Another noob in need of aid.

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Twisted

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I'm a novice at the whole wine making journey but have read up a fair amount about the process in terms of the task of making said wine and the chemistry of how it happens but what I need is some experience. First post so I hope I'm giving enough info to aid you in aiding me...

The Experiment
My first experimental must is a 5 litre batch of raspberry conserve (jam) wine that had an IG of 1.130. The recipe used was basically 3 pots of jam, water and heaps of sugar to take the IG up to 1.130, to this I pitched 5g of bread yeast which I'd started in a mix of 10ml pineapple juice and 30 ml water to activate the yeast. After the first month grav was down to 1.070 at which time I racked it off the fruit to a new fermentation vessel, since then there has been no bubbles in the airlock (but I think that's just a seal issue). I tested the grav after 2 weeks and it had dropped to 1.062, having just tested it again today it's still at 1.062. It's probably worth mentioning that the ambient temp around the fermentation vessel is roughly 16 degrees C at the lowest and around 20 at the highest. Not the best conditions for a must I know but it's an experiment more than anything else.

My questions to you all
  • Has the fermentation stalled or has the poor little bread yeast just done the best it could?
  • If stalled how can I invigorate it once more?
  • Was 1.130 too crazy an IG to start from?

So far what I do know is that if this has failed as wine then what I do have is a great tasting raspberry syrup with an ABV of around 9% :)
Thanks in advance and remember not letting your must must is a must.
 

VW911

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Bread yeast will not be up to the job, given that starting gravity.
Yeast doesn't actually like alcohol, so if it isn't a fairly high tolerance yeast, it will just die.
You could make a starter with some proper wine yeast, and slowly add your wine to it, a couple of hundred mls at a time, over a few days, and it should start fermenting again...
 

Twisted

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Bread yeast will not be up to the job, given that starting gravity.
Yeast doesn't actually like alcohol, so if it isn't a fairly high tolerance yeast, it will just die.
You could make a starter with some proper wine yeast, and slowly add your wine to it, a couple of hundred mls at a time, over a few days, and it should start fermenting again...
Thanks for the response :)

So you think maybe the alcohol levels have killed off my poor baby bread yeast?
Another question if you don't mind. If the bread yeast can only get it to a FG of 1.060 would it be safe to bottle?
 

VW911

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I wouldn't chance it personally - the yeast will more than likely "wake up" again sometime, and cause potentially dangerous results...
 

Twisted

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I wouldn't chance it personally - the yeast will more than likely "wake up" again sometime, and cause potentially dangerous results...
Yeah I was thinking that would be the case, thanks again for the response.
 

Chippy_Tea

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I'm a novice at the whole wine making journey but have read up a fair amount about the process in terms of the task of making said wine and the chemistry of how it happens but what I need is some experience. First post so I hope I'm giving enough info to aid you in aiding me...
The trouble with the internet is there is so much conflicting advice out there but on the whole the use of bread yeast in wine making is a no no read this and you will probably never use bread yeast again. ;)


Wine yeast in particular is bred to obtain higher alcohol levels than baking yeast. On average, bread yeast will get you 9 or 10%. Anything higher than that is possible, but the baking yeast will have to struggle considerably.

Wine yeast are bred to thrive very well with the set of nutrients fruits naturally provide. Baking yeast, on the other hand, prefers the balance of nutrients found in grains or bread doughs.

Wine yeast clears more quickly from the wine than baking yeast. Wine yeast is bred to clump together as the fermentation activity slows – a process known as flocculation. The clumping allows the wine yeast to drop out and settle to the bottom more quickly. Baking yeast does not clump or flocculate. Instead, it slowly settles to the bottle as a fine haze. This process can take weeks instead of days.

Wine yeast foams less than baking yeast. This is because wine yeast are bred to produce less surface tension in the liquid than baking yeast.

