Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Blueberry Wine Fail?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #1
FranDeVille
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 10
Default Blueberry Wine Fail?

I am new to this glorious hobby and think I have my first fail in blueberry wine. Everything I've read here and on other boards have been very helpful so far, but am at a loss with this one. Here's the recipe I used and what I tried:

Vintners Harvest Blueberry fruit wine base 96 oz., ingredients as per can label for 5 gallons except used Lalvin D47 yeast -- homebrew guy I bought base from didn't have VH specified yeast he said D47 is the same.

Followed process instructions on label EXCEPT did not sprinkle yeast as base label says, I prepared as per yeast packet instruction. I splash oxygenated by spoon and pour to/from another sanitized primary for a good 5 minutes. SG was 1.108 and temp was steady at 78°F

Capped and installed airlock then opened to air with cloth cover when no bubbles after a week despite daily stir. It had a rotten egg smell that research said might be stuck fermentation. At this point after reading about stuck/stalled fermentation, I sprinkled another packet of same yeast thinking maybe I'd pitched wrongly or used dud packet in addition to not giving yeast enough oxygen. Bubbles next day, so stirred gently top half of must as per label instruction and left under cloth cover only. Daily stir and hydrometer reading falling slowly for the next week. Rotten egg smell also gone.

I worried about leaving this so open with pets, teens, spouse about (brew station is a corner of the kitchen), so decided to rack to 5 gal carboy at this point. SG was 1.082 and falling slowly each day, I could see the yeast gasses in the must too so figured I solved my problem and was back on track, albeit slower than ideal.

All seemed to be rolling along for the next 2 weeks with occasional bubble in the airlock and gasses seen through glass of carboy. SG after 2 weeks was 1.068 so I figured I just had to be patient. Taste was very sweet as would expext but no bad or spoiled flavor. I left it alone for another 4 weeks and the SG stayed stubborn at 1.064 so I figured it was time to bring out the bigger stick to kick this pony and get her moving again. I won't bore you with the details of my heartache and newbie soul searching, but my wine log reads like a teenagers diary for this month and a half--will he ask me to the prom or not?

Anyway, after reading up some more on stuck/stalled fermentation, I decided to re inoculate with a stronger yeast. I racked to a sanitized primary bucket and pitched 71B-1122 (according to packet instructions). I oxygenated again by splash/ stir for 5 minutes. It got pretty foamy which I figured was all the CO2 from prior yeast. I capped with an airlock and left it alone for a week. SG is now 1.062 and that's where it sits.

So, should I call this an expensive lesson and move on, or is there any hope to save my prom date from the drain? Thanks in advance.

__________________
FranDeVille is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2014, 03:26 AM   #2
jensmith
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 285
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts

Default

Have you used yeast nutriants or any yeast energizer? Sometimes a little extra helps, especially with the smells you described.
Temp plays a big part in fermentaiin as well. Make sure the must is around 75. It will ferment at lower temps, but slowly. Seing as its stuck I would up the temp. Even 80 for a day to get it started.
Your starting sg was a little high. Very do-able, but just something to be aware of for next time. Especially if you like dry wines. For now it will give you a larger window of how much top off water you can use without droping the abv way low.

As long as it smells and taste fine you have time to get it back to fermentening into wine. No need to dump it!! Your date should be save-able:-)


Sent from my iPod touch using Home Brew

__________________
jensmith is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2014, 04:28 AM   #3
yetijunk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 69
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Jensmith is right.... Keep in mind blueberries have a small amount of sorbate so an increase in temp and the addition of yeast nutrient and energizer should be good to stimulate the yeast

__________________
yetijunk is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2014, 02:21 AM   #4
FranDeVille
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 10
Default

Thanks Jensmith and yetijunk. I did not add any nutrient or energizer after initial pitch because research readings said not to. Will try that and let you know. Do I need to get more oxygen stirred in as well? Temp in my brewstation is pretty steady 76 F, but I don't think anyplace else will be very different except garage and it's high summer here--mid to high 90's every day, mid 70's at night. Would that be too hot?

__________________
FranDeVille is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2014, 02:40 AM   #5
yetijunk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 69
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Blueberry Wine Fail?

