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Old 07-06-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Dandelion wine sg / stuck

I made up a five gallon batch of Yooper's recipe dandelion wine. I did not take intial sg readings mostly because of all the solids I was dealing with in the must. At 3 pounds of sugar per gallon, what would my initial sg have been? I don't suppose there was much sugar in the dandelion flowers - maybe a little from the oranges. But, I also added 3 lbs of white raisins.

I am thinking I must have started out about 1.140 or more?

I am curious because I think my ferment is stuck already at 1.100. I am using EC 1118, so I didn't think I would have a problem.

Any ideas? Will I need to mix up a new starter? And if I do, should I go ahead and rack off the raisins now?

Any help appreciated. the must has a wonderful taste, but I sure would like to take it dry.

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Old 07-07-2011, 02:41 AM   #2
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Check SG. if its to high the yeast wont like it. The raisins have a lot of sugar and some have preservatives that will prevent or retard fermentation. Check temp. get it into middle 70's. check ph, should be about 3.5 or so. stir it up and get O2 in for yeast to grow. O2 good in primary bad in secondary. Add some yeast nutrients. Almost all stuck are caused by the above problems.

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike. The sg is 1.100 and has been for a few days. I am thinking of pouring from carboy back into fermentation bucket, repitching yeast, maybe with some nutrient, and trying to get her going good again. Any reason I should not put back into bucket?

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Old 07-07-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by guscampag View Post
Thanks Mike. The sg is 1.100 and has been for a few days. I am thinking of pouring from carboy back into fermentation bucket, repitching yeast, maybe with some nutrient, and trying to get her going good again. Any reason I should not put back into bucket?
That sounds like a plan. Stir daily, twice a day, if you can.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:16 AM   #5
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Tried re-pitching. After 3 days, nothing. I just made up a new starter with a cup of orange juice and some fresh EC 1118. Gonna try that, adding a little must at a time to the new starter. I racked the must off the raisins trying to leave behind dead yeast, etc.
I think I know what went wrong. The raisins! Sunmade Golden raisins. I went to the store and checked the package. Sulphur dioxide added as a preservative. I didn't check before. This stuff was absolutely cooking before I added the raisins and dumped the stuff into a carboy. Heck, the first night, it blew the airlock right off the carboy! And then after a couple of days or so, it died at 1.100.
So wish me luck and if anybody has any pointers, I would welcome them. This is actually the second time this happened to me. I never figured out what caused it the first time 2 years ago. I only managed to get that one down around 1.05 or so, but after 2 years, it ended up being a pretty good sweet dandelion wine. People love it. I was really hoping for dry this time.
Next year, I think I will try some white grape juice instead of the raisins. I did notice the Sunmade regular raisins did not have preservatives - only the golden!

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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I think the biggest issue is probably starting with a too-high SG. If it's "down to" 1.100, you started with an OG that is too high. Stressed yeast struggle to ferment.

You could try just making a second batch, with an OG of 1.075 or so, and once that gets going combine them. That should work.

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Old 07-11-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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That's an idea. Maybe 3 lbs of sugar per gallon was a little too much, especially with additional 3 lbs of raisins? You mean you think I should water down the must to 1.075 and try to restart there? Hmmm. That would have an unintended advantage - more dandelion wine!
I think I might just do that!
You don't think I would have a problem with not enough acids or tannin? That's just another idea I read about that could cause a stuck ferment in a non-grape wine.
Thanks again, Yoop.

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