Plum wine fermentation slow at 1.006

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pfytche

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Hi.
I am new to wine makimg and currently have 2 1 gallon dj's of plum wine on yhe go. They ave been fermenting in yhe demijohn now for 10 days and for the past 2 days sg has been 1.006 but the airlocks are still slowly bubbling about once every 2-3 mins. Is this ok as i want it to get below1.000 or should i rack into clean demijohn as there is quite a bit of sediment at bottom so would racking speed it up?

Any advice wii be most welcome
 

bernardsmith

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Hi pfytche and welcome.
I don't know that racking speeds up anything but it may remove active yeast cells that have settled lower in the carboy. I routinely rack when my wines get to about 1.006 but then I have had them fermenting in a bucket rather than a sealed carboy. At 1.006 almost all the heavy lifting by the yeast has been completed and there is no harm now in letting the remaining yeast chomp down on the remaining sugar for a couple of months (albeit under bung and airlock).
That said, my "concern" is that you say the reading has not shifted in two days. Not shifted at all or only slightly? I don't know how nutrient rich plums are when it comes to providing yeast with what they need to repair cells and bud and the the like. I also don't know the pH of your wine. Others with more experience in winemaking than me may suggest that you don't add some nutrient but if you did not add any after the fermentation began you may want to think about adding 1/8th of a teaspoon or less at this time. (the down side is that adding nutrient late in the fermentation process may encourage and dis-inhibit the growth of opportunistic bacteria and yeast.
If you can measure the pH and it is at 3 or close then that may be a challenge to the yeast and you may want to increase the pH to around 3.5. But all this about feeding the yeast and modifying the pH is grounded in my assumption that you used a yeast that was provided to tolerate the alcohol concentration in your plum wine. What yeast did you pitch and what was the starting gravity?
 

solbes

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What temp is your wine at? You may need to bump it up a few degrees to encourage it to finish.
 
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pfytche

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I used a Ritchies yeast and nutrient. A heaped teaspoon full. Starting sg was 1.085. I havent checked temp but i have a heater belt wrapped around bottom of both demijohns
 
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pfytche

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Fg is now at 1.004. Fermenting very slowly but moving at this rate will be another 2 weeks before it gets under1.000. Looks very clear already too.
 

solbes

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Keep chugging. If you haven't racked yet, go for it. I bet it does still get to 1.000 or below.

And then let it sit in a full tertiary (after 2 rackings). Fruit wines take forever to completely clear (9-12 months). Even if it looks clear, if theres a little yeast in suspension it will not taste as good as one that has fully cleared.
 
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pfytche

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Thanks yeah will rack tomorrow i think. Then let sit for a while again
 
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pfytche

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Well checked fg this morning and it read 1.006 again strangely dropped in a pinch of yeast and checked this afternoon and fg is 1.002 so going to leave till monday then will rack and move to cooler place to clear thanks for advice all. New to wine making so was worrying it wasnt going right
 

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