Wine throws a sediment after stabilizing and sweetening?

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Bliorg

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Hi all -

So the berry/dragon fruit wine I've been working on, which has had sulfide issues since the second racking (but that I seem to be on the good side of now) was ready for sweetening this week. Wine was totally clear in the carboy. Racked to a bucket (about 6 gallons total), added in 3 teaspoons of sorbate dissolved in maybe a cup of cold water, and also about 1/8 teaspoon K-meta in cold water. Stirred for maybe 3 minutes. Did some taste testing, decided on a low dose of sugar. Added to bucket and stirred thoroughly to dissolve (about 5 minutes), which is my normal protocol. Racked to a clean carboy and airlocked it. Everything was clean and sanitized before using. Walk away from it.

Come back the next evening. Wine is clearly hazy and cloudy. Fine, whitish sediment is starting to settle out. Shine a light though the carboy and can clearly see fairly good sized particulate suspended in the wine. No signs of fermentation going on at all. Have been watching it all week. Wine is clearing fine, but what the heck caused the sediment in the first place?

I'm at a loss. The wine was treated with a low-ish dose of Reduless to combat the sulfide. Immediately fined with SuperKleer after the Reduless to help ensure all the Reduless was removed. Had haze issues after that. Dosed with pectic enzyme first, no help, then fined with a middling dose of bentonite, which cleared the haze. Racked twice since then before this latest episode. Current plan is to let the wine clear completely, then open it up and taste it. If all seems well enough, rack it off the sediment, run it through #1 and #2 Minijet filters, bottle, and hope for the best.

Anyone ever see something like this - sediment forming on stabilizing? New one for me.
 

heatherd

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It is likely gas. Had that happen on a few of my batches after stabilizing.
 

Bliorg

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It is likely gas. Had that happen on a few of my batches after stabilizing.
As in the haziness is just entrained gas? I'm thinking not:
Hmm... by Scott, on Flickr

I was kind of thinking that at first because of all the agitation dissolving the sugar, but there's definite sediment dropping out.

It's almost clear now. Will probably let it sit until next weekend then taste it, etc. Hoping all is still well with this...
 

heatherd

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As in the haziness is just entrained gas? I'm thinking not:
Hmm... by Scott, on Flickr

I was kind of thinking that at first because of all the agitation dissolving the sugar, but there's definite sediment dropping out.

It's almost clear now. Will probably let it sit until next weekend then taste it, etc. Hoping all is still well with this...
Taste it - if it is "zippy" its gas. Might give it a good stir to get that all out, as wine won't clear if there's gas.
 

winemaker81

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@Bliorg, I agree, give the wine a good stir. This may not be the problem, but at least you can eliminate CO2 as a cause. After the next racking, let the wine set 2 weeks to see if you get more sediment. If not, your plan sounds good.
 

Bliorg

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Okay, so the wine cleared perfectly. Today was (supposed to be) bottling day. Racked it off the sediment into a bucket. Wine still clear. Filtered from the bucket to a 6.5 gallon BMB. Uh oh. Wine's cloudy again. Let it sit a bit, hoping that it's somehow entrained air from the filtration and will off gas a bit. Nope, got cloudier. To this point, I've degassed this wine for a total of about 20 minutes with a drill-mounted whip. So I figure it's degassed thoroughly, in addition to sitting in a carboy for 4.5 months and being racked a half dozen times. Figure what the hell, I'll try degassing again with the whip:

Gassy by Scott, on Flickr

What-the-everloving-crap? I've never had a wine this gassy. Clearly (ha ha) that's the root cause of all my clearing issues, as you kind folks suggested. I still can't fathom this much gas sitting around for so long. And I still don't know where the last bout of sediment came from in a wine that's been fined twice and was apparently cleared.

So, not bottling tonight. I'm going to go in cycles - degas until it foams this much, let sit and off-gas a bit, repeat. Going to be a long night. But I really want to get this stuff bottled. WAY over this.
 

winemaker81

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Degassing takes 3 minutes. Agitate the wine and it will normally degas. No clue what is happening, but more stirring is not the answer until more diagnosis.

What is your SG?
 

Bliorg

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Degassing takes 3 minutes. Agitate the wine and it will normally degas. No clue what is happening, but more stirring is not the answer until more diagnosis.

