Lees rising to top??

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by Ajmassa5983, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    I’ve got a batch at about 10 months. It’s topped up and properly sulfited. Haven’t been checking up on it lately and yesterday I noticed some surface growth. Wine smells great, tastes great. When taking a sample with a pipette the pink creamy substance coated the pipette. The wine directly under the surface is clear. It seems exactly like light lees- but on the surface. I do have a maybe 1/8” of light lees on the bottom.
    I removed anyway and spritzed opening with k-meta. Is light lees on surface even possible?
    IMG_0534.jpg
     
  2. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    I've had kits do something similar to this, especially if it had skins and I squeezed too hard. I've also noticed floating residue using campden tablets versus straight k-meta. Could be light lees. Sounds like you did the right thing though.
     
  3. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    All my senses tell me that it is some lees. Just seems odd to happen at this point 10 months in. It’s overdue for a rack and will be bottling soon after. Slightly neglected and thought temp fluctuations could play a part possibly?
    I pressed these grapes with my butt using a homemade bucket press with my 5’10” 160lb frame- so overpressing wasn’t a worry. And I always mix my powdered k-meta prior to additions. I wasn’t overly concerned but thought it to be very odd.
     
  4. salcoco

    salcoco Veteran Wine Maker Supporting Member

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    when was the last time you added k-meta. possibly flower of wine which is a surface bacteria that needs air to grow and sometimes benefits from the ph of the wine to be incorrect., which relates to k-meta dosage. if it returns, rack do a double dose of k-meta and bottle as soon as possible wine will not last any long term aging. normal dosage is 1/4 tsp powder k-meta for 5 gallons.
     
  5. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Why suggest mycoderma if I said it is properly sulfited and topped up? I’ve had mycoderma once before. Tiny little rice grainlike particles form after a spotty film. And smell was godawful.
    Checked my notes. Everything’s on par. Only neglect has been visual checks. Racked and sulfited in early November. Then again in late Jan (totally forgot about that one).
    Ph is 3.4. Been keeping so2 right around 30 free ppm. And topped up.
     
  6. salcoco

    salcoco Veteran Wine Maker Supporting Member

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    I evidently took your comment that "haven't been checking it lately" to literal. if taste and aroma is fine good luck.
     
  7. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    That was my initial thought. The lees seemingly on the surface would be no biggie. But since that situation isn’t exactly normal, if even possible, raised concern. So I was asking if surface lees this late is in the realm of possibility to confirm my suspicions.
    If not possible, I’ll cross that bridge if I got there.
     
  8. GaDawg

    GaDawg Senior Member

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    Could it be the wine isn’t fully degassed and the co2 is floating the lees?
     
  9. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    I would love that, but likely optimistic as it is over 10 months. In spite of Ph 3.4- and having been properly sulphited and topped up the ‘lees-like’ surface returned. Not a good sign. And I haven’t been able to jump on it. Only removed -topped- spritzed twice now. Pink, creamy with no tiny individual particles. Nose has not changed nor the taste.
    Will rack and hit it with sulphide, contemplate filtering and cross my fingers that @salcoco wasn’t correct. IMG_0666.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  10. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    Well if taste and smell have not been affected, that's a very good thing. But this returning and the way it looks now, I'd be concerned. Being this is at 10 months, after you treat and/or filter you might want to consider bottling and start consuming. By the way which batch is this? Looks like the tape might say All-Grape?
     
  11. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately it is last year’s Chilean Cab. The one I sent in for a ‘10 month barrel tasting’ (as I called it) and earned a silver medal at @salcoco ‘s Kansas City Cellarmaster Wine Classic.
    Silver lining is that I don’t have to wait and can enjoy this now. And it’s only 3 gallons (although a whole lotta love was given to this since was my inaugural all-grape batch). I used a good portion of the grapes for a Chilean Cab/merlot juice pail- and blended a good portion of the finished Cab into the Cab/merlot too.
    The cab/merlot was also sent down to KC earning bronze. I had high hopes for it but not gonna sweat it. I will definitely make sure save a few 375’s to see how it actually ends up aging. It’ll either let me see the progression of mycoderma 1st hand- or defy odds and age nicely. Win win.
    I wonder if my waterless vented silicon bung was the culprit. I’ve been solely using the vented bungs during aging on all my glass 3gal to 14.26 gal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  12. ibglowin

    ibglowin Moderator Super Moderator

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    How about because it looks like effing Mycoderma!

    You asked. You now have two winemakers saying that is what it looks like.


     
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  13. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't Mycoderma have a distinct smell? Wouldn't that be an indicator?
     
  14. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I asked 2 weeks ago. After it returned I wasn’t asking for confirmation. Just responded to yesterdays co2 idea from GaDawg and updated the status and the plan to treat- as effing mycoderma!—regardless of my tiniest little glimmer of hope.

    The hope stems from reality contradicting research and past experiences. No oxygen exposure or off smells/tastes. Good ph/so2.
    Which has caused me to question the seal on my vented bung- all I could think of.
     
  15. ibglowin

    ibglowin Moderator Super Moderator

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    Myco does have a distinct smell (at least to me). I would swap out the dry airlock with and old school one with a trap or even better, a solid bung. At 10 months this wine should not have any more CO2 in it and unless your wine storage area is subject to large temp swings the solid bung will not be under andy pressure increase to due to the expansion of alcohol with increasing temperature. I would go the solid bung route. Myco needs air. Hit the top every week or so with a few sprays of KMETA (as well as make sure your overall SO2 levels are at a proper level).
     
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  16. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    I had a bad case of mycorderma in the past and will never be able to forget that smell. But I didn’t catch that early.
    Regardless of the lacking smell I’m not playing games with it. I already initially dosed from 30 to 50 ppm while removing/spritzing weekly.
    Bottle time. Not gonna take a chance. Approaching 1 yr isn’t ideal but still able to be enjoyed. And will just make sure to let friends know to consume it now. And again it’s only 3 gal with another 6gal blended with a juice pail is as healthy as can be.
     
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  17. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    There really isn’t any specific info out there regarding mycoderma and the timeline of its progression. I suppose each case is different.
    Week 3 no diferent than 1-2. Surface stuff back. Wine under is clear. Smells good. Tastes good. This was a cab from grapes from May 2017.
    I racked and shot way high on so2. At 3.4 ph I dosed this to 70 free ppm. Then bottles directly after. Pressed for time and rushing I forgot to filter.
    Curious to find out how this batch does. Still have that glimmer of hope. Will be setting a few aside to to age and will drink the rest
     
  18. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Question, is it possible to have mycoderma without sediment on the top? I have what appears to me to be a nail polish smell on a couple wines but there is nothing flotaing on the top. Or could it just be me being paranoid?
     
  19. balatonwine

    balatonwine The Verecund Vigneron

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    You are probably smelling ethyl acetate. Can be caused by Acetobacter et al. Bad news: It is a significant wine fault. :( :

    http://www.bcawa.ca/winemaking/flaws.htm#Ethyl acetate.
     
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  20. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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