of apricot wine. My OG was 1.155 and my intent was to ferment it out until the alcohol overwhelmed the Montrachet yeast at about 14% ABV so that I had a sweet desert type wine. I didn't realize at the time but that was a sure fire way to stick the fermentation process which is exactly what happened. Once the wine was moved to the secondaries it got neglected and was undisturbed for about 10 years. I bottled it about 4 months ago not thinking to take an SG reading, assuming after 10 years it must be done. Turns out I was wrong most of it had stuck after the yeast had only crated about 6-8% ABV. I had used tons of apricots when I originally made the wine and apricot is an assertive flavor so I had no shortage of apricot flavor and decided to dilute some of the wine with 1:1 ratio of water, add some yeast nutrient, and get it fermenting agin so it could ferment out dry which should give me a final ABV of around 10%. That was back around thanksgiving and the wine is still actively bubbling away with no signs of slowing. All my batches are in my basement where the temperature is around 58º F so it takes longer for me to ferment something out usually about 2 to 2.5 Months for batches in the 10% ABV range. Here we are now at 3.5 months from when I started it and this wine is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing. With my other batches the wine begins to clear as it gets close to being done, but this wine is still fully cloudy so I know it has a long way to go. I added some yeast energizer today hoping that will help, but if it doesn't does any one have any idea why this is taking so long, or what I have to do to speed it up?? (short of bringing it up stairs where it is warmer) I am wondering if the same process that blends the flavors in wine with age also binds up the sugars and maybe the yeast are having to work harder to process the sugar because it is bound to the alcohol and other compounds in the wine???

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Wrap a heating pad around it?

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Old 03-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Have you recently taken an SG reading to see where it is at? If you are at or near where you need to be on your SG reading it might need to be degassed. I had a wine that had activity in the bubbler for a long time and when I took an SG reading I realized that it just needed to be degassed. After degassing it a short time later it started to settle out. Also with apricot you may have a pectin haze, which can take some time to settle out for sure.

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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took a reading today and it is at 1.010 so it is still active just SLOOOOOOOOOOOW Thanks for the tip though.

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Old 03-09-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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I should add, my signature is holding true. When I took the SG I gave the wine a taste and it does not taste like a young wine (10 years on the original ferment probably helped) BUT There is at least 5% new alcohol that has formed this time around and the wine is still drinkable now... minus the yeast in suspension I believe it will benefit from some age and get even better. When it ever decided to finish

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- "It's all about time. You can't rush perfection. Time TIME TIME!!! You either need to pay on the front end or the rear. If the batch ferments out fast you need to secondary age or bottle age it. If it ferments out slow... months not weeks, then you don't have to age it nearly as long to get good flavors. Either way time is the key when making ciders and wines."
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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I think montrachet yeast is just really really slow at fermenting, in the future Im going to switch to a more aggressive yeast and yea you probably want to ferment at like 70 degrees with that yeast It doesn't like being cold like other yeasts do.

I find this very helpful: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda88 View Post
I think Montrachet yeast is just really really slow at fermenting
There is no doubt in my mind that the Montrachet yeast is part of it, but there is more to it than that. The OG was 1.062 and like I said before I started it around thanksgiving; I have a cider I started 01/04/12 (also with Montrachet) that sat next to the apricot in my basement and it finished a couple weeks ago, it also had an OG of 1.062. I know there was already some alcohol about 3% abv in the apricot already from the first fermentation, but I can't imagine that would make it take almost two months longer.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:25 AM   #8
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montrachet loves warm temps... under 60 degrees it barely works.

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Old 03-11-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda88 View Post
under 60 degrees it barely works.
I wouldn't go that far Like I was saying above I used the Montrachet for both the apricot and the cider and The cider only took 2 months to ferment out dry and clear.
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- "It's all about time. You can't rush perfection. Time TIME TIME!!! You either need to pay on the front end or the rear. If the batch ferments out fast you need to secondary age or bottle age it. If it ferments out slow... months not weeks, then you don't have to age it nearly as long to get good flavors. Either way time is the key when making ciders and wines."
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:13 AM   #10
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It possible you have an infection, the gas could be coming from something other then yeast, also i have a hard time believing my hydrometer when gas is coming up, I dont think its very accurate sense it floats the gas would probably push it up a bit. If you are going on 4 months I would pitch some different yeast/toss it/ or forget about it and check back in a month.

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