Sour Taste on finish

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Gary910

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I have a Merlot (from frozen grapes) that has fermented out, I have aged it almost a month letting the lees settle.

This is my first time using grapes (must). I have always worked from juice, and I have never used true wine grapes.

I am a bit of a purist, in that I don't like to add stuff to my wine (sulfites, etc.). I am not so stubborn as to being unwilling to change.

As you might be able to tell from the title, my wine has a bit of a sour finish. I am kind of thinking this is going to "age" out, but I am not sure. I just wanted to get some of the more advanced/experts opinions here.

I also have a Cabernet Sauvignon that is just finishing fermenting. It too is sour, and so has me a little bit concerned. The sour is not overwhelming, but just a little "off putting". Not enough to make my wine "bad", just it would be a lot better without the sour taste.

Suggestions, PLEASE...

Thank you.
 

marc1

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Can you walk through the process that you used to make the wines?
 
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Gary910

Gary910

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1) I waited for my grapes (must) to thaw.
2) I pitched the yeast.
3) I tasted the juice that had broken up from the grapes and felt that it was time to squeeze the grapes.
4) I squeezed the grapes into a carboy (with some oak chips that I had soaked in whiskey)
5) I let it sit until the yeast had settled
6) I CO2 racked

Basically, that is it. I know it is really simple...

While it was fermenting, I pushed down my grapes a few times a day.

I hope that answers your question. I am not trying to be too short, it really is just that simple. As I said, I am a bit of a purist and don't want it to be too complicated, but I want it to be good.
 

marc1

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Where did the grapes come from? Were they sold from a winemaking store? Were they picked by a friend and frozen in a bucket, etc.?
What yeast did you use and was it an amount recommended for the amount of wine you made?
How did you ferment after pitching the yeast - covered, uncovered, airlocked? What temperature?
How did you squeeze the grapes into the carboy? Press? with hands?
In the carboy did it have an airlock? How much headspace was there?
What do you mean by CO2 racking? And what did you rack to - another carboy?
And it's been one month since pitching yeast, or since racking?
What was the gravity at the various stages?
Can you describe the sour? Is it like vinegar (acetic)? Yogurt (lactic)?
 

bernardsmith

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Hi Gary910, A month of aging is not really "aging". I wonder if the sourness you are tasting is the fact that this wine is still very "green". If it were a kid it would not yet even be in middle school.
Do you know both the pH of the wine and the TA? pH is about the strengths of the acids in solution. TA is about the volume of acids in solution. You can have a lot of weak acid or a lot of strong acids. You can have a little weak acid or a little strong acid. If the TA is quite high - more than say 7g/L it may taste bitter. If the pH is very low (say at 3.0 or lower) it may also taste bitter. Grapes tend to have tartaric and malic acid but depending on the quality of the harvest and the time of harvesting your grapes can have an over- abundance of those acids or not.
 
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Gary910

Gary910

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A month of aging is not really "aging".
Yeah, I am planning on aging it for probably at least another 6-9 months. As I stated, I am kind of thinking this sourness might age out. I don't know the pH. I haven't done those tests yet. I think I will now. Also, as I stated, I wanted to start by getting some thoughts from fellow winemakers.
 
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