Wine yeast is also more tolerant to sulfites than baking yeast. The wine yeast has actually been acclimated to coexist with some residual sulfites such as Campden tablets in the wine. This means that wine yeast can ferment just fine with some sulfites in the wine must. Baking yeast is not as fortunate. Even small amounts of sulfites can stop a wine fermentation dead in its tracks.

Another issue is that bread yeast is only packaged under food-grade conditions. This is certainly suitable for baking. The yeast is only being utilized for a few hours, not days, so the perpetuation of any contaminating organisms do not have enough time to do any damage.

On the other hand, with wine yeast we are talking days if not weeks that the yeast is in play. This is plenty of time for stray organisms riding on the yeast to potentially breed into a full-fledged infestation spoiling the wine. For this reason, wine yeast is package under sterile conditions. This is far more stringent than food-grade packaging.

To sum all this up, you can certainly make wine with a baking yeast, but you will be sacrificing flavor and potentially alcohol. You are also increasing the likelihood of having a stuck fermentation. This is because of issues with nutrients and the use of sodium metabisulfite.

So, as I think you can see, wine yeast and baking yeast are not the same. In fact, there are many differences between the two. That combined with the fact that wine yeast is not all that expensive to buy, why wouldn’t you use it in your winemaking?

Happy Wine Making
Ed Kraus

Full article - Is Wine Yeast And Baking Yeast The Same? | E. C. KrausWine Making and Beer Brewing Blog | Adventures in Homebrewing
 
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Twisted

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The trouble with the internet is there is so much conflicting advice out there but on the whole the use of bread yeast in wine making is a no no read this and you will probably never use bread yeast again. ;)


Wine yeast in particular is bred to obtain higher alcohol levels than baking yeast. On average, bread yeast will get you 9 or 10%. Anything higher than that is possible, but the baking yeast will have to struggle considerably.

Wine yeast are bred to thrive very well with the set of nutrients fruits naturally provide. Baking yeast, on the other hand, prefers the balance of nutrients found in grains or bread doughs.

Wine yeast clears more quickly from the wine than baking yeast. Wine yeast is bred to clump together as the fermentation activity slows – a process known as flocculation. The clumping allows the wine yeast to drop out and settle to the bottom more quickly. Baking yeast does not clump or flocculate. Instead, it slowly settles to the bottle as a fine haze. This process can take weeks instead of days.

Wine yeast foams less than baking yeast. This is because wine yeast are bred to produce less surface tension in the liquid than baking yeast.

Wine yeast is also more tolerant to sulfites than baking yeast. The wine yeast has actually been acclimated to coexist with some residual sulfites such as Campden tablets in the wine. This means that wine yeast can ferment just fine with some sulfites in the wine must. Baking yeast is not as fortunate. Even small amounts of sulfites can stop a wine fermentation dead in its tracks.

Another issue is that bread yeast is only packaged under food-grade conditions. This is certainly suitable for baking. The yeast is only being utilized for a few hours, not days, so the perpetuation of any contaminating organisms do not have enough time to do any damage.

On the other hand, with wine yeast we are talking days if not weeks that the yeast is in play. This is plenty of time for stray organisms riding on the yeast to potentially breed into a full-fledged infestation spoiling the wine. For this reason, wine yeast is package under sterile conditions. This is far more stringent than food-grade packaging.

To sum all this up, you can certainly make wine with a baking yeast, but you will be sacrificing flavor and potentially alcohol. You are also increasing the likelihood of having a stuck fermentation. This is because of issues with nutrients and the use of sodium metabisulfite.

So, as I think you can see, wine yeast and baking yeast are not the same. In fact, there are many differences between the two. That combined with the fact that wine yeast is not all that expensive to buy, why wouldn’t you use it in your winemaking?

Happy Wine Making
Ed Kraus

Full article - Is Wine Yeast And Baking Yeast The Same? | E. C. KrausWine Making and Beer Brewing Blog | Adventures in Homebrewing
I'm aware of the differences in yeast to some degree but you've helped expand my knowledge in that area thanks for that and the other info. Most of my wine making knowledge isn't from the internet, but old books my uncle left me and time spent with him as a kid. I thought I'd try a bread yeast as I already have an 'expected result' with wine yeast(s) but no experience with bread yeast ( and that I did see on the internet :D ).

