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Jan 8, 2019
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Hi everyone,

Since a couple of years, I have a problem. A lot of my wines have have H2S taints that makes them not that interesting....

A strange thing is that my wines never shows any sulfur taints while fermenting but once bottled fermented (sparkling), they develop a quite strong H2S taint. Some carboys while fermenting did produced H2S (noticable through the airlock) but these cider neither had sulfur taints in fermentation nor at botling (at tasting).

One element I have to notice is that I don't allow any aerobic fermentation to occur, as the airlock is on my carboys since day 1. From what I've read on forums, the lack of oxygen could lead to a higher H2S production. Might this be the problem?

Also, I've read a lot of people saying splash racking could be used to mitigate H2S production when is occured during fermentation. As I said, my wines don't smell like H2S when drunk during fermentation, only once bottled. Is this a possible solution for me?

Finally, I have several carboys that shows the same problems like last year (sulfur smell through the airlock, no smell in a glass). Could I do something to avoid futur problems? I was thinkink at splash racking 1-2 time each arboy and next add 50 ppm sulfite. Is it a good choice?

Thank you,

It's imperative that the yeast has oxygen during the first stage of fermentation. If they dont, they have to work much harder and end up producing H2S. Aerobic fermentation isn't really an optional feature you add to your wine, it's an important part of the process.
Is oxygenating the wine (splash racking) in the fermentation process a good idea at this stage or is it useless?
Is oxygenating the wine (splash racking) in the fermentation process a good idea at this stage or is it useless?

In my experience, splash racking will not remove the H2S. The only thing that worked for me when I had an H2S problem was Reduless, but it worked flawlessly. The best way to deal with it is by preventing it in the first place. Don't seal off your primary fermenter. I cover mine with a sanitized towel and pin it down with clothespins. Every recipe I've ever seen also calls for stirring once a day. Make sure you're adding the appropriate nutrients at the right time as well. A lack of nutrients (or far too much) can cause the yeast to cannibalize themselves, leading to rhino farts. Adding all your nutrients at once can also cause rhino farts in more rare cases.
A splash rack and so2 dose definitely sounds about right as far as the 1st thing to be done.
Curious tho- you mention drinking during fermentation. What do you view as “fermentation”? Typically refers to just that first week or 2 when actively converting sugar. What is your process after active fermentation till bottling?
This is actually an apple wine, tipically slow fermented (4-6 months). I tipically don't add nutrient either.