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Old 08-29-2012, 04:25 AM   #1
Onimaru
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Default Banana wine - white film on top, any ideas?

Was wondering if someone could give me an answer or at least a good guess about what is going on with my banana wine. It's been through primary and has been racked twice. It was pretty clear and was set aside to age, Then I noticed what appeared to be a thin white oily looking film across the top of the wine in the carboy.

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Old 08-29-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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Yea I have the same thing with my bragot right now. I racked it and all was looking great for bulk aging and the oily white film started. I did not Camden and sorbate after racking so hope I/we dont have an infection of some sort and just hope it is oils separating. Hope someone with some experience steps in.

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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The oiliness could potentially indicate a strain of the lactic acid bacteria.
One problem with banana wine is that in the process of letting the bananas get brown (to convert more starch to sugar) if you over-do the ‘ripening’, you can end up with residual bacteria. Decomposing plant material is a primary source for lactic acid bacteria. Particularly if your wine tastes oddly "acidic" this might be the case.

Did you use metabisulfite? Because banana wine often has a high’ish pH unless adjusted ... unadjusted about 3.8 to 4.1 or so, you should insure an adequate sulfite dose to obtain an adequate amount of free SO2.

In any regard whether lactic acid bacteria or any other spoilage activity, I’d carefully siphon into a new carboy/jug, avoiding the film on top and any sediment. Make sure there is minimal headspace. And I’d hit is with a slightly stronger than normal dose of sulfites.

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:37 AM   #4
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I found this thread with good old google. It made me feel a lot better. I am just going to rack for the second time and treat with camden/sorbate and go from there:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/thin-white-film-floating-secondary-49591/

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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It isn't really oily that is just the way I would describe the films appearance, what I mean by that is the way it's settled on top looks very much like how oil looks when it is suspended on top of a liquid. I would add pictures but I haven't been able to put any on here for some reason.

I had the bananas cut into slices and frozen for several weeks in my deep freezer, when I made the wine I put the bananas into a nylon straining bag and boiled them for about 30 mins, Most of the bananas had browned but not overly ripened as you could still see the yellow color of the fruit.

I picked up the carboy the other day to inspect it and the film on top started to fall to the bottom and looked like little white flakes.

To be honest I'm not overly concerned with saving the wine as bananas are cheap and this is my first attempt at making banana wine. I'm mostly concerned with finding out what is going on so as to know whether it is a bad thing and how to avoid it in the future.

I've been using camden tablets (crushing them up 1 per gallon) and adding them to the must 12 hours before pitching the yeast. Haven't done anything with PH however since I don't have a tester and really don't know much about PH yet as far as winemaking is concerned. I only recently found out about the importance of PH so I guess I need to do some more reading.

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onimaru
It isn't really oily that is just the way I would describe the films appearance, what I mean by that is the way it's settled on top looks very much like how oil looks when it is suspended on top of a liquid. I would add pictures but I haven't been able to put any on here for some reason.

I had the bananas cut into slices and frozen for several weeks in my deep freezer, when I made the wine I put the bananas into a nylon straining bag and boiled them for about 30 mins, Most of the bananas had browned but not overly ripened as you could still see the yellow color of the fruit.

I picked up the carboy the other day to inspect it and the film on top started to fall to the bottom and looked like little white flakes.

To be honest I'm not overly concerned with saving the wine as bananas are cheap and this is my first attempt at making banana wine. I'm mostly concerned with finding out what is going on so as to know whether it is a bad thing and how to avoid it in the future.

I've been using camden tablets (crushing them up 1 per gallon) and adding them to the must 12 hours before pitching the yeast. Haven't done anything with PH however since I don't have a tester and really don't know much about PH yet as far as winemaking is concerned. I only recently found out about the importance of PH so I guess I need to do some more reading.
Did you add any acid blend when the wine was started?
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
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if it looks like slime then yes you have a problem, use campden now and you might be able to save it. pictures would help too but i know what you are talking about, it is probably bacteria.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
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Yes I added acid blend to the must before I pitched the yeast.

It doesn't look like slime, It's hard to describe I wish I could get some pics up
To be honest I don't know how it could have got an infection, everything was sanitized with bleach and the fruit was boiled long enough that nothing should have been able to have survived long enough to make it into the primary. The other thing that makes me wonder is that the other batches I started at the same haven't had any problems and they're all aging quite nicely, they've cleared up really well and I haven't had any problems with them, It just seems to be the banana that's got an issue.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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My guess is that you have some headspace? If you do, that is the problem. Oxygen allows mold/bacteria/etc to take hold.

Keep your wines topped up at all times, once primary fermentation ends and use campden tablets (one per gallon) at every other racking to discourage stray wild yeast and bacteria to gain a foothold.

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Old 09-26-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Makes sense I have been leaving headspace, Do you think the wine is ruined then?

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