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Old 09-11-2008, 04:04 AM   #1
WAID
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Default poor/no fermentation

I have a batch of berry wine that I am experimenting with from a book. It's Oregon grape and Salal in about a 1:3 ratio. I used some potassium metabisulfate. I think I used the right amount but there is the possibility that I put to much in. I have put a couple packs of yeast in(after proofing in a jar) at 24 hours and then 1 week and no air lock activity has occured. I tried a third and proofed with a little of the wine in and it smelled somewhat sulphury. Am I safe in assuming I put too much metabisulfate in? And what can I do to fix it?

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Old 09-11-2008, 04:14 AM   #2
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Hi WAID,

You are not giving enough information for an evaluation.

Cough up your entire ingredient list, quanities, time frames, temperatures...every detail that you can remember.

If you haven't already, start a log, and make a note of every step you take!

Pogo

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Old 09-11-2008, 05:17 AM   #3
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I do have a log although I have kinda half done this one, most of it is scribbled on a piece of paper instead of in my standard computer log.

1 gal

3lbs Salal berries
1lb Oregon Grape
4 oz Brown sugar
12 oz White Sugar
1.5 tsp tart acid(added to bring up acid according to instructions in cellar pro acid kit)
3/4 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
an eyeballed 1/6 of 1/2 tsp of potassium metabisulfate since that isn't really a volume I am equipped to measure.

that should be all except the ~tsp and pinch of yeast nutrient I put in the jars with the bag of yeast to proof it.

I have the OG and other numbers on another piece of paper somewhere still looking for it. This is fermenting in my new small batch wine primary, a 3 gallon plastic bucket with an airlock installed in the lid, it does not seem to have any leaks that would prevent airlock activity.

rough time frame
day 1 smooshing berries
add everything but yeast to bucket
day 2 add yeast
day 3 entertain self
day 4 stare at airlock
day 5 wonder why nothing
day 6 try second pack of yeast
day 7 do stuff
day 8 do more stuff
day 9 something
day 10 add some yeast to my standard proofing jar
day 11 add fermenting yeast to bucket
day 12 look at homebrewtalk
day 13 say stupid wine I'm making beer
day 14 make beer
day 15 beer works, still no wine
day .....
day today ask WTF help me oh lords of fermentary knowledge

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Old 09-11-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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You don't need an airlocked primary fermentor when making wine using whole fruits.

Oxygen is necessary for the first stage of fermentation when making wine in the traditional manner.

Cover the primary with a cheese cloth (towel, etc,) to allow air access to the must, and secure with a bungee cord, or something, to keep insects and other debris out.

Though, if i'm reading right, you have a one gallon batch in a three gallon bucket. If so, you have enough head space to stimulate fermentation.

Did the yeast you hydrated show visible signs of life?

Did you add any bottled juices of any kind?

If so, did they contain preservatives?

Did you add any water?

If so, was it bottled or filtered tap water?

Or, was it unfiltered clorinated tap water?

Whoa up here a minuite!!!

Four pounds of fruit is only going to yield about a pint of juice!

Something else is involved here?

What else have you added to this recipe?

Pogo

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Old 09-11-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo View Post

Did the yeast you hydrated show visible signs of life?

Yes every time

Did you add any bottled juices of any kind?

no

Did you add any water?

yes about a gallon of distilled water(a small quantity had already been removed from my jug)


Pogo
The O.G. was 1.100.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:39 AM   #8
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WAID, from your OP it sounds like you have fermenting wine to me. Beer does very little as it ferments. Sometimes you get airlock, most of the time you don't, or it's slow. Sometimes you get awesome rhino farts smells coming out of it as well.

Love your 'documented procedures' btw, it's a riot!

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Old 09-12-2008, 11:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
What is the SG now?
Looks like it has dropped some. Perhaps it is very slowly fermenting? I somehow managed to not document what yeast I used though so I have to go to my LHBS to see which one it was.
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