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Fermentation Bucket Worries - Elderflower wine

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  • Fermentation Bucket Worries - Elderflower wine

    Hello everyone

    Iím new the these forums and new to winemaking. Iíve been meaning to start making wine for a few years, inspired by both my parents and grandparents who made their own. I got hold of a few DJís from my Mum and here I am.
    Anyway, I have an immanent issue that I hope someone can help me with. I have some Elderflower wine in the fermentation bucket at the moment and is due to be siphoned to a DJ in a few days.

    Iíve followed the recipe, made the must and added the yeast nutrient and yeast to the bucket. The recipe said stir daily for 6 days before moving the DJ. When I came to stir it on day 1, the yeast was clearly working itís magic and had domed up the plastic lid of the fermentation bucket. However, when I came to stir it o day 2, the bucket lid was flat and itís been like that ever since.

    The bucket is just on the kitchen floor so nto too hot, not too cold. I have used Wilcoís yeast which in hindsight, I probably should have used something better (I made some oak leaf wine a few weeks ago and had a similar problem in the fermentation bucket, again using Wilco's yeast, the wine is now very slowly fermenting in the DJ. I made some dandelion wine before that with a differnet yeast and that worked much better in the bucket.)

    Can someone give me some advice whether I can rectify the situation with my Elderflower wine? Should I add more yeast?


  • #2
    Hi Rich, First off, Welcome to the forum.

    Second, Have you got a Hydrometer? It's the only way to reliably give you an indication of fermentation. If so, what was your starting specific gravity reading (sg) and what is it now?



    • #3
      Hi Rich, thanks for the reply and welcome.

      Unfortunately I don't have a Hydrometer (I knew I should have bought one the other day). I need to read up on how to use the Hydrometer.

      The must only seamed to be fermenting vigorously for about 24 hours until I stirred it for the first time. I'm sure it's still fermenting in the bucket, just very slowly.

      Any other options?

      Thanks again


      • #4
        I suspect that your fermentation is perfectly normal. It can happen like that, an initial froth and then a slow down. One of the easiest ways to check whether it is still going is simply to listen to it. Do you hear a lot of fizzing/popping. Usually a good sign early on. Fermentation happens differently every time you do it so I wouldn't worry. I agree with Rich - get a hydrometer ASAP. Cheap as chips and more valuable than gold (to a winemaker). Also you can then call yourself a scientist - well almost.
        Also - welcome. May be worth trying Wine Number 1. See here

        Best of luck.
        "I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret." - Basil Fawlty


        • #5
          Oh and I should have said. Consider buying a little yeast nutrient (when you procure the hydrometer ). When making flower/leaf based wines this can be particularly important - though not necessarily essential. In this circumstance though I don't think adding more yeast will make any difference.
          "I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret." - Basil Fawlty


          • #6

            Thanks for the advice. I've had a listen to my fermentation bucket and exactly as predicted, I can hear it fizzing nicely.

            I've just read Rob's thread on Wine Number 1, sound great. I think i'm off to the supermarket for some ingredients!!! I'm fairly keen!