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Old 03-17-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default Skeeter Pee Gone Bad?

My "re-entry" beer turned out great (any reference to "my" generally refers to my brewing partner and I - unless mistakes were made and those are probably mine). My Apfelwine turned out great (still aging). I have a couple small batches of Cyser I made that seem to be coming along well - made these from grocery-store ingredients to "just do something". My show mead is bulk-aging and has that "glow" only a mead maker will appreciate. These successes make me believe I did not forget everything I learned before my sabbatical. My Skeeter Pee ... well ...

This sounds like a stupid question but has anyone got the sh*ts from wine that was high in hydrogen sulfide?

I wanted to make both the Apfelwine and the SP and it seemed like a good match using the cake from the Apfelwine for the SP. The SP ferment went gangbusters and was dry in a week. I whisked it three days in a row, skipped a day, then added the second round of nutrients when it was a little past the target of 1.050; maybe 1.040? It was racked and degassed (by swirling in the 6 gal carboy with an airlock till nothing else came out) after it was dry which was a total of about a week. At that time sparkaloid was added and it was put in the fridge to clear.

Yesterday (a week into the secondary, two weeks total) it was clear and I had time so I made a simple syrup with the 6 cups of sugar for sweetening, added kmet and kbenz, and the syrup as I racked into a keg. Everything not mentioned was done exactly according to the recipe. Of course I had to try some. I put about 4 ounces over some ice cubes off to the side as I finished. After clean up I sat down to try out this creation.

Color was a pale yellow, clarity was excellent. No carbonation of course. Aroma, well, yeah. Sulfurous hell! Okay maybe not that bad but too much to call good. And as I mentioned coincidentally or not I developed a splitting headache last night and had the sh*ts this morning something fierce. What I ate for dinner may have caused the GI "imbalance" and I have been nursing sinusitis so it could all be a coincidence. Was it? Is it possible to have this reaction from a wine that's this high in H2S? I know it can cause headaches but I fail to see how the small amount present in this could possibly be causal.

The taste was great. Very "clean" once you get past the sulfur, acidity and sugar in balance. I could definitely feel the etoh but it was not a hot drink. The smell is all that makes this a not good batch.

I get that Montrachet is a high H2S producer, but I'm reasonably sure that it makes a wine that's palatable because folks use it. Was my technique flawed? Is there a better yeast choice for this for my skill level at wines? Maybe 71B? Or do I just need to learn to do wine better?

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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Honestly it sounds like you did everything right and I don't know what to tell ya...that being said I've only ever made SP with EC1118, or as I like to call it the 'bulldozer'.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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I'm going to try to carbonate and degas a few times (it's in a keg) and see if that helps.

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