Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 22-03-2004, 08:42 PM
Pavel314
 
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Default Stuck Ferment: Melomel

I made a plum melomel last year, original SG = 1.09, and racked from the
primary to secondary when fermentation slowed, SG at that time 1.06. I just
racked again last weekend and the SG was still 1.06. This gives the alcohol
at slightly under 5%. It's also way too sweet; you can taste the unfermented
honey and it gets the equipment sticky.

I moved it upstairs where it's warmer and made a starter batch of Pasteur
Champagne yeast. When that was fermenting well, I put it into the melomel
and it didn't catch. After a couple of days, I drew off a sample of the
melomel and added Flor Sherry yeast; no reaction. I added sugar to that
sample and still no ferment.

It's now in a warm water bath in the laundry tub at 70-80 degrees F. I went
to the supply store and got some yeast energizer this afternoon and added
1/4 teaspoon per gallon, as recommended on the label. Hopefully, that will
work.

Any other tricks I could try? I've had stuck ferments before but they
usually get started again without this much trouble.

If all else fails, I have a batch of red pyment which seems a bit thin and
bland; maybe I could blend the plum with that and see if it's drinkable.

Paul



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Old 22-03-2004, 08:53 PM
Thirsty Viking
 
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Default Stuck Ferment: Melomel


"Pavel314" wrote in message
...
I made a plum melomel last year, original SG = 1.09, and racked from the
primary to secondary when fermentation slowed, SG at that time 1.06. I

just
racked again last weekend and the SG was still 1.06. This gives the

alcohol
at slightly under 5%. It's also way too sweet; you can taste the

unfermented
honey and it gets the equipment sticky.


How big did you make your starter?

I'd make mine roughtly 20% the size of the total batch before I
added it to the batch at large. This is done by doubling waiting
for active ferment then doubling again when I do it. Generally I
start with a pint of apple or orange juice, the doubling is with
the must that I intend to try to restart.


I moved it upstairs where it's warmer and made a starter batch of Pasteur
Champagne yeast. When that was fermenting well, I put it into the melomel
and it didn't catch. After a couple of days, I drew off a sample of the
melomel and added Flor Sherry yeast; no reaction. I added sugar to that
sample and still no ferment.

It's now in a warm water bath in the laundry tub at 70-80 degrees F. I

went
to the supply store and got some yeast energizer this afternoon and added
1/4 teaspoon per gallon, as recommended on the label. Hopefully, that will
work.


Did you aerate before you pitched the new yeast?



Any other tricks I could try? I've had stuck ferments before but they
usually get started again without this much trouble.


Yeast hulls, if the must is toxic to yeast (usually fermentation by
products of a stressed ferment, this can help absorb them and give
new yeast a better chance, IIUC).

If all else fails, I have a batch of red pyment which seems a bit thin and
bland; maybe I could blend the plum with that and see if it's drinkable.

Possibly, however it may still be thicker than you desire... the question
is what is preventing fermentation.


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Old 23-03-2004, 12:31 PM
Greg Cook
 
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Default Stuck Ferment: Melomel

On 3/22/04 2:42 PM, in article ,
"Pavel314" wrote:

I made a plum melomel last year, original SG = 1.09, and racked from the
primary to secondary when fermentation slowed, SG at that time 1.06. I just
racked again last weekend and the SG was still 1.06. This gives the alcohol
at slightly under 5%. It's also way too sweet; you can taste the unfermented
honey and it gets the equipment sticky.

I moved it upstairs where it's warmer and made a starter batch of Pasteur
Champagne yeast. When that was fermenting well, I put it into the melomel
and it didn't catch. After a couple of days, I drew off a sample of the
melomel and added Flor Sherry yeast; no reaction. I added sugar to that
sample and still no ferment.

It's now in a warm water bath in the laundry tub at 70-80 degrees F. I went
to the supply store and got some yeast energizer this afternoon and added
1/4 teaspoon per gallon, as recommended on the label. Hopefully, that will
work.

Any other tricks I could try? I've had stuck ferments before but they
usually get started again without this much trouble.

If all else fails, I have a batch of red pyment which seems a bit thin and
bland; maybe I could blend the plum with that and see if it's drinkable.

Paul




The acid levels in honey wines can swing wildly during fermentation as there
are less buffer salts in honey. Have you checked the pH? If it is too high
it could be a cause for your stuck fermentation.

--
Greg Cook
http://homepage.mac.com/gregcook/Wine

(remove spamblocker from my email)



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