To Robert_N_Brauer: Re: Smell

To Robert_N_Brauer: Re: Smell

Post by Keith » Fri, 01 Apr 1994 07:03:17

Bob, I tried to send this via e-mail but your host kept coming back
unknown.  I hope your friend with acess to this group sees this.

The smell of fermenting wine is hard to describe, but what you are
smelling may be normal.  It is more difficult to get an infected wine when
using concentrate than fresh grapes.  In concentrate, the juice gets a
sulfite dose, and it is then heated to remove the extra water.  Most
likely the smell is a side effect of the yeast and will probably be driven
off with the fermentation.  In making beer, one bit of consistent advice
is given "Don't use the yeast that came with the kit.".  I have made wines
from concentrate, but never from a kit so I don't know if this holds true
here or not.

I wouldn't worry about the smell.  Rack of the lees (the dormant yeast)
about a week after fermentation is complete.  This may help prevent any
off flavors being picked up from the yeast.  In general, allow the wine
time to "bulk age" in the secondary fermenter (at least a couple months)
and after bottling don't try a bottle for at least a month.  If you get a
vinegar taste, you had an infection.  Remember that bacteria that might
make you ill won't survive in the ***/acid solution that is wine.
However, spoilage bacteria can exist in the fermenting wine and ruin the
flavor of your batch.

Good Luck,
Keith B.

>Hello Keith B.,
>  My current USENET feed does not carry rec.crafts.winemaking yet,
>so I am sending this request directly to you. I have seen the
>newsgroup on a friends system, and I have noticed your knowledgable
>postings so I hope you can answer a question for me.
>  This is my first attempt at winemaking and I have chosen to try
>a Johannesburg Riesling concentrate kit. I am three days into the
>primary fermentation and it is giving off a "rotten egg" smell,
>(hydrogen sulfide, right?). The yeast in the kit was labeled
>"Premier Cuvee" which I think is probably a trade name.
>  I have read Cox's "From Vines to Wines" and he suggests I have
>a sick wine on my hands that will not turn out well. The guy who
>runs the supply shop here in San Jose, CA is primarily a beer maker
>and he says "don't worry about it - it's normal".
>  Has disaster struck my first attempt or can I still expect a
>drinkable Reisling?  Do you need more info than this?