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Old 01-04-2011, 08:51 PM   #11
mstef
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maybe i should just pull some from the better-bottle and see if it gets me a little buzzed...

i really hope it's not f***ed

any advice?

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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Is there a dead yeast layer at the bottom? Any chance the temp ever got over 80? Maybe a bad batch of yeast? Or maybe you inadvertently killed the yeast? If everything has been sanitary all along, you should be fine, even with dead yeast (works as a nutrient for new yeast). Definitely clean your siphon gear, siphon a small amount, measure gravity and sample. Might be OK.

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Old 01-04-2011, 09:07 PM   #13
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Hey,

Thanks for helping..

There is a big layer of dead yeast at the bottom, and a decent amount along each of the two ridges going up the sides.

Unfortunately, I don't have a hydrometer (not sure why), so I can't take a reading now, and I have nothing to compare it too.. I can only trust my tastebuds..

I tried a sip last night, and it didn't really taste like it had any alcohol in it. After 2+ months, with 7lbs added sugar, I was hoping for a high ABV. Maybe I'm just tasting wrong.. it tasted like a dessert liquor without alcohol.

Temp never got over 80. I did have a heating pad around it, but with a room temp of 63~, it probably only raised the degrees by a little whenever I turned it on.

What should I do? Fill up a cup and see if I get a buzz (ha)? Throw some more yeast in there and wait another month (don't want to wait any more). And the only yeast packet I have left right now is a different kind than I originally used..

Ah..

Thanks in advance

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Old 01-04-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstef View Post
Hey,

Thanks for helping..

There is a big layer of dead yeast at the bottom, and a decent amount along each of the two ridges going up the sides.

Unfortunately, I don't have a hydrometer (not sure why), so I can't take a reading now, and I have nothing to compare it too.. I can only trust my tastebuds..

I tried a sip last night, and it didn't really taste like it had any alcohol in it. After 2+ months, with 7lbs added sugar, I was hoping for a high ABV. Maybe I'm just tasting wrong.. it tasted like a dessert liquor without alcohol.

Temp never got over 80. I did have a heating pad around it, but with a room temp of 63~, it probably only raised the degrees by a little whenever I turned it on.

What should I do? Fill up a cup and see if I get a buzz (ha)? Throw some more yeast in there and wait another month (don't want to wait any more). And the only yeast packet I have left right now is a different kind than I originally used..

Ah..

Thanks in advance
I have to qualify this response by stating I've brewed one batch of beer and one batch of wine, and have one of each brewing now.

Given my limited experience, wine should be bitter (dry is the "correct" term, I guess) after fermentation, unless you kill the yeast and add more sugar. In effect, the yeast will continue to consume the sugar until it's all gone, though theoretically, you could get it so alcoholic the yeast would stop consuming the sugar (around 20% or so???) So, to get a sweet wine, normally you have to stabilize then sweeten. If yours is still sweet after 7 weeks, I would imagine the yeast has not worked through all the sugar. That seems odd to me, but I only have one experience to draw on Though, since you have a layer of dead yeast, that's a good sign at least some has been "working". If you rack it, that movement will cause the fermentation to pick up a bit. Did you stir your must at first?
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:28 PM   #15
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It's been more like 10 weeks.

I expect a dry, bitter taste, but it tastes more rich and sweet, and not really alcoholic. I only have one better-bottle, so I can't move it. I can bottle it though - I have a few 3L and 4L bottles.

Yes, I stirred a lot when I first mixed up the batch.

I'll sanitize a baster tonight, fill up a full cup, and see what I think.

I just don't want to end up throwing away 10 weeks and $30 worth of 'wine'.

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #16
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Do you have a hydrometer? I'd take a reading and wouldn't bottle until you are around 1.0 or less. Otherwise, I'd let it continue to do it's thing. If you don't, I would probably let it continue until it starts to get bitter or dry. Are you seeing any activity on the air lock?

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:47 PM   #17
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No hydrometer..

There are little bubbles running up the sides and middle - nothing crazy but you can see them..

Airlock bubbles out like once every 5 or so minutes..

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Old 01-05-2011, 03:11 AM   #18
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If the airlock is moving the yeast are working. A hydrometer is a cheap investment too. I'd highly suggest getting one to see what its reading.

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Old 01-05-2011, 03:26 AM   #19
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Well the bubbles are just about non-existent now. I just don't understand why it tasted so weird and so non-alcoholic after 2+ months of bubbling. I'll pull a good sample tomorrow to get a real taste and report back.

Thanks for the feedback so far

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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You could try a yeast energizer (not a yeast nutrient). This article has some background, explanations and recommendations, http://www.grapestompers.com/articles/stuck_fermentation.htm

specifically "Make a yeast starter by pulling off approximately 1/2 gallon of must, and add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of yeast energizer (thiamin HCL) and 1 packet of "killer" or champagne yeast. Mix well, cover loosely and place in a warm spot. Once you have a vigorous fermentation you can add it back to the original must"

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