Stuck ferments need a rapid response

19 April 2016

As vintage draws to a close, the AWRI helpdesk is seeing an increase in enquiries related to stuck fermentations. The main drivers for stuck ferments this year have been high sugar levels, and thus higher alcohol concentrations, causing ferments to become sluggish. The majority of the stuck ferments so far have not been related to issues such as unusual organic acid profiles, high SO2 levels, low YAN levels or agrochemical residues.

If a stuck ferment is identified, winemakers are advised to take action quickly and not just hope the issue will go away. Problematic ferments should be addressed as soon as possible. If in doubt, follow the AWRI’s procedure for rescuing a stuck ferment. Note that it is important to keep tanks at around 20-22°C and off ullage.

Further fermentation resources, including tools for graphing ferments and the wine fermentation simulator tool, can be found on the AWRI’s wine fermentation web page.

For assistance with tracking or restarting your ferments, please call the AWRI helpdesk team on 08 8313 6600 or email helpdesk@awri.com.au.