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Bottled two months ago, opened one and it's fizzy?

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Zintrigue

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Hey guys. This is a first for me.

Two months ago I bottled a petite syrah after letting it bulk age for 3 months.

It was degassed quite well before that and stabilized per label instructions before going into bulk. On bottling day there was zero fermentation going on after three months on my laundry room counter. Beautiful product, I was completely in love with it. So imagine my dismay when I opened a bottle and the darned thing is fermenting again.

A few notes:
-Finishing SG was .0995, abv is high at 15.09% (not intentional).
-Bottling day entails a LOT of sanitizing, but I do not add kmeta to the batch before bottling because I'm concerned that it will affect flavor and/or have no way to "evaporate off" if it's sealed in a bottle. I'm still somewhat new to this, education on the subject is welcome.

Never had this happen before. Opened another bottle and I think it might be a little bubbly, too. This is a complete catastrophe and I'm heartbroken. I'm so in love with this petite syrah. And now it's yeasty.

Help! How long do I have before corks start popping out? Should I just put the bottles in a plastic bin and hope for the best? Is there a chance that it was *somehow* just that one bottle? Should I open all of them, put in a bucket, add kmeta and ksorbate, then re-bottle? The thought of all that oxygenation is heartbreaking. How does this even happen?

I'm quite upset. I really appreciate any insight someone can offer.
 
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sour_grapes

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Honestly, if I had to guess, I would guess that it just wasn't sufficiently degassed before bottling (despite your declarations to the contrary). If it were mine, I would be tempted to open them, degas more (by age or by vacuum), and rebottle with the appropriate amount of k-meta (i.e., ~50 to 75 ppm).
 

meadmaker1

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How long has it been sence bottleing.
How much bubbling, A little fizz or needs to be open out doors?
How many bottles.
Mine lasted till my basement warmed due to weather , 65 ish.
I returned it to carboy, didnt really have a choice.
 

Zintrigue

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How long has it been sence bottleing.
How much bubbling, A little fizz or needs to be open out doors?
How many bottles.
Mine lasted till my basement warmed due to weather , 65 ish.
I returned it to carboy, didnt really have a choice.
A little fizz. Not an outdoors sort of affair, didn't even know it was bubbly till I started sipping and realized that it was vaguely degassing-day fizzy and oddly reminiscent of fermentation flavors.

Fourteen bottles (Out of 25 - Oh my gosh, do I have a problem?)

Bottled on 2-23, but sat in a carboy on the counter for 3 months prior. Under tight vacuum. I don't think it was a degassing issue because then the vacuum wouldn't have held the whole time if it was releasing gas.
 

NorCal

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Four causes that I can think of. Some residual sugar fermented, ungassed CO2, improperly sanitized bottles, or the wine went through malolactic fermentation. A proper addition of SO2 most likely would have prevented the mlf, if that were the cause.

If the wine is undrinkable, I would open it back into a carboy, SO2 it and let it sit for another 3 months before trying again.
 

Zintrigue

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Ah, thanks for the response. I'm going to hope that it was just that bottle being poorly sanitized, otherwise mlf doesn't sound very fun (and the other two options don't seem likely, given the circumstances). Guess I'll have to open a few more bottles to determine what to do next. In the meantime, I've gotta step my bottle cleaning game up. :/

I guess I'd better start adding kmeta to the batch on bottling day.
 

cmason1957

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This was from a kit, I am guessing, since this is in the kit making section. I am a really, really big believer in Ocam's Razor (the simplest solution is often the correct one). Mlf is highly unlikely in a kit, particularly if the 15.9% abv is correct. Residual sugar seems unlikely at final sg of 0.995. Improperly sanitized bottles, maybe. I gotta think most likely cause it's the not degassed. Maybe tell us a little bit more about the storage conditions while under vacuum, maybe low Temps or something.
 

Kiazer

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Hey guys. This is a first for me.

