Fundamentals

Why Is My Fermentation Not Starting?

In this article we will discuss the most cases why a fermentation stucks or isn't starting

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Sometimes it can happen that the fermentation isn't starting or that a ongoing fermentation stucks. There are some reasons for this. In this article we will discuss what a fermentation can cause to stop and how to fix this problem.

1. Fermentation Will Not Start

When a fermentation don't starts there can be several reasons for this. Most times it has to do with the temperature, sugar content or the yeast.

In most cases the yeast isn't the problem. It is possible that the yeast is dead so it will not make any fermentation. If this is the case you have to add a new yeast to your fermentation vessel and the problem should be fixed. If I said before the yeast is rarely the problem. Most times you have problems with your must (juice).

Your must could be have a to low temperature. A temperature under 14 degree Celsius is not suitable for the yeast. If your must is to cold you can put it at a warmer place. Put it in the living room or somewhere else where it might be warmer. Don't put your carboy in the sun.
If the must is to warm (> 40 degree Celsius) your yeast is gonna to die. If this is the case you have to cool down the must and add a new yeast.

Some home winemakers add to much sugar to their must. This cannot happen to you if you have a automatic calculator like you can download in our video course. The yeast isn't able to work and reproduce if there is to much sugar in the juice. It's like marmalade. Sugar works in high quantities like a preservative.

If you have to much sugar in your juice you have to dilute it with other juice, dry wine or water. On the other hand, if no sugar is left in your wine a fermentation isn't possible. So check the amount of sugar in your juice if a fermentation don't starts or if it stucks.

Another possibility is that you have preservatives in your juice. If you make wine from juice that you have bought in the supermarket this could be the case. You have to restart your batch because with preservatives in the juice a fermentation might be impossible.

A lack of nutrition for the yeast can cause fermentation to stop or prevent it from starting. If you have problems with the fermentation it would be good if you add some yeast nutrition and energizer.

2. Fermentation Stucks

If your fermentation stucks it is possible that your yeast has not enough nutrition, that it needs some oxygen or a change in temperature that is disagreeable to the yeast.

You can bubble a little bit oxygen in you carboy with a vinyl hose and add some yeast nutrition and energizer. If temperature is the case you have to put your fermentation vessel at a warmer or cooler place.


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