Help - oxidized reds due to low airlock

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Falcon_wizard

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I’m really bummed... hopefully someone can help... as I checked on by bulk aging Reds I started last October, 3 carboys of out four (those with 3 piece airlock) smelled a bit odd and tasted a bit bubbly. Then I noticed the low air locks on those... I’d describe it as a slight sherry taste.
Can I do anything to save/improve them ?

thanks in advance
 

Falcon_wizard

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One thing I did notice is a raise in PH, just measured my fso2, they would have been fine if it wasn’t for the ph raising by up to 0.2, almost 0.3 in the merlot. (3.41 to 3.79)
 

Falcon_wizard

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So I just changed all my airlocks, topped up the FSO2. The taste is not totally terrible but it’s there. I saw the recommended use of skim milk followed by a racking after 2-3 days. Any feedback on its use ? Normally I would continue to bulk age them for another 3-4 months through the summer cycle, then blend prior to bottling around late august/sept timeframe. Should I accelerate my schedule and bottle them earlier, or do the milk trick, re-rack and let them carry through in bulk abit more ?
 

BarrelMonkey

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Add SO2 (maybe targeting 50ppm FSO2) - it will take more than a day to have an effect on taste so I'd suggest check on it towards the end of the week. I have no experience with skim milk but SO2 can work magic by itself. I would stick with your original schedule and keep monitoring SO2, targeting 30ppm final as you get ready to bottle. Good luck!
 

Falcon_wizard

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So I just checked them again after 6 days with about 45-50ppm of FSO2. 1 of them (the shiraz) is pretty much back where I would expect, which is great (!) The other two are much better, however I still note some « fizzyness » to them, which I find odd, and a taste a touch harsher than I would expect, but not objectionable I’d say. Now I do use co2 as protective blanket as well as topping up, so maybe it’s simply the co2 ? I did not notice the odd sherry type odor from last week. So I’m trying to decide if I should give them the milk treatment or not. Anyone had similar experiences?
 
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G259

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Go ahead, and if it doesn't work, we will all know better! (ROFL) (sorry - had to!)
I have no experience with using milk in wine making, kind of freaks me out!
 
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winemanden

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Skimmed milk does work to some extent, but you'll never get it back to the original taste. I used it some years back. I can't find it in my old records, but from memory I used dried milk mixed with water. I can't remember the milk to water ratio, or the amount I used, but it did work. You have to get it into your wine as far below the surface as you can. It floats up like brownish clots which you either skim or siphon your wine clear.
From memory, it was dry airlock the cause. A blend of rhubarb and apple, not a great wine in the first place, but at least it made it drinkable.
 

winemaker81

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Regardless of method(s) used, use the affected wines sooner than later. Slightly oxidized wine is still good for cooking.

A couple of suggestions: 1) check airlocks weekly, filling as needed. I pull airlocks monthly, cleaning and refilling. 2) Once past fermentation, switch to vented bungs, so there is no need to check them if they are properly seated.
 

Falcon_wizard

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So, I have treated all 3 carboys with powdered skim milk for 2 and a half days. Prior to that I had cranked the free SO2; which had already improved things significantly. After that I racked them all into clean carboys. Among the 3, I would say that one was further improved a bit by the milk treatment , and the other two did not improve further in a noticeable manner. The treatment did not hurt anything at least, but obviously took time.
Only one showed signs of some clumping of very small milk curds that I could see. the one that had a high Ph rise came back down, which I expect was also due to the fact that the portion I had tested was the wine most exposed to the air at the neck of the carboy.

all in all, I could have probably solved the issue with additions of fso2 without the skim milk treatment, but it did not hurt. At the end, I am glad my wines no longer show objectionable signs of oxydation as far as I know. 2 of them are still a bit « fizzy » but the fizziness goes away after waiting 10-15 minutes before tasting, and the taste is along the lines of what I would expect. I have noticed this in commercial wines as well.
Disaster averted!
Cheers
 
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