My second failure

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I'm delighted to see you didn't give up, and that you didn't toss the wines already! The splash racking was a great idea.

There have been a few times where I was concerned about my water -- specifically, remnant chlorine -- but had no access to other water sources. So, I put the water I intended to use in a primary and used a degassing wand on it a few times a day for about three days, which allowed the chlorine to exit the water. Did it help? Well, the wine was okay, but it probably would have been okay without any of that rigamarole... :)

My biggest move to more reliable fermentations was to notice that every wine kit I have seen came with Lalvin EC-1118. I looked into it and realized how bullet-proof that yeast can be. Awesome acceptable temperature range, terrific alcohol tolerance (up to 18%), and a decent tolerance for musts that don't have a great nutrient balance (that is, it may be slow, or even stall, but off-aromas and off-flavours don't tend to arise in my wines).

I would suggest you grab a few pouches of 1118 when you're next at your LHBS and give it a try.
bkisel, that is an awesome idea. I was going to suggest using the bathtub and filling it with cold water to lower the temp. And if that didn't do it then throw in some ice to bring the temp town. Hope these suggestions help. Keep us posted and don't give up!
IF you've never made wine before those off- smells and tastes may, as suggested go away or diminish to a point where you don't notice it. My first batches were a little scary and one or two did develop some 'interesting' flavors and smells. Only one batch seriously failed and that was interesting because it was one of 3 gallons of strawberry done exactly the same ( At least I thought they were) So out of 6 or 7 gallons one failure is acceptable to me just starting out. Not great, but not a failure.

I agree - see them through to the end - age them for at least 6 months and see how they change. Unless they develop seriously sulfuric or vinegar smells like the man at the roulette wheel - "Let it ride."

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