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Old 07-22-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
feffer
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Default Cap on Plum wine

Was worried about the yeast starting, see earlier thread, but after 54 hours, I see that a "cap" has formed. When I stir it, a lot of gas (CO2?) froths to the surface and the room has a very pleasant smell. So I guess the fermentation process has kicked in. Most recipes say that I should stir the must/wine twice a day.

Is that right? Should I be breaking up the cap and stirring it in? It seems to reform almost immediately. Does this stop air from getting to the yeast and harm the process?

I'm aiming for a dry wine, so I really want complete fermentation. Any pointers?

thx,
feffer

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Old 07-22-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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I started my first plum wine a week ago, and the recipe I followed recommended stirring in the cap once a day. I would guess the "floatables" (remember that your gravity is prob high now, so things that would otherwise not float just might do so now) would surface almost immediately, but it seems like a firm cap would take at least several hours to form. I'm new to wine making, so these are just guesses.

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Old 07-23-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by feffer View Post
Was worried about the yeast starting, see earlier thread, but after 54 hours, I see that a "cap" has formed. When I stir it, a lot of gas (CO2?) froths to the surface and the room has a very pleasant smell. So I guess the fermentation process has kicked in. Most recipes say that I should stir the must/wine twice a day.

Is that right? Should I be breaking up the cap and stirring it in? It seems to reform almost immediately. Does this stop air from getting to the yeast and harm the process?

I'm aiming for a dry wine, so I really want complete fermentation. Any pointers?

thx,
feffer
Yep, you want to stir to break up the cap a couple of times a day, until the wine gets to about 1.020 or less, and fermentation slows down. That's for a couple of reasons- but mostly to keep the fruit cap wet and not allowing it to dry out. It also degasses out some of the co2, which can stress yeast, as well as provides oxygen to the must.

After about day 5, fermentation will slow and the wine needs to be racked to a carboy and airlocked. But up until then, oxygen is good for it.
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