Sat way too long! I NEED THIS FORUMS HELP!

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Ajmassa

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Sorry for the long post. I just didn't want to leave anything out that would affect your advice. I'm optimistic to hear any thoughts or comments.
Surprisingly google is just not enough for me right now. And I need your advice so I don't accidentally waste my 15 gallon batch. Alicante:Muscat 2:1.
I am brand new to this forum. I just joined because of my current situation. ThoughI know I won't be going anywhere any time soon.
I have been making wine my entire life with my father, using a local supplier here in Philly. Though He's getting kind of old and just does what he does without knowing why or what, meaning there is no guidance or direction for me to benefit from. And this is the 2nd year I've done it myself with no help other than internet research. The first time being a 5 gal Carboy straight cab sav which came out great.
I went with the 15 gal demijon now. And went for our traditional Red. x2 Alicante 5 gal bucket to x1 Muscat 5 gal bucket.
**Last October was when the juice was purchased. Everything was done correct, and by June, and after a couple rackings, my wine tasted very good, but cloudy. I did some research and added a sludge mix of speedy bentonite, rationed as directed. Results were not immense, but gave me a clearer product nonetheless. At this point I should have bottled. I did not. I contemplated different ways to clear it. And also I never found the time to sanitize all my bottles, which can be a process. Things in life which take priority over my wine forced me to let it sit. Though, during the entire summer we "dipped"
into the batch filling up bottles to drink as needed. **
****By the end of the summer I left an unacceptable amount of air space in my demijon (estimating about 11-13 gallons remaining) with my rubber stopper with airlock in place throughout. It is at this point I noticed a musky scent and a slight film covering a decent portion at the top. It tasted less than perfect, which had me filled with regret, thinking my batch was ruined. ****
Now thinking I need to dump it and start fresh, I have been waiting for an opportunity to get rid of it. When I finally went to dump it, I took one last inspection and I was surprised at what I found. My wine does not taste rancid or spoiled, still has decent color and clarity, and the smell is just slightly off. The film on the top however is still substantial and even looks to have a small "grainy-like substance forming as well.
**Is my batch ruined from too much air space?**
** can I run it through another speedy bentonite process and racking and hope for the best ??**
Or
Is there some other process or chemical that I am unaware of that would serve me better than bentonite??

Please know any type of advice would would be greatly appreciated. It has been damn near impossible to google what to do with such detailed specifics involved.
Regretfully yours,
Andrew
 
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Julie

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Have you been racking and adding potassium sulfites to it every three months? I would rack it off that sludge and add sulfites now. I think it can be saved
 

ibglowin

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You (already) know what you did was wrong. Stealing 2-3 gallons of wine a little at a time and sticking a stopper in it is a recipe for disaster. You didn't mention any addition of Sulfite either. Another recipe for disaster. Sounds like you have a bad case of mycoderma aka "flowers of wine". You need to rack off the crap on top, rack down to a proper sized vessel then hit it hard with Sulfite.
 

dralarms

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The experts have spoken. Good advice here. Welcome to WMT
 

Ajmassa

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That is exactly what I needed. Some tough love. I know some, enough to handle business when everything goes by the book. But not nearly enough to troubleshoot on my own. I Will definitely learn from this experience.
And maybe in 10 years I can reference this situation while hopefully giving out my own advice. Thank you for your responses and making me feel welcome.
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum!

Looks like you've already gotten some sound advice.
 

SBWs

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Look up Polyclar 10 it just might help after you do all of the other things.
 

Ajmassa

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Thanks a lot guys. I will definitely give you an update when I finish this process that has been suggested. And will no doubt look into Polyclar 10 (trying to be a sponge and taking as much info as I can handle)
Stressbaby I appreciate your comment as well. Basic winemaking has been in my family for as many generations as we know about. (and even took a trip to visit family years ago in Italy who also made their own) And ever since I was old enough to have memories, the smell of homemade wine fermenting has been a constant in every single basement over the years.
So with none of my brothers getting into it (aside from constantly asking when the batch will be ready) and my father getting older and scaling down, I felt t like I almost didn't have a choice but to keep it going.
So now when I walked out into my basement and smell that aroma I get a comfortable familiar feeling. (Until it smelled like $h** that is) .... I could talk all night. I'll keep you guys posted and let you know how I make out. Ciao!
 

garymc

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It is likely that as you siphon the wine out of the vessel, the stuff on the surface will be left clinging to the sides.
 