Two months ago I bottled a petite syrah after letting it bulk age for 3 months.

It was degassed quite well before that and stabilized per label instructions before going into bulk. On bottling day there was zero fermentation going on after three months on my laundry room counter. Beautiful product, I was completely in love with it. So imagine my dismay when I opened a bottle and the darned thing is fermenting again.

A few notes:
-Finishing SG was .0995, abv is high at 15.09% (not intentional).
-Bottling day entails a LOT of sanitizing, but I do not add kmeta to the batch before bottling because I'm concerned that it will affect flavor and/or have no way to "evaporate off" if it's sealed in a bottle. I'm still somewhat new to this, education on the subject is welcome.

Never had this happen before. Opened another bottle and I think it might be a little bubbly, too. This is a complete catastrophe and I'm heartbroken. I'm so in love with this petite syrah. And now it's yeasty.

Help! How long do I have before corks start popping out? Should I just put the bottles in a plastic bin and hope for the best? Is there a chance that it was *somehow* just that one bottle? Should I open all of them, put in a bucket, add kmeta and ksorbate, then re-bottle? The thought of all that oxygenation is heartbreaking. How does this even hap
 

Zintrigue

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This was from a kit, I am guessing, since this is in the kit making section. I am a really, really big believer in Ocam's Razor (the simplest solution is often the correct one). Mlf is highly unlikely in a kit, particularly if the 15.9% abv is correct. Residual sugar seems unlikely at final sg of 0.995. Improperly sanitized bottles, maybe. I gotta think most likely cause it's the not degassed. Maybe tell us a little bit more about the storage conditions while under vacuum, maybe low Temps or something.
Yes, it was a winexpert vintner reserve kit. Storage conditions are embarrassingly boring compared to the labs some of you have going on. Bear with me here. I have a black T-shirt over the glass carboy containing the aging product, sitting on my laundry room counter and subjected to the same temps as the rest of the house. Usually between 68 and 78F. For the majority of the 3 months it sits, it gets moved maybe once or twice. I check the vacuum now and again to make sure it's still tight.

Even if it wasn't degassed properly, you'd think 3 months sitting around it would happen naturally, yes? Or is that more of a 6 month ordeal?
 

cmason1957

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I have heard of some folks having a devil of a long time getting the gas to come out. I always start my degassed by stirring my musts several times a day, during open air primary. Then always racking under vacuum and giving the carboy a good shake during racking. And I always do a poof test of a small sample when I think I am ready to bottle. Put some in my hydrometer test jar, hand over the top, good shake, then check the poof when I remove my hand. It never fails me.
 

ceeaton

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Even if it wasn't degassed properly, you'd think 3 months sitting around it would happen naturally, yes? Or is that more of a 6 month ordeal?
I've noticed residual CO2 even after aging for 18 months and degassing (using the AIO) 5 or 6 times. The issue is that my storage area is usually in the 50's during the winter and 60's during the summer. I now try and bring my wines up from my storage area for a few days into the warmer kitchen before racking with the AIO. So far it seems to have helped.

If you don't want to unbottle/rebottle the whole batch, you can decant the wine for several hours and it usually resolves the issue (you can also uncork and use a vacuvin type device and keep the bottle under some pressure until the gas subsides, though it takes several days for this to work).
 

Zintrigue

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I have heard of some folks having a devil of a long time getting the gas to come out. I always start my degassed by stirring my musts several times a day, during open air primary. Then always racking under vacuum and giving the carboy a good shake during racking. And I always do a poof test of a small sample when I think I am ready to bottle. Put some in my hydrometer test jar, hand over the top, good shake, then check the poof when I remove my hand. It never fails me.
Several times a day, wowza. You re-sanitize the spoon each time or just leave it in the bucket and come back and stir every now and then? The latter might be doable for me.

The proof test is news to me. When you say you remove your hand and check the proof, does that mean bubbles come up or a fizzing noise? (not a soda drinker here, unfamiliar with the intricacies of carbonation) I always just vacuum the carboy till the bubbles are nearly gone, then taste. I'm interested in your test jar method.

Craig - I have 3 vacuvins, love the darned thing. I'm a lazy winemaker (re: too many hobbies at once), so at this point I'll do just about anything to avoid the hassle of rebottling the whole batch. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

ceeaton

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Craig - I have 3 vacuvins, love the darned thing. I'm a lazy winemaker (re: too many hobbies at once), so at this point I'll do just about anything to avoid the hassle of rebottling the whole batch. Thanks for the suggestions.
Keep the wine at room temperature, doesn't work real well if it's in the fridge.

The "poof" test is to put your thumb over the bottle (or some sort of container), shake a bit, and when you remove your thumb if it "pops" with escaping gas, you need to degas some more.
 

Zintrigue

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Gotcha, sounds simple enough.

And I always keep wine at room temperature. I consider it a sin to put red wine in the fridge. ;)
 

cmason1957

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Yep, that's the poof test. Shake and listen. You'll know when it's all gone. I just leave a spoon in and lid covering. When the fruit flies are going crazy, I blow a fan in the area to make it hard for them to fly. Or cover with a cloth.
 

stickman

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What yeast did you use? How did you end up with 15.09 ABV? Did you use less water or tweak the sugar content of the starting juice? As the others have indicated, it could be just a little co2 left, but the 15.09 ABV suggests unusual conditions that might point to a little residual sugar and slow fermentation continuing in the bottle.
 

Zintrigue

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Yep, that's the poof test. Shake and listen. You'll know when it's all gone. I just leave a spoon in and lid covering. When the fruit flies are going crazy, I blow a fan in the area to make it hard for them to fly. Or cover with a cloth.
Groovy, I'll be doing that from now on.

What yeast did you use? How did you end up with 15.09 ABV? Did you use less water or tweak the sugar content of the starting juice? As the others have indicated, it could be just a little co2 left, but the 15.09 ABV suggests unusual conditions that might point to a little residual sugar and slow fermentation continuing in the bottle.
Just the kit workhorse, EC-1118. I tweaked the kit, going to 5 gallons and adding a little bit of sauteed blackberry. Starting SG was 1.110, pitched on 11-16-17 and finished on 11-25. Didn't want the abv that high, just ended up that way. Was quite lovely when I bottled in feb, not a hint of carbonation in any of the bottles. And believe me, I've been downing them. To have this one be straight up fizzy is frightening.
 

Jal5

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That vacuvin trick will work. My first kit was not degassed properly and those bottles need to decant or do this trick. Works every time. 4 times with vacuvin does it for that batch.
 

kevinlfifer

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Zin,

I had similar issues with my spring 2017 juices. I fermented to "dry" Cleared in carboys for 3 months with no settling agents. SG was @ .992. Bottled and racked in the cellar. Opened a bottle after a month and YEAAKKK! I put my thumb on the top of the bottle, shook it, then spent 2 hours cleaning red wine off the ceiling. I ended up opening all 210 bottles and putting the wine back in carboys. I whipped each carboy, let set for 2 months, stirred again, re bottled AND STILL some of them did it again. I have at least 4 cases that I think need to be de-gassed again.

I am clueless as to why this occurred. The wine tastes OK (not great, tastes younger than it should.) after degassing. If it's just now getting thoroughly de-gassed, the aging cycle clock for flavor has just started.

My experience is like the others have said. Put it back in carboys, give it more time and be sure it's done with it's love for CO2.
 

Zintrigue

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Oh man, Kevin, I'm sorry. That's just no fun. I was under the impression that this stuff would degas itself over a long enough time frame. Guess it's way longer than I thought.

Am I the only one who loathes degassing day? It's sort of an all day chore that, apparently, isn't always successful.
 

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