After the first rack

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

vinny

Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
826
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Central Alberta
I guess my point was “don’t stress about timetables”. Once it’s off the gross lees and cleared you can age for a long time without racking again. Some will go a year or more without racking. There are some interesting posts here about purposely leaving it on the lees and regularly mixing them back into the wine for an extended period of time. I think it’s called Sur Lee Aging… I haven’t tried it yet.

ETA- that method is for grape wines I believe. I don’t remember reading about it for fruit wines but who knows.
Sur lie.. Sir Lee-eh. It's french and thus is pronounced with a fancy accent. Much like Cabernet, but I'm just being pedantic.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,558
Reaction score
14,155
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Let it clear on its own. Rack it next when the fermentation stops, then every 3 months after that. I've made rhubarb wine for decades.
I was taught to rack every 3 months, and knew one guy who racked monthly.

In recent years I stopped racking on a timetable, as @ChuckD put it. When performing any action on a wine, I ask myself, "What am I accomplishing?"

With regard to the 3 month rackings, the answer is "nothing". If there is a fine coating of sediment? It's yeast hulls and sur lie aging is a well regarded technique. Every racking exposes the wine to air and wastes wine. At this point I'm targeting 3 to 4 rackings, including bottling.

My winemaking process has evolved a lot in the last 4 years, primarily due to this forum. Folks discuss techniques and processes, and in response I search for technical papers that provide provable results. We have a lot of members who are experienced winemakers and good researchers, and we share what we find and our results in using those ideas.

@amateur_brewer_1, you may have noticed we go off on tangents and get into detail you probably weren't expecting when you posted. We, as a group, excel at that! ;)

I hope you're finding the discussion useful in determining what you want to do.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
MA
So, I'm noticing now that my strawberry wine has an eggy sulphur smell to it. I've run into "rhino farts" before with a cider I made and it aged out (though said batch of cider wasn't particularly great). I'm now wondering if this too will age out, or if I should actively do something?



EDIT: I posted this in the wrong thread but thanks for helping anyway :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,558
Reaction score
14,155
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I'm now wondering if this too will age out, or if I should actively do something?
That's hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and it can ruin the wine.

First course of action is to stir the wine really well in a ventilated area. This will drive off the H2S. Hit it with a double-dose of K-meta. If you can't at early enough, this may be all you need to do.

If you get an off-taste afterward, then mercaptans formed, and you will need further treatment.

FYI -- H2S is typically caused by stressed yeast, meaning there was insufficient nutrient. In the future, add yeast nutrient to the must when starting.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
MA
That's hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and it can ruin the wine.

First course of action is to stir the wine really well in a ventilated area. This will drive off the H2S. Hit it with a double-dose of K-meta. If you can't at early enough, this may be all you need to do.

It's been like this a couple of days if I had to guess. Is "K-meta" campden tablets?

If you get an off-taste afterward, then mercaptans formed, and you will need further treatment.
Such as what?

FYI -- H2S is typically caused by stressed yeast, meaning there was insufficient nutrient. In the future, add yeast nutrient to the must when starting.
Yeah I added DAP, but evidently something else was needed....
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,558
Reaction score
14,155
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
It's been like this a couple of days if I had to guess. Is "K-meta" campden tablets?
Yes -- K-meta is Potassium Metabisulfite. When working with larger batches, it's cheaper and easier to work with it in powder form. For small batches (1 US gallon / 4 liters) Campden are easier to measure. You need to add 2 tablets to 1 gallon.

Such as what?
It varies. In my 2020 second run wine, I developed H2S in 15 gallons of wine. K-meta didn't completely eradicate it, so I purchased Reduless, a product containing copper in a measured dose. Copper interacts with H2S, neutralizing it. The old method was to rack the wine over new pennies, but that is dangerous as you cannot control the amount of copper absorbed, and can make the wine poisonous.

Reduless neutralized the H2S, but mercaptans had formed (search on the term for a good description), so I treated the wine with ascorbic acid. That also must be carefully measured, as it can make the wine very sharp (acidic). All told, it was over 6 months' elapsed time to fix the wine. But it worked!

Yeah I added DAP, but evidently something else was needed....
The current method is to calculate how much nutrient is required for the wine, then add 2/3 of up front, and the remaining 1/3 when fermentation is 1/3 done, e.g., if the starting SG is 1.090, add more nutrient at roughly 1.060. Finer Wine Kits (FWK) suggests adding 2 days after inoculation, and that also appears to work.
 

BigDaveK

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
1,083
Reaction score
1,869
Location
Hocking Hills, OH
That's hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and it can ruin the wine.

First course of action is to stir the wine really well in a ventilated area. This will drive off the H2S. Hit it with a double-dose of K-meta. If you can't at early enough, this may be all you need to do.

If you get an off-taste afterward, then mercaptans formed, and you will need further treatment.

FYI -- H2S is typically caused by stressed yeast, meaning there was insufficient nutrient. In the future, add yeast nutrient to the must when starting.
I've read that if you have another healthy active fermentation you can combine them, the healthy will fix the other. Ever hear of that, Bryan? Does it work or does it make a bad situation even worse?
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,558
Reaction score
14,155
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I've read that if you have another healthy active fermentation you can combine them, the healthy will fix the other. Ever hear of that, Bryan? Does it work or does it make a bad situation even worse?
I can't see this working out well. If mercaptans have formed, you just expanded the amount of ruined wine.
 

Latest posts

Top