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Offthedome

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Hi all! First post. I have two unrelated questions so I'll separate them. Here's my first: I am making an apple wine with a bottled apple juice with no preservatives. Here's what I did. I added yeast and nutrients into a primary, racked into a secondary with more nutrient, then used that bottom layer to start the next primary with more nutrients. I then re-racked that one into a secondary with more nutrients. After about three weeks, it's now been brewing for the last week at a rate of one 0.5 millimeter bubble the size of a "." every three seconds or so. The first one stopped, but it turned out the SG was at about 1.20. I am currently drinking it anyway. I don't want to call the second one quits because of that, but I don't want to introduce oxygen into the new brew in order to test the SG. That's where I am now.
 

jgmillr1

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Hi and welcome.

The discussion of re-using wine yeast just came up here (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/can-you-wash-wine-yeast.646453/). Bottom line is that the re-use may be problematic depending on how far along the fermentation had progressed.

The first one stopped, but it turned out the SG was at about 1.20
I'm guessing from what you said that the first batch of apple wine completed fine? The SG should have started upwards of 1.1 and finished below 1.0 though, so I'm not sure what scale you are using. What yeast are you using?

I don't want to call the second one quits because of that, but I don't want to introduce oxygen into the new brew in order to test the SG
You're going to have to check the SG to see where you are. If it is still fermenting, the production of CO2 will displace the oxygen introduced by collecting a sample. If it is done fermenting, you can add sulfites and protect it from oxygen. Did you measure the SG when you racked?

And if the SG is still high, you would need to re-introduce yeast to complete the stuck fermentation. The best way to do that is to start a new, small batch for a few days and let the yeast grow & acclimate to alcohol before introducing it to your stuck batch.
 
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Offthedome

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Hi and welcome.

The discussion of re-using wine yeast just came up here (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/can-you-wash-wine-yeast.646453/). Bottom line is that the re-use may be problematic depending on how far along the fermentation had progressed.


I'm guessing from what you said that the first batch of apple wine completed fine? The SG should have started upwards of 1.1 and finished below 1.0 though, so I'm not sure what scale you are using. What yeast are you using?


You're going to have to check the SG to see where you are. If it is still fermenting, the production of CO2 will displace the oxygen introduced by collecting a sample. If it is done fermenting, you can add sulfites and protect it from oxygen. Did you measure the SG when you racked?

And if the SG is still high, you would need to re-introduce yeast to complete the stuck fermentation. The best way to do that is to start a new, small batch for a few days and let the yeast grow & acclimate to alcohol before introducing it to your stuck batch.
Thanks for the reply!

I said 1.20 when I meant 1.020.

Yes I checked he SG on both the first and second bottles when I re-racked. I don't think it was too far along when I reused the yeast. I started both with enough sugar to reach about 14.2% abv. Both bottles had an SG of between 1.030 and 1.040 upon re-racking, after about 9 days, and both were still going pretty strong when I re-racked. I was actually more concerned that perhaps it was done too early! The first one stopped and was very clear, despite being at 1.020 (quite sweet) when I thought it was done. I will have to measure the SG of this new one, and buy more juice on my way home today. I'll also check the yeast brand but it was champagne yeast.
 

bernardsmith

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Not sure that there is ever any real value in adding nutrients to wine in a secondary - first because you want the nutrients available to the yeast when they repairing cell membranes and the like. If you are racking to the secondary you are basically racking off the yeast because the yeast has done everything you have asked it do. Second, and this may not apply to lower ABV ciders and the like but by all accounts yeast cannot uptake nutrients in a solution with 9% alcohol or more. So , if your wine is around 9% the nutrients will hang around in solution and third... if the yeast don't make use of the nutrients other bacteria can ...and will so adding nutrients late in the process feeds bacteria.
 

Kent88

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... but by all accounts yeast cannot uptake nutrients in a solution with 9% alcohol or more. So , if your wine is around 9% the nutrients will hang around in solution...
Really? Can you cite a source or two? I sometimes do add some yeast nutrient to meads when I rack to secondary thinking that I was giving the yeast still in suspension a little boost to finish the job. If I'm not doing any good I'd like to know so I can stop wasting nutrients.

As far as the apple wine, What was the yeast you added? What are the pre-fermentation specific gravities of the musts?
 

bernardsmith

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I wish I could point you to solid sources for this claim (about 9%) but on another forum devoted to mead making this 9% ceiling comes up all the time and Ken Schramm has written a paper published in Zymurgy that discussed the ceiling being at the 1/2 sugar depletion point but that "point" seems to me to be bizarre since if I make a session mead with a starting gravity of 1.050 then my 50 percent depletion point is at 1.025. Schramm's meads were at least twice as honey rich so his 50 percent point would be at my starting gravity. But if we treat Schramm's actual numbers rather than his abstracted numbers he is suggesting that at about 7% ABV you do not want to add more nutrients.
 

jgmillr1

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I'll see if I can find the source as well, but the rule of thumb I've learned is to put half of the yeast nutrient (DAP) in when the wine is 1/3 fermented and the other half in when it is 2/3 fermented.

If you add DAP too early, the yeast will eat it like candy rather than the amino acids in the must but if you add it too late then you risk residual nitrogen that will feed bacteria.
 

Yooper

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I never add yeast nutrients to wine, beyond when mixing up the must. You don't need them for wine, since the fruit used generally has plenty and it can actually create some issues when not used or needed. Don't ever add them to secondary.

Rack to secondary when the wine is 1.020-1.010 or less, since you don't want to stall the yeast by premature racking.

The wine is not "brewing" (there isn't any heat) when it's in the fermenter- it should be "fermenting". Generally, it will get to 1.000 or less within 7 days, and then it may go much slower as it gets down to .990-.996 or so.

Adding alot of sugar up front (you said enough sugar to 14.2%) can often stall the yeast prematurely by overwhelming them with fermentables while they grow and reproduce and begin fermentation. If you go above about a SG of 1.110 or so, you may want to hold back some of the sugar and feed it incrementally to ensure a healthy fermentation.

I don't have a hydrometer in front of me to see where a Potential Alcohol (PA) of 14.2% falls on the SG scale, but if you can give us that, and the yeast strain used, we can try to figure out what's going on here and give some advice on what we would do if it was our wine.
 
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Offthedome

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The yeast I am using is Red Star yeast, Côte dês Blancs. The juice is a peach nectar.
 
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