Question for Winemakers: Restarting Stuck Fermentation with Wine Kit Juice

Winemaker Mike Skeels writes:

Stuck Pinot fermentation at 1 Brix. 120 gals! I have only 1/2 quart of refrigerated pinot juice to help with the restart. It would be better to have a gal or two for the amount of wine I need to restart. My question is can I use a wine kit to supplement my pinot juice? 

Seasoned winemaker Don Koehler responded to Mike’s question: ”

“… Just off the top of my head, I don’t see why a kit would not work. Or even go find a few grapes that are still around, and get some juice from them to help out.

One brix is not stuck very much. This might not be an easy one to get started again – of course they never are. If you rack the wine to aerate it and warm it up a bit, like 70 – 75 degrees, it might slowly lose some sugar over the winter, or next spring when things wake up again…”

Don suggested blogging this issue out to you.  What do you suggest?

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3 Responses to Question for Winemakers: Restarting Stuck Fermentation with Wine Kit Juice

  1. Rex Johnston says:

    Hi Mike,

    DO NOT use the kit wine!!!!! Kit wines have a very different acid mixture than grape juice. When they
    concentrate the must to make a product that is easier to ship, they dramatically change the acids. That
    is why you NEVER do MLF on a kit wine…. MLF ruins the wine.

    The frozen pail is the way to go.

  2. Jim Sawin says:

    Hello Mike,

    I had a stuck fermentation at a -1.0 brix, still too sweet for my taste. The recommendation I got was to inculcate with Uvaferm 43 and nutrients just like you would when first starting. If you can try to get the temperature up into the 70s. If no action after a two or so weeks then rack it to give the new yeast the oxygen they need. Then wait, be patient, it will happen, even if you added SO2. Sulfur does not kill yeast only inhibits its actions so eventually the FSO2 level will drop and the yeast so do their thing.

  3. Richard Robinson says:

    As a supplement to what has already been recommended, read up on how lysozyme can help with the restart of fermentation.

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