Skip to comments.What's killing my yeast?
Posted on 01/05/2014 11:32:16 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
I'm making some cheap wine. When I say cheap I mean one step above Pruno. Right now I'm just getting down the basics, collecting equipment and experimenting with different concoctions. My first try was apple juice, sugar and bread yeast which actually came out quite well. I have 2 bottles of it sitting in the fridge now waiting until my 5 litre box of Blush runs out before I start drinking it. The main reason I chose apple juice first was for the 128 ounce bottle. Now that it's done I'm using the bottle to make other wines 64 ounces at a time then using the 64 ounce empties for storage.
Which brings me to the problem. I bought 2 bottles of Ocean Spray Cherry Juice Cocktail for 81 cents a bottle and 2 bottles of Kroger Cranberry Strawberry Juice Cocktail for 62 cents a bottle (both brands on closeout and both for the bottles more than what's in them). The Ocean Spray is doing okay but the Kroger seems to be killing the yeast and doing little to no fermenting. I'm trying to figure out what could be the culprit. The main difference between the Ocean Spray and the Kroger is that Kroger uses high fructose corn syrup while the other uses cane or beet sugar. They both have fumaric acid and ascorbic acid and the Kroger actually contains 22% juice compared to 15% for the Ocean Spray. One has about 112 grams of sugar per litre and the Kroger has 140. I've added around a cup of sugar to each, which in theory should bring them up to around 10-12% ABV if they ferment well. Do you think the corn syrup is messing with the yeast? I've put yeast in the Kroger bottle twice and both times it foams up, fizzes for a while then dies out. I'll probably end up pouring it down the drain but I would like to figure out if there is anything I should avoid next time I see juices on sale.
You have a yeast infection.
Use a 5 gallon deep rock water bottle and make a larger batch.
Try cranberry juice to get the process down. Or add ascorbic acid. Lower pH (higher acid) works better for beginners.
Mountainlion is right. Larger quantities are better too.
To be a REAL snob, run it through four times and you can call it "fourth run."
It leaves one "legless," that is, no hangover but one's THIGHS ache. I tried it ONCE...and that was enough.
As already mentioned by jrf, preservatives in packaged juices kill the yeast.
Have you tasted it may already have enough alcohol to kill the yeast. Wine yeasts usually have more alcohol tolerance. more sugar the better if you suspect the juice use less with more water sugar and real fruit
I have 20 gallons made of persimmon wine this year. 12 pounds of sugar per five gallons.Citric and ascorbic acid. Will finish out about 17-18 % alcohol.
A lot of folk use a balloon for wine.
Maybe try sterilizing the juice, if it's old it might already have had a lil hep in the fermentation situation.
You may want to check the pH, if you can. Temperature and pH are the most basic conditions for any fermentation process
Cranberry is a very acidic juice, such that it is always sold “in cocktail.” you could not drink 100% cranberry juice - far too bitter.
Strawberry juice is relatively lower acid.
Same in your mouth - yes, plaque is bad, but its also the pH environment in your mouth that does damage to your teeth....
This would be my number 2, after preservatives in the Kroger brand as number 1.
In short, it is highly likely that the yeast cannot properly eat the high-fructose corn syrup, which is why it's not fermenting nicely.
The Ocean Spray bottle specifically mentions no preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors. The Kroger doesn't but I also don't see anything on the label that's significantly different from the Ocean Spray other than corn syrup. They both have "natural flavors" added, which could mean anything but other than that there isn't anything in the Kroger label that hints of added chemicals. That's what's so annoying about it.
I don't really have the room to make or store 5 gallons of wine at a time plus I couldn't drink it fast enough. The reason I started to make my own is because I wanted 1 glass per night before bedtime and the least expensive commercial wine I could find came in a 5 liter box for around $15, so it was around $15/month versus less than $5 if I make it myself. If I have a gallon in the fridge and a gallon being made that should keep me stocked up quite nicely.
It's also possible the yeast realized what I put it in and committed suicide.
Lord have mercy. When I read the headline I thought this was going to a gynecological thread.
The juice has potassioum sorbate in it to stop fermentation in the bottle. They don’t have to include it in the ingredients.
You usually can make a starter with sugar water and some yeast nutrient then add it to the container.
Other than yeast inhibitors, too high an alcohol or no fermentable sugars will stop ferment. Some long chain sugars, or polysaccharides cannot be consumed by yeast.
I make beer and wine.... never have stuck ferments....
That makes sense. From now on I'll avoid any juices with corn syrup added. Now that I have enough nice bottles I'll be going for 100% juice anyway but if I see another amazing closeout I'll look at the ingredient label before I buy.
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