76 is good! As for stirring, you can if you please..... It won't hurt but the addition of oxygen may help! Another method is to stick your carboy in a bathtub full of water that's roughly 85degrees to stimulate the yeast. Don't leave it in there too long just until the must reaches the same temp. One other thing that may help if the nutrient and energizer don't do their done is try pitching yeast in a seperate container with the addition of a small amount of sugar( maybe 1/2c:3c water) wait until it's activated after a day or two then add that to the batch..... It shouldn't be necessary but I had a buddy who had to use this method with a batch of blueberry to get it going. Just keep it sanitized and it should work! Good luck.

__________________
yetijunk is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2014, 08:02 AM   #6
WVMJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Karnage, WV
Posts: 1,128
Liked 107 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Maybe try EC1118 or Premier Cuvee, they are much stronger yeasts. We have never had a problem with sorbates in blueberries in a can, raw 100% blueberry juice can be a bit slow. What else did you add to this at the start? If you are using just 1 can in 5 gal its going to be a little lite, better to go the 3 gal route or use 2 cans to make a better wine or add some other fresh fruit and use the can as a base. Good luck and dont dump it out! WVMJ

WVMJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
bernardsmith
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 859
Liked 112 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 74

Default

Two questions: What kind of water did you use? If you boiled the water then you may have removed all the oxygen and yeast really does need O2 to reproduce.
You also refer to sanitized primary... What did you use to sanitize the fermenter and how long did you wait before adding the yeast? If you used K-meta (or Campden tabs) then there may be enough sanitizer in the must to make the yeast squirrelly if you then added the yeast within 24 hours of adding the sanitizer. Ditto if there was any sanitizer in the container in which you rehydrated the yeast

__________________
bernardsmith is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2014, 12:14 AM   #8
FranDeVille
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 10
Default

Thanks all for the helpful posts! Yetijunk, I will try the bathtub route and monitor temp along the way. Agree shouldn't need more yeasts just yet--pretty sure there's enough in there already, but like my teenager just need some motivation to get to work. WVMJ, I added energizer and nutrient at start in the amounts recommended by can label. I thought of the dilute issue after starting 5gal, but figured could use extract at the finish to bring the flavor out. Bernardsmith, everything that touches must gets sanitized with Easy Clean no rinse from EC Krause. I always fresh water rinse my stuff after as well, so don't think I've got anything yucky in there from that. I did use Campden tablets at the start because that was called for by label directions. I waited 24 hours after Campden (actually closer to 30--it was a long weekend) before pitching yeast, I swear! If adding more nutrient, energizer, oxygen, and warm bath treatment don't work, I'll certainly try 1118. I already heard that's the elephant gun of wine yeasts so was kind of holding out before tossing that in...originally wanted this to finish on the sweeter side. Thanks again everyone! I'll post results in a few days.

__________________
FranDeVille is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
FranDeVille
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 10
Default

Sorry, I didn't answer about the water--tap water right out of the faucet. Been making wine kits and meads with my tap water successfully so far, can't think that's a problem. Regarding the yeast rehydration gear, I use a glass bowl and a small spoon, both of which also get sanitized along with the other stuff.

__________________
FranDeVille is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2014, 02:24 AM   #10
FranDeVille
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 10
Default

Update: Broke my hydrometer before I could test the wine! I have a spare, but is not accurate and I don't trust it. Nevertheless, it read 1.058 SG which is still much higher than desired, so I added nutrient and energizer for 5 gals, stirred vigorously for about 2 minutes to mix well. It got rather foamy and I noticed a minor acrid smell. Not rotten or anything, but not quite like alcohol. Next I soaked the fermenter in a warm bath until wine temp was 85- about 10 minutes- then moved it back to brewstation, capped and put on fresh airlock with water. So far no bubble seen in airlock. Am going to test again in a couple if days when my new hydrometer arrives. Will post again with readings then.

__________________
FranDeVille is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Peach wine fail. Noz03 Cider Forum 7 03-18-2013 07:22 PM
welches wine FAIL redstar89 Wine Making Forum 7 09-29-2012 01:04 AM
Wine Thief Fail. Barnzy02 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 19 11-03-2010 04:38 AM
wine kit fail? Picobrew Wine Making Forum 11 07-26-2009 04:13 AM
Imperial Pale Ale FAIL - Possible Barley Wine? SeamusMac Extract Brewing 5 07-11-2009 09:31 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS