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Sukamod

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Hello, I have made a few small batches of wine with minimal effort, basically just yeast and sugar and fruits / flavorings using glass jugs and bubblers letting them ferment for about a month and each time ive drank them without letting them age and they taste a bit rotten, nothing crazy but like a strong hint, this smell developes with in like 2 days of the fermenting beginning and thats the taste i end up with after fermenting, does this rotten taste / smell convert to something better and go away with aging? i checked google and all i could come up with is vague "wine tastes better with time" answers
 

winemaker81

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There is not an easy answer to your question. Things like the type of yeast, the type of fruit, the starting sugar level (specific gravity) all matter. If the wine is resting in an open container for a month? That will also affect the flavor, and may be your real problem, as the wine is oxidized or infected.

One month after fermentation the wine probably will not be clear, so there may be suspended yeast which may strongly affect the flavor.

A general time frame for wine making is 1 week, 3 weeks, 3 months. The wine ferments (approximately) for 1 week. Rack from open container to closed container with no head space and let rest for 3 weeks. Rack and let rest for 3 months at which time the wine should be (mostly) clear and can be bottled.

I'm going to re-state what your search produced: Making good wine requires patience. Very few wines are good at 3 months old, most take 6 to 12 months, and some reds take much longer.

Fruit (non-grape) wines should be sweetened, at least a bit. Dry fruit wines are often astringent -- a bit of sugar changes them completely. Although from your description, that does not sound like the problem.

Next batch, put 2 bottles aside. Open one 3 months after bottling and the other 6 months. You'll experience the difference.
 

salcoco

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if the smell is rotten eggs then the yeast is being stressed add yeast nutrient to insure good food is available to the yeast . I would suggest find a good primer on making wine and follow the steps diligently. start with purchase of a hydrometer to insure you have the correct amount of sugar available for the yeast.
 

Sukamod

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Thanks for the replies, its Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast capable of up to 18% abv mixed 1 full packet into 1 gallon jugs with airlocks and 3 ish pounds of sugar each not including the fruits, ive made it the same way with different fruits and concentrates and always get that same taste / smell in there which sounds like no one else is experiencing i will have to set some aside to age and see what happens
 

winemaker81

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EC-1118 will ferment a rock, if given half a chance, so that's not a problem.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Give things time and see what happens.
 

jgmann67

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Thanks for the replies, its Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast capable of up to 18% abv mixed 1 full packet into 1 gallon jugs with airlocks and 3 ish pounds of sugar each not including the fruits, ive made it the same way with different fruits and concentrates and always get that same taste / smell in there which sounds like no one else is experiencing i will have to set some aside to age and see what happens
If you’re doing the same thing and getting the same unsatisfactory result, it might be time to change your routine. Picking up a wine making guide is excellent advice. Check out the guides on morewine.com.

I’m going to suggest going a little bigger too. Fall grapes are coming. Go with 3 lugs of grapes, which will make about 6 gallons of finished wine. Keep it fed and happy. Punch the grapes down 2x a day at least. Do the MLF to convert harsh malic acids to soft lactic acids. Keep your work area sanitized and be patient. You’ll be surprised by the results.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Sukamod and welcome .

The fact that this yeast can ferment a rock does not mean that you are not encouraging the yeast to produce hydrogen sulfide (smells like rotten eggs or sewer gas) and if that is allowed to hang around then the H2S forms mercaptans that cannot usually be removed. Mercaptans smell like burning rubber.

If the problem is hydrogen sulfide then try whipping air into the wine. If that does not work try adding some sanitized copper wool (from a clean copper wire scrubber found in supermarkets near the pot and dish cleaning products. If that doesn't work there are chemical compounds manufactured to bind with the sulfur.

Certainly stressed yeast produce H2S but yeast in general produce small amounts and sometimes that coupled with what you are fermenting results in amounts that are detectable with your nose. Hydrogen sulfide does not normally just break down and disappear. You need to remove it if you hope to enjoy your wine.
 

Steve Wargo

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Hello, I have made a few small batches of wine with minimal effort, basically just yeast and sugar and fruits / flavorings using glass jugs and bubblers letting them ferment for about a month and each time ive drank them without letting them age and they taste a bit rotten, nothing crazy but like a strong hint, this smell developes with in like 2 days of the fermenting beginning and thats the taste i end up with after fermenting, does this rotten taste / smell convert to something better and go away with aging? i checked google and all i could come up with is vague "wine tastes better with time" answers
I had a similar issue pertaining to the smell/taste that you are describing. It was two 1 gallon batches last July 2019, using EC1118. Both were the result of too high a Must Temperature 80+ degrees, along with Air Temp that unexpectedly shot up from low 70s into the mid-80s. The yeast went crazy from the high temps during fermentation, lots of foaming. Obviously the must never cool-temp enough and this caused the Yeast to stress. Now, I check the weather forecast and always ferment wine at lower air temps, and I changed ferment locations and since no more issue. Just an FYI, I tried using copper metal-wire to fix the wine. After which you are supposed to rack the wine within a certain amount of time. Though the copper seemed to help, I ended up dumping the wine. Hey, lesson learned, and I now can recognize that particular fault in a glass of wine. There are other issues that can cause similar faults, such as lack of nutrients for particular yeast types. Good Luck
 

