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Help with pineapple wine, please!

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ethan123p

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I'm trying to ferment some homemade pineapple wine. I purchased a kit and found the recipe, but during the primary fermenting it produced a sulfur smell. I've been trying to find answers on whether I should dump it out or if I can save it. I'm currently at work but can post the recipe I used after. Any advice would be appreciated!
 
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ethan123p

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Brew? you heated your fruit, pineapple is very slow to clear, given time your gas will dissipate,
Dawg
Sorry, I meant ferment. I used bottles of unsweetened pineapple juice. The sulfur smell isn't anything to worry about though? It's only been fermenting in the primary for 5 days.
 

tradowsk

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Sulphur smell is usually a sign of stressed yeast. What's your must temp? Did you add any nutrients? What's your starting and current gravity reading?
 

Rice_Guy

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When I have had sulphur odor it was running a high temp test, it dissipated with time. @tradowsk notes stressed yeast which you might fix with Fermaid ,,, but not DAP.
 

ethan123p

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Sulphur smell is usually a sign of stressed yeast. What's your must temp? Did you add any nutrients? What's your starting and current gravity reading?
Yes, I read that. The room I had started it in was warm and once I read that I moved it out into a cooler room around 68 degrees. The recipe was pineapple juice, water, sugar, acid blend, tannin, Campden, and the yeast. The yeast was red star premier classique.
As for the gravity reading, I forgot to take the starting one.
 

ethan123p

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When I have had sulphur odor it was running a high temp test, it dissipated with time. @tradowsk notes stressed yeast which you might fix with Fermaid ,,, but not DAP.
So then I shouldn't worry about the Sulphur smell and just continue with its current progression or should I dump it and restart?
 

ethan123p

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Sulphur smell is usually a sign of stressed yeast. What's your must temp? Did you add any nutrients? What's your starting and current gravity reading?
Okay, so let's say I forgot to add the water to the pineapple juice when I did this. Could that also account for the yeast being stressed? Do you think it would be a good idea for me to add the water about 7 days late or should I start over? Thank you for your help and advice. I really appreciate it!
 

tradowsk

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You don't need to add water to any fruit juice unless it's a concentrate. If you can get Fermaid-O, I would add it. It's an organic nutrient that usually fixes a yeast issue.
 

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I would keep going, ,,,, my one reason to clean the carboy is that I needed that specific size.
So then I shouldn't worry about the Sulphur smell and just continue with its current progression or should I dump it and restart?
agree @tradowsk adding water dilutes the flavor, and turns the beverage into a sugar wine. ,,,, I am an unusual/ anti commercial grade since I essentially never add water. ex if I have gooseberry with high TA I also had watermelon so I mixed. I like “bland” juice as apple, pear, and white grape as a water replacement.
 
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ethan123p

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Okay, so the kit came with a yeast nutrient, it says its food grade urea and diammonium phosphate. I've also got a yeast energizer by North mountain supply. Would either of these work or do you suggest fermaid o specifically? I'll get some if you think that would be better. This is only my second try at wine making.
 

ethan123p

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I would keep going, ,,,, my one reason to clean the carboy is that I needed that specific size.

agree @tradowsk adding water dilutes the flavor, and turns the beverage into a sugar wine. ,,,, I am an unusual/ anti commercial grade since I essentially never add water. ex if I have gooseberry with high TA I also had watermelon so I mixed. I like “bland” juice as apple, pear, and white grape as a water replacement.
Okay! Thank you, I appreciate the advice. But you're saying that if the recipe calls for water that you replace the water with juice does that effect how much sugar you add? Does that work with every recipe?
 

KCCam

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The problem with recipes is that they can’t account for all the variables involved with the ingredients you choose to use. Adding acid blend, for example, is typically done to correct a must that is not acidic enough. Without knowing how acidic your pineapple juice is, you have to assume your ingredients are the same as the author’s. If you plan to do more “from scratch” fruit wine, you might find even an inexpensive pH meter a very valuable tool. Also with the sugar. You add enough to get your starting SG to match the amount of alcohol you want in the finished wine, not necessarily what the recipe calls for.

The yeast you use also plays an important roll. I found this about your yeast:
This yeast will produce hydrogen sulfide gas in the presence of excess sulfur compounds and therefore should not be used to ferment grapes that contain residual sulfur dust. Temperature range: 59-86 F. Alcohol Tolerance: 13%.​
As a beginner, I would stick to a very tolerant workhorse such as EC-1118. Too much sugar or acid can both stress yeast.

