Having started enough sloe gin this year to last a decade, I decided to use the rest of the fruit to brew some sloe wine. I'm new to brewing, and this might seem like an odd choice, but I have high hoped for it.

I boiled up 2kg of sloes with 2kg of sugar and not a lot of water, and put it all in a demijohn with some wine yeast provided by more experienced brewers.

It's been going a couple of weeks now. It was never very fast, peaking at one glub through the air lock every 30 seconds or so, but it's now even slower. I tried adding more sugar and mixing, but that didn't seem to make any difference. The mixture inside is very dense, dark and strong, so I can't really see what's going on in there. It's also not very wet.

The question is: should I be worried by this lack of activity, or is it natural for this kind of brewing? Should I be doing anything to fix it, or just leaving it alone?

3 Answers 3


Slow is good (no pun intended), and anecdotally at any rate, I believe it leads to a more thorough fermentation and usually a dryer wine.

As long as it's fermenting, no matter how slowly, it's doing the right thing. Some fermentations are over in days, others take weeks, and some months!

Be patient!

  • Okay, I'll be patient. And nervous. :) Nov 9, 2010 at 14:33

You may need to be very patient. My Dad used to give sloe wine a year to ferment, the results were worth it.

If you want quick results from sloes, gin is the way to go. Having said that, I leave my sloe gin a year before bottling/drinking.

  • Yeah, I leave my sloe gin two years. Jan 11, 2012 at 22:36

Did you measure the starting gravity? Could be too much sugar and not enough water is creating a difficult environment for the yeast to get going. Otherwise you might consider aeration/oxygenation and adding a yeast nutrient to give the yeast a fighting chance.

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