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Old 02-22-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
hansonian
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Default First attempt with wine is moldy

I bought a kit from the local homebrew store to make wine. I followed the directions, even had the missus double check things. We let the wine stay in the primary fermentor for a week per the instructions and when we opened it up we had what looks to be mold floating around on top.



The mold was only on the top of the liquid and not suspended in it. The top layer of "wine" was definitely a different viscosity then the rest of the "wine".

Not what I was expecting to say the least. After some standing around scratching our heads we decided it was probably due to something not being as clean as it needed to be. What I don't know, we spent extra time making sure it was as good as could be.

We siphoned the wine into a newly cleaned glass carboy, topped it up and put it away to rest. It's been 3 days and I've noticed we have some very small "mold spores" starting to form on the top of the wine in the carboy. Which leads to my questions. What can I do, if anything, to save this? What could have caused this? Is this normal and I'm just overreacting?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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Old 02-22-2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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What kind of kit? What is the debris floating in the wine? Oak? It looks like pine needles.
What was your sanitization process?
Is this a kit with grapes/skins or just juice? (generally when you have skins/grapes in a kit they will float from co2 gassing off and the skins must be punched down multiple times per day to ensure the skins stay wet and are free of mold.
Lastly, what yeast was used? Doesn't look like very much of a ferment going on after a week... Active fermentation and the co2 blanket generated by it will usually do a good job of inhibiting mold growth.
Need to know more about your process and the starting ingredients/kit to provide good feedback.


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Old 02-22-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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There are oak bits floating in the wine, it was with the kit.

To sanitize everything I used 3 tablespoons metabisulphite dissolved in a gallon of water that I dipped/rinsed everything with. I did let somethings dry off for a little bit on a clean towel.

The only ingredients I added in this step were a half gallon of warm water into which I stirred a package of bentonite (per the instructions) and the actual liquid juice that came with the kit.

I did my best to follow the instructions to a tee, just so I could eliminate any user error, apparently I missed something.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:27 AM   #4
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Does it smell like it has been fermenting?
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonian View Post
There are oak bits floating in the wine, it was with the kit.

To sanitize everything I used 3 tablespoons metabisulphite dissolved in a gallon of water that I dipped/rinsed everything with. I did let somethings dry off for a little bit on a clean towel.

The only ingredients I added in this step were a half gallon of warm water into which I stirred a package of bentonite (per the instructions) and the actual liquid juice that came with the kit.

I did my best to follow the instructions to a tee, just so I could eliminate any user error, apparently I missed something.
So you added bentonite and water but no yeast?
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:49 AM   #6
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Can you tell us the kit specifically? Was this a bucket of fresh juice?
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlus View Post
So you added bentonite and water but no yeast?
That is correct. The instructions say to add the yeast after it's been in the secondary fermentor for 10 days.

The kit was from winexpert.com/products/premium/selection-original-series, it was one of their cabernet sauvignon styles. It's basically a box that includes a bag of juice and some packets of ingredients.

What would fermenting spell like? I currently have it in a 6 gallon glass carboy with a airlock on the top. Over the course of 3 days the airlock looks like it's built up pressure and released it, so I'm assuming some fermenting is going on unless something else causes gases to build up.

I really appreciate all the insight on this.

Reason: Added more information.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #8
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Re-read the instructions. The day 10 addition is probably k-meta, not yeast. The wineexpert kits usually come with EC-1118 yeast intended to be added at the time of reconstituting the juice with the appropriate amount of water. Ec-1118 is a pretty reliable fermenter usually kicking off pretty vigorously within 48 hours.

I am not sure this kit is salvagable at this point, I fear the unprotected juice has spoiled and oxidized to a degree that even if you could ferment it the end results not not be ideal.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonian View Post
That is correct. The instructions say to add the yeast after it's been in the secondary fermentor for 10 days.

The kit was from winexpert.com/products/premium/selection-original-series, it was one of their cabernet sauvignon styles. It's basically a box that includes a bag of juice and some packets of ingredients.

What would fermenting spell like? I currently have it in a 6 gallon glass carboy with a airlock on the top. Over the course of 3 days the airlock looks like it's built up pressure and released it, so I'm assuming some fermenting is going on unless something else causes gases to build up.

I really appreciate all the insight on this.
Winexpert has you add the yeast the same day you mix up the ingredients. I think you totally misunderstood the instructions here.

Right now, I'd add 10 crushed campden tablets, dissolved in some water and see if that kills the mold. If it does, we'll have you repitch the yeast.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:20 AM   #10
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I'm re-reading the instructions and it clearly states that the yeast is added after the primary fermentation and the secondary fermentation is complete.

Now to be honest, I did just notice that it says to insert the airlock after the yeast is added, I currently have it in before the yeast. Would this cause a issue?

With the exception of putting the airlock on ahead of time I don't see anything in the instructions that I haven't followed.


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