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Grapefruit ferment tastes spoiled!

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non-grapenut

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Hi, all. I have successfully bottled various types of wines, mostly fruit and not grape...I ferment anything that's on sale. Recently, a buttload of grapefruits came my way, so I started a 6-gallon batch. I make a solution of sterilizing water from crushed camden tabs, after scortching everything with very hot water to clean my equipment. I let my squeezed juice sit for 24hours treated with camden before adding Montrachet yeast, nutrient and energizer. Fermentation was going great and everything tasted OK until the 6th day, when a fruit spoiling taste occurred. No smell, just taste. I filtered this and put in carboy with airlock when s/g was at 1.025 and fermentation was still bubbling well. After waiting 5 days, I re-taste tested, and the spoiling flavor increased, so I added 2 camden tabs per gallon. Bubbling stopped for a day and now returned moderately. I so don't want to loose a 6-gallon batch of wine. Boo! Any ideas?
 

wingnutooa

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pretty sure you'll be asked for your recipe.

almost sounds as if everything tasted okay untill there wasnt enough sugar left to make it palatable. just bitter grapefruityness
 

non-grapenut

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15 lbs pink grapefruit freshly squeezed, 3 cans of frozen grapefruit concentrate, 2 lbs. of sugar (to start--I like to check and taste test and read s/g and potential alc. to control the total alcohol level before putting into carboy.) I let juice sit overnight with 3 camden tabs and 1.5t of pectin enzyme first night. Added yeast nutrient and energizer and ascorbic acid. Added 2 more lbs sugar gradually over the next 5 days watching the potential alcohol. I have had problems with previous wines becoming too sweet with high alcohol levels, making refermentation tough. When I filtered it, I wondered if I let it sit on the fruit too long. I know grapefruit is very acidic. I added 2c. sugar to the carboy before adding airlock.
 

Wade E

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Feeding it sugar while fermenting (Chaptalizing) has been known to increase the acetic acid to almost 7 times what a normal fermentation would create. This might be what is happeneing here. It s really not advised to use this method unless you REALLY know what your doing and have your ph and ta right on the money.
 

cpfan

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Added 2 more lbs sugar gradually over the next 5 days watching the potential alcohol. I have had problems with previous wines becoming too sweet with high alcohol levels, making refermentation tough.
Don't know what you are trying to accomplish here. It sounds like you keep adding sugar until the yeast can't convert anymore (it dies of alcohol toxicity). Then add more sugar. Now you have a wine that has maxed its alcohol, still has sugar in it, and have trouble getting refermentation to happen.

The wine sounds awful (to my tastes anyhow), and you're trying to get even more alcohol?

Are you following a recipe, or making it up as you go along?

Steve
 

Wade E

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I agree wit CP on this and say that this is a recpie for disaster.
 

non-grapenut

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Thanks for your feedback, Wade E. I REALLY don't know what I am doing and I am using books and printed Internet recipes and instructions to wing it as I go--probably the way most of the people in this forum have learned to make wine. Now that we know what the problem IS with this batch, just how do I get rid of the acetic acid? Any ideas? EVERYONE: I promise to never do this again. This was my first experimant in maxing alcohol levels.
 

non-grapenut

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Thanks for your observation, Steve. Please check my 2nd post for my recipe, taken from E.C. Krausses website for Grapefruit wine. I added 3 cans of frozen concentrate to increase the grapefruit flavor. It actually tastes very good, like a grapefruit with sugar on it and a bit of fizzle. It's just the slight off-flavor and smell that bothered me. This is the 1st ferment that I have had taste bad...I have had ferments that smelled bad and turned out excellent after a few rackings. When I re-tried it last night, it actually improved...it's still fermenting a bit. I am going to rack it off this 1st sediment, airing it our a bit and let it sit awhile before I throw all 6 gallons down the drain...
 

cpfan

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Well you're not quite following the recipe that I just found at the EC Kraus site. It didn't specify pectic enzyme, ascorbic acid, yeast nutrient or yeast energizer. But I think that the pectic enzyme is a good idea. And the yeast nutrient/energizedr probably can't hurt.

They suggest adding all of the sugar at the start. But on re-reading your post, I may be confusing previous wines with this wine.

