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Wine notes

Hits 3800 | Created 2007-05-23 | Modified 2007-05-23

Some wine-making Q & A's

From 'Martin' - "Thanks for the excellent information on your site. I'm new to this sort of thing, and looking forward to the results. [...]
As far as fermenting goes, prior to bottling, it appears that temperature is important. How much does sunlight affect the process? It seems to me that when baking, yeast does best with a little sunlight... I know it can be a problem after the bulk of fermentation has finished (such as after bottling), but prior to that... ?"

Reply: As far as temperature goes, about 65oF to 70oF is a generally good temperature to keep your fermenting wine at (About 22oC).
I'm not aware that sunlight has any beneficial effects at all, and have never heard advice to leave wine in the light during fermentation. Still, if anyone knows different, then please let me know.

From 'Ida' - "I'm making peach wine. to date I have 20 gal fermenting an only one 3 gal glass container that is still working.
Here is my process - could you help me determine why the process is stopping. It seems to stop at the 11% alcohol level.

1. I have processed the peaches from very very ripe almost bad to fresh peaches, with no difference noted. (Is there a prime ripe condition for the peach?) I wash the peaches and cut them in half, remove the skin, place in a stainless steel container add water from the "tap", let set for 3 to 4 days. During this time I continue to stir and mash the peaches.

2. I then strain the peach juice from the pulp (also in a stainless steel container), test the mast for the sugar content, then place mast on stove to heat and add required sugar (per hydrometer reading) let mast cool, then pour into glass container with rubber stopper and gas release valve, then I add one (5 gal pack of wine yeast) which I mixed with warm water.

3. The mast starts working within a day and may work for one, two or three days and stops. I have kept the mast inside my house, so the temperature is stable, the yeast is per packaged and fresh I believe, the sugar added should be correct.

I'm lost. My friend just brought me three more large containers of peaches"

Reply: Adding the sugar in one batch often makes wine stop fermenting at about 10% - adding the sugar in two batches, with about a 10 day gap in-between can prevent this.

Another thing to note is if the air in the fermentation lock is pushed up to one side or not. If it is, then fermentation has not ceased, it is just slow - remember that wine can take anything up to 6 months to complete!

Also, was a yeast nutrient used? This can ensure yeast has enough food to live until the required alcohol content is reached.

Wine can also stop fermenting if the temperature drops during the night.
To get a stopped wine (level water levels in the fermentation lock) fermenting again you could try applying heat (gentle, say 70-75oF), or adding a little more yeast and nutrient.

If anyone knows any more than me on this subject, please drop me a line.

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