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Vomit-like acidic taste...butyric acid?

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Landwaster

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A month or so ago we noticed that a few of the carboy airlocks had completely evaporated. Yesterday we went through all 10 carboys in preparation for bottling soon. We discovered that two (from different juice buckets) have this hint of vomit-like acidity. It's just enough to make them undrinkable. I did a quick search and the only thing I could find is that it could be butyric acid, which might be produced by a bacteria. That would lead me to believe that the two carboys had been contaminated when the airlocks dried up.

On a beer forum it's mentioned that brettamyces converts it into other more palatable substances, but obviously that's not a option in wine. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there.

Anyone have any ideas? I'll probably just let these two carboys sit for a while and see what happens.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Landwaster, I am responding with my ignorance flying high: I would have thought that the bacteria responsible for the production of butyric acid would not have survived in a solution with pH levels close to where you would expect a wine must (about 3.5 or thereabouts). I wonder whether the bacteria might have been present in the fruit and that for some reason or other you provided the environment these bugs needed to do their dirty.. http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Butyric_Acid
 

Landwaster

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Hi Landwaster, I am responding with my ignorance flying high: I would have thought that the bacteria responsible for the production of butyric acid would not have survived in a solution with pH levels close to where you would expect a wine must (about 3.5 or thereabouts). I wonder whether the bacteria might have been present in the fruit and that for some reason or other you provided the environment these bugs needed to do their dirty.. http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Butyric_Acid
That's what I've read as well. The only confusing thing is that the two juice buckets are different grape varieties. Though I suppose there could have been cross-contamination since they came from the same brand and bought at the same time. But the conditions in my basement were pretty warm and a little humid last month before I bought a dehumidifier.
 
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