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Old 06-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default When to stop fermentation

So I recently started my first batch of wine. Got it to secondary. Instructions say to leave for 10 darius before adding chemicals to stop fermentation. Also says when gravity is below 0.996 and steady then it's ready. My grav is already there with only 3 days in secondary. Should I stop it now or wait the 10 days?



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Old 06-17-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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Im not going to claim to be an expert here but there are certain things than could have effected this, such as if the primary was in quite a warm place fermentation may have been faster than expected and the gravity was already lower than expected when you transferred it to the secondary? Did you take a gravity reading when you transferred it?

As i said i dont claim to be an expert but in my experience and most people here seem to agree, the gravity reading is the most accurate method of knowing when its ready.

I would wait for someone else more experienced to come along to confirm or deny my opinion on this but as long as the gravity reading is accurate and not a misread i guess its ready....



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Old 06-17-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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What's the rush? You're not stopping fermentation anyway- at .990-.996 (or even .998), the wine is dry anyway.

Adding chemicals to stop fermentation is like stopping a freight train. If fermentation is ongoing, it won't work. You wait until fermentation is finished, THEN stabilize it to keep fermentation from restarted.

Sorbate doesn't kill yeast- it inhibits yeast reproduction. Which means in an active fermentation, it won't do a thing because there are already plenty of yeast in suspension. Sulfites don't kill yeast, either, but are often used with sorbate as sorbate works better in the presence of sulfites.

So, if your recipe says to stabilize to "stop fermentation at .996", your instructions are bad and should be discarded.

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Old 06-17-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Well that's the thing. I think fermentation has stopped. Gravity hasn't changed in the last 2 days. I'll continue to monitor for a few more days and if no change, I will add the chemicals

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Old 06-17-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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I think I've learned that time is meaningless, trust my hydrometer.

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Old 06-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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Will not stabelizing stop the yeast from cleaning up after themself?
Not sure but id give it atleast a week after fermentation has stalled

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Old 06-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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I'll definitely wait at least a week

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Old 06-17-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by janivar123 View Post
Will not stabelizing stop the yeast from cleaning up after themself?
Not sure but id give it atleast a week after fermentation has stalled
No. There is no "cleaning up after themselves". It's either done, or it's not done.

I don't stabilize any of my wines, unless I'm sweetening them after fermentation. The only thing sorbate does is inhibit yeast reproduction, to prevent renewed fermentation after adding sweetening. Since I don't sweeten many wines at all, I rarely use sorbate. There is no benefit to the wine at all, and sorbate does have a taste that some people find unpleasant.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
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Ok well I want a dry wine but not insanely dry. Should I add the sorbate?

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Old 06-18-2011, 01:47 AM   #10
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Ok well I want a dry wine but not insanely dry. Should I add the sorbate?
If you're going to sweeten it, yes. But not until the wine is completely done and it's racked off of the lees so that it can be effective. It's also more effective with sulfite (campden tablets.) The level of sweetness of a wine really depends on the recipe and ingredients, so it's hard to say without knowing what you're making.


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