Something I do is keep a log book, and make copious notes about everything I do. It is invaluable when making future batches to know what problems I faced and how I fixed them. It also gives me a source of information when asking for help. I always, always record my starting SG, and also at every step, as this is critical information when asking for help. Advice is often very dependent on how far along you are in your fermentation.

I know that’s no help now, so what is your current SG? As a beginner, if you’re not confident of your reading, feel free to post a picture. Also, are you fermenting in an open primary, or an air-locked carboy? A lot of beginners make the mistake of doing primary fermentation in a carboy thinking oxygen is bad, where in fact yeast needs oxygen to multiply. Lack of oxygen can also stress the yeast.
 

ethan123p

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The problem with recipes is that they can’t account for all the variables involved with the ingredients you choose to use. Adding acid blend, for example, is typically done to correct a must that is not acidic enough. Without knowing how acidic your pineapple juice is, you have to assume your ingredients are the same as the author’s. If you plan to do more “from scratch” fruit wine, you might find even an inexpensive pH meter a very valuable tool. Also with the sugar. You add enough to get your starting SG to match the amount of alcohol you want in the finished wine, not necessarily what the recipe calls for.

The yeast you use also plays an important roll. I found this about your yeast:
This yeast will produce hydrogen sulfide gas in the presence of excess sulfur compounds and therefore should not be used to ferment grapes that contain residual sulfur dust. Temperature range: 59-86 F. Alcohol Tolerance: 13%.​
As a beginner, I would stick to a very tolerant workhorse such as EC-1118. Too much sugar or acid can both stress yeast.

Something I do is keep a log book, and make copious notes about everything I do. It is invaluable when making future batches to know what problems I faced and how I fixed them. It also gives me a source of information when asking for help. I always, always record my starting SG, and also at every step, as this is critical information when asking for help. Advice is often very dependent on how far along you are in your fermentation.

I know that’s no help now, so what is your current SG? As a beginner, if you’re not confident of your reading, feel free to post a picture. Also, are you fermenting in an open primary, or an air-locked carboy? A lot of beginners make the mistake of doing primary fermentation in a carboy thinking oxygen is bad, where in fact yeast needs oxygen to multiply. Lack of oxygen can also stress the yeast.
Okay, that's great advice! Thank you, I'll start doing that now and I'll look into the EC-1118 for future batches.

I'll read the SG when I'm home and update later with a picture. Currently, I have it in the primary that's pictured below. I did put the airlock on the bucket as I thought that's how I was supposed to do it, I'll remove that too. Should I take the whole lid off or is it okay to leave the lid on since it has the hole? I did have to look up the difference between the primary and secondary fermenters when I made my mead to know not to use the carboy as the primary.
1603732082924.png
 

KCCam

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Should I take the whole lid off or is it okay to leave the lid on since it has the hole?
It depends on your SG, and how active the fermentation is. If SG is still quite high, say 1.020 or more, then you’re pretty safe to either secure a dish towel over the top, or just rest the lid on top. You want to prevent fruit flies, etc, from getting in there (so cover the hole if using the lid). And stir it up good to get some oxygen to the yeast, which may help with the H2S (sulphur) smell. I stop stirring daily around 1.010, and transfer (rack) to a secondary carboy between that and about 1.000. Some leave it in primary until completely dry.
 

ethan123p

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It depends on your SG, and how active the fermentation is. If SG is still quite high, say 1.020 or more, then you’re pretty safe to either secure a dish towel over the top, or just rest the lid on top. You want to prevent fruit flies, etc, from getting in there (so cover the hole if using the lid). And stir it up good to get some oxygen to the yeast, which may help with the H2S (sulphur) smell. I stop stirring daily around 1.010, and transfer (rack) to a secondary carboy between that and about 1.000. Some leave it in primary until completely dry.
That really helps a lot. Thank you for simplifying it for me! I've been making sure to stir it up daily, sometimes two or three times after I found that it suggested making sure to introduce more oxygen into the mix. I guess the final question I have now is, what do you mean until completely dry, is that the 1.000 reading?
 

