Yet another question for FOODIE. - Printable Version

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- wineseven - 02-20-2006 03:20 PM

Hi Foodie, I hope the new year is treating you and your wines well.

Here is my question:
It's heart breaking, but now I have to face the truth.
My Sauvignon blanc is turning into a vinegar. All that work, time, effort and hopes for Saturnes like joy in a glass has vanished and I am left with tears and whole bunch of potential vinegar?!

Here are the data:

California, Solvang, SB, late harvest 11/19/2005, 32 Brix, 3.52 Ph
Stopped the fermentation at 12.5% alc. By cooling to 35 - 40°F, added 25ppm free So2 (50ppm total) and cleared with Bentonite.

Few weeks later when tasted, the wine showed signs of 'vinegary burning taste and smell) I know it's turning now. I have total 11 gallon of this wonderfully smelling, sweet juice. One 5 gal seems OK, but I know it is only question of time because I remember using the same thief when tasted from all carboys throughout time. Is there anything I can do to salvage the wines or will I have to move onto a plan B and create a fabulous vinegar?

Thank you.


- Thomas - 02-20-2006 03:38 PM

If you've got vinegar going you can't do much to stop it now.

Did you add SO2 before fermentation? I would have done so, to protect against quick oxidation. You also need to check SO2 levels about a week after having added them, to be sure that you had added enough, especially in sweet wines.

Sweet grapes have already been oxidized some on the vine, so the juice needs careful handling and usually a higher concentration of SO2 than regular whites.

- wineseven - 02-21-2006 09:59 AM

Thanks Foodie. Yes, looking back I realized I should of add S02 before fermentation. This was my first attempt to make a sweet wine and it is a great (useful but painful) experience. Now I know that too much air exposure during handling and insufficient level of S02 is a BIG NO-NO for fragile whites.

Anyway, is there a good source for vinegar making info out there?