Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 19-09-2005, 07:51 AM
Adam Preble
 
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Default Oxidation reduction

I've become a more proficient taster since I've starting the hobbies of
winemaking and homebrewing. Awhile back, I made a batch of Chilean
Merlot from a kit. I've since decided the wine had oxidized noticeably,
although it's still quite drinkable. I also tried making white wine
from Jack Keller's recipe, although I added more grape juice in the
middle of secondary in order to get something strong and fizzy. This
tasted oxidized too, but I had a lot going on there. I wanted to make
sure my taste is on, and then figure out what to do to save my butt from
this happening again.

The reason I think it was oxidized is due to washing with some vinegar.
The wine certainly didn't taste like vinegar, but in diluted amounts
the presence was about right. The smell of the wine takes on the smell
of, say, a tablespoon of vinegar in a small pot. I was washing
something peculiar out of a pot using some vinegar and I caught a wiff
of it. The smell was familiar and I figured out it was from the wine I
made.

I have glass carboys and a manual pump for racking. I can't recall what
procedure I followed when I racked from primary to secondary.
Specifically, I can't remember if I let the must plop out from the top
of the carboy. I know now that's a big no-no, and I had experience
doing this with beer later--it had made me nervous.

I think bottling is where I'm more concerned. The procedure we followed
for the wine was to fill all the bottles until the carboy was empty, and
then cork. I'm trying to think of an alternative arrangement where I
could lightly tap corks in as I go, preventing the bottles from being
open to the wild for long.

My impression has been that the wine oxidized quicker than I would have
expected, and I want to make sure that a second batch isn't so vulnerable.

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Old 19-09-2005, 11:34 AM
Joe Sallustio
 
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Default

It was not from corking, I do them all at once too. I fill bottles
with the siphon tube completely submerged.

Oxidation and vinegar infection are not the same thing.

Did you use citric acid to bump up the acid pre ferment? That can
cause increased amounts of vinegar.

You need the presence of vinegar (usually) to get that type of
infection. Don't do anything with 'live' vinegar near wine.

Were these real corks and are you sure you did not have a corky bottle
rather than a vinegar problem? Corkiness is more of a musty, woody
taste but it can be a horrid smell too... I really hate it when that
happens. All that work for nothing.

Joe

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Old 19-09-2005, 02:50 PM
Adam Preble
 
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Default

Joe Sallustio wrote:
It was not from corking, I do them all at once too. I fill bottles
with the siphon tube completely submerged.

Oxidation and vinegar infection are not the same thing.


I was told they were rather similar at one point. This is nice to know,
since I was trying to reconcile "cardboard-like" with "vinegar-like."


Did you use citric acid to bump up the acid pre ferment? That can
cause increased amounts of vinegar.


This was from a kit. There were some additives but I wouldn't be able
to tell you if there was citric acid. The kit's long gone anyway so I
wouldn't be able to tell.

You need the presence of vinegar (usually) to get that type of
infection. Don't do anything with 'live' vinegar near wine.


I was doing this at a friend's house, who didn't have a drop in vinegar
in that place, nor for the half year he had lived there. But by "live"
do you mean making vinegar?

Were these real corks and are you sure you did not have a corky bottle
rather than a vinegar problem? Corkiness is more of a musty, woody
taste but it can be a horrid smell too... I really hate it when that
happens. All that work for nothing.


They were real corks. I don't have an association to cork when I taste
the wine. Some oak chips came with the kit to try to impart the flavor
of aging in a barrel. As far as taste, I can't tell that is there.


Joe

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Old 19-09-2005, 03:43 PM
Droopy
 
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You are a brewer right? I believe I have seen your posts on rcb.

I think you are oxidation paranoid. As long as your sulfite levels are
ok, your wine will be ok.

First, get rid of the autosiphon for racking. Instead fill a racking
cane with sulfite solution, and use that to start the siphon. Second,
make sure your carboys are all topped up like to 1/2 an inch fromteh
top. And Finally make sure you have enough sulfite. Get a test kit if
yo have to.

Anyway, a vinegar smell is not oxidation. It is vinegar. That is
easily formed in wine by one of the organisms that can actually survive
in wine, acetobacter. It is caused by not keepig your carboys topped
up and letting the bugs have too much access to air.

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Old 19-09-2005, 08:26 PM
Ray Calvert
 
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Default

Vinegar and oxidation have nothing in common other than for a wine to turn
to vinegar it must have contact with air. The vinegar requires it. That
said, do not use vinegar for anything near your wine.

I think you are going to have to look elsewhere for your taste problem.

Ray

"Adam Preble" wrote in message
...
I've become a more proficient taster since I've starting the hobbies of
winemaking and homebrewing. Awhile back, I made a batch of Chilean Merlot
from a kit. I've since decided the wine had oxidized noticeably, although
it's still quite drinkable. I also tried making white wine from Jack
Keller's recipe, although I added more grape juice in the middle of
secondary in order to get something strong and fizzy. This tasted
oxidized too, but I had a lot going on there. I wanted to make sure my
taste is on, and then figure out what to do to save my butt from this
happening again.

The reason I think it was oxidized is due to washing with some vinegar.
The wine certainly didn't taste like vinegar, but in diluted amounts the
presence was about right. The smell of the wine takes on the smell of,
say, a tablespoon of vinegar in a small pot. I was washing something
peculiar out of a pot using some vinegar and I caught a wiff of it. The
smell was familiar and I figured out it was from the wine I made.

I have glass carboys and a manual pump for racking. I can't recall what
procedure I followed when I racked from primary to secondary.
Specifically, I can't remember if I let the must plop out from the top of
the carboy. I know now that's a big no-no, and I had experience doing
this with beer later--it had made me nervous.

I think bottling is where I'm more concerned. The procedure we followed
for the wine was to fill all the bottles until the carboy was empty, and
then cork. I'm trying to think of an alternative arrangement where I
could lightly tap corks in as I go, preventing the bottles from being open
to the wild for long.

My impression has been that the wine oxidized quicker than I would have
expected, and I want to make sure that a second batch isn't so vulnerable.





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Old 20-09-2005, 04:02 PM
Ben Rotter
 
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Default

Adam,

As others have pointed out, oxidation is different to acetification. To
really experience oxidation, take some commercial wine of decent
quality and leave some out in a glass overnight. The aroma should then
smell oxidised (i.e., acetaldehyde, like a Sherry). This is clearly
different to the smell of vinegar (e.g. ethyl acetate, like in nail
polish).

As for bottling: if you are not bottling under protective atmosphere
(i.e., your wine is exposed to air during bottling) then the primary
source of oxygen uptake is through contact with air during *transfer*,
not during the time while the wine is in bottle and waiting to be
corked. Even bottling with O2 exposure shouldn't cause oxidation to the
equivalent of the glass left out overnight, however. I would recommend
you check you SO2 levels and ensure in future that they are sufficient,
and be sure that your wine is not exposed to air significantly during
storage (e.g. the bung popping out of your carboy).

HTH,
Ben

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Old 27-09-2005, 10:37 PM
Joe Sallustio
 
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Default

Ok. You have some good leads in other posts but if it smells like
vinegar I guess it is. I don't know how it got infected though. As to
oxidation, another test is to check the shoulders of the wine in a
slanted glass, the perimeter should be clear and you should not see any
brown anywhere. Browning is an indication of oxidation.

Most store bought vinegar is dead, it was pastuerized. Live vinegar is
infected with a culture of acetobacter, it can grow more vinegar.

Joe



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