smell during fermentation?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Jan 4, 2009
Reaction score
We just started our first wine (merlot) from a kit. It is now day 4 and we have been away for the last two days. When we came home our house had a bad smell - sort of like juice gone bad. Is this normal?
Maybe. Can you give a better description of the smell?

Is there any sign of fermentation? Bubbles, foam? Can you take a hydrometer/specific gravity reading?

Also which of the thousands of merlot kits are you making? Do you know which yeast brand came with the kit?

As far as yeast go Its either Premier Cuvee or EC-1118 cause those are the only 1's that come with kits Im pretty sure. What was the temp in the room also. Most people just starting into wine making dont like the smell and s=ask this same question. My wife still cant stand the smell of my wines fermenting.
It was a Vinters Reserve wine kit - I'm not sure what kind of yeast I already threw the packet away.
It is bubbling so I am assuming it is fermenting.
My best description of the smell: we thought it was our turtles' water tub at first - like an algae turtle water smell. Our house isn't very big and it was noticeable right when we walked through the door
Its about 68 degrees in the house
Can I open the bucket to take a hydrometer reading?
Thanks for responding so quickly!
You can, just sanitize everything that goes into your wine, even that hydrometer your going to put in right about...................................NOW!:) As far as the smell I can almost guaranty that it is fine and that you just expected something sweet r or different, remember making wine is basically a juice going bad.
ask this same question.

what would be good is to take all the most Frequently questions and make what is know as a sticky post that will stay at the top of the beginner forum. that way you don't fell like a broken record lol.:D
I remember the first time I smelled fermentation happening in my wine.... I thought what the h*** is that smell? Now I say = ummm wine ah working !!! lol
I have my primary in the living room. I love the smell. In fact I put a little must in a spray bottle and us it as cologne :D
i'm purly making wine for other people to drink....i really dont need alcohol.

i'm so sweet that i just eat a packet of yeast and after a couple days i'm drunk for a couple weeks. its great.
Yea my wine kinda smells like vinegar, but this is my first time and its only been fermenting now for a week and half or two weeks. I guess that's cause my neighbors wine smelt the same way but he is kinda naturally a Dumb*** so just checking here to see if its still good.