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Rubber stopper affects taste of wine?

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Gwenakinyi

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I have a batch of wild cherry wine that is nearly complete. First and second rackings went great, fermentation was normal, nothing went wrong. At the time of the third racking (6 months after primary ferment) the wine tasted dreamy. Really fantastic. I racked into a new carboy with a new thoroughly washed and sterilized stopper, but the stopper had a rubber tire smell. Now, my wine is ready to bottle, and I can taste the rubber in the wine. The wine never came in contact with the stopper, but it seems as though the off-gassing of the stopper has affected the flavor. It's a crushing disappointment.

Has anyone else experienced this? Do I have any hope that the flavor will mellow or dissipate in the bottle?
 

Ajmassa

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Not sure any remedies. But that complaint is common. Rubber smell stays on stopper regardless of all the cleaning. And the reason many now use silicon, has no odor at all. Mostly anywhere hey sell rubber they also sell the silicon universal
 

AZMDTed

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Yep, I'm afraid that's not unusual. The good news is that in my experience it will go away. I think you can go ahead and bottle and be fine. I've noticed that my rubber bungs lose the smell after a while, but I've got five silicone airlock bungs now and really like them. Good luck.
 

Johnd

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I've banned stinky rubber stoppers from my winemaking. As Ted experienced, the smell goes away, but were it me, I'd not bottle until it was gone.
 

JohnT

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I have been using rubber stoppers for 25 years and have never had a problem.

Are you sure that it was the stopper and not latent H2S issues? Could it be that the still active yeast in your wine with lack of nutrition be at fault?

I suggest you do a bench trial. Get a couple of pennies (1982 or older**), scour them, and add them to a sample of your wine. Swirl the wine for 5 minutes or so, then compare the sample to the wine that was not treated. Was there an improvement? If so, then you issue is most likely H2S related.

** pennies minted in 1982 and earlier are composed of 95% copper. Pennies minted after 1982 are almost entirely made of zinc with a very thin copper coating.
 

vacuumpumpman

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I agree with JohnT.^^

I just Googled, wine smells and taste like rubber and or tires. Most everyone mentions H2S issues.

I woukd imagine that you are using a food grade stopper, not a black one
 

Johny99

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I have been using rubber stoppers for 25 years and have never had a problem.

Are you sure that it was the stopper and not latent H2S issues? Was there an improvement? If so, then you issue is most likely H2S related.

** pennies minted in 1982 and earlier are composed of 95% copper. Pennies minted after 1982 are almost entirely made of zinc with a very thin copper coating.
A bit of copper electrical wiring works as well. Easier to find than pre82 pennies. Twist about 12 inches and pour the wine over it into another carboy. Tedious yes, but amazing how it can cure a small volume H2S problem.

OTH, if it is a black stopper, that is the culprit.
 

vacuumpumpman

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A bit of copper electrical wiring works as well. Easier to find than pre82 pennies. Twist about 12 inches and pour the wine over it into another carboy. Tedious yes, but amazing how it can cure a small volume H2S problem.

OTH, if it is a black stopper, that is the culprit.
Or - you can use a 3/8'' copper tubing and use it as your transfer tube or racking cane -

unless it is the black stopper
 

SteveH

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I am really curious about this "rubber smell" I'm a rookie and have some 1 gallon batches that have bulk aged about a year in glass with a stopper and airlock filled with vodka that I want to bottle. I am noticing the smell and taste of the airlock stopper (white/beige rubber). Not a burnt rubber smell or taste and I doubt H2S issues (?). It's the identical smell of the airlock. Identical. Above some say it will go away in time. How long? Will it go away in the bottle? I bottled a six gallon batch of Vidal and noticed it too. It's hard to do bench trials for back sweetening when you've got the airlock smell & taste. Silicone stoppers sound like an answer but where do you get them and how come almost all wine making supply sites don't have them? I also read some frightening reviews about them not keeping air out and ruining wine, but now I can't find that site agin.
 

Johnd

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