Why homemade wine can taste bitter and the best ways to fix it

Making homemade wine is a laborious and time-consuming process. After six months of aging, it is a shame to find a taste of bitterness in the finished drink. But you do not need to rush to pour it out or look for a recipe for moonshine. In winemaking, methods of purifying a beverage at different aging stages are known. To preserve the product, you need to understand the reasons why homemade wine tastes bitter, and how you can correct the taste of the drink.

Reasons for the appearance of bitterness

The bitter taste arises from the high content of astringent substances in wine - tannins. In normal concentration, they help to brighten the drink and impart astringency. But too much tannins spoil the taste.

The taste deteriorates for several reasons: due to errors in cooking technology, spoiled raw materials and diseases.

Violation of juice production technology

The tannins from the crushed seeds get into the juice at the stage of making the must from the grapes. In order not to violate the integrity of the seeds, do not crush the grapes in a food processor, meat grinder, blender, or stir in a vat with a drill with a special attachment.

Spoiled raw materials and overexposure of the wort in the pulp

Before processing, grapes, apples, any fruits and berries should not be washed. The cold water washes away the wild yeast from the fruit surface and lowers the temperature of the berries. As a result, fermentation will be sluggish and long.

Raw materials for wine must be carefully sorted out and spoiled berries and fruits must be removed. The pulp rots even from slightly darkened grapes suitable for human consumption.

The concentration of tannins increases with prolonged fermentation of the wine with the peel. The juice should not be overexposed in the pulp, as there are also a lot of tannins in the grape skin.

Overexposure on lees

During exposure, a sediment appears, consisting of decomposing yeast waste.

If the drink is not removed from the sediment for a long time, it absorbs the waste products of microorganisms, and a bitter wine is obtained.

Diseases of wine

Acetic fermentation, a disease caused by microorganisms, is treated early in the cooking process. If the wine came out with bitterness, it means that the beginning of their development has been missed.

Young and mature varieties are equally susceptible to withering. This is a disease in which a pleasant taste quickly changes to sour, and the drink turns into vinegar. Spoiled wine dishes cannot be reused for storing homemade drinks.

The presence of a fraction of acetic acid is the norm for different types of wine. Its excess is signaled by a pungent odor and a burning sensation in the mouth after a sip. A sign of sticking is a gray film on the surface of the drink that thickens over time. At the last stage, the wine is covered with a pink crust. It exfoliates and falls in parts to the bottom of the dish.

Overexposure in oak barrels

Red and white wines are aged in oak barrels. Wood also contains tannins - there are fewer of them in the old, more in the young. Aged in a young barrel helps to reveal the vanilla or caramel notes. In oak containers, the drink acquires a rich color.

But if the wine is overexposed in a young barrel, it will be saturated with tannins and bitterness in abundance. It is possible to get rid of an unpleasant aftertaste if damage is detected immediately.

How to eliminate bitterness in wine

Grape and fruit wines are refined in different ways, depending on the degree of bitterness. The subtle aftertaste of Isabella wine is removed by adding sugar and pasteurization to prevent fermentation. If the drink is frankly bitter, it must be cleaned of tannins or toxins using one of the following methods.

Egg white binding

Not only the traditional grape drink suffers from bitterness, but also apple wine. The tannins in them are bound by the protein of fresh eggs.

You need 100 milligrams of whipped proteins per liter of drink. They are stirred in wine and left to infuse for 2-3 weeks. The drink will become cloudy, but will clear by the end of the term. The protein will precipitate along with the tannins. The only thing left to do is to drain the wine gently through a straw.

It is important to accurately measure the amount of protein in milligrams. A large amount of protein will spoil the drink. Fresh eggs can be substituted for egg powder.


Often, after steeping on the pulp, raspberry wine tastes bitter. It is impossible to remove small seeds from berries, and they give bitterness. Fish glue is also used to neutralize it. The powder contains collagen. It is bred and added to bottles. 10 liters requires 500 milligrams of cleaner.


To get rid of the bitterness after removing the mash, the wine is clarified with bentonite clay. The natural filter is used in the food industry. Clay removes toxins from water, so it is safe to use it to remove tannins from wine.

A liter of drink requires 3 grams of powder. Pour bentonite with water in a ratio of 1:10, leave for 24 hours. Add water to the resulting lime so that the mass becomes liquid, and pour into the wine in a thin stream. After a week, the drink must be removed from the sediment.

Bentonite and egg whites cleanse young plum wine, overexposed on the lees.


For 10 liters, 1 gram of powder is consumed. How to make a cleansing mixture:

  • soak gelatin in cold water for 3 hours at the rate of 1 gram per 10 milliliters;
  • drain the water and pour in the same amount with hot water at a temperature of 90-95 degrees, stir;
  • strain through cheesecloth;
  • let cool to 40 degrees;
  • stir the wine with a stick and form a funnel;
  • pour a thin stream of gelatinous solution into the center of the funnel;
  • stir, close the dishes and put in a cool place.

After 15-20 days, strain the drink from the gelatin flakes. Gelatin is suitable for refining wines made from apples, pears and white grapes.


The method is used to restore diseased wine:

  • cover the bottom of a large saucepan with a cloth;
  • place sealed glass bottles with wine inside;
  • pour water into the pan up to the level of the necks;
  • heat up to 60 degrees;
  • maintain the temperature for 20 minutes.

After warming up, the wine should stand for 5-7 days, then the drink should be removed from the sediment. It is recommended to use pasteurized wines in blends.

Other methods

It is possible to restore a drink with vinegar bitterness at an early stage of the disease. It must be poured into a clean dish so that the vinegar film does not get there. Then filter, add a tablespoon of activated carbon for each liter and mix. When the charcoal settles on the bottom, re-clean the drink through a paper filter.

The second way to remove vinegar and mold is by fumigating with sulfur. The method is suitable for sterilizing dishes. The substance is melted, dipped in cotton wicks, set on fire and lowered into an empty bottle. To fumigate vats, lighted strips of cloth or cardboard are hung over open containers so that the smoke sinks into them.

Sulfur is also used in tablets of 2 and 10 grams. Wort and wine absorb half of the secreted substance. The disadvantage of this method is the smell of hydrogen sulfide emanating from the drink. Do not direct smoke onto wine. First, the container is filled with smoke, and then the drink is poured.

Ways to eliminate bitterness in wines stored in wooden barrels:

  • at the initial stage of grieving - by cleansing with bentonite lime;
  • with severe rancidity - by adding sugar and alcohol.

Alcohol should be 10-15% by volume.

Prevention measures

How to prevent bitterness:

  • observe the rules of grape harvest - in dry weather at +20 degrees;
  • to prevent tannins from getting into apple, grape or plum juice, you need to get rid of the seeds;
  • it is better to crush grapes with your hands;
  • observe the aging time on the pulp and lees;
  • thoroughly wash, dry and sterilize utensils for fermentation and storage of wine;
  • mix grape and apple pulp so that it does not receive oxygen and does not sour;
  • close the bottle tightly with a water seal. The device must release carbon dioxide and keep oxygen out;
  • check the taste of the drink stored in oak barrels every week;
  • properly prepare wood for wine storage;
  • if the young wine is hopelessly spoiled, do not pour out the drink. By secondary distillation, you can make chacha or cognac from it;
  • follow the storage rules - seal bottles hermetically, place them at an angle so that the cork does not dry out;
  • fill the bottles to the top so that the air gap between the drink and the cork remains minimal.

A popular way to create suitable storage conditions for wine is to bury the bottles horizontally in the cellar.

Watch the video: Sparkling rice wine homemade (November 2021).