cmason1957

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I feel I must jump in and warn folks about adding copper products, such as metal wire or scrubbers to your wine. You are putting yourself and anybody who drinks that wine at danger. With the low PH of wine copper is removed very easily and goes into your wine. Copper is very, very toxic. Yes, copper is the fix for hydrogen sulfide, but only in a known safe smallest amount. Redulees or smallest amount possible of copper sulfide is the way to go, not bare copper in your wine.
 

hounddawg

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I feel I must jump in and warn folks about adding copper products, such as metal wire or scrubbers to your wine. You are putting yourself and anybody who drinks that wine at danger. With the low PH of wine copper is removed very easily and goes into your wine. Copper is very, very toxic. Yes, copper is the fix for hydrogen sulfide, but only in a known safe smallest amount. Redulees or smallest amount possible of copper sulfide is the way to go, not bare copper in your wine.
i agree 100% with @cmason1957, copper is great in illegal stills but not wine,
Dawg
 
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BernardSmith

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Well, if the heat in the still and the amount of alcohol and acidity and the length of time that the copper is in contact with the steaming ethanol from the mash or wash does not pull off toxic amounts of Cu (copper) then the few minutes spent racking through copper wire is unlikely to. Or is there something protective about moonshine that is damaging about wine? But if it's an issue for you then it's an issue.
 

hounddawg

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Well, if the heat in the still and the amount of alcohol and acidity and the length of time that the copper is in contact with the steaming ethanol from the mash or wash does not pull off toxic amounts of Cu (copper) then the few minutes spent racking through copper wire is unlikely to. Or is there something protective about moonshine that is damaging about wine? But if it's an issue for you then it's an issue.
zero issue for me, but back in the day and others still yet, the more copper the smoother the product of course it vaporizes the mash which then goes thru the thumper which has more copper mesh in it along with the tails, which greatly heightens the ABV from the worm at the end , and i've lived in several homes plumbed with copper, i even plumbed several homes both FHA and BRAD with copper, but my wines only touch food grade plastic fermenter barrels, food grade vacuum lines, and 304 stainless steel and glass premium Italian carboys , i do know copper water lines are healthier for its ability to remove certain things in drinking water, but is no longer used on residential homes due to cost, no i just don't like anything hat can oxidize that my wine could touch, that oxidation is the green you see on copper, oh i'm sure you know a few extra big words as i do as well, but i lived my life going city to city with one dream to keep me sane , now no clocks except on phone, tv, computer, not a single calendar in my home, no schedule, no deadlines, just calm peace, tranquility, gathered 45 eggs today, going to wash them, then deliver to my neighbours , and not once going to rush about anything, Hows That Mead Coming Along,,, Skoal
Dawg
 
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cmason1957

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Well, if the heat in the still and the amount of alcohol and acidity and the length of time that the copper is in contact with the steaming ethanol from the mash or wash does not pull off toxic amounts of Cu (copper) then the few minutes spent racking through copper wire is unlikely to. Or is there something protective about moonshine that is damaging about wine? But if it's an issue for you then it's an issue.
Again, feel free to do what you want to your own wine, but please don't suggest that people do things which are known to be somewhat dangerous. One big difference in moonshine stills and the copper they use is that the ph of moonshine is generally about 4.5-5 and in wine, we are dealing with 3.2-3.7, that's a times 10 difference in amount of acidity, that does make a huge difference in how much copper ends up in your final must. Best practices say to use as small an amount as possible to fix the problem, you just don't know how much is being added to the wine with scubbies and wire and racking through a pipe.
 

RichardC

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Suckamod; what fruits are you feementing?

How long do they ferment for?

Do you add other stuff besides sugar and yeast?

When you say it smells rotten, do you mean like old, rancid fruit?

Do you push down fruit at all during Fermentation?
 

