Splash racking needed? No Cuso2.

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WineYooper

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My blackberry is in the secondary now since the 9th. On checking it yesterday I removed the bung and airlock and was greeted by the old rotten eggs smell. This in the 5 gal carboy with a lot of head space, it is probably about 3 gals in here. I tried to lay a blanket of gas on top to minimize oxidation but maybe it's not working. I also got another 5 gal boy that's full. This is the first wine I made that gave off the smell in the primary and I thought it was weird at that time and now after reading threads it may have been caused by stressed yeast and I may not be able to save it. I used Lalvin 1116 on this with 36.5# berries, 6 tsp of nutrient, 3 tsp energizer, 6 kms tabs, yeast starter, 12.5# sugar, and transferred to secondary @ .994. It was low but I had a medical proceedure done the day before when it was probably 1.000, hope this wasn't the cause. Anyhow I am willing to try anything before dumping. I wanted to try splash racking but am unsure exactly how to do. I was thinking about siphoning off the lees from both bottles and then doing this. Do you do this by just pouring from bottle to bottle or will siphoning and letting the wine fall from top to bottom thru air and splashing accomplish this. Any help would be great and I may have to chalk this up to a lesson learned.
 

robie

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If you rack it, splash rack it by letting the wine splash against the side of the carboy and run down as a thin sheet. Let it set a few days and check it again. If it still smells, rack it again. See this url:

http://www.grapestompers.com/articles/hydrogen_sulfide.htm

Concerning oxygen, healthy yeast has two stages.
First stage is called aerobic or primary stage, which requires oxygen. During this stage, if the yeast become oxygen deprived, they can give off the rotten egg smell. That's why I never seal the lid on the fermentor during primary fermentation. I rest the lid on top or place a cloth covering over the fermentor to keep critters out.

On my first two kits I got that smell. Since then I have been stirring oxygen into the wine at least once a day for at least the first 3 or 4 days, and I haven't gotten that smell since. Some people seal their buckets on day one and never have this problem, but I would suspect their yeast is somewhat stressed, even if not to the point of giving off that smell. (IMO)

When the SG gets down to the point where instructions say it should be racked to a carboy, this is the start of the next stage - anaerobic or secondary stage (not to be confused with MLF), when oxygen is no longer necessary or helpful. That's one of the reasons why they have you move the wine to a carboy, where you can add a bung and air lock to prevent oxygen from entering.

The other possibility is that your yeast needed nutrients. Supposedly, the yeast supplied with the kit does not need nutrients, otherwise the kit maker would supply it (like Mosti Mondiale does with some kits).

With EC 1116, I would guess your issue was likely not enough oxygen. Of course a very high fermentation temperature, along with not enough oxygen, and a fast moving yeast like EC1116 can really cause this to happen.
 

WineYooper

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After reading and searching I decided to rack off the lees letting the wine fall onto the lower side as well and when the carboy was half full shake the heck out of it with a bung inserted then release the gas. There was quite alot bottled up and I had to do it slowly or a big blowout. I tried some after I finished the first round back to the original bottle and it seemed to help the taste, smell, and it did not seem to have the same extreme fizz. Maybe I just need some patience.
The original primary was done with the cover sitting on it and stirred/whisked twice a day till I racked it into secondary.
 

robie

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In each my cases of rotten egg smell, splash racking it only once took care of the problem.

What was the temperature of the must during fermentation? Sounds like maybe the yeast needed some nutrients... but really, I couldn't say why you got that smell at this point, anything I say would be purely a guess.

Even though most say it is not necessary for a kit, I have started using yeast nutrient on all my kits, just to make sure all is well. If the yeast get plenty of air and get nutrients, too, that smell just should never happen but who knows.

Thinking about it a little more, I am still suspecting that a very fast fermentation, due to high temperature also could cause this problem, but I am not sure.
 

Wade E

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Stir it with a pce of copper wire or a copper pipe for about 3 minutes and then splash rack it and sulfite it if it is due.
 

WineYooper

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The primary with a brew belt on was running around 77F. This all started yesterday because I am short a 5 gal carboy and needed to tranfer my first pee from the primary. That is a good thing and now I have splash racked the whole batch of blackberry and the pee is sitting in the secondary and has a pink lemonade look probably due to the blackberry slurry I used from the batch I am having issues with. The upside to all this is even with stuff going on with batches it keeps me reading and learning so down the road I will be better at brewing and will enjoy it even more. The blackberry I made last August is a little thin but with the flavor pack, sugar syrup, I added is really good right now and will have my first experience bottling soon.
 
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