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Old 05-19-2013, 04:51 AM   #1
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Default High OG seems to not be starting any tips?

So basically ima newbie. I've decided to give Homebrewing a try. I've started 3 2.5 gallon batches. A batch of mead. A batch of hard cider and 1 of cranberry wine.

I'm using lalvin ec-1118 which says tolerates up to 18% abv. So my mead and cider are going ok i guess. The airlocks are bubling a few times a minute after about 12 hours after pitching. The mead had a og of 1.14 and the cider had a og of 1.11 which is about 18% and 15% abv. According to my hygrometer as far as i can tell. So as far as i understand it with the yeast having a toleration of 18% abv it should pretty much leave me with a dry mead and cider.

So i wanted to try a sweet batch of something and see how that turns out so on to the problem batch of cranberry which had a OG of 1.16. Which puts it at a potential of around 20% abv. While the yeast only goes up to 18% abv i thought that the extra 2-3% of sugars would be left over leaving me with a semi-sweet brew. Why waste that potential alcohol by stopping a fermentation right.

But sadly my airlock isnt bubbling. I've got maybe one or two bubbles in that 12 hour period. It looks like there is some fermentation there just very little compared to the other batches. The only difference between my cider and cranberry is the amount of sugar. Neither has preservatives.
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All in all should i dilute the batch and see if it starts or just leave it alone. Also are my thinkings on the way of things sorta right or way off? Are the brews gonna be to strong to drink? thanks for you help.

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Old 05-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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Give it more time. 12 hours is not long enough to say it won't start, it can take days.

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Old 05-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Yeah.. give it time. I don't think you can necessarily predict the outcome from under-pitching or using a yeast less tolerant to your anticipated ABV, however.

I'm not an expert but as I understand it, while it could mean some residual sweetness is left behind, what's really happening is your yeast is dying from the higher alcohol content.... there could be other flavors imparted.

You also don't want to bottle with fermentables still in solution if there is even a chance there is still viable yeast in there or you'll blow your corks. If you want the wine sweeter in a more controlled manner, your best bet would be to back sweeten it after fermentation has completed then stablize it with campden tablets.

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Old 05-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shred View Post
Yeah.. give it time. I don't think you can necessarily predict the outcome from under-pitching or using a yeast less tolerant to your anticipated ABV, however.

I'm not an expert but as I understand it, while it could mean some residual sweetness is left behind, what's really happening is your yeast is dying from the higher alcohol content.... there could be other flavors imparted.

You also don't want to bottle with fermentables still in solution if there is even a chance there is still viable yeast in there or you'll blow your corks. If you want the wine sweeter in a more controlled manner, your best bet would be to back sweeten it after fermentation has completed then stablize it with campden tablets.
It can be done, I've made sac meads that way. As for your lack of activity give it a stir and wait.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 PM   #5
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Ok yea it's starting to bubble a bit now. Though not as much as the cider and mead.

The only problem now is the smell which i think smell delicious but im sure the old lady will be complaining shortly.

I'm 1up though. I've locked it in a cabinet so she can't pour it out. MUAHAHAHAH

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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Do not worry about the airlock bubbles. They are a horrid indicator of activity. Use your hydrometer and it will let you know what is going on. But, it is not uncommon for a new ferment to take 48-72 hrs to kick into gear. You should consider taking airlocks off for a few days at least, cover with towel. The yeast is stressed due to high gravity and access to 02 will help, as will stirring for 2 minutes or so 1-2/day for the next 3-5-8 days.

Did you happen to use any yeast nutrient?

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Old 05-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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raisins.
as i was curious about whether nutrient staggering is necessary with raisins. I thought about getting some of that powder nutrient but i thought the raisins maybe tastyer. Adding powders and such doensnt seem like it would be "good". I was sort of interested in staying all naturel.

Of course if i will absolutely have a better product with powder nutrients, clearing agent and camden tablets i guess i;ll have to put a order in.

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:39 AM   #8
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ok so it continued to ferement really slow and ended up with a stuck fermentation after a month and a half. It was well short of finished and wouldnt restart with a yeast starter.

So i've ended up freezing it and pouring the concentrate off. Which it actually doesnt taste bad it's just overly sweet. Something the ladies would like.

thought i would post the juice i used as i dont really know why it stuck but i suspect the juice

Ocena Spray cranberry juice: no preservatives
Ingredients: cranberry juice from conecentrate, grape juice from concentrate, apple juice from concentrate, pear juice from concentrate, Natural Flavors, Pectin, Ascorbic Acid

edit:: also upon drinking about 3 glass's of it i feel like a basketball filled with concrete.. It was like eating 3 chocolate cakes and 2 gallons of milk.

poured it out.

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