Not bubbling

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Not bubbling

Postby Eagleswings on Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:11 am

I pressed some oranges and fermented them in a bucket for 3 days before I rremoved the pulp and apple skins and transferred the liquid into a carbuoy and put an airlock on it.

I picked the oranges at the peak/height of its sweetness and therefore I added no sugar. I only added some water.

It's been a month now and there is absolutely no bubbling in the airlock and a white film has developed over the surface of the liquid. I have opened the lid and mixed with a ladle to break up the white film, but it just forms again after some time and absolutely no activity in the airlock.

Any advice?

I
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:04 am

I've never made citrus wine, but the recipes I'm seeing online all call for the addition of sugar. If you're sure it's sweet enough, then it must be a lack of yeast. I guess in that case, I'd try fermenting them in an open-top vessel like a bucket or crock, covered in cheese-cloth (to let in yeast, but not bugs), and stir it vigorously twice a day.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:05 am

Maybe innoculate the batch with a few organic raisins for a yeast culture.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Eagleswings on Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:15 am

Great suggestion. I have a few more questions please?

1. Isn't that white film yeast?

2. It's been a month now or a little longer, is it still okay to try out your suggestion at this stage or is it too late?

The ferment tastes sour but does not taste off and nor does it smell bad. It seems still good to me. The problem is I have kept it under anaerobic fermentation with the airlock. But now that you suggested I might not have enough yeast in the liquid, I will cover with a cloth instead. Just hope it is not too late
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Christopher Weeks on Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:52 am

1) We can't possibly know. It might be kahm yeast, which is technically a yeast, but normally it appears when lactobacteria have dropped pH enough and it isn't what's used to ferment alcohol. It might be something else.

2) I'm not sure. If it were my project, and I didn't detect off smells or tastes, I'd assume it was safe, if not ideal, and keep going. Our nose is a pretty finely-tuned instrument for detecting danger, but of course, we can't be sure. I'd add some sugar and a known yeast source -- raisins or even a commercial yeast packet depending on your goals and priorities and agitate until it gets to bubbling and then put it back under the airlock.

I've fermented some pretty funky stuff. And I've not always trusted that it's 100% safe. When I have something like that, I eat a very little bit and wait 48 hours. Then I eat a good amount -- a spoonful or a whole fruit or whatever, and wait another 48 hours. And if I don't get sick, then it's safe to serve to family and guests. As a parent, in a case like this, only one of us eats it first during this field-testing period so that if one of us gets sick, the other one is still up and about. The happy moral of the story is that even when stuff was so funky that we threw it in the compost instead of eating it, no one has ever gotten sick from my ferments.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Eagleswings on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:06 am

Hahaha. Yep. I get what you're saying. Just for your info, the "brew" smells good and tastes ok, albeit a bit tart. I'm just afraid it might turn into vinegar if I leave it under aerobic fermentation for too long.

But otherwise, very sound advice. Thanks so much for your assistance, Chris!
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Christopher Weeks on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:37 am

Hey, I just read the pH of orange juice is in the 3.3-4.2 range, which is pretty acidic. And yeasts generally like a pH of 4-4.5.

So I don't know what the deal is really. I know that OJ left too long in the fridge gets fizzy, so something is happening.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Eagleswings on Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:12 am

Very interesting. I have since added 500g sugar and stirred it, but still no bubbles yet. Possibly because, as you mentioned, the brew is too acidic. Just curious, if I put the airlock on it now, can I not just rely on the lactobacteria to ferment? Is it necessary for yeast to do the job first before the bacteria kicks in?

If I put the airlock on now, it will be the second time. The first time I put it on for about a month and as it didn't bubble, I removed the airlock and just covered with cheese cloth. When it still didn't bubble, two days ago I added sugar.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Christopher Weeks on Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:28 am

Whatever bacterial action you get going won't produce alcohol. So you might get something, but not orange juice wine.

Have you been agitating it regularly or only the one time you mentioned? When I have a high-honey mix that's resisting fermentation, I stir it up 2-3 times each day to get oxygen dissolved into the solution for the yeast. I don't know if that's the problem with your OJ, but it couldn't hurt.
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Re: Not bubbling

Postby Eagleswings on Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:16 pm

Hey Chris,

Thanks for all your pointers. It's actually bubbling up quite well now. I was a little worried because I had left it alone for about a month without anything happening. Thanks for all your help!
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