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Cap Puncher

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u can also try putting a copper wire in your carboy - let it hang - make sure u sanitize it - and make sure its 100 percent copper - works very well - smell will be gone in no time
I would NOT hang a copper wire in the carboy. For one, you would not now how much copper is going in. To much copper can cause bitterness and prematurely oxidize if your not careful (and is a heavy metal that can cause health issues I high amounts).

I don’t think you are at that point yet. Keep smelling when you are stirring during malo.

Also, as stated before, reduless is a product you can use. It is a inactivated yeast product with high copper content. When used, it leaves very little residual copper behind.

Usually reduless takes care of things after 1 or 2 doses (sometimes more). Copper sulfate solution can be used for more difficult cases (but you would want to do small bench trials)
 

winemaker81

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u can also try putting a copper wire in your carboy - let it hang - make sure u sanitize it - and make sure its 100 percent copper - works very well - smell will be gone in no time
DO NOT do this.

Copper does eliminate H2S -- but this is highly dangerous, as it produces highly toxic copper sulfate. While racking wine over copper was the accepted method of eliminating H2S for many years, it's not possible to measure how much copper sulfate is produced.

As has already been mentioned, dose with K-meta and splash rack -- this may eliminate the H2S if caught early. If it does not, there are products such as Reduless that can be accurately measured to avoid danger, and it settles out. I had my first time with H2S last fall and used Reduless, then fined with kieselsol/chitosan to precipitate everything as an extra measure of protection.
 

SLM

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Merlot update

2 weeks to the day and we're down to 0. You were all right. Pressed today and the merlot smells great, tastes good. A pleasant surprise was the yield. I got 9 gallons from 2 pails.
 

Cap Puncher

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Wait. I just began MLF. I don't add K-meta now do I?
Do NOT add k meta until malo finishes.
As soon as malo is done, I would kmeta and splash rack. You can splash stir hard under vacuum / inert gas. Again, malo can be sensitive to O2 added. Again you could look at the Scott’s lab guide and think about noblesse if you still have an issue. (It says to stir daily but you could just stir 2 weekly while malo is going on). Reduless can be used when you plan to rack after malo. The caveat is you are supposed to rack 3-5days after using reduless.
 

winemaker81

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Waiting is the wrong answer. If there is H2S, treat it immediately. The only consideration is saving the wine. Read this article before continuing.

Splash rack the wine in a well ventilated area -- H2S is flammable as well as noxious smelling. If you have H2S, there will be NO question in your mind as the stench is amazing, and not in a good way. Rotten eggs and/or dog farts is a good description.

When I had it last fall, so I splash racked, added a double dose of K-meta, and added Reduless as soon as it arrived as there was still some smell. IMO MLF drops in importance, as it doesn't matter if you cannot save the wine.

In my case, I got (relatively) lucky, as the wine is 14 gallons of 2nd run, so my loss is not as shocking as it would be if it was the 1st run. I've got just a bit of smell remaining, so I'm looking at additional treatments to address that.

This taught me a critical lesson, and that is ensuring the must has proper nutrients. The 2nd run fermented fast enough that I didn't add a second dose of nutrients. Plus I'm researching yeast varieties and will use a yeast that is anti-H2S forming next fall.
 

SLM

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The smell is gone.

At first my wife did not detect off odors. I told her what I smelled and she instantly got it. We both monitored daily and agreed that it was improving. Now we do not detect any bad smells at all. I think we got lucky. For now.

I do appreciate everyone's input and respect all comments. It helps me appreciate that what I am getting into is an art and there are no absolutes. Thank you
 

Cap Puncher

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Merlot update

2 weeks to the day and we're down to 0. You were all right. Pressed today and the merlot smells great, tastes good. A pleasant surprise was the yield. I got 9 gallons from 2 pails.
That’s a nice yield. Did you water back to begin with at all? Also, what was your yield on the cab sav?
 

SLM

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Brix adjustment on the merlot called for 530ml water.
CS and CF each gave me just over 3.5 gallons. 16 gallons total, which is better than stated on their website. I'm pleased with the quantity. Now if the quality holds up I will be very happy!
 

Tim3

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I realize this post is a little late as your wine is probably already in MLF. But I actually built a tool to help myself with questions like yours. I would have recommended you check your initial PH to make sure you didn’t need any acid adjustments. Also BDX without nutrient could produce H2S, but it sounds like the smell could just be from your fairly reductive fermentation and early press. Yeast needs some oxygen during fermentation or they tend to get stressed out! All things considered it looks good and if your wine did go reductive the smell would dissipate in 30 minutes after you decant.
 

SLM

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Reductive. Please explain. Does that refer to reducing oxygen exposure?

pH on the CF was 3.94. The supplier provides a pre-measured pack of additives for each bucket, including tartaric acid, FT Rouge and Optired. Keeps it nice and simple for a rookie like me.
 

Tim3

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Reductive. Please explain. Does that refer to reducing oxygen exposure?

pH on the CF was 3.94. The supplier provides a pre-measured pack of additives for each bucket, including tartaric acid, FT Rouge and Optired. Keeps it nice and simple for a rookie like me.
You nailed it, reductive being all about limited oxygen exposure during fermentation and aging. Oxygen is needed to keep your wine from going reductive, which tends to produce stressed yeast producing mercaptans (basically sulfur compound). It's not always a bad winemaking style, and often done purposefully. usually those odors will dissipate with a decant. If you're aging in a barrel usually the barrel with "breathe" away those odors as well. But I do try to keep open top fermentations and don't try to reduce air exposure until nearly the end of primary. The link below might help explain it as well.

.
 

Cap Puncher

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Hey SLM, do you mind sharing the starting TA and pH (if you took them before adjustment) on both the Merlot and the Cab Sav. I am prepping for a fermentation in May and have 4 buckets of the exact same Cab Sav and 3 buckets of the Merlot. Thanks
 

SLM

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Sorry, I have not advanced to that level of sophistication, although I do have a pH meter now. I just trusted the data on their website and used the ingredients they provided. I know buckets will deviate from their lab tests, as did brix, but at my skill level I thought it safer to go with their formula. But let me know what you find and what adjustments you make.
 

Tim3

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Cap Puncher, they do provide those numbers for you on their website. I've yet to find a must bucket that varies (in any real way) from what's posted. So if you don't have your own tools you'll be safe assuming their numbers are accurate.

From their website the Merlot readings are:
Red Mountain, Washington
Brix: 26.5, pH:3.62, TA: .54


and the Cabernet Sauvignon readings are:
Rattlesnake Hills AVA, Washington State
Brix: 24.25, pH: 3.51, TA: .7
 

Cap Puncher

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I do usually measure brix, TA, and pH. Honestly, I was thinking if the numbers are true to there website, I am going to ferment 4 buckets of the cab sav and 1 bucket of merlot together. Then, 1 will ferment the other 2 buckets of merlot separately. The combo, will give a brix of 24.7 and a TA=0.668, Maybe a pH about 3.53 to 3.55(?). Then, I would not have to water back 1 Merlot bucket. If the Brix is 25 on the Cab Sav (as SLM reported), the TA might be slightly lower. Then, I may leave as is and ferment the cab sav on its on and the merlot on its own. (I might get a 5th bucket yet of cab sav and do a 5 to 1 ratio of the cab to merlot (that would be brix 24.6, TA=0.673)). I have gotten buckets with numbers off (but not too far off before) from WGD.

That's a sweet calculator Tim3, where did you get that?
 

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