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Old 02-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
RobWalker
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I made a very strong wine recently (more of a cocktail mixer in truth.) I've bottled the gallon into 5 bottles, which were washed thoroughly, sterlalized and labels removed.
I syphoned the wine into the bottles and sealed airtight, but when I'm 3/4 down a bottle, it seems to smell very strongly of vinegar? I've had to throw some out because of this.
What did I do wrong?

(the obvious solution is to always finish the bottle, of course)

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:38 PM   #2
Steelers77
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Did you add sulfites?
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
RobWalker
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I didn't, was I meant to?

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
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Yes you sould add sulfites to help it mature and to preserve it. Acetic bacteria works on the alcohol in the wine to turn it to vinegar so when you open a bottle without sulfites there is a possibility something is infecting it. We do this all the time with our red wine, but it is purposely done ( with a mother) to produce vinegar. Also when we make wine, (about 450 gallons) we go through a cold crash to precipitate tartaric acid, followed by sulfiting and oaking, and then another round of sulfiting. This may sound like a lot of sufite to some, but each addition is small, so the overall content is in the appropriate range.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:11 AM   #5
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It doesn't sound like it's infected to me- not if you open the bottle and it's fine. When do you start to notice a taste of vinegar? You said when 3/4 of a bottle is gone- but is that in 30 minutes or in several days? If it's in a day or two after opening, that's pretty common for the wine to taste "off" since it will have been oxidized and exposed to air. Oxidized wine tastes bad, but you might also have some possible bacterial contamination in an opened wine.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
RobWalker
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the unopened bottles are fine - we're using them as cocktail mixers and for ridiculous drinking games! heh.

Just want to know what to do for the next batch - are sulphites a common ingredient? there's a home brew store 5 mins down the road which I visit often. he stocks chemicals of all sorts, so should he stock them?

 
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobWalker View Post
the unopened bottles are fine - we're using them as cocktail mixers and for ridiculous drinking games! heh.

Just want to know what to do for the next batch - are sulphites a common ingredient? there's a home brew store 5 mins down the road which I visit often. he stocks chemicals of all sorts, so should he stock them?
Yes, they are very common. I use them in my wines, as a preservative and antioxidant. I know some winemakers prefer to not use them, though.

I use them fairly sparingly- one crushed campden per gallon of wine when the must is made up to kill any wild yeast and other microbes, and one crushed campden per gallon at every other racking and at bottling. It works well, and in a low dose they are below the taste threshold.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:11 PM   #8
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Yep, 1 tablet per gallon at bottling will go a long way to easing your worries.

 
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