What is your SG?
Before sweetening, 0.990. After sorbate and sweetening, 0.998-ish.

You replied whilst I was beating up the wine s'more. Before I did this, in the space of 20 minutes, the wine had about 85% cleared.

I dunno. Still smells good, still tastes good, does not taste "zippy", though it never did.
 

winemaker81

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Before sweetening, 0.990. After sorbate and sweetening, 0.998-ish.
Weird! Wine is stable and clouded up after filtration? You have stumped me.

Give it a few days. Is it dropping sediment?

Given the smell & taste, the wine is probably fine. It appears you've found an unusual situation that defies normal diagnosis.

When I think I've seen everything, situations like this crop up. Good for me (keeps me on my toes), a bit nerve wracking for you.
 

Bliorg

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Bryan, this has been a huge PITA the whole way. Ferment was cool and controlled and the aromas were wonderful after primary. Then it started in with sulfide odors. Fought that for a good long while, had haze issues off and on, hit it with Reduless, fined it afterward to ensure any residual was gone. Threw another haze, tried pectic enzyme to no avail, then fined with bentonite. Crystal clear at this point. Sulfide issues kept coming and going. Repeated splash racking with metabisulfite dosing. Finally had gotten rid of the odors. Wine was clear. Tasted great. Stabilized with sorbate and sweetened just a bit. Then it threw a sediment. Let that clear, and we're to today. It seems to be clearing now after repeated degassing (I think three or four times at about 7-8 minutes each). I'm completely at a loss.
 

winemaker81

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@Bliorg, This is a weird one. My guess is the sulfide has something to do with it, but that's just a guess. It's the one out-of-the-ordinary thing I see in your situation.

At this point, aroma and taste are key. As long as it continue to smell/taste good, appearance is secondary. Give it a month in the carboy to see what happens. If it clears, rack off the sediment and bottle.
 

stickman

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I would give some time to ensure that fermentation hasn't started work on the residual sugar. Given what you've done so far this shouldn't be a problem, but the last thing you want to do is to put suspect wine into bottles.
 

Bliorg

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Well the wine is largely clear. Letting it go a bit to make sure. May rack it back to a 6 gallon carboy to minimize the headspace though. There’s been zero sign of refermentation so I’m not too worried about that, but the way things have gone, maybe I should be...
 

Bliorg

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So yesterday the wine was again about 85%+ cleared. A little bit of haze but could still read through it. Decided I'm going to let it sit a couple weeks anyway, but needed to be racked out of the BMB into something appropriately sized. Which in this case was a 5 gallon carboy, with the overflow going into a 1 gallon Fermonster. Racked it yesterday. Seemed fine. Got up this morning and it's cloudy again.

I'm very much opposed to bottling cloudy wine, and I'm not bottling this anytime soon, but for whatever reason, the act of siphoning this wine seems to kick off some cloudy cascade. I have no doubt that I'll let it sit a few weeks, it'll clear yet again, I'll bottle it, and the bottles will develop a haze overnight.
 

Bliorg

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Okay, really grasping at straws here, but I fined this with Reduless during the sulfide wars. I dosed at 3.6 g/6 gallons, or 0.6 g/gallon, which is the top of the range recommended by MoreWine. I looked on Lallemand's site, and this equates to a little more than 15g/HL. 15 g/HL is their maximum. So a strong dose, but not ridiculously out of range. I'm wondering now if, due to the chemistry of this wine in particular (damned dragon fruit) there's a propensity toward a haze caused by some level of residual copper.

Does anyone know how a copper casse behaves in wine?
 

stickman

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Normally copper casse doesn't appear until the oxygen from racking or bottling has been consumed, which often can take several weeks to 2 months. Copper casse is often brown or reddish brown as a deposit. On the other hand, iron or ferric casse will throw a haze a day or two after the wine comes into contact with oxygen. In your case, with all of the clarification steps completed, and without a subsequent high source of iron or copper, I doubt the risk of either of these issues is high.

The slight oxygen increase due to racking is possible to cause yeast to multiply and give a haze, but this shouldn't be a problem if your sulfite and sorbate levels are in range. Degassing the wine means that the solution is no longer saturated with CO2, therefore any slight fermentation will not cause visible bubbles actively rising until the wine becomes saturated with CO2 again.

Relax and give the wine some time to do what it's going to do, maybe taste along the way, and keep us updated.
 
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