My next experiment(s) will be taking a base must, separating it into 3 - 4 vessels and then trying to use wild yeast cultivated from different fruits. I'm hoping to see which 'wild yeast' works best though I imagine there'll be way too many variables to have an accurate result, all I can really do is shout FOR SCIENCE! and take notes.
 

johncrobinson

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I should warn you wild yeast is generally not very alcohol tolerant some peg out at about 5% abv.

Still for experimental purposes no harm done.
 

Twisted

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I should warn you wild yeast is generally not very alcohol tolerant some peg out at about 5% abv.

Still for experimental purposes no harm done.
Thanks for your reply.

Could you suggest a decent starting gravity for my experiments using wild yeast, I'm guessing around 1.050 ish would be near what I'm after but still getting my head around the maths.
 

DocAnna

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Thanks for your reply.

Could you suggest a decent starting gravity for my experiments using wild yeast, I'm guessing around 1.050 ish would be near what I'm after but still getting my head around the maths.
Hi you might be interested in taking a look at 'Make Mead Like A Viking' which while about mead, is a book about wild fermentations and how to encourage fermentation rather than spoilage organisms. The starting gravity will determine the sweetness of the resulting wine or mead, with the wild or bread yeast topping out at 3-4% roughly, so any of the sugars left will contribute to sweetness rather than alcohol. If you are going down this route when you don't know how the yeast will behave, your best bet is probably to make small batches in demijohns and vary the starting gravity till you find the sweetness you like.

While this link is for a mead calculator, it can be used for any wine to compare the effects of starting gravity, yeast tolerance and sweetness. BatchBuildr - MeadMakr

Anna
 

Twisted

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Hi you might be interested in taking a look at 'Make Mead Like A Viking' which while about mead, is a book about wild fermentations and how to encourage fermentation rather than spoilage organisms. The starting gravity will determine the sweetness of the resulting wine or mead, with the wild or bread yeast topping out at 3-4% roughly, so any of the sugars left will contribute to sweetness rather than alcohol. If you are going down this route when you don't know how the yeast will behave, your best bet is probably to make small batches in demijohns and vary the starting gravity till you find the sweetness you like.

While this link is for a mead calculator, it can be used for any wine to compare the effects of starting gravity, yeast tolerance and sweetness. BatchBuildr - MeadMakr

Anna
Thank you very much for the book recommendation, I'll try and get myself a copy as it sounds like there's some great info in there :)
 

Twisted

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Bread yeast will not be up to the job, given that starting gravity.
Yeast doesn't actually like alcohol, so if it isn't a fairly high tolerance yeast, it will just die.
You could make a starter with some proper wine yeast, and slowly add your wine to it, a couple of hundred mls at a time, over a few days, and it should start fermenting again...
Wine yeast arrived today, another quick question...
Why add a couple hundred mls a time, over a few days and not all in the one pitch?
The reason I ask is that I was thinking all in 1 pitch reduces the time the wine can spend in contact with oxygen or am I being too anal/worried about oxidisation?

Thanks again.
 
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VW911

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If you were to just pour a starter into the batch, the alcohol already present would probably just kill the new yeast.
It would be better to add the wine to the starter (a bit at a time), rather than add the starter to the wine.
 

Twisted

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If you were to just pour a starter into the batch, the alcohol already present would probably just kill the new yeast.
It would be better to add the wine to the starter (a bit at a time), rather than add the starter to the wine.
Thank you kindly :)
 

Twisted

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If you were to just pour a starter into the batch, the alcohol already present would probably just kill the new yeast.
It would be better to add the wine to the starter (a bit at a time), rather than add the starter to the wine.
Advice followed and it's now bubbling away quite nicely, you have unstalled my must. Thank you again :)
 

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