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Old 06-25-2006, 08:59 PM   #1
Apr 2006
central PA
Posts: 36

More port problems. Here's the chronology of this poorly performing kit.

This is a "Selection" kit for 3 gallons of port. Started the must on May 23. Original gravity 1.133--exactly as supposed. Primary fermentation in carboy (versus open-top bucket) was hyperactive for 2 days because temps were too high (80 degrees F) then seemingly essentially stopped. [Possibly that the airlocked carboy didn't let the gas escape fast enough and CO2 buildup killed the process?!?!?] Per recipe, let ferment 5 days. Gravity on 5/29 1.045. Gravity supposed to be lower (1.020 or less) so let sit another day (1.034) and again (1.030) on 5/31. Recipe indicates to add 2 cups sugar after this 5-7 day primary fermentation only in gravity below 1.015. I stirred the must on 5/31 hoping to get the primary to complete. Gravity only 1.028. Added 1.5 tsp yeast energizer to move along. Tired of waiting so on 6/5 I added 2 C sugar as per directions. Stupidly neglected to read gravity beforehand, but was 1.040 after adding sugar. Gravity still 1.040 on 6/7 so added yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, Ghostex, and 1 package of champagne yeast hoping this would complete the 'primary' fermentation. Fermentation never really started again, but proceeding VERY slowly--can see small bubbles rising, but not enough to move airlock. Gravity on June 12: 1.034. Gravity on June 25: 1.031.

Directions say 5-7 days for primary, 5-7 more days after sugar addition, 10 more days for secondary fermentation after racking, then stabilizing and clearing for 14 days....

Clearly my entire timeline is completely screwed up. My gravity is NOT MOVING. Should I proceed anyway regardless of gravity readings?

Will I be left with just sweet grape juice with no alcohol?

Anything I can do (besides get another kit and start over)?

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Old 06-26-2006, 12:17 AM   #2
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

Sounds like your original yeast died due to self-generated heat. Pitching champagne yeast was a good move, but it is a slow yeast. Either wait it out or get some more port or red wine yeast.

OG 1.133 (+ 0.010 from the sugar) Current 1.031 You are looking at about 14% ABV already.
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