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White Mold Floating On Red Wine


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#1 CaKiwi

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:18 AM

I have cabernet Sauvignon wine in a stainless tank, and I have observed flecks of a white mold-like substance floating on top of the wine. I sprayed it with metabisulphite solution; does anyone have any idea what this is, and what I should do about it. The wine is about 8 months old.
Thanks

#2 Howie

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:29 AM

It is mold and will ruin your wine. Rack it, give it a dose of about 80 ppm SO2, sterilize the container (as you rack much of the while mold will stick to the sides of the container), return it to the original container and eliminate all air, either through topping up or purging. Then either age for several more months for the SO2 level to diminish or filter it through a medium or fine filter. It may have already adversely affected the wine, but if you take care of it early it will still be drinkable.
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#3 bzac

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:40 AM

Man,

this problem keeps coming up again and again.

Everyone, headspace is bad! top up your wines , and SO2 is your friend , keep those free so2 levels up.
this means you will add kmeta a couple of times during its aging.
Above all relax , it's winemaking ,it's not supposed to be stressfull . It's not sky diving.

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#4 CaKiwi

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the prompt replies. I was hoping it might be something else, as I had checked and topped up the sulphite levels 6 weeks ago, purged the "small" airspace, and went away for 6 weeks. Came back to find this!

#5 Tomer1

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 02:00 PM

I have cabernet Sauvignon wine in a stainless tank

Do you use a variable skin?
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#6 CaKiwi

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:46 PM

Do you use a variable skin? I don't know what that is, so I guess I don't use it. What would that do?



#7 Tomer1

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:42 AM

Minimize headspace,
Say you have a 100L SST and your only doing a 50L batch, you lower the skin and inflate the seals to the required level.
Some say its still not protective enough and wine should not be bulked aged this way but I wouldnt know,Never used one.
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#8 CaKiwi

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:39 AM

Thanks for all the replies. The tank was almost full, with just enough headspace to allow for expansion, and purged with argon. I am getting a sulphite test to try to understand what happened.

#9 bzac

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:41 AM

with my VCs I adjust them so I just see a bit of wine in the neck of the airlock (I don't use those mable traps)
Above all relax , it's winemaking ,it's not supposed to be stressfull . It's not sky diving.

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#10 Peter Lynch

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 05:42 AM

with my VCs I adjust them so I just see a bit of wine in the neck of the airlock (I don't use those mable traps)

The VC lid strikes again...with predictable results. I know more then a few have never had an issue with VC lids but I've seen too many of them ruin wine to trust them in their original configuration. My personal opinion is to:

1. Replace the clear, vinyl lid gasket with either the white or black gaskets. They are simply better.
2. Replace the plastic marble airlock with at lest a #11 rubber bung. The rubber bungs are tougher and won't get cut by the lid like the silicone bungs will. There are perhaps better options but this is pretty effective and cheap.
3. Put a valve in between the pump and the gasket so, should the pump fail or leak pressure (which it can) the gasket remains inflated.
4. Check your lids often. Even with the above changes gaskets can and will fail. An ounce of prevention and all that.

Finally, if you can bulk store in a non-VC tank then, IMO, that is preferable. VC tanks are VERY useful but the lids are their Achilles heel. There are plenty of threads here on this site which offer ideas and plans for lid improvements. If you plan to bulk wine in them then it pays to improve the lid in anyway possible. smileytoast.gif
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#11 SunDevil

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:11 PM

A friend of mine uses a VC tank but tops his wine with Mineral Oil, then drops the lid on it. He's never had a issue with oxidation and swears by it...
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#12 Tomer1

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:30 AM

And then racks off the bottom valve?
Why mineral oil? he could just as well use vegetabl cooking oil.
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#13 bzac

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:27 AM

I do the same mods as peter on my VC's and have no problems, even on the few occasions when I've had wine in my tanks for 12 months.

and food grade mineral oil won't go rancid or introduce off flavours over time.

personaly when I've used mineral oil in any function I've found it way too messy. and it will degrade the VC tank seals over time.
Above all relax , it's winemaking ,it's not supposed to be stressfull . It's not sky diving.

Zac Brown




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