I had a real problem with this years Zinfandel. It got delivered at 29 brix which I think is the source of the problem. I added 13% water to try to get it down around 25 brix at the 72 hour mark after pitching yeast on day one.

It fermented its way down to 2 brix. I tried 3-4 different yeast starters (apple juice, highly effective yeasts, space heaters, etc) to get it down to fully dry, but none of it worked.

Now it's 9 months later after fermentation and I have a lot of 2 brix wine. It is very sweet to the taste. I don't have access to other dry wine to blend with in this quantity. So what should I do? Are there any other products I could try to alter this into? Port? Sherry?

Does anybody have any experience in really under-fermented wine? I would love to hear what you did and how it turned out.


Further Information The comments below were asking about my yeast selection. So here's more info. Initially, I used a blend of BM45 and BDX yeast. Towards the end of fermentation, when it was really slowing down. I did my first yeast starter. I used 60g of Uvaferm 43 and followed this eckraus tutorial. Basically, I took a small amount of must, added water and sugar, and poured them in the main jugs after 24 hours.

After that didn't work, a couple weeks later, I did another yeast starter. I pitched another 60g of Uvaferm 43 into 1 gallon of store-bought apple juice and added and additional 30% water. At the 12 hour mark. I added another 30% of the wine. Then at the 24 hour mark, I added all that back into the main jugs of wine.

None of that worked. You can read the whole story on my journal blog here. It's now 9 months later and I need to bottle soon. Can I still do a yeast restart? Any reason to think that doing it again would work on the third try?

  • 2
    What yeast did you use and what alcohol does your wine have? Can the yeast still tolerate the alcohol levels it has produced? If the yeast died because of alcohol, you may be able to pitch a high tolerance yeast (e.g., champagne if I remember correctly) and see if fermentation picks up again.
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 4:17
  • 1
    It would seem that the yeast has reached its alcohol limit. I would agree that the best idea might be to use a high attenuation yeast such as champagne yeast - there are several high alcohol yeasts that can ferment up to 20% but these are usually used to ferment a distillation mash - so I am not sure if the flavour profile would suit the final wine desired. Maybe the wine could be used as a dessert wine (ala Sauternes) or strengthened (like Port) using spirit alcohol. But that would have to be done by "experimentation" as the wine might be quite strong already. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 11:22
  • Is your temperature ideal for fermentation? Can you control it?
    – Philippe
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:32
  • I addressed some of these questions in an update above. Thanks guys! I appreciate it.
    – Landon
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 0:29
  • I've been in your shoes a couple of times. Please take my advice and use Pro Restart. Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


It should have dryed out using any wine yeast, so either the yeast gave up or it can't access the sugars.

Possibly using some pectinase will free up those sugars to allow complete fermentation.

At this point I would make a new starter but prime it with 50% of your 12.5% ABV must and use a lot of yeast nutrients. When the starter is at high krausen pitch it.


You need to use Pro Restart. It saved me a couple of times from stuck fermentations of overly ripe grapes. It's specifically engineered for stuck or sluggish ferments. There is a pretty rigorous protocol to follow but it works. You can get it at Scott Labs

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