Added sugar

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annie horner

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Oct 23, 2018
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Decanted off lees 6 days after primary ferment. SG .999. Very acid. Original SG 1070 giving 9.2% alcohol. Decided to go with this and not add any more sugar but after 6 days and decanting decided to up sugar level to 12% (36 dilute ounces extra in a 4 gallon container). However, this batch in a carboy 5 gallon container with airlock shows no activity. (no bubbles in airlock). PH meter arrived today and its reading 2.6.

Any suggesting for getting ferment under way again and decreasing acid.

They are my home grown grapes.
Hi annie horner - and welcome. Am no expert on wine making with grapes (I tend to make mead and country wines), but a pH of 2.6 is about a level of acidity where yeast cannot ferment. Folk claim that 3.0 is close to the limit but the limit may be a little lower (and so a little more acidic) but 2.6 must be for the yeast much like swimming in a bath of sulfuric acid. My suggestion would be to see if you can raise the pH (lower the acidity) by about 3 points. One way would be to add a base such as K-bicarbonate. That said, I am not sure how much K-bicarb you might NEED to add to raise the pH to close to 3.0 and I am not sure what happens to the taste of the wine if you use the quantity needed...
Another possible (possible) solution might be to blend your wine with another batch of wine at a lower pH and so the final pH would be somewhere between the two (depending on how much of the second batch you choose to add)...
But others with far more experience with home grown grapes may have alternative options that are beyond my ken...
thanks for suggestions. The yeast is very happy now and bubbling away after I added 1 gram Lalvin 212 spread over 4 gallons. I bought a ph meter at the bottom end of the market and it has not been calibrated as no solution so its accuracy could be in question. I am going to ask a friend to take a reading for me as he has a more sophisticated meter. From taste though I think it has to go up a bit and as I dont have anything to blend it with (unless I make something with a high PH quickly!!!) I may go for the bicarb option. Once I get my new reading I can act.
You need to calibrate your pH meter with standards on a fairly regular basis. Calibrate and remeasure before you use the data to make any decision.

A pH of 2.6 *may* ferment (very slowly) with the right yeast. I did a cranberry using D47 without deacidifying but it took a month or two and was angry with me.
Looks like I should definitely buy the calibration solutions to get an accurate reading. I will know fairly shortly what a very accurate reading is and compare to calibrated meter I have to see it its total rubbish or not.

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