Lalvin 71B Country type wines, not finishing dry

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tkdgeek

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Have started a few individual gallon jugs of fruit/country style wine using Lavlin 71b for the first time. Blueberry, mixed berry, peach, banana, etc. Pretty much all of them are just fruit and sugar to bring them up to about 1.080. No chemicals as I'd kind of prefer not to. Couple had the fruit frozen for several weeks so broke down much better. Peach and blueberry ones were not frozen but were muddled in the sugar and smashed to help. Also didn't use a 'nut sack' for the fruit as they seem not worth the hassle. Seems easier to use a 200gr sack to pour off on first rough rack at about a month to catch the fruit residue. For the last three weeks they've all stalled at about 1.024 or so and haven't moved at all. Seems like the yeast is finished but not dry. First time with this yeast and also first time doing county style with zero chemical. Left on shelf in mudroom so about 76F, mostly dark. Each got about 1/2 packet so should be plenty, no real attention to pre-hydrating. Several things are slightly different that I'd do with Cider so just learning the ropes for country wine. Been a couple months now. Seems premature stop but I'm not sure why with the equipment/learning experience I possess.
Pretty ocd about cleanliness/sterile so they look healthy and all. Banana actually has a very pretty clearing up amber and about 1% more alcohol as it started a touch higher according to hydrometer. Just left a fair amount of sugar and never went dry? I'll go ahead and age them in a third rack to clean bottles and let the flavors come out for a few months, no back sweetening needed for sure.
Not clear where I messed up pretty consistently! Ha.
 

bernardsmith

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I note that you are declining to use "chemicals" but what about a) nutrients for the yeast and b) are you aerating the wines during active fermentation? Nutrients include nitrogen and basic minerals and vitamins that the yeast need but you can provide them with that by providing the yeast with other yeast you have boiled to death.
Home wine makers are not likely to be able to overpitch yeast but underpitching is very easy and that causes stress. You really want to use a pack of yeast for every gallon of wine... Fruit ain't inexpensive but yeast is... Why spoil your wine for penny's worth of yeast.. Your call of course, but if I were to be "careful" with my money I would be careful about spending money on unnecessary equipment but yeast and good quality fruit (or honey)? Nah.. That's where I would would want to spend my hard earned thalers.
 
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tkdgeek

tkdgeek

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I do overpitch my yeast some as I do half a packet for a 1 gal or 1.4gal batch (if I use the little big mouth). Dry is very inexpensive, yes. I haven't been adding yeast nutrient. I do with cider and beer but just haven't with the country wine. No excuse on that one as it's fairly inexpensive to use as well. I have a flask with an airlock that I could start the yeast in to get it rolling more before using as well. No stirrer. I'm giving the jugs a good swirl every morning the first couple weeks but not taking the lid off until 1st rough rack so they are staying under airlock the whole time. So aerating some but not introducing oxygen by taking the top off. That is part of that sanitary thing I worry about.

Appreciate the information.
 

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