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Old 11-18-2012, 10:59 AM   #1
RngrRpr6
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Default Apple Wine Stuck Fermentation

I have a lot of experience brewing beer but this is my first go at making wine. I had thought about starting for a long time but never did. This year I came across an endless supply of free apples so I jumped in with both feet.

I have two five gallon batches going right now. Both started with a gravity around 1.100. For the first batch, I used Saccharomyces Cerevisiae DF 639 yeast (SIHA Active Yeast #6 distributed by Begerow). I have no idea if this is a common yeast. I got it for free from a local shop that makes everything from wine to whiskey. They were finished for the season and gave me most of a 100g packet that they had left and told me it was good for apple wine. For the second batch I used a combination of a large wild yeast starter and a packet of Red Star Premier Cuvee. I added primarily local honey to raise the gravity but I also used some cane sugar for both batches. I added raisins in both batches and used tea bags for tannin.

The first batch seems to be stuck at around 1.035 and the second at around 1.040. The wine currently tastes pretty good but is, of course, very sweet.

I admit I have little to no understanding of acid, nitrogen, sultiftes, and pH when it comes to wine. I suspect the problem may come from one of these categories. I wanted to do this like someone might have done it 100 years ago and not buy all of the packaged products like yeast nutrient, etc. That may have burned me.

Anyway, does anyone have any ideas of what I can do to get the fermentation to take off again or am I stuck with 10 gallons of dessert wine?



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Old 11-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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Well... No idea about the remainder of the 100gm packet they gave you because it is a distillery yeasy; and then the wild yeast combined with commercial yeast who knows what happened. Both wines may have reached their capacity. The PCuvee has a range of up to 18%, but with the wild deviant perhaps it killed the Cuvee. You are currently sitting with two wines that are pushing perhaps 8%-8.5% off the top of my head.
To try and get it lower, rack the wine and pitch a starter made of K1-V1116...well known for restarting stalled wines, plus it is known to kill off any competing yeast strains. That is the only suggestion I have. OR, forify with some Everclear and brandy and have nice apple port!!



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Old 11-19-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have some of that yeast on hand and will try pitching a starter.

I read somewhere that dry wines usually start with a gravity around 1.090 and sweet at around 1.200. I was shooting for for a little lower but overshot it with honey on both batches. It looks like I took some bad advice if 1.100 was way too high. The hard way is the best way to learn I guess.

I transferred them both to another carboy and they are both fermenting again, although, very slowly. I'll probably wait a few days to a week before I pitch the starter.

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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I pitched a starter of Lalvin EC-1118 in both batches. I would have used K1-V1116 like saramc suggested but I remembered wrong when I made the starters. Anyway, it worked great in both batches and they are both down to a gravity around .992. I reccomend this yeast for any stuck fermentations. The fermentation started going strong again immediately after pitching the starter.

I just wanted to close the loop on this in case someone else has a similar problem. Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting.. i'm not sure yet if my StrawberryRhubarb is stuck, but I'm starting to worry. Good thing i have some EC 1118 on hand already... thanks!

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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How long did it take to get the ferment going after the EC-1118 I had a stuck ferment and added this yesterday 24hrs later nothing???

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Old 02-13-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
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For me, it started within the first 24 hours. However, I still had a lot of sugar in both batches which gave the yeast plenty of food. If your current gravity is below where mine was (around 1.040) it may take longer to start going again. Other than that, I don't know. This was my first restart and my first time with wine so I don't have a lot of personal experience to pull from.



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