Rice_Guy

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the normal flavor progression is:
*START,, sweet with massive fruity aroma, bright color
*gravity below 1.020 most of the sweet is gone, some aroma gone and the wine is carbonated .. bitter flavors start to dominate
*gravity below ,, 1.000 sweet is gone, fruity aroma decreased and a yeast taste/smell dominates, bitter flavor from CO2 dominates the mouth
*a month after racking ,, 90% plus of yeast has settled and bitter carbonation notes decreasing, fruity aroma is easier to pick out but significantly weaker than raw juice, We rack again
*six months after racking ,, the wine is mostly clear, yeast taste/ smell is gone, carbonation is reduced or not detected, fruity aroma can be emphasized by adding a bit of sugar
*bottle ,, sugar and acid were balanced and are pleasing, fruity aroma ranges from weak to strong depending on process, yeast flavors gone, if air exposure is excessive it is developing a burn note in the back of the throat
*well aged or high temperature storage ,, color is turning brown, becoming hard to identify fruit aroma

and they taste a bit rotten, nothing crazy but like a strong hint, this smell developes with in like 2 days of the fermenting beginning and thats the taste i end up with after fermenting, does this rotten taste / smell convert to something better and go away with aging?
rotten? as unusual fruity note,, you had poor quality fruit at the start or a mold infection
rotten? as egg ,, frequently a stressed yeast from a high temperature fast fermentation or lack of nutrients for healthy yeast
, , , , , can you describe this more , , , ,
 

winemaker81

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The fact that this yeast can ferment a rock does not mean that you are not encouraging the yeast to produce hydrogen sulfide (smells like rotten eggs or sewer gas)
In the initial post, no yeast was indicated, which could mean an inappropriate yeast (such as bread yeast) was used. The clarification that EC-1118 was used pretty much precludes the likelihood that a wild yeast or bacteria infected the wine, as it is designed to stamp out competitors and will ferment anything containing sugar.

The OP states the wine smells/tastes "rotten", which does not automatically indicate H2S. If the description was "rotten eggs", "skunk", or "rotten cabbage" -- then I agree, it's H2S. However, an acquaintance had a wine infected with an unknown organism that resulted in a rotten grape taste/smell. We assumed H2S and he poured the wine over new pennies (which was recommended at the time, and it was time when pennies were made of copper) but it made no difference.

The OP appears to indicate the wine may have been in an open fermenter for a month. If this is correct, that is a potential source of a non-yeast infection.

We do know that all batches have the same fault. This indicates a consistent problem with the fruit, the procedure, and/or the environment. Given that the fruit varied between different fresh fruits and concentrates, it leans towards procedure and/or environment.


@Sukamod -- is the smell rotten eggs, cabbage, or skunk? If so, the H2S is the answer. As recommended, you can treat it with copper, but I agree with @cmason1957 -- that has it's dangers. I found this site which lists specific additives in measured amounts to reduce the H2S. If you go this route, search for verification from other sites before doing anything.

That may fix the existing wine, but there is a ongoing problem that needs fixing.

Where are you making the wine (garage, cellar, bathtub, etc.), what is the temperature, and how consistent is the temperature?

Please post your recipe and the procedure you used. These answers will help us figure out the problem.
 

KCCam

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The OP appears to indicate the wine may have been in an open fermenter for a month.
mixed 1 full packet into 1 gallon jugs with airlocks and 3 ish pounds of sugar each
Sounds like primary is a one gallon jug with air lock. Lack of oxygen might be a problem, yes?
 

winemaker81

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Sounds like primary is a one gallon jug with air lock. Lack of oxygen might be a problem, yes?
Good catch. A process problem appears to be the most probable root cause.

@Sukamod, IMO the more important issue is finding the root cause of your problem. Regardless if the existing wines are redeemable, avoiding future instances is more important.
 

sour_grapes

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We assumed H2S and he poured the wine over new pennies (which was recommended at the time, and it was time when pennies were made of copper) but it made no difference.
The outside of pennies (which is all that matters) is still made of copper. So you can still do with pennies and wine that thing that you shouldn't do with pennies and wine. ;)
 

hounddawg

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Hello, I have made a few small batches of wine with minimal effort, basically just yeast and sugar and fruits / flavorings using glass jugs and bubblers letting them ferment for about a month and each time ive drank them without letting them age and they taste a bit rotten, nothing crazy but like a strong hint, this smell developes with in like 2 days of the fermenting beginning and thats the taste i end up with after fermenting, does this rotten taste / smell convert to something better and go away with aging? i checked google and all i could come up with is vague "wine tastes better with time" answers
your ferenting under a airlock (bubbler) @KCCam & @winemaker81 are right, during ferment you need all the oxygen you can get into your must only after your hydrometer readings go below .999, then you airlock, during my fermations i stir a couple times a day using a drill so i introduce as much oxygen as i can, once ferment is over then oxygen becomes your wines enemy.
Dawg
 

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