My Homemade Wine Smells Funny 5 Solutions To Typical Wine Odors

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Finally! You figured out how to make wine at home, but your homemade wine smells kind of peculiar. Whether you were using a wine making kit, producing your own homemade wine, or making strawberry fruit wines, there are many problems you may encounter during fermenting. Before you ever taste the wine, you can diagnose many common problems just by giving the must a sniff.

Firstly, you must learn to smell the wine. For the deepest and most elusive aromas, you must have a certain technique for sniffing. Place your nose far into the wine glass and inhale deeply three times. Make each consecutive breath longer and deeper. Take some time to enjoy the aromas, and if you can’t enjoy it, then you probably have a problem.

Problem: One of the most frequent problems that can be sniffed out is a sulfurous odor and aftertaste. This is caused by adding yeast to the sulphited must too soon. When using a wine making kit, be sure to follow instructions properly. If you followed the instructions completely, make a note to add the yeast later in the fermentation for that particular wine making kit.

Solution: To repair this batch of sulfurous homemade wine, simply add one or two Camden tablets per gallon and let ferment longer. Re-evaluate the wine every couple of days and if the odor does not improve, the wine cannot be saved. Toss it out.


Problem: The most dreaded problem is if your wine has a mousey or vinegar scent. It may be hard to imagine what “mousey” smells like, but if your wine has this problem, you will recognize it immediately. This is caused by a presence of bacteria in the wine. There is no cure – your wine will have to be thrown away.

Solution: To solve this problem. make sure to sanitize all of your winemaking equipment thoroughly before making your next batch of wine.  Use idophor as instructed and always use clean containers and wine making supplies. Idophor is a sanitizing chemical that can be found at any wine making equipment or supplies store.


Problem: You are also out of luck if you get a whiff of a medicinal odor. If you have this smell, you must get rid of your wine. This is caused by a lack of acid in the original must.

Solution: The next time you use this wine making kit or when you make homemade wine again, add more acid.


Problem: Furthermore, there is one more frequent setback when making wine, a lack of bouquet. Bouquet is the overall flavor and aroma of your wine. Therefore, if your homemade wine is lacking in body, flavor, and aroma, there are a few ways to fix it.

Solution 1: The first problem may be a lack of acid. This will result in a wine that tastes flat, uninteresting, and just boring. Acid creates a balance that can perk up a wine and give it character as well as complementing sweetness or fruitiness. Fix this by adding one teaspoon of lactic acid per gallon of wine and let the must ferment further.

Solution 2: If the wine doesn’t taste flat but more like it has been watered down, then perhaps your wine making kits did not have the best ratio of water to juice or the recipe for homemade wine was not great. Simply add additional concentrated grape juice and let ferment further. This should add a more concentrated flavor when you make wine.


Never ignore the power of your nose when making wine, especially in homemade wine. Even when you taste something that is not correct, it can easily be diagnosed by giving the wine a good long sniff.

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