Help with wine

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
JoseyJo
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: North Cambs

Help with wine

Post: #279571 JoseyJo
Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:15 pm

Hi

At the beginning of May I started some blackcurrant wine with 3lbs blackcurrants and 3lbs sugar, I strained it and poured it into a demijohn after about 2-3 weeks (meant to do it sooner) and it was fermenting very vigorously (bubbles every 5 seconds or so). It continued to ferment very well, until I decided to rack it yesterday. This was because I had read something about wine sitting on rotting yeast not being a good idea, so I thought perhaps I should rack it off the inch or so of sediments on the bottom.
Now I'm wondering if I made a mistake, because it's gone from producing a bubble probably about every 20 seconds or so, to not producing any :( almost 24 hours later.
Have I removed the important yeast.... and is there anything I can do to rescue it? Or could it still start to produce bubbles again?
I can't imagine it should have finished fermenting because it was going so quickly before I racked it.....

User avatar
Marc
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:14 am
Location: East Sussex

Re: Help with wine

Post: #279577 Marc
Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:19 am

Did you taste it? - if it tasted quite dry then it may have about finished. There should still be enough yeast left in to carry on fermenting if it hasn't finished.
I wouldn't worry about it, give it a few days and see if it starts to ferment a bit more. If it doesn't, taste it, and if you've happy then leave a bit longer or rack off again if needed. If it tastes sweet, then you could try adding a little yeast, although I've never done that (or needed to) as far as I can remember.
I have sometimes added some more sugar if it tastes very dry, which will sometime make it start fermenting again.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5039
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Help with wine

Post: #279580 MKG
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:26 am

Happens all the time, JoseyJo.

When you rack, you introduce oxygen into the must. In the presence of oxygen, yeast goes over into its reproductive phase rather than its alcohol-producing phase (it's in exactly the same condition as it was when you first put it in). It will spend some time producing yeastlets until the oxygen is used up, and then it will go back into full booze production.

Or, less likely, you racked it just at the point it was about to give up anyway. In either case, though, leave it to get on with what it's doing. Tasting it, as Marc suggests, will give you a clue - if it's still sweet it probably still has a way to go.

Mike

Edit: Just seen the dates. I suspect that it's all but finished, but leave it for a while to see if it picks up again. For your information, it takes an age and a half for yeast to autolyse (the technical term for it breaking up - rotting, if you like). You won't pick up off-flavours from dead yeast unless you leave it in there for a couple of months (minimum) AFTER the end of fermentaition.

Edit2: And I've also just noticed that you said you have an inch or so of deposit - which means there's more than yeast in there. In that case, it IS a good idea to get the wine off the sediment ASAP. You can, however, wait until fermentation has finished before doing that.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

JoseyJo
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: North Cambs

Re: Help with wine

Post: #279583 JoseyJo
Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Ok Thanks, glad to hear I might not have ruined it! I was just surprised because it bubbling so fast before I racked it.
I did taste it and it did taste dry, so much that I thought I might add some sugar for flavour. Maybe I should add the sugar now and see what happens with fermentation? Would a sugar syrup be best, or just sugar?

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5039
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Help with wine

Post: #279584 MKG
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:40 pm

I wouldn't do that. Wait until it's absolutely finished and racked before you add any more sugar, and then sugar syrup is better as you know you're not going to get any crystals lying at the bottom.

If you try adding sugar at this point, you may end up with a crawlingly slow fermentation which goes on and on for ever. Adding sugar during a fermentation is a technique used to achieve higher-than-normal alcohol levels, but it needs to be planned and timed properly and demands the use of a hydrometer.

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

JoseyJo
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: North Cambs

Re: Help with wine

Post: #279585 JoseyJo
Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:05 pm

Great, thanks :icon_smile:


Return to “Home Brew and other Country Skills”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests