Answer to fizzy wines

Answer to fizzy wines

Post by Don Buch » Tue, 31 Dec 1996 04:00:00



From the FAQ:

T08. THE WINE I BOTTLED IS FIZZY.  WHY?

{I opened some wine I bottled about 3 months ago and found it to be a
little fizzy.  It can be just felt in the mouth, and is easy to see on
the sides of the glass.  I have opened 3 bottles before this one and
didn't find the problem.  Is it just beginning to show in all the
bottles, or is this bottle a fluke?}

There could be several "problems":

A) You didn't get rid of the carbonation sufficiently (stir it a little
harder and add an extra day of stirring before stabilizing.)  This
usually presents itself from the first bottle opened on.
B) You didn't stabilize the wine correctly, and there may have been
some fermentation of residual sugar or MLF in the bottle.  Don't
stretch stabilisers; buy extra for the extra wine.  MLF can (and often
does) happen in the bottle.  It happens because of low sulphite levels
at bottling.  You should try to have about 50ppm of residual sulphite
in your wine to help avoid the problem.  See the section on sulphite
requirements to know how much sulphite to put in.  MLF will also cause
cloudiness, followed by sediment.
C) When you filtered your wine (assuming you did it under vacuum) the
vacuum was insufficient to remove 100% of the carbonation.  Not much
you can do except refer to A) and B).

On a related note, cork popping, corks may pop within a few days due to
the pressure increase from corking.  This risk will disappear within a
few days as any oxygen will be soaked up by sulphite in the wine and as
such the gas volume will decrease, along with a pressure decrease.

If the wine becomes fizzy due to fermentation of residual sugars or
MLF, the corks may pop.  You may avoid either problem by properly
ensuring an appropriately low pH, and sufficient levels of sorbate and
sulphite.

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