hist-brewing: phenolics and band-aids...

Jerry Harder mastergoodwine at alltel.net
Thu Jan 13 12:04:56 PST 2000

BrewInfo wrote:

> Master Goodwine writes:
> >Now here is the important thing.
> >
> >Elinaor back in 1609 said to, and I didn't because my mother processed them for
> >me and froze them in order to transport them a five hour trip from Indiana to
> >St. Louis where I lived at the time.  The skins add phenolics that give the
> >wine
> >a Band-Aid like flavor and smell.
> While it is true that the Band-Aid flavour and smell is due to phenolic
> compounds, I'm quite certain that the source of the aroma/flavour is NOT
> the skins themselves.  I made a Porter with 12# of frozen peaches which I
> simply dipped in boiling water for a second before cutting up with a sanitised
> knife on a sanitised plate and then adding to some finished Porter.  There
> wasn't any Band-Aid aroma or flavour.

I disagree.  More likely the porter has enough other flavor to cover up the
particular phenolic flavor I'm talking about.  Not only do you have the flavor of
the grain but the bitterness on the hops, both intense flavors by comparison, plus
you have half to one third the quantity of the peaches.  Also, this phenolic flavor
seems to be proportional to the amount of fruit in the wine and thus would relate
back to the fruit content of the wine.

> Also, if phenolics from skins would give a phenolic aroma/flavour, then all
> red wines would have one, no?  Then again, not all phenolics are the same.
> Beer devoid of phenolic compounds would be very bland.  There are good ones
> and bad ones.

No, yes, no.  Indeed not all phenolics are the same and a wine without them would
also be bland and not age well.

> My guess is that the Band-Aid aroma/flavour came from a wild yeast.  Unless
> you took some steps to kill off or at least subdue the micriobiota on the
> skins of the fruit, it's quite likely that yeast on the skins was the source
> of your off aroma/flavour.

The wine is boiled for a considerable length of time.  Yeast on the skins could not
have been the source of the aroma/flavor.  My friend's wine was also heat sanitized
( pasteurized I think), but I would lay odds that the commercial product was not.
That makes it difficult to blame the heat related process.  The commercial wine was
also WELL sulfited so yeast on the skins could not have been the source of the
aroma/flavor there either.  I do suspect it was fermented on the pulp but I doubt
they would have peeled them.

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