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Wasap

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Hi All - Two weeks ago started my first wines, grape and banana wines half gallon each. Got some questions

1. Grape wine is in primary fermentation for almost two weeks and I still see lot of bubbles going bottom up. Should I wait for some more time or can I move to secondary fermentation?

2. Has anyone tried banana wine with Chinese yeast? Just ordered a pack of Chinese yeast from Amazon to try rice wine and wondering if anyone tried this yeast for Banana wine?
 

bernardsmith

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Hi Wasap - and welcome. Best to get an hydrometer rather than spend time watching bubbles. An hydrometer tells you when the yeast have finished fermenting all the available sugars (the specific gravity AKA density of the wine will be at about 1.000 or below and you will want to rack or transfer the wine from the primary fermenter (where it is now) into a secondary vessel that will have no headroom and so will inhibit oxidation) when the wine's gravity is around 1.010 to 1.005. That way when you rack (siphon) the yeast are still producing CO2 and that protects the wine from oxidation.

Rice yeast sounds like a yeast designed to ferment grains and grains need to be converted from complex sugars (carbohydrates) into simple sugars that yeast can ferment. I have no idea whether that yeast is an efficient way to ferment bananas. I make banana wine (with peel more than the fruit itself - think limoncello and the use of the zest of lemons) and use wine yeast.
 
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Wasap

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Hi Wasap - and welcome. Best to get an hydrometer rather than spend time watching bubbles. An hydrometer tells you when the yeast have finished fermenting all the available sugars (the specific gravity AKA density of the wine will be at about 1.000 or below and you will want to rack or transfer the wine from the primary fermenter (where it is now) into a secondary vessel that will have no headroom and so will inhibit oxidation) when the wine's gravity is around 1.010 to 1.005. That way when you rack (siphon) the yeast are still producing CO2 and that protects the wine from oxidation.

Rice yeast sounds like a yeast designed to ferment grains and grains need to be converted from complex sugars (carbohydrates) into simple sugars that yeast can ferment. I have no idea whether that yeast is an efficient way to ferment bananas. I make banana wine (with peel more than the fruit itself - think limoncello and the use of the zest of lemons) and use wine yeast.
Yeah I have got a Refratometer with both Brix and SG scales... 1.095 is the OG and current SG is 1.051... Looks it is taking long time than I have anticipated (as I have read 2 weeks is good time to get to 1.000 SG)

The other stuff, just an experiment I am thinking about... My understanding is Chinese yeast is mix of algae and yeast... Algae turns the starch/carbs to sugars and yeast turns the sugars to Alcohol... As Bananas have good amount of carbs, do you think the Chinese yeast will convert them to Sugars and then to Alcohol along with existing sugars in the banana? and getting more ABV?
 

bernardsmith

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So two things - a refractometer does not use the density of a liquid to determine how much sugar is in solution. It is calibrated to measure the amount of sugar dissolved in WATER . After you pitch (add) yeast the solution is made up of water AND alcohol and light bends (AKA refracts) very differently when it passes through alcohol than when it passes through water. You cannot use a refractometer in any simple way after you have added yeast. But you knew that.

Bananas have lots of very simple sugars too. You can ferment bananas like grapes or berries or apples or mangoes... You do not need any enzymatic action to break down the complex sugars into simple sugars like sucrose, fructose, glucose and the like. That's why a banana is sweet but bread only tastes sweet when the enzymes in your saliva have broken down the carbs into simpler sugars. You have to chew bread for a long time to break down the sugars and that is what happens when you brew malted barley and make a mash of the crushed grains.
 
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