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mendozer

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Walked by my carboys as they're oaking and saw weird stuff on the top.
View attachment 70606
View attachment 70607

I added oak to it on 12/28. prior to this everything was spot on for pH, TA, SO2 levels. One of the jugs (out of 3) had a white film on top with little yeast looking logs. I assumed that to be the MLF bacteria. Now that one and another have this green spotty stuff, while the third doesn't. I used starsan over the oak spirals as well before adding them in. help!
 

Boatboy24

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That looks like the dreaded flowers of wine. That 2nd pic has a lot of headspace. Eliminate that, and get some sulfite on your wine.
 

mendozer

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I sulfite with every transfer. Last on 10/23 with addition of MLF. Then oak on 12/28. Oak was wet with sanitizer so i didn't add more. For the headspace, I have 6.5 gallons of wine in a 7ish gallon vessel. Next size down is my better bottle that holds shy of six. So I didn't have options for the headspace.
 

mendozer

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I just decided to rack into my smaller bottles maxing out at 6 gallons, along with 6 campden tablets (50 ppm) and one more oak spiral pre-soaked in my starsan tub. The flavor was a little weak. It was only oaking for four weeks so that's expected. I scrapped the rest. I tossed the first 10 seconds of racking liquid and made sure not to dip into the top layer at the end.

PXL_20210119_015927982.jpg
Here is a smaller batch that didn't have this mycoderma stuff. But you can see the white saccharomyces looking things. This is a non-foritfied port style wine. So next time I open a port, I'll pour some down there to top it off as well.
PXL_20210119_015932863.jpg
 

mendozer

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oh whoops on the double post. Not sure how that happened. Admin can delete the other
 

Rembee

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Read up on the flowers of wine (mycoderma). It can be caused by sanitation problems, high ph and low S02 to name a few. Good luck with your brew!
 

mendozer

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my pH was borderline high early on (3.66 for one 3.8 for another). But my initial SO2 calculation took that into the equation. Also everything looked fine until after the oak. So i wonder if either the oak wasn't sanitized enough or the air allowed in was JUST ENOUGH to start infection. Those bungs are so good and blocking air they actually were in a vacuum. The carboys were sucked in a bit when i went to add the spirals in December.
 

Rembee

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IMO, you risk air getting into the fermentation vessel under a vacuum. If there is a true vacuum within the carboy then it wouldn't take much to draw in air. I would opt for an ole fashion airlock. But that's just me. With an airlock you create a positive pressure inside the fermenter which is greater then atmospheric pressure which in turn helps keep out the nasties.
 

mendozer

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When I say silicone I mean these. They are airlocks and they have a flapper top piece that flips up when CO2 pushes on it and slaps back down to prevent air from getting in. More wineries are using these nowdays since there's no fluid level to check. I think one of them had a bit of a vacuum and that could have been from me soaking the bungs for a while in sanitizer causing them to stick once dried. A quick peel up on the edge and all the vacuum disappeared.
 

Johnd

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I sulfite with every transfer. Last on 10/23 with addition of MLF. Then oak on 12/28. Oak was wet with sanitizer so i didn't add more. For the headspace, I have 6.5 gallons of wine in a 7ish gallon vessel. Next size down is my better bottle that holds shy of six. So I didn't have options for the headspace.
Looking at the photos, it seems that too much air space was present, which when combined with a lapse in sulfite levels, is the precise recipe for your bug. Top up, use good airlock, and maintain sulfite levels and you’ll never see it again.

I’m curious about why you added MLB to your wine in conjunction with a sulfite addition?
 

tom6922

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I added an oak spiral to a 6gallon carboy on Dec 26, just took it out, wine looks great. PH was 3.7 and SO2 approx 50 (I had racked and sulfited before adding the spiral). Did not sanitize the spiral, I read somewhere not to do that, and I didn't want it to absorb starsan. I suppose steaming it would have been ok, but I had kept it in the original bag so I figured it was very clean.
 

mendozer

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Looking at the photos, it seems that too much air space was present, which when combined with a lapse in sulfite levels, is the precise recipe for your bug. Top up, use good airlock, and maintain sulfite levels and you’ll never see it again.

I’m curious about why you added MLB to your wine in conjunction with a sulfite addition?
I've always done MLB after AF for reds. One time I asked simultaneously but other times I wait then oak. But also...I didn't sulfite with the MLB addition at the same time. Over time I had done two or three sulfite additions with the rackings.
 

mendozer

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Someone I bought a ton of bottles from and who has taught winemaking since the 90s told me a good method for a small producer like myself is to keep excess wine from the batch in soda bottles and squeeze the air out before sealing and use that for top offs. I guess they are PET. I just can't see how people can keep headspace minimal unless there's some wine leftover somewhere. Then when you top off, your topoff vessel has more headspace. It seems like a battle. I've never had spoilage before so my assumption is these just weren't sulfited enough based on their initial pH. I also used to (not this year) puff a bit of CO2 from my kegerator tank into it after racking, only a few seconds to create the blanket of heavier gas. Not enough to carbonate by any means. Looks like other methods are vodka/water mix (not a huge fan of adultering my wine) or marbles (that would be a lot of marbles)
 

mendozer

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I do have spare cornys from my beer brewing setup too. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and use those. One reason I got the Fermonsters to begin with is people pressurize them for beer making so I thought I could do the same pumping nitrogen in them for these situations, but this all came upon me during wine season so I never got around to it
 

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