KCCam

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what do you mean until completely dry, is that the 1.000 reading?
Generally accepted to be once the SG is less than or equal to 1.000 AND remains the same for 3 consecutive days. So if the SG is 1.005 for 3 days in a row, it would be considered “stuck”. There’s still enough sugar, and presumably yeast, to potentially cause problems in the future. Most fermentations will finish between 0.995 and 0.990.
 

ethan123p

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Generally accepted to be once the SG is less than or equal to 1.000 AND remains the same for 3 consecutive days. So if the SG is 1.005 for 3 days in a row, it would be considered “stuck”. There’s still enough sugar, and presumably yeast, to potentially cause problems in the future. Most fermentations will finish between 0.995 and 0.990.
Okay, so basically ferment in the primary until between 1.010 and 1.000 then move into carboy. Once SG hits .995-.990 then it's considered done and time to bottle?
Now let's say my wine gets "stuck" does that mean I should add the yeast nutrient or energizer to try and get the fermenting to go again or is it time to discard and restart? I guess that's got me confused as very few of the recipes in the booklet actually called for the nutrient or energizer. So I never knew what they were for or when/how to use them. I greatly appreciate all your advice and assistance, thank you for your patience and help!
 

KCCam

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Okay, so basically ferment in the primary until between 1.010 and 1.000 then move into carboy. Once SG hits .995-.990 then it's considered done and time to bottle?
When to move to secondary is sort of personal preference, but yes, 1.010-1.000 is common. Remember, the actual number doesn’t determine when it’s finished, some fermentations won’t even get to 0.995, and yet I’ve had some go to 0.988. Once it’s the same for 3 days, and also below 1.000, it’s not likely to go much (if any) lower, and then is considered finished.

Now, for bottling... most people here would not dream of bottling before aging in the carboy (bulk aging) for at least 3 months, usually more like 9 to 12, or more. They typically rack about every 3 months & add 1/4 tsp k-meta at that time. But as a beginner, wait until it’s perfectly clear, then bottle once you like the taste. Hide some away to try a year or two from now. If you can't stand the thought of waiting for the wine to age, make a batch or two of some sort of quick-drinker to keep you happy while you wait. Skeeter Pee and Dragon Blood are 2 common candidates. They'll also help you become familiar with all the complexities of the craft, while requiring less cost up front, and more immediate reward.

Now let's say my wine gets "stuck" does that mean...
Wait until it happens, you may never have to deal with it, and every case is different. Keep good notes, and ask questions if it does happen. And remember: patience is sometimes the best cure for a multitude of problems.

or is it time to discard and restart?
I would never toss a batch until you've gotten some advice from the members here. It is very rare that you can't save a batch, and you learn a lot from trying to fix mistakes.

very few of the recipes in the booklet actually called for the nutrient or energizer.
That's a little out of my experience. I just know that generally grapes have a lot of the nutrients that yeast need to make a happy, thriving colony, and a lot of fruits don't. If you have a recipe, follow the recipe or do some reading in the Country Wine threads.

Have fun, and welcome to WMT!
 

ethan123p

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When to move to secondary is sort of personal preference, but yes, 1.010-1.000 is common. Remember, the actual number doesn’t determine when it’s finished, some fermentations won’t even get to 0.995, and yet I’ve had some go to 0.988. Once it’s the same for 3 days, and also below 1.000, it’s not likely to go much (if any) lower, and then is considered finished.

Now, for bottling... most people here would not dream of bottling before aging in the carboy (bulk aging) for at least 3 months, usually more like 9 to 12, or more. They typically rack about every 3 months & add 1/4 tsp k-meta at that time. But as a beginner, wait until it’s perfectly clear, then bottle once you like the taste. Hide some away to try a year or two from now. If you can't stand the thought of waiting for the wine to age, make a batch or two of some sort of quick-drinker to keep you happy while you wait. Skeeter Pee and Dragon Blood are 2 common candidates. They'll also help you become familiar with all the complexities of the craft, while requiring less cost up front, and more immediate reward.


Wait until it happens, you may never have to deal with it, and every case is different. Keep good notes, and ask questions if it does happen. And remember: patience is sometimes the best cure for a multitude of problems.


I would never toss a batch until you've gotten some advice from the members here. It is very rare that you can't save a batch, and you learn a lot from trying to fix mistakes.


That's a little out of my experience. I just know that generally grapes have a lot of the nutrients that yeast need to make a happy, thriving colony, and a lot of fruits don't. If you have a recipe, follow the recipe or do some reading in the Country Wine threads.

Have fun, and welcome to WMT!
Thank you so much! This is really great advice. When you say they rack about every 3 months that means moving it from one carboy into a different carboy? I'll take your advice and wait until I'm more familiar with the process before trying that but want to add that to the guidebook I'll be making myself.
 

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