RJS Super Tuscan - Skunky

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by George Burgin, Jun 26, 2019.

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  1. Jun 26, 2019 #1

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    I just checked my RJS Super Tuscan and opened it up. It’s skunky and the gravity is .997. I used RS 212 yeast and I am aware of the nutrient requirements of the yeast and did add nutrient when the must reached 1.040.

    I need some collective wisdom on this kit. It is gone or will the skunky smell subside? I plan on bulk aging for 12 months before I transfer to a barrel for 6 more months of aging before bottling. I’m sure I don’t want to add skunky wine to one of my barrels.

    Can someone offer me a suggestion or a fix?
     
  2. Jun 26, 2019 #2

    sour_grapes

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    Can you give a little more description of "skunky"? Do you think it could by sulfur (H2S or thiols)? You could try putting some in a glass and swirling a penny in it to see if it changes. If it does, you could use Redulees or conduct bench trials with copper sulfate.
     
  3. Jun 26, 2019 #3

    George Burgin

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    Paul, thanks for the help. Skunky = rotten eggs, sulfur, etc. Immediate research tells me I have a H2S problem.

    I ordered some Redulees. It should be here by Friday. I'll report back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  4. Jun 26, 2019 #4

    Johnd

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    If I were you, I wouldn’t wait for the Reduless to take action, I’d splash rack and sulfite the wine immediately, then splash rack it a bunch more times to try to release the CO2 and H2S gases trapped in there. You should be able to achieve a marked improvement in the wine long before the Reduless arrives on Friday. When it does arrive, you’ll be ready for it.
     
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  5. Jun 26, 2019 #5

    George Burgin

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    John, I appreciate you weighing in. WOW - lots of logistics behind your words made more challenging by these facts: 1) I only have one empty carboy (I use FastFerment conicals), 2) I'm working out of town today but will be home later tonight (about to hit the road) and 3) I've never had to deal with this before. Suddenly, Craig's (cmason1957) warnings on a different post about RC 212 are hitting me hard. (Started seven kits today) Got to put together a plan...
     
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  6. Jun 26, 2019 #6

    pillswoj

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    I have had RC212 throw off H2S on kits where it is the supplied yeast and on kits I have swapped yeast on . It has always gone away within a couple of vacuum rackings without the need for copper.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2019 #7

    Johnd

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    The carboy thing shouldn't be an issue. Just let your FF drain into the carboy, then dump it back in to the FF a time or two. Be rough with it, letting it blow off as much stuff as you can, just make sure to hit it with a little sulfite (1/4 tsp) before you get started. Would be a good idea to check and adjust sulfite after you're done, of just add 1/8 tsp if you can't test.................
     
  8. Jun 26, 2019 #8

    cmason1957

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    When I had this issue with RC-212 (and last time I ever used that yeast) I tried the rough racking and everything under the sun. Reduless took out much of bad smell, but I was never happy with how that wine turned out. I hope you have a different outcome. One thing I never did was run it over saran wrap.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2019 #9

    joeswine

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    Natural degassing is the way to go,at least twice a day and once you back in you carboy just shake it hard with the air lock on twice a day.until the wine tells you your good to go you'll know when that is , just look at the foaming on top.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2019 #10

    Trevisan

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    Yeast produce H2S when under stress due to insufficient nutrients (nitrogen). I add Fermaid-O at the rate of 1 gram per gallon of must after the original Brix has decreased by one third. I homogenize the Fermaid in 100ml of warm water by placing it in a small jar with lid and shaking it vigorously, then gently stir it into the fermenter. I have done with kits as well as with freshly picked grapes. Never had H2S issues.
     
  11. Jun 28, 2019 #11

    dmguptill

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    My juice bucket with 212 gave off h2s. Could smell a little when fermentation was over, but several vacuum/spalsh/degass rackings with the AIO pretty much took care of the smell.
     
  12. Jun 28, 2019 #12

    Lwrightjs

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    I had the same issue with my RJS Super Tuscan when I swapped the yeasts.
    I was concerned but everything I read said it fades with time. I'm 7 weeks in now, and it smells fantastic.
     
  13. Jun 28, 2019 #13

    Bts

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    My very first batch of juice buckets I tried 212 on one. Even with nutrients it developed h2s, and I was too inexperienced to catch it early so it turned into mercaptans and disulfides. With help from the other members I tried basically everything. Ascorbic and Redulees made a pretty dramatic difference, and 2 years in the bottle helped a bit more. But it never recovered enough that I'd actually want to drink it, so I finally gave up and dumped it last week in preparation for a move. Moral of the story: sniff test frequently for the first couple weeks, address h2s problems ASAP and (arguably) stay the heck away from 212.
     
  14. Jun 28, 2019 #14

    Johnd

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    Sounds like a pretty rough ride, and an expensive lesson, though some fairness is due RC 212. It's a wonderful yeast with lots of good characteristics and is used successfully on a very regular basis. Wouldn't want anyone to be unduly afraid of it, nor discouraged from using it, one just needs be wary of the situation.

    With kits, nutrients are already on board, so a little boost is usually plenty to get the yeast across the goal line.

    With fresh grapes, there are usually lots of nutrients in the juice, skins and pulp, and moderate use of nutrients will normally get you home.

    With juice buckets, we may have our biggest challenge, no nutrients added by a manufacturer, no nutrients at all from skins or pulp (which have already been discarded), and this scenario requires the most attention. My propensity would be to give it a full dose of nutrients at onset of fermentation, and another at 50% sugar depletion, perhaps heavy handed, but safe.........
     
  15. Jun 28, 2019 #15

    ras2018

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    Interesting to read about H2S issues with RC212. I haven’t used it a lot, but when I have I haven’t ever added nutrients and all the wines turned out great. Was planning to use it on a Cabernet later this year, but now I’m nervous.
     
  16. Jul 6, 2019 #16

    Swedeman

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    EC Kraus has a simple suggestion on how to solve this:

    "The easiest way I have found to do this is to purchase copper brillo pads. Place a brillo pad in a funnel and pour the wine through it. You will notice that the brillo pad will start to corrode very quickly. This is from the reaction we are seeking. If the brillo pad starts to look spent, then feel free to put another one in its place. "

    https://blog.eckraus.com/sulfur-smell-in-fermenting-wine
     
  17. Jul 6, 2019 #17

    cmason1957

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    Please don't do this. Yes, copper is what is used to remove the sulfur outdoor, but using Bello pads, copper pipes or any other copper thing looks an unknown amount of copper into your wine and copper is toxic. Use either Reduless or predetermined amounts of Copper Sulfate (or is it Sulphite). Do bench trials to determine the smallest amount you can use.
     
  18. Jul 6, 2019 #18

    Johnd

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    He’s correct, copper does the trick, Reduless allows you to administer a safe dose, running your wine through or over copper exposes it to the risk of too much copper in your wine. Personally, I will select the controlled dosage option should I ever need copper.......
     
  19. Jul 7, 2019 #19

    sour_grapes

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    AAAck! Your source says "the brillo pad will start to corrode very quickly. This is from the reaction we are seeking." This is VERY wrong. The H2S is in your wine at ppm quantities. If the Brillo pad is corroding, guess what? It is NOT from the ppm H2S. It is the acidic wine dissolving the copper. This NOT the reaction we are seeking. Wine that had no H2S at all would also corrode the Brillo pad.
     
  20. Jul 7, 2019 #20

    George Burgin

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    I likely would have tried this. I even looked on Amazon for copper Brillo pads... Collective wisdom wins the day!
     

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