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Old 04-16-2007, 10:20 AM   #1
kouphax
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Default Starting Issues and Resolution

Hello,

I was hoping to get some feedback on this issue.

BACKGROUND

Started 3 x 1 gallon batches of Elderflower Wine (from Cordial - good results before). One had a mug of very strong (stewed) tea, another had 1kg raisins and the last had the rind of 3 oranges and the juice of 5 oranges. All made on the same night in the same fashion - 1kg sugar, pectolase (accidental in the Tea one) and 1 crushed campden. Left to sit for a day before introducing the yeast.

CURRENT SITUATION

Currently (after 1 1/2 days of yeast introduction) the Raisin based wine is bubbling away (once every 10 seconds or so). The tea wine is bubbling at a rate of once every 10 minutes and the orange one is bubbling at about once every 20 minutes. The temp is about a steady 24oC. I intorduced 2 tespons of nutrient into the tea and orange ones yesteday afternoon but it didn't really have any noticable affect.

Is there anything wrong or should I jsut exercise patience? What could be casuing this and is there anything I should do? The elderflower cordial on it's own with 1kg of sugar was fermenting at about once a second within the first day.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

James.

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Old 04-16-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
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I think everything is fine- I think in the case of the orange, it's a more acidic must and just fermenting slower. Whenever I've used raisins, fermentation has been pretty strong. As long as it IS fermenting, though, I don't think there is any reason to worry. The only way to be sure is to check the s.g. but if it's showing signs of fermentation, I would wait a few days before even doing that. Even the same exact recipe side by side would ferment differently.

If fermentation appears to stop though, then you might need to take a few steps to get it going. But at this point, slow and steady will be ok.

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Old 04-16-2007, 04:47 PM   #3
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Excellent thanks. The orange one seems to have picked up A BIT, not much but a bit. The tea one seems to have dropped a little but maybe thats just me being paranoid. Strange though - I used the same amount of cordial in all 3 and the elderfower smell from the Raisin one is strong (as with just normal elderflower cordial). Even the orange one with it strong orange smell has a very noticable elderflower smell. The tea on however the air released smells of, well, nothing!

There is a fairly heavy sediment at the bottom of the tea one as well, more than I would expect. Oh well i'll leave it a few days and take it from there.

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Old 04-16-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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Well it seems both ferments have stopped dead. They havent moved in a few hours. Whats the best thing to do in this case?

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Old 04-16-2007, 09:42 PM   #5
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Take an s.g. now and then tomorrow. If they haven't changed at all, then you'll have to repitch yeast. But, just because it's not obvious, doesn't mean it's not happening. I have an apple wine that is barely showing any airlock activity at all. However, there are tiny bubbles on the surface and some lees are forming, so I'm just waiting and waiting.

But if the fermentation is truly dead, the best thing to do is to make a yeast starter. Using the same yeast type that you've already used, rehydrate and then add a tiny bit of the must to it. Then a couple hours later, a little more. Do this for a day or so, until the yeast is still fermenting the must you add. Then add that yeast to your must. Really baby those starters because you don't want them to stall too!

I'm sure that the orange juice is what's causing the issues in that one. That's alot of acid to add and I bet the yeast are struggling. (I had similar issues with hard lemonade). As for the tea, I have no idea- but that's quite a bit of tannin. Maybe the yeast don't like it in that recipe?

Anyway, that's my best advice.

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:04 AM   #6
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Thats fine. I'll persevere then I guess. I think I just get a bit paranoid at times. Thanks for all your help.

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