This time of year, it’s important to pay attention to your fermentation temperature. Your kits are designed to ferment at room temperature , generally a range of 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. If it’s much above 32 degrees Celsius, you may have added too much hot water to the must and the yeast could be dead. Let the must cool to the recommended maximum in your instructions, and pitch a fresh package of yeast.
If the temperature of the must is below 18 degrees Celsius, warm the must up by wrapping it with a heat belt ( available at The Home Vintner stores ), or by other means of direct heat. Don’t set it on a heating pad or blanket, as this concentrates the heat and is not good for the wine. Most of the time the yeast recovers from this treatment and begins fermenting on its own within 24 hours, but if not, double check the temperature of the must and pitch a new yeast. The window of opportunity for correcting a non-starting yeast is about four days without repercussions because of bacteria, etc., so monitor your fermentation for signs of contamination, and keep close contact with the very knowledgeable staff at The Home Vintner to make sure all is well with your wine.