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Author Topic: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting  (Read 5103 times)

Min

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Edinburgh
Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« on: November 24, 2015, 03:48:20 pm »
I am trying to make bramble wine at the moment. Following the instructions I have fermented it for a couple of months in a demi-john and then siphoned it into a new demi-john, topping it up with a pint of syrup and then some water to make up the gap. Since going into the new demi-john it has stopped fermenting. Should I add some more yeast? And if so, what it is the best way to get it activated before adding it? Thanks in advance!

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 07:16:48 am »
It may have fermented out the yeast or putting a lot of syrup into it may well have killed any remaining yeast.
You could try putting it in a warm (not hot) place and see if it starts up again.
if you put more yeast to it and it starts fermenting you may get a stronger wine but it will taste "yeasty""
I would say that two months of fermenting is enough for any wine and it's time to rack it off into a clean jar.

mahatma_dj

  • Joined Nov 2015
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 07:46:21 am »
Hello!

The mysterious ways of the ferment...

As said, it may have fermented out. Normally this should be when all the sugar has been turned into alcohol. But as you added syrup that shouldnt have happened yet. So its more likely that it has 'fermented out' in the sense that the alcohol content has reached the level at which the yeast cannot survive, which varies with different yeasts. So you'd have a strong and probably quite sweet wine.

Have you been measuring the standard gravity (S.G.)? If so, your measurements should be able to tell you where you're at. If not, you could still get a hydrometer and measure the current sugar content. If all the sugar has gone you're fine! If not...

From your post it sounds like the racking process has played a part. I've perceived this to be the case before, but only for fermentation to start again gradually. The ferment should be pretty slow after two months, so moving the wine to a warmer place is a good idea, as that might speed up the fermentation a little and show you that it is happening. In any case, give it a while and see what happens.

Ultimately I don't think you need to worry too much unless the wine is very sweet - in which case you might want to look a at restarting with a restart yeast. But if the wine isn't too sweet its a matter of leaving it as it is to clear, then stabilising and bottling. And then dancing around with a bottle of wine you made yourself!

Hope this helps a little

Min

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Edinburgh
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 09:21:51 am »
Hmm, warm places are difficult to find at the moment but I will try, thank you! I guess it may be too sweet now because of the syrup I added..

The instructions I read seemed really sure that it would take many months for full fermentation but I guess my wine didn't read the instructions.  :o

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 12:59:07 am »
When I need to warm up a wine I use hot water bittles/wheat bags around it and wrap in a towel!

Dans
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mahatma_dj

  • Joined Nov 2015
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 01:43:47 pm »
I have my demijohns on top of the fridge-feezer. It seems to keep them 1-2 degrees warmer than the rest of the kitchen, which means around 20C. Just an idea.

In the end if its nice to drink, its right!

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 12:08:30 am »
Like has bed said it's sounds like a " stuck fermentaion " due to cold & also being fully fermented out .
 
 Now its been in a warm place for a short while,  take the demijohn outside  hold your finger over the air lock and invert the thing a couple of times to get the yeast mixing in the syrup & to free the active but dormant yeast cells of the coating of CO2 that will have formed .
As you agitate it the jar may give of a bit of gas , if it empties or severely reduces the air lock contents add some cold   previously boiled water to the air lock as it should be sterile . Wipe the jar & vent lock with a clean warm wet cloth to remove any blown out must & yeast cells . 

Put it back on the top ,  this time on a tray for in a few hours it may well be frothing and bubbling like made .

 Keep a record of how much sugar your adding , if you are using the " Pearson square " alcohol calculator to work out the final strength by volume .

Next time if your going for as high an alcohol content as the yeast will allow , try adding  about 1/4 of a pint of syrup every two or three wsek so it has the chance to get converted in to alcohol .
Any unused syrup can be stored in a sterile bottle in the fridge once cooled .
 Cold syrup can be  poured in a sterile container and cling filmed or corked etc. then left in the kitchen for 24 hrs to warm up the the same temp as the must ...

 Always agitate the demijohn after you have put the new syrup into ensure good distribution  & top upo the air lock
Adding too much sugar syrup in one go at the  maximum concentration go can also /stop  the yeast cells from working well . The 1/4 pint at a time method was the best way for me .


 I found my Blackberry wine  was best left on it's own after the third racking  ( usually in January ) after adding a bottle of decent brandy to each five gallons ... It gives it a lot of depth and warmth when @ 17% ABV .
It re fermented in summer as it was stored in bulk 5 gallon containers in the roof void , being fitted with special flat ended  rubber flap valve  set in the cork so I didn't have to worry about topping up airlocks .

I usually bottled it in the following June after stopping it with campden tablets for a month or so  .

 My first year of bottling BB wine ( far too early )  and without campden stoppers resulted in nearly all my 24 bottles losing their corks in the late November whilst stood on our bedroom wardrobe top.  The result of the central heating being put on in October and the yeast reactivating .
 
T'was an interesting mess , it happened just turned 2 in the morning ..made me jump I can tell you .
I had to paint the ceiling with an oil based sealer paint to stop the wine stain bleeding through when I re-decorated afterwards .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Min

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Edinburgh
Re: Help - my wine has stopped fermenting
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 09:36:10 am »
Wow, that is great comprehensive advice Clodhopper, thanks very much. I hope I can avoid the 2am explosions!  :o Sorry it took me so long to return, things went a bit crazy here in real life for a while.

Interestingly, after a few days the wine began fermenting again. I can see it fizzing and yeast is settling at the bottom. I suppose it may have been a little of all of the above!?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 09:38:44 am by Min »

 

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