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Finished already?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:52 am
by chadspad
Im making elderberry and blackberry wine. I left it in a bucket for 7 days where it frothed along nicely. Yesterday I put it into a demi-john with an airlock but ive not had a single bubble. Is it possible that fermentation finished in the bucket? Its been quite warm here. What can I do to check? The SG is 990.
Thanks

Re: Finished already?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:17 am
by Maykal
With an SG of 990 I'd say it's probably finished. What was the OG?

Re: Finished already?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:15 pm
by Stoney
Did you add sugar or was it just the fruit?

Re: Finished already?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:26 pm
by chadspad
Forgot to check the OG :oops: I added 1.3kg of sugar to a gallon of juice. There were raisins in the mix also. Should I leave it for another couple of days in the demi-john to see if it starts?

If the SG is 99, what is the alcohol content? And how soon should this be drunk?

Thanks both

Re: Finished already?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:37 pm
by Maykal
1.3kg of sugar in 1 gallon should give you an OG of about 1.107. With an FG of 0.990, that's already about 15% abv! Then of course there were some fermentables in the juice initially. It's more or less impossible to tell how much sugar the original mix of juices had in it but it seems to me most of it has fermented out. Have you tried tasting a drop? How sweet/dry is it? Have you re-checked your hydrometer reading? Also, consider the type of yeast you used and its alcohol tolerance as the level of alcohol in the wine may have reached such a strength that the yeast can't do any more. If you still have the packet (or another packet of the same stuff) it should tell you on there.

Theoretically you can drink it whenever you like the taste of it. I've never made elderberry wine but I'm sure loads of people on here have and can advise you. My guess would be that you could leave it in the demijohn for a few more days to let some more stuff settle out, then rack it off the sediment into a clean demijohn (keep the airlock in the new demijohn just in case it restarts for some reason) and store it in a cool place for a month. With normal wine you might repeat this a few times till it's as clear as you want it and then stabilize it and bottle it. I'd certainly rack it once, just to leave the worst of the yeast sediment behind. Then, if you like the taste, start drinking it! Might be worth hiding a few bottles somewhere and forgetting about them though. I found a couple of bottles of mead I made a year or two ago in the back of a cupboard. I didn't like it at the time (after about 2-3 months maturing) but now it actually tastes pretty decent!