Topic: Troubleshooting

95 result(s).

I noticed an oily film on top of my Norton before I racked it. What should I be worried about and how do I fix it?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve made Norton for a few years. This year I noticed an oily film on top before I racked. It smelled and tasted decent. What should I be worried

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Is there any way to save a flat and watery wine I made?

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Though making fruit-based wine is a little different from making grape-based wine, you always want to make sure you’ve got enough sugar, acid, tannin and aromatic and flavor compounds to result in

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How do I get copper sulfate in accurate diluted food grade form? I would like to treat 5 gallons (19 L) of stinky fruit wine to get rid of the rotton sewer smell.

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Dear Wine Wizard, How do I get copper sulfate in accurate diluted food grade form? I would like to treat 5 gallons (19 L) of stinky fruit wine to get rid of

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I added grape concentrate to boost the sweetness of a dry wine at bottling and added sorbate. The flavor is good, but there is some kind of gas in the wine. Any thoughts on what happened?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Muscadine wine this year that ended up very dry with harsh flavor. I wanted it to have more of a grape flavor so I added some

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Negative Impacts of Oxygen

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Positive effects of oxidation? How can that be? Winemakers know that oxygen negatively affects wine and they process wine with the utmost care to prevent oxidation. Two common winemaking practices that have

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I’ve noticed crystals forming inside my Zinfandel bottles. Do you have an explanation?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making red Zinfandel wine at home with juice concentrate. I‘ve noticed crystals forming inside and they stick to the bottle. When you shake the bottle they

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My wine has some kind of flies buzzing around the must. Do I need to throw this batch out?

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Dear Wine Wizard: I am following the recipe for tomato wine from the August-September 2002 issue. The recipe says to loosely cover the must in the primary fermenter with a plastic sheet.

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What can I do to make my wine more dry and less sweet?

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More experienced winemakers than yourself have spent eons trying to ponder the conundrum of a stuck fermentation. If you wanted the wine to be dry and it ended up sweet, it means


Fixing Common Mistakes: Tips from the Pros

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Winter is a good time to take a critical look at your cellar techniques. With a nod to the new year and its requisite resolutions, we asked two professional winemakers to discuss

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Wine Kit First Aid

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You: a happy winemaking citizen, going about your lawful fermentation business, enjoying the marvellous convenience and quality that the wine-kit industry has provided you. Your kit wine: usually a tractable and pleasant


What can I do to prevent my recurring problem of excess CO2 in my wines?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I seem to be having a recurring problem of excess CO2 (bubbles) in my wines. The wines are bubbly long after fermentation is finished. They have all been racked

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My finished wine has the aroma and taste of burnt rubber. What did I do wrong?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Here’s one problem you may have been asked about before. My finished wine has an aroma and taste of rubber and burnt toast, a bit like burnt rubber. Since

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Avoiding Wine Kit Pitfalls

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 There are a lot of wine kits out there today, and their variety and quality is improving. Kits wines are designed to be easy to make, but they’re not foolproof. Even kit


My first white wine has a fizziness and tasted like it is almost carbonated. Do you have any suggestions?

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Wine Wizard replies: First of all, you need to make sure that the fermentation is finished. You do this by checking your sugars with a hyrdrometer. Fermentation for a “dry” wine is


My wine has developed a foul taste and odor from Brettanomyces. Is it correctable?

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Brettanomyces is a particularly nasty yeast that is often the bane of the collective existence of many winemakers. Its foul-smelling byproducts have often been called “barnyardy” or “mouse pee-like” on the sensory

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When I opened my blueberry-Zinfandel wine I was struck by a strong acetone-type smell. Am I experiencing bottle sickness or TCA?

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I’m so glad you’ve discovered the pleasures of blueberries and Zinfandel! I find that these two fruits complement each other well in Bordeaux-style red winemaking. But you also seem to be experiencing

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What can cause homemade wine to have a slight “vinegar” taste?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Terri-tories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week


Troubleshoot a Stuck Fermentation

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It’s hard to dispute that winemaking is an art. And it’s no surprise that winemakers sometimes act like artists. Now imagine, if you will, a room full of artists who meet to


Do you know why my blackberry wine’s color precipitates out?

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Wine Wizard replies: Even though I’d have to see the recipe and an outline of what you do every step of the way to truly diagnose the cause, I can, however, tell

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Preventing Off-Flavors

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Finally, that moment of truth: The fruits of your labor are ready to taste. Perhaps the fermentation is finally completed, or you’ve just opened the first bottle. You cross your fingers and


95 result(s) found.