Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by Larry Pear » Sun, 22 Jun 2003 22:30:53



I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
18 lbs raspberrys
15 lbs sugar
6 tsp yeast nutrient
3 tsp pectic enzyme
water to 6.5 gal
2 tsp potassium metabisulfate
2 pkgs Lalvin 1118 yeast

I waited 24 hours...then pitched yeast like normal after rehydratrion and
aerating for 10 min. Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

After 3 more days no activity so I reaeriated and pitched 2 more packets of
yeast after proper rehydration.
Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had this
problem before....any pointers....? Tricks to start the ferment???
Jack...anybody???

Thanks,
Larry P

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by Norman Leve » Sun, 22 Jun 2003 23:03:43


OK, Lalvin EC1118 is a killer yeast strain with some small tolerance to
sulfur, so hopefully it's not that, but it doesn't help.

It will probably kick in when the temperature of the mixture reaches 20-odd
degrees C (68F I think).
If this doesn't work, try diluting the mixture a bit to see if the sugar
concentration is too high.

In future, however, don't add any sulfur when using EC1118. It has a
tendency to produce H2S (rotten egg gas) and feeding it sulfur only
exacerbates it. Instead, add DiAmmonium Phosphate to give it Nitrogen. In
fact, insufficiant (and also excess, so be carefull) nitrogen will cause a
stuck ferment.

Also, how big were the yeast packets (grams)? You have to add plenty or the
first week will be used up by the yeast reproducing to get to the critical
mass stage when things really happen.

I'm guessing your mix is total 6.5Gal? - 25 Litres.
For that size, about 15 to 20 grams should do it, but they must be carefully
rehydrated in water at 36C for about 20 mins before adding to the mix at
20C. If the temp differential is too high, the yeast will suffer shock.


Quote:
> I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
> 18 lbs raspberrys
> 15 lbs sugar
> 6 tsp yeast nutrient
> 3 tsp pectic enzyme
> water to 6.5 gal
> 2 tsp potassium metabisulfate
> 2 pkgs Lalvin 1118 yeast

> I waited 24 hours...then pitched yeast like normal after rehydratrion and
> aerating for 10 min. Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

> After 3 more days no activity so I reaeriated and pitched 2 more packets
of
> yeast after proper rehydration.
> Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had this
> problem before....any pointers....? Tricks to start the ferment???
> Jack...anybody???

> Thanks,
> Larry P


 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by jmreite » Sun, 22 Jun 2003 23:10:58


please get out your pH meter. If not, get one or borrow someone else's, and
have them show you how to use it. You may need to adjust your pH with either
bananas or potassium carbonate. It could be that the pH is too low for the
yeasts' liking. It could also be that your yeast might be old, or shipped at
a time when high temperatures killed the yeast in the packets. Go to where
you purchased your yeast and complain! See if they'll give you some
freebies.
Joanne
   YIPES! Just noticed that you put 2 tsps of pot. meta in the must????
That'll do it! You'd really only need 1/4 tsp for most purposes. You're
going to have to wait for all that pot. meta to blow off first. Get your
titrettes out and measure every two days. It'll be a while before anything
will come alive in that must now......

Quote:
> I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
> 18 lbs raspberrys
> 15 lbs sugar
> 6 tsp yeast nutrient
> 3 tsp pectic enzyme
> water to 6.5 gal
> 2 tsp potassium metabisulfate
> 2 pkgs Lalvin 1118 yeast

> I waited 24 hours...then pitched yeast like normal after rehydratrion and
> aerating for 10 min. Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

> After 3 more days no activity so I reaeriated and pitched 2 more packets
of
> yeast after proper rehydration.
> Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had this
> problem before....any pointers....? Tricks to start the ferment???
> Jack...anybody???

> Thanks,
> Larry P

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by Bill Frazie » Mon, 23 Jun 2003 01:50:45


Quote:

>I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
>water to 6.5 gal
>2 tsp potassium metabisulfate

Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

Quote:
>Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had this

Larry - I think you have about 270ppm SO2 in this must.  Someone
needs to check my calculation but if correct that's quite high.  Try
pouring the must back-and-forth between buckets in an attempt to
drive off some SO2.  That may help.  Also, you might consider
diluting the must to get the SG down to about 1090.

Bill Frazier
Olathe, Kansas

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by jmreite » Mon, 23 Jun 2003 08:09:47


Bill,
   raspberries are too expensive to dilute, unless you grow your own. I'd
rather Larry wait and see if the excess SO2 blows off, first.
Joanne


Quote:


> >I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
> >water to 6.5 gal
> >2 tsp potassium metabisulfate
> Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.
> >Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had
this

> Larry - I think you have about 270ppm SO2 in this must.  Someone
> needs to check my calculation but if correct that's quite high.  Try
> pouring the must back-and-forth between buckets in an attempt to
> drive off some SO2.  That may help.  Also, you might consider
> diluting the must to get the SG down to about 1090.

> Bill Frazier
> Olathe, Kansas

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by Bill Frazie » Mon, 23 Jun 2003 14:44:11


Quote:

>Bill,
>   raspberries are too expensive to dilute, unless you grow your own. I'd
>rather Larry wait and see if the excess SO2 blows off, first.
>Joanne

Joanne - I know.  The minute I pressed the send button I wished I
hadn't suggested diluting.  BTW - What grapes are you growing now?
And what is your friend (the other Joanne ~ I know you spell your names
differently) growing now?  Seems like I remember that she replaced a
lot of local soil with good quality dirt so she could grow grapes.

