off flavour in wine

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wrekin
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off flavour in wine

Post: # 25760Post wrekin
Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:07 am

I made 3 gallons of elderflower wine last summer ,when we sampled it last week, it had a promising initial taste, but there followed a disgusting "mousey" aftertaste which renders the whole lot undrinkable. I made sure that the necessary filtration was done when fermentation ceased. Only elderflower of the wines I make is affected in this way. Anyone else had and overcome this problem?

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Post: # 25779Post Luath
Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:07 pm

I know that using too many elderflowers to the gallon will make it unpalatable to say the least. Another cause could be leaving it too long on the must; I rack mine after about 4 weeks or so, sometimes it takes several rackings.

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The Chili Monster
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Post: # 25927Post The Chili Monster
Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:06 am

If the wine is accompanied by a 'mousey' odour detected by a drop rubbed onto the palm of the hand and rubbed, then the smell is caused by acetamide as caused by spoilage bacteria.
If this is the case, then try charcoal -one tablespoon per gallon with occasional shaking. The smell will go - as will the colour and the flavour of the wine - rack and filter. Blending with a bottle of grape or apple juice will yield a drinkable 'plonk' but you'd be better advised to discard the lot and sterilise everything in sight!
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Post: # 25929Post chadspad
Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:16 am

Does rack mean to bottle? Does it have to be with a cork rather than a screw lid please?
I have elderflower wine sitting now for 3 months - would u say thats too long then Luath?

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The Orkney BeeGee
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off flavour in wine

Post: # 26006Post The Orkney BeeGee
Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:41 pm

Hello.

chadspad - racking is when you siphon the wine into a fresh demijohn, making sure you don't sook up the dead yeast from the bottom.

The best book to get you started is C.J.J. Berry's "First Steps In Winemaking".

I think that's right with the bacteria causing mousey-ness - nuke everything with sulphite before starting your brew. The bucket, the stick you stir with, the demi, the airlock, the bung, the siphon tube - EVERYTHING!

But you do get a nasty off sort of flavour if you leave it too long on the lees (the dead yeast layer you get at the bottom). Don't be scared to do your first racking while fermentation is still well underway - mostly I do the first rack as soon as you get a really firm deposit at the bottom and the wine has just started getting a bit clearer - you'll still get fermentation aplenty after the first rack - albeit slower.

Also, a good yeast to use is SB23 Super Yeast - really easy to get started, copes with slightly lower temperatures, goes like a bomb and has a high alcohol tolerance - which means it carries on working up to a high ABV so you can get a stronger wine.

Just picked a load of elderflower - it's only just coming out up here!

Best wine last year - red clover with honeysuckle and rose petals. Yummy.
Recipe on request!

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chadspad
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Post: # 26025Post chadspad
Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:11 am

Hi Orkney Beegee,
Thanks for your advice, I reckon u sound like u know your stuff!
The red clover wine sound interesting - unfortunately havent got enuf here to make any but Im sure others would love the recipe!

I have got some super yeast, not sure if its the same stuff as youve recommended, this is made by Youngs. No worries about having to cope with lower temperatures, if anything its too hot in the house and outbuidlings!
Funny thing tho, here in France they love their wine making but use absolutely no chemicals and no yeast. They just use all the pure ingrediants in a huge vat, little bit of sugar and pretty much leave it to do it thing.
Eau de Vie is big out here too, high alcohol liqueur (40%) made from left-over fruit. It tastes revolting but seems to be more of a 'see who can still stand after finishing the bottle' drink and passed round for the other villagers to try at get togethers :drunken: I have filled a bottle with elderflowers to see if I can improve the taste enuf to drink it as a shot or with ice but its not working as yet!

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The Chili Monster
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Post: # 26061Post The Chili Monster
Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:19 pm

C.J.J. Berry's "First Steps In Winemaking"
This book is an excellent introduction to wine making.

Does it have to be with a cork rather than a screw lid please?
Yes, and insert a new (i.e. previously unused cork) each time.
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Post: # 26065Post Shirley
Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:18 pm

Ooh that red clover wine sounds delicious... we've got masses of the white stuff and only a little of the red here though. Please do post the recipe!!

Yeah... chuckling about the elderflower only just coming out up here... we've been looking for it for weeks and then realising that we couldn't see it easily because it wasn't flowering yet!!!!!
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The Orkney BeeGee
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off flavour in wine

Post: # 26090Post The Orkney BeeGee
Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:33 pm

That Red Clover Recipe..... (white clover is OK but not such a nice, strong flavour)

For 1 gallon:

4 pints red clover flower heads, picked on a dry, sunny day
3 Lb unrefined golden sugar
2 Oranges
3 Lemons
Yeast + nutrient

STERILISE ANYTHING THAT WILL BE IN CONTACT WITH THE LOVELY BOOZE

Get all the bits of stalk off the clover and put them into a bucket. Pour a gallon of boiling water over them. Peel the rind off the oranges and lemons with as little of the white pith as possible, and put it into the bucket with the sugar - stir til all the sugar is dissolved. When the liquor is down to under 30 C (not before or you will kill the yeast) put the orange and lemon juice in, along with the yeast and some yeast nutrient.
Cover the bucket - if you don't have one with a fitted lid a tea-towel will do, or cling film, either way don't let any beasties in. Leave for 5 days somewhere cosy, stir daily (keep your stirring stick sterilised too), then strain/sieve into a demijohn.

When the fermentation has slowed right down and/or it has started to clear, siphon into a fresh demi-j. When it has completely cleared it is ready for bottling. Yummy stuff.

If you can resist downing it all in a week as I did first time I made it, try and keep it for 6 months - it really develops - same goes for most wines, and we always try and keep at least one bottle to drink on it's birthday i.e. one year to the day after bottling. Makes a huge difference.

A slight variation I did last year was as above but 3 pts R clover, 1 pint honeysuckle and 1/2 pint rose petals. Lovely.

Would love to hear from anyone with interesting recipes.

ttfn

A

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