Primary fermentation not starting?

Primary fermentation not starting?

Post by fdl1.. » Thu, 23 Sep 2004 03:10:22



Hi everyone.

First some background.

I crushed 3 cases of merlot and 3 cases of cab sauv. The contents are
mixed in 2 plastic tub/bucket containers with no lid (covered with a
cloth). I have added nothing (i.e. I am using wild yeasts to ferment.
yes I am aware of the uncertainty of such actions). Both containers
are in my garage where the  temperature probably ranges from 75 during
the day to 60 at night.

The must went in this past saturday afternoon. I noticed a bit of
frothing on the must right away but not much since then. Its now been
over 3 days and the must doesnt seem to be bubbling much. I dont have
an airlock or hydrometer so I'm not sure if there is any way I can
tell if its actually fermenting. Should the must rise? Should there be
lots of bubbles and froth on the grapes? Or is fermentation in these
types of containers (very wide, open mouth) somewhat invisible?

I'm thinking that maybe the cooler temperature of my garage is keeping
the fermentation very slow. Or maybe its working but I just cant see
it?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks.

D

 
 
 

Primary fermentation not starting?

Post by Ken Val » Thu, 23 Sep 2004 05:48:53


Quote:

> Hi everyone.

> First some background.

> I crushed 3 cases of merlot and 3 cases of cab sauv. The contents are
> mixed in 2 plastic tub/bucket containers with no lid (covered with a
> cloth). I have added nothing (i.e. I am using wild yeasts to ferment.
> yes I am aware of the uncertainty of such actions). Both containers
> are in my garage where the  temperature probably ranges from 75 during
> the day to 60 at night.

> The must went in this past saturday afternoon. I noticed a bit of
> frothing on the must right away but not much since then. Its now been
> over 3 days and the must doesnt seem to be bubbling much. I dont have
> an airlock or hydrometer so I'm not sure if there is any way I can
> tell if its actually fermenting. Should the must rise? Should there be
> lots of bubbles and froth on the grapes? Or is fermentation in these
> types of containers (very wide, open mouth) somewhat invisible?

> I'm thinking that maybe the cooler temperature of my garage is keeping
> the fermentation very slow. Or maybe its working but I just cant see
> it?

> Any insight would be appreciated.

> Thanks.

> D

If you can smell any *** you have fermentation, other wise you don't
(you may have to be right over top of the container to smell it though).
If you don't have fermentation going on you might need to exose the
containers to a more open type of air (like outside) for a brief period
of time (an hour or so).
Ken

 
 
 

Primary fermentation not starting?

Post by fdl1.. » Thu, 23 Sep 2004 11:10:01


Thanks for the response Ken.

Fortunately when I got home today and checked on it again, it was
fermenting nicely. The must is noticably higher than it was before and
while I can't see bubbles or froth on top of the must, when I punch
the cap the liquid underneath is nice and frothy.

To your point about the smell, it definately smelled like it was
fermenting, even before today so perhaps it was just working slowly
due to the cooler weather. Today was a much warmer day and it seems to
have jump started things.

My only fear now is that the must was initially left for 24 hours or
so without enough fermentation occuring to form a CO2 protective
barrier. As I understand it, if the must was exposed to oxygen for
this amount of time with no fermentation occuring, it could spoil
things? Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks again.

D