Help! My Fermentation's Not Bubbling!

Stuck FermentationHi, I have a question.  This is day 5 of fermentation for my apple wine.  It’s been in plastic fermenters. I just siphoned it into a couple of glass jugs and put the air-locks on.  How long should it take for the air-locks to start peculating. I do not see any signs of the wine brewing. If it doesn’t start in 24 hours does that mean my wine is bad?
Thanks, Bill__________
Hello Bill,
Before we can really answer your question we need to get a hydrometer reading of the wine must. It is very possible that the apple wine has already completed its fermentation, and there is no more bubbling to be done. We have had fermentations done here in as little as three days.
If the gravity hydrometer shows a specific gravity reading of .998 or less, this means the fermentation has completed. The only thing you would need to do in this instance would be to continue on with any recipe directions you may be following. No bubbling would be expected with such a specific gravity reading.
If the gravity hydrometer shows a specific gravity reading above .998, this means that you should see some bubbling, and you say you are not. This does not mean the apple wine is bad. It just means that the fermentation as stop prematurely, and we need to figure out why.
I would suggest going over the Top 10 Reasons For Fermentation Failure. These 10 reasons cover well over 95% of the stuck fermentations we have dealt with. See if any of these reasons could be a candidate for your issue.
Happy Wine Making
Customer Service
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

0 thoughts on “Help! My Fermentation's Not Bubbling!

  1. I have my5 gal wine batch fermenting in a glass jug. About every 2 days it stops bubbling. I slosh the batch around in the jug and it starts bubbling again for a day or 2. Is it ok to slosh my batch of fermenting wine?

  2. While shaking the fermenter can stir up the sediment and get the fermentation going again for a time, most if not all, the bubbling you are seeing is more likely to be carbonization in the wine releasing from the agitation. In truth, the only way to know where your fermentation stands is to take a hydrometer reading. Your fermentation could already be done. The hydrometer will tell you if it is, or if it still has some way to go.

  3. I made 2 batches of wine this fall, rhubarb and spiced pumpkin. I started these on the same day. I always take a hydrometer reading at the beginning so that I can adjust the amount of sugar being added. After about a week I racked into carboys for secondary fermentation. I took another hydrometer reading. The rhubarb was still in the middle of fermentation. The pumpkin wine was nearly totally fermented out. I have racked them off once so far. The pumpkin is nearly clear and the rhubarb still has a way to go.
    I can’t stress how important it is to take a couple minutes and take these hydrometer readings.

  4. I am doing a white wine in a 5gal bucket. The directions say 6-10 days to transfer wine to another bucket. 5 days in my wine was at 1.079.. we are at the 7th day and it has pretty much stopped temp is at 73 degrees .. does this mean the wine is trashed? It said to ferment for 20 days..

  5. I just moved 15 gal. From primary to carbaloys. It was made from real nice Concord grapes. After the transfer I noticed no fermination. They seemed to work real hard in the primary. My hydrometer shows fermentation is complete and I have never had things happen this fast. I’ve made wine for years and would like to know if I should dump in more sugar to try to jump start it. I’ve always read a slow fermentation is best so I don’t know what to think at this point.

    • James, the fermentation is complete,the only reason to add more sugar is to make more alcohol. It is not uncommon for the entire fermentation to complete in the primary stage. It just sounds like you had a very successful fermentation.

  6. I just took up 2nd batch of wine to carboys and after 2 days no bubbles. I can see foam around neck of jugs. I checked tightness of new corks and air locks, found they were not sealing good. Had to jam locks all the way down in corks and push corks further in (level wit top of carboy). One would still not seal, removed and found moisture or juice on sides or cork and mouth of carboy. Dried off and reinstalled and started bubbling right now. Problem solved.