Blew my top

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Viamphie

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I’ve returned to the outhouse where I keep my first batch of brewed Supermarket Wine to find that 4 of the 40 odd bottles had blown out the corks. The bottles were laying on their side. The wine inside was still quite fizzy so I’m guessing some secondary fermentation may have been going on as there was a heavy sediment at the bottom. Would I be right in perhaps thinking that I did not put enough Camden tablets in the batch? Or perhaps didn’t stir them in well enough? Also given that it was only 4 of the bottles and that I’m a tight a**e, perhaps I bottled too close to the dregs at the bottom of the vessel And captured too much yeast.

a lesson for other newbies.
 

An Ankoù

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If I were you, Id draw the corks of the other bottles to see whether the wine is carbonating. Regardless of the amount of dregs, if there were no sugar left in the wine, there'd be nothing to ferment.
 

Viamphie

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I’ve shaken them and there’s no sediment or fizzing
 

Chippy_Tea

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Would I be right in perhaps thinking that I did not put enough Camden tablets in the batch?
Its a popular misconception that campden tablets are used to kill yeast before bottling they are designed to stop oxidisation.

  • For preserving and sterilising.
  • Add 1 crushed Campden tablet to each gallon of wine at the end of fermentation to prevent oxidation and bacterial contamination during the bottling and syphoning, also aids stability.


How To Stop A Fermentation
By Ed Kraus

Quite often we'll have someone ask us how to stop a fermentation before it is ready to stop on its own. Usually the reason for asking is because they have tasted their wine and they like the amount of sweetness it currently has--sounds reasonable.

Stopping the wine from fermenting any further would preserve the current level of sweetness. And likewise, allowing the wine to continue fermenting further would only make the wine less sweet with each passing day.

Eventually the wine would become completely dry at which time the fermentation would stop on its own. This is because during the fermentation process wine yeast turns the sugar into alcohol.

Wanting to stop a fermentation is all good in of itself. But unfortunately, there is really no practical way to successfully stop a fermentation dead in its tracks. While there is no practical way, here are a few tips to attempt to slow down the process.


Using Sodium Bisulfite or Campden Tablets


Many winemakers will turn to sulfites such as that found in Sodium Bisulfite or Campden Tablets for the answer. But, these two items are not capable of reliably killing enough of the wine yeast to guarantee a complete stop of the activity--at least not at normal doses that leave the wine still drinkable.

Once the bulk of the sulfites from either of these home wine making ingredients dissipate from the wine into the air--as sulfites do--there is a very strong chance that the remaining few live wine yeast cells will start multiplying and fermenting again if given enough time. And, I might add that this usually happens at a most inconvenient time, like after the wine has been bottled and stowed away.


Using Potassium Sorbate

Potassium Sorbate
is another home wine making ingredient that many winemakers consider when trying to stop a wine from fermenting any further. There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this product.

It is typically called for by home wine making books when sweetening a wine. This is a situation where the fermentation has already completed and is ready for bottling. You simply add the Potassium Sorbate along with the sugar that is added for sweetening.

The Potassium Sorbate stops the wine yeast from fermenting the newly added sugar. So, many winemakers assume Potassium Sorbate can stop an active fermentation as well. But, nothing could be further from the truth.

Potassium Sorbate does not kill the yeast at all, but rather it makes the wine yeast sterile. In other words, it impairs the wine yeast's ability to reproduce itself. But, it does not hinder the wine yeast's ability to ferment sugar into alcohol.

Potassium Sorbate puts a coating on the cell wall of each individual wine yeast in such a way that budding or multiplying is next to impossible.

The idea here is that if you happen to have few cells of live wine yeast remaining in your finished wine, they will be rendered harmless if they are unable to regenerate themselves to great enough numbers to invigorate a fermentation of any kind. This is true even if more sugar is added to the finished wine.

 
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