JohnT

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You definitely got good advice here.

I would rack it (syphon) into a smaller container that will result in minimal air space. I would also add k-meta and then try cold stabilization. I would then do as suggested if the wine has not cleared.
 

drainsurgeon

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Thanks for the story and welcome to the forum. Lots of good reading here if you're board. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy!
 

Ajmassa

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What do you suggest for filling air space within the vessel? My 15 ga. Demi Jon is too big now obviously. And I've read in the past that wine of similar style to top off would work, but I didn't want to do that for about 2.5 gallons.
I borrowed a few 5 ga. carboys, filtered through cheesecloth, filling 2, and I was left with the third halfway filled. I've also read in the past that I could use rocks. Like fish tank rocks, properly sanitized, to fill. Any thoughts?
 

Floandgary

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What do you suggest for filling air space within the vessel? My 15 ga. Demi Jon is too big now obviously. And I've read in the past that wine of similar style to top off would work, but I didn't want to do that for about 2.5 gallons.
I borrowed a few 5 ga. carboys, filtered through cheesecloth, filling 2, and I was left with the third halfway filled. I've also read in the past that I could use rocks. Like fish tank rocks, properly sanitized, to fill. Any thoughts?
Put the rocks in the driveway!!!!! Get a couple of 1 gallon jugs and fill to the neck. Always easier than trying to fill your carboys with junk:ft
 

Ajmassa

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First off, let me just say that this is brutal. Figuring pH levels, and sO2 and free sO2, and math conversions, and 10% solutions down to the mL. And not having a damn laboratory to do all this. And trying to make the filter process work with just gravity! And all the damn filters needed. And knowing when to add what. How long to let it sit. When to add the polyclar, and how much, and how long, and do I filter again? Trying to be patient. this is becoming work. Not to mention sanitizing everything is just as much work. I need a proper space. And more hours in the day. !!!!!!
 

jpftribe

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First off, let me just say that this is brutal. Figuring pH levels, and sO2 and free sO2, and math conversions, and 10% solutions down to the mL. And not having a damn laboratory to do all this. And trying to make the filter process work with just gravity! And all the damn filters needed. And knowing when to add what. How long to let it sit. When to add the polyclar, and how much, and how long, and do I filter again? Trying to be patient. this is becoming work. Not to mention sanitizing everything is just as much work. I need a proper space. And more hours in the day. !!!!!!
Oh Bother (in my best Winnie the Pooh).

Ferment it, rack it, clear it, rack it. Let it sit for months and months and months. Bottle, let sit for months and months and months.

Drink!
 

Ajmassa

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**Ok here's and update**

Jpftribe, I don't think I would be comfortable giving out bottles of wine that I know had some serious bacterial growth going on and only racked and cleared to remedy. I did not post any pictures of the mycaoderma almost out of embarrassment.
If there some much-needed advice from this for I hit my batch with 35 mL sulfite 10% solution right away (estimating at about 13 gallons remaining)
I didn't filter through a plate filter into 5 ga. Carboys with 2-7 micron pads (very tedious work without a pump) and cleared up nicely.
Still plan on filtering through 1-4 micron pads, adding polyclar 10, and then a final filter through the .5 pads.
I start to get lost with all the science involved. But I did take as many readings as I could.
Free so2 at 23
pH at 3.5
14 % alcohol
And the acid test came in at .7%-.85% roughly
I'm now I'm at the point where I'm figuring out what to do based on these numbers.
 

Ajmassa

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* after some much needed advice from this forum**
** I then filtered through a plate filter**
Sorry for the typos. I did voice to text while driving. No judgments please. ImageUploadedByWine Making1478728023.457514.jpg
ImageUploadedByWine Making1478728058.006483.jpg
 

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