Bill Frazier
Olathe, Kansas

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by jmreite » Mon, 23 Jun 2003 23:53:41


I'm still growing my Tempranillo. JoAnn, in Placitas, is now growing
Riesling, JS 23-416 and a few other things I don't recall. We have found an
old vineyard of neglected Zinfandels. Made the best New Mexico Zin, bar
none, last year. The vines were head pruned. I think that if you want the
meatiest Zin you can possibly produce in NM it must be head pruned.
California still tops that though.
Joanne


Quote:


> >Bill,
> >   raspberries are too expensive to dilute, unless you grow your own. I'd
> >rather Larry wait and see if the excess SO2 blows off, first.
> >Joanne

> Joanne - I know.  The minute I pressed the send button I wished I
> hadn't suggested diluting.  BTW - What grapes are you growing now?
> And what is your friend (the other Joanne ~ I know you spell your names
> differently) growing now?  Seems like I remember that she replaced a
> lot of local soil with good quality dirt so she could grow grapes.

> Bill Frazier
> Olathe, Kansas

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by CarBo » Tue, 24 Jun 2003 01:24:39


Hi Norm, It may be possible that you have created unfavorable conditions for
microbic activity. Two tsp. meta is too much, I use 1/4 tsp. for my five
gallon batches. Too much sugar and too much yeast nutrient in your recipe
did not help things much either. If I was in this situation I would get
another primary going and split this inactive one in half. After removing
half of the inactive one take its volume back up to original with just
water, stir the hell out of it and add a prestarted yeast, I would use
Premier Cuvee. It should fire up and when the gravity gets below 1.010 I
would feed it in increments of one pound sugar until you get the ***
desired. Do the same with the second batch or experiment with it.

For my five gallon batches I use 1/4 tsp. pot. meta in primary, average
around 10 lbs. sugar, and 1 tsp. yeast nutrient and all my batches go dry. I
keep a close check on the gravity during the primary and if it slows down I
may hit the batch with 1/2 tsp. more nutrient, it will fizz immediately.

Good luck and keep us posted how you make out.

Ed


Quote:
> OK, Lalvin EC1118 is a killer yeast strain with some small tolerance to
> sulfur, so hopefully it's not that, but it doesn't help.

> It will probably kick in when the temperature of the mixture reaches
20-odd
> degrees C (68F I think).
> If this doesn't work, try diluting the mixture a bit to see if the sugar
> concentration is too high.

> In future, however, don't add any sulfur when using EC1118. It has a
> tendency to produce H2S (rotten egg gas) and feeding it sulfur only
> exacerbates it. Instead, add DiAmmonium Phosphate to give it Nitrogen. In
> fact, insufficiant (and also excess, so be carefull) nitrogen will cause a
> stuck ferment.

> Also, how big were the yeast packets (grams)? You have to add plenty or
the
> first week will be used up by the yeast reproducing to get to the critical
> mass stage when things really happen.

> I'm guessing your mix is total 6.5Gal? - 25 Litres.
> For that size, about 15 to 20 grams should do it, but they must be
carefully
> rehydrated in water at 36C for about 20 mins before adding to the mix at
> 20C. If the temp differential is too high, the yeast will suffer shock.



> > I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
> > 18 lbs raspberrys
> > 15 lbs sugar
> > 6 tsp yeast nutrient
> > 3 tsp pectic enzyme
> > water to 6.5 gal
> > 2 tsp potassium metabisulfate
> > 2 pkgs Lalvin 1118 yeast

> > I waited 24 hours...then pitched yeast like normal after rehydratrion
and
> > aerating for 10 min. Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

> > After 3 more days no activity so I reaeriated and pitched 2 more packets
> of
> > yeast after proper rehydration.
> > Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had
this
> > problem before....any pointers....? Tricks to start the ferment???
> > Jack...anybody???

> > Thanks,
> > Larry P

 
 
 

Help! Ferment Stuck at Start

Post by Tom » Tue, 24 Jun 2003 02:56:43



Quote:
> I made a 6 gal batch of raspberry wine:
> 18 lbs raspberrys
> 15 lbs sugar
> 6 tsp yeast nutrient
> 3 tsp pectic enzyme
> water to 6.5 gal
> 2 tsp potassium metabisulfite
> 2 pkgs Lalvin 1118 yeast

> I waited 24 hours...then pitched yeast like normal after rehydratrion and
> aerating for 10 min. Starting gravity 1145...kind of high.

> After 3 more days no activity so I reaeriated and pitched 2 more packets
of
> yeast after proper rehydration.
> Here I am 6 days after the start and still no activity....I never had this
> problem before....any pointers....? Tricks to start the ferment???

Sounds to me like too much sulfite, which is inhibiting the yeast.  Also,
not that it matters with regard to _starting_ the fermentation, but at 1.145
S.G. you're heading toward 19% ***.  I doubt that any strain you have
readily available will finish all that sugar.  It'll probably tank at ~5 or
6 Brix, leaving you with a raspberry port.

To get it going, you could either remove liquid (leaving the berries as
intact as possible) and replace it with water, or treat it with either
_lots_ of aeration and splashing until the free SO2 drops to a point that
yeast can tolerate, or treat it with hydrogen peroxide to oxidize the excess
SO2.  Try any of those approaches on a sample - say a quart.  Once you get
it going, the yeast activity will blow off most of the excess SO2.

If you're going to try hydrogen peroxide, I estimate that you'll need about
8 ml of 3% peroxide to titrate one gram of potassium metabisulfite.  That
doesn't sound like much, but you don't want to overshoot on this stuff or
you'll ruin the whole lot.  I don't know how many grams two teaspoons of
meta equals.  It depends a lot on the size of the spoon and how full you
fill it.  That's why it's always best to do ingredients by weight rather
than volume.

BTW, you didn't add any tartaric acid or mention what the pH is.  You really
need to know that at the beginning so you can adjust it if necessary.  It
should be about 3.3 to 3.5.

Good luck!

Tom S