I bought your wine making starter kit and am up to the point where you add the wine yeast. I added the yeast about 12 hours ago and nothing has happened yet at all. Is this normal? The reason I ask is because I have made wine before in just a gallon milk jugs and added brewers yeast and instantly it foams. Can you please let me know.........
Thank you for the great question about wine yeast. The short answer is that you should expect to see activity of some kind within 36 hours, but usually you will see activity within 24 hours. The fact that you are not seeing your wine brewing within 12 hours is not all that unusual even though it can happen.
In regards to your previous batches, when making wine in a gallon glass carboy or something similar, it is expected that the fermentation will take off sooner. This is because you are using the same amount of yeast in a single gallon that you would be using in the typical five or six gallons of a wine making kit.
That's the short answer to your question. The long answer is I don't think there is a thing wrong with your wine must or wine yeast, but if you are still concerned I can go over some things that may put you more at ease.
The number one reason a wine yeast fails to ferment is temperature.
It's either too hot or too cold. Your must should be between 70 -75 degrees F. The further you get from this temperature range, the harder it is for a yeast to start fermenting. If you are not sure what temperature your liquid is at, you should get a winemaking thermometer and find out. If your wine is in this temperature range, you have nothing to worry about.
The number two reason a wine yeast fails is improper rehydration
The direction on most packets of wine yeast will tell you to rehydrate the yeast in warm water before adding it to the wine must. The directions will specify a certain temperature for specific length of time. Normally, it's something like 105 degrees F. for 10 minutes. If you followed these direction, exactly, you will not have a problem whatsoever. But, if the temperature was hotter than the directions say, or if you left the wine yeast in the warm water for a longer length time than you were supposed to, you could have killed all or a significant portion of the yeast.
In either of the above cases the solution is simple. Either get the wine must to the proper temperature or add another pack of yeast to the wine must. Problem solved!
There are other possible reasons, but these issues rarely come up. If you are sure the above two reasons apply but are still convinced you have a problem, then you might want to take a look at the article, "Top 10 Reasons For Fermentation Failure" that is listed on our website.
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus