Is tartaric acid going to be a bad thing for fermenting?

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slayer021175666

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So, I've got this 64 Oz jug of grape juice in the fridge that has been sitting in there forever. I don't mean literally but, apparently no one here wants to drink it. Anyway, I was thinking about doing my first foray into wine making with it. I saw a recipe from a guy who dumped out about a pint of the juice and then dumped in a cup and a half of table sugar and half a teaspoon of bread yeast. He said that it's delicious and comes out about 16 to 20% alcohol. Anyway, this bottle of juice, has tartaric acid and ascorbic acid in it. Can I ferment this juice without a problem? Any other advice or things that I should know before I try this?
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Dr_Jeff

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It will do fine.

Although, I would use wine yeast as vs bread yeast.
Most varieties are just under $1 a pack.
One pack will be an overpitch, but why save it at that price point?

My "go to" yeast for wines and ciders is K1V-1116.

Personally, I'd add in a bit more sugar, but that's just me.
 
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slayer021175666

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It will do fine.

Although, I would use wine yeast as vs bread yeast.
Most varieties are just under $1 a pack.
One pack will be an overpitch, but why save it at that price point?

My "go to" yeast for wines and ciders is K1V-1116.

Personally, I'd add in a bit more sugar, but that's just me.
The recipe I mentioned was a cup and a half of sugar. You don't think that's enough? How much more would you add?
And, do you think he's right that it will makes 16 to 20%?
 

bernardsmith

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Sixty four oz of juice is half a gallon.
One cup of sugar weighs about 7 oz., so 1.5 cups will weigh about 10 oz (or say 5/8 of lb). Have no idea the sugar content of the grape juice. It should indicate that amount on the nutritional label. But let me assume that it will be around 1.050 . You are adding 5/8 of a pound of sugar to a half gallon and if I discount the added volume created by the sugar (your recipe calls for removing about the same volume as you are adding (more or less)) then you are nominally adding 1.25 lbs of sugar to make one gallon. (mathematically speaking) That amount of sugar will add about .055 points of gravity and so the juice will have a gravity of about 1.100 (or as near as dammit) or a potential ABV of about 13%.
 
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slayer021175666

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Tried it with fleischmann's rapid rise yeast. I put three quarters of a teaspoon in it. It's been 2 days at about 68° and I don't see any activity. I am going to proof the yeast with warm water and sugar but, it's working just fine in the bread I put it in a week ago so, I don't know. Should it be a vigorous fermentation like, beer is?
 

bernardsmith

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Is the gravity dropping or steady. If steady there is no fermentation going on. If the gravity (density) is falling then you are observing the sugar solution being transformed into alcohol. Alcohol is less dense than syrup, and is less dense than water so, if the starting gravity was close to 1.100 then the gravity after two or three days of active yeast activity should be below that - 1,090 or 1.070 or even less. If the gravity is not dropping you might want to look at the label on the grape juice. If it indicates that there is sorbate being used as a preservative, then your yeast is not the problem. The preservative is. Sorbate prevents the yeast from forming a colony. It is added to juices to inhibit spoilage and fermentation is spoilage we enjoy...
 
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slayer021175666

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I got back around to this a couple days ago. I needed to brew beer and stuff and this wine thing is just a little experiment, for me. Anyway, it tasted pretty sweet. I mean, too sweet. Like it didn't ferment out all the way. I first put fleischmann's bread yeast in it as the recipe said but, 2 days ago, in an effort to make it dry out some more, I put some red star wine yeast in it and I haven't seen any more activity. What I was thinking is that the bread yeast got killed by its own alcohol so, I thought if I put the wine yeast in it, it would be able to eat the remaining sugar. Did I do something wrong here? Can you not throw new yeast in when there's already alcohol that has been made? I know it's got a bunch more sugar left in it because I can taste it. I didn't want it TOTALLY dry but, I wanted it dried out enough that it wasn't putridly sweet.
 

z-bob

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What brand of juice is it? Are you sure it doesn't have any sorbate or benzoate? (it probably doesn't but you have to be certain of that) I've made wine several times with Aldi or Kirkland or Great Value grape juice, and never had any difficulty getting it to ferment. Sometimes I blend white (Niagara) grape juice with the red Concord juice; I accidentally ended up with a *great* rose' once that way when the yeast that I used stripped out a lot of the color.

I have a gallon that I need to bottle; I used a 96 oz bottle of Concord grape juice, 1/2 cup erythritol, 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient, half a packet of K1V-1116 wine yeast, and I topped it up with water. I'm going to bottle and prime it like beer or cider. The erythritol is so it won't be so puckery dry; I like dry wine and dry cider, but when I tried a modest-ABV sparkling red wine it was too tannic or something; a little sugar in the glass straightened that out but fizzed it up and killed the carbonation.

Back to your original question, tartaric acid is fine. Some of it may crystalize and drop out as cream of tartar; that won't hurt anything either.
 
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slayer021175666

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It's 100% juice with no preservatives. If you look above in this post, you'll see the recipe that I used. I just wonder if there was already so much alcohol from the bread yeast that it killed the wine yeast before it could ever take off. I just don't know if, you can pitch yeast in something that already has alcohol in it. Or, if that yeast needs to be making the alcohol in the first place so, it gets used to the alcohol and is not shocked by it or something.
 

z-bob

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if you have some yeast nutrient, try adding 1/2 tsp and see what happens. (you might want to degas the wine first) It might not do anything, OTOH the yeast might take off again and finish the job.

You could also start a second batch and add the first batch to it a little at a time after it gets going.
 
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slayer021175666

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Okay. I put some yeast nutrient in it after I shook it up. It's just a half gallon jug of juice sitting there. I don't know if that induces oxygen or anything but I shook it up to let the CO2 out of it as much as I could until, I didn't hear it coming out anymore. Then, I added some yeast nutrient and shook it up again. Put the cap on it loosely and set it back in its little dark place. I guess I'll see what happens.
 
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