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Fermentation Smell

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#1 Zatch



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Posted 12 October 2009 - 11:41 AM

I've wanted to ask for some time....i couldn't find an answer within the forum, but fermentation is quite smelly smileyhelp.gif . It hits me like a brick wall when i open the basement door from the garage, and now my entire house has a hint of the wine fermentation. Does anyone else have this issue? my wife is bothering me and she keeps lighting about 5 candles to mask smell.
should i have the fermentation buckets sealed better with airlocks?
my last resort is to build a plastic sheet enclosure to act as a vapor/smell barrier.

#2 red_feet


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:02 PM

One man's fish is another man's poisson. I love the smell of fermenting grapes! It makes me feel like all is well with the world. tongue.gif
It's not a bad smell, after all. And during active fermentation, the gas needs to be allowed to escape, so you don't want to seal your primary fermenters.
Tell your wife the smell will go away in a week or so . . . and maybe buy her a few more candles.

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#3 Michael A

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:13 PM

QUOTE (red_feet @ Oct 12 2009, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
. . . and maybe buy her a few more candles.

or better yet flowers. They smell good and in my experience, most SWMBO's love them.

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#4 WayneC



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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:14 PM

Is the smell a sweet musty smell or does it have a bad sulfur smell. The normal fermentation smell is something you learn to love. If however it takes on the sulfur smell it's an indication that you might not have had enough nutrients and you need to take car of it quickly.

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#5 Hammered



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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:17 PM

The smell of fermenting wine to me is as good or better than baking bread! If you've got H2S, that's another story. I do my fermentation in the garage where my car is parked and frequently I'll drive off to a meeting and afterwards get in my car and just sit there enjoying the lingering smells.

Maybe it's just a state of mind. Bake some bread!

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#6 Johnnash


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:09 PM

I particularly love the smell of a strong ferment on wild muscadine, elderberry and or blueberry. I ferment in the den and the whole house has that yeastie smell when I have a good strong ferment going on.
This is too good.....

#7 cutter


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:03 PM

I can't think of anything that smells better than fermenting must. But then I've never had a H2S problem.

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#8 Dakota Lady

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:09 PM

Zatch, at first when I began winemaking I could not stand the smell of fermenting wine. I almost moved everything to the garage. However, I've gotten used to it and actaully really like the smell now. Also, the smell dissipates after you move the wine to your 2ndary. Hopefully, she will get used to the smell. Good luck with that.

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#9 winesupplyfetcher


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:26 PM

Our dog has been complaining about the smell and she just loves things that smell. We moved a HUGE houseplant into the area where her bed is so she can actually BREATHE. Wade ferments in our KITCHEN. Yes, the kitchen. I sometimes have to hold my nose a bit, but if it gets too bad, I open a window for awhile, or go out to eat.

I think you do get used to it, it fades pretty fast, and once you get used to it, you will find your saliva will increase in volume whenever you smell it.
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#10 WineyDog



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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:41 PM

Hi Zatch,

I had the same problem four or so years ago when I first moved my wine making stuff to the basement, the front of which is living space and opens to the rest of the house. I was able to completely eliminate the aroma from the primary by running a siphon hose from the primary to a makeshift airlock and another siphon hose from the airlock up to the flu junction of my water heater.

The best I remember: I fashioned the airlock from a 1 liter soda bottle. I punched two holes in the upper part with a pencil, filled it half full of water, tightened the lid, inserted the hose from the primary so it was under the water, and inserted the vent hose so it was on top of the water. (I pushed the small end of my racking cane through the grommet in the bucket lid and attached the hose to the long end)

Donít know what your setup is but I suppose you could also place the output hose under a range hood or crack a window enough to get it to the outside.

I didnít have to do this for long, the house was fairly new at the time and, after one of the cats peed in it and the dog followed accordingly, others in the household no longer found the fermentation aroma objectionable. Iím guessing youíll get use to it time.

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#11 Jimraelee


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:04 PM

QUOTE (cutter @ Oct 12 2009, 08:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can't think of anything that smells better than fermenting must. But then I've never had a H2S problem.

luxhello.gif yup yup me too... my girls hate the smell in the house... I see it as good brew on the way... roflmao.gif
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#12 gregmg


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:10 PM

This thread has me puzzled. I've never noticed anything objectionable about the smell of a healthy fermentation. Depending on the yeast, it typically smells very fruity or like bread rising; there are some other "yeasty" aromas. None that I mind smelling. Of course, I've never done a batch larger than 6 gallons. Perhaps if I were doing 30 or 60 gallon batches my opinion would be different.

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#13 gregorio


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 11:45 PM

QUOTE (gregmg @ Oct 12 2009, 09:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never done a batch larger than 6 gallons. Perhaps if I were doing 30 or 60 gallon batches my opinion would be different.

It sure would be different! You'd love it even more! I've got 15 tons in the winery going right now and the smell (after the CO2 blows off) is delicious!

Sounds like the OP has some stinky ferments. I think I read someplace else that they are all natives. That might explain it.
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#14 naper wine guy

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 06:42 AM

I love the smell of a fermenting must in the morning......it smells like VICTORY!

In vino veritas.


#15 Bill W

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 01:09 PM

Ok, but what if your apple cider wine has a slightly acidic smell, kinda like a beer smell? Is this the beginning of a vinegar problem?

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