BTW, I learned to make wine from wine kits. Then started reading about other sources of raw materials.

Steve
 
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non-grapenut

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I am going to be too curious to see if this one turns out in time..I revised the Krauss recipe by adding pectic enzyme bcuz I noticed a post on that website of users stating that their grapefruit wine was cloudy, and he recommended adding the enzyme b4 ferment. I added the yeast nutrient/energizer bcuz I knew ahead of time I was going to try to max the alcohol. In high alcohol wines, I read that the fruits flavors are secondary to the alcohol, and the articles suggested adding additional fruit or concentrate, so I did. Being a scientist at heart, I did something different with this wine---When I added the yeast, I added enough sugar to bring the potential alcohol level to 10% for the only reason of easily tracking the alcohol production. That was Dec. 27th....on the 30th, the p/a reading was 4%, meaning I was at a 6% alc level in 3 days. The musty smell started then. I added enough sugar to bring the p/a to 8%, so that when the reading hit 0%, I would be at a total alc level of 14%. I, also, added more yeast nutrient/energizer, again, that 3rd day. On Jan. 1st, s/g was 1.03, p/a was 4%, making the liquor 10% total fermenting alcohol level. I transferred it to the carboy w/airlock then, even with the musty smell, added 1/2c. sugar to encourage ferment and 3 camden to, hopefully, kill off what might have been causing the musty smell/taste. Jan. 4th, when the taste and smell was still occurring and ferment was still bubbling madly, I added 2 camden tabs per gallon, hoping it wasn't bacteria bcuz I was at the end of my rope then. Ferment ceased, and then started again, moderately the next day. S/G last night was 1.000, and the spoiled taste is mellowing.
 

cpfan

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Well I don't know about the musty smell, but the campden that you added 'shocks' the yeast and slows it down, possibly stopping it depending on a number of factors.

Steve
 

non-grapenut

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The yeast nutrient/energizer must have kept the fermentation going, after stalling it a couple days ago. If my calculations are correct, my p/a is now 14+%! I am really surprised the yeast are still holdin' on. Is it safe to filter this again (since it's still pretty cloudy) and then re-rack? I am just afraid to expose it to air, though, the little voice in me tells me it should be fine since it's still bubblin...and I am, also, still wondering if the air exposure might be beneficial to air-out the spoiled/musty smell and taste.
 

cpfan

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Are you really talking about filtering? I would just rack to another carboy.

Steve
 

Wade E

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Filtering should only be done to a clear wine. Just out of curiosity, why would you want such a high abv on a fruit wine, it usually just hides all the fruit flavor. Good idea to add pectic enzyme, nutrient and energizer. I dont think there is anything to be done to this batch but let it finish and the stabilize with campden and sorbate and clear it with a fining agent or with the use of time. This wine is going to be hot for some time due to the high abv so it will need lots of time. I forgot what yeast you used but there are some that say have a tolerance of 18% but I know a few people who have pushed it to 20.5 % while making a port.
 

Manimal

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I agree with the others here... you shouldn't be filtering at this point. If the "spoiled" aroma that you are detecting smells something like rotten eggs or sewer it could be hydrogen sulfide. I don't know alot about fruit wines, or whether H2S would be very likely with a grapefruit wine, but if so, a vigorous racking could help alleviate the problem before it becomes more serious.
 

cpfan

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I don't know much about Montrachet, but isn't that yeast prone to priducing H2S when stressed?

Steve
 

Wade E

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If you feel that it is H2S, do like said above and splash rack. If that doesnt work after a few vigorous racks and a little time then clean and sanitize a copper pipe or wire and give the wine a stir for 30 seconds and give that a few days and smell again. This will do the same thing as copper sulfate but isnt poisonous like copper sulfate.
 

non-grapenut

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It really COULD be h2s, but I really don't have the experience to recognize or test for it. After splash racking it last night, I wondered if maybe the yeast was just going bad, giving it that smell due to being stressed with the extra-busy fermentation. Thanks for all this guidance...tips for testing for h2s would be helpful. I will search all threads..
 

cpfan

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I don't know if you can test for H2S. It has a dreadful rotten egg smell. So since you've only mentioned taste, that's probably not it.

Steve
 

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