What Causes a Bitter Taste
In Wine

The most common cause of a bitter taste in wine is improper sanitization or lack of sanitization at all.  Please refer to our wine making instructions to learn about proper sanitization.

#1 Cause and Solution

Remember...Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Be sure to sanitize all equipment prior to using it.

This is THE biggest problem for home wine makers.  Using a spoon out of the drawer?  Sanitize it!  Don't just rinse it off with hot water.

Most "off" tastes occur when all equipment has not been sanitized properly.  Bacteria continues to grow and will inhibit the taste.

#2 Cause and Solution

A second possibility could be not letting your "must" set for 24 hours.

You added crushed campden tablets to the must.  The campden tablets are made of sulfite and sulfite kills bacteria AND yeast. The 24 hour waiting period is to let the sulfites dissipate.  Read more about sulfites here.

#3 Cause and Solution

Another reason for "off" taste could be acid content.  When making wine with fresh fruits, it is important to check the acid content.

As fruit ripens, sugar increases but acid content decreases.  Low acid can create bacteria growth.  High acid can also keep yeast from growing and inhibit fermentation.   Low acid wines are flat and high acid wines have a bitter taste.

It is encouraged to use an acid tester when using fruits in wine making.  Most recipes will call for the use of acid blend to help accomplish an acceptable level of acid.

Wine Making Problems

Don't see a wine making tip relating to the problem you are having? Go ahead and ask your question. If we don't have an answer, we will find it for you.

Other Common Problems

How to Sweeten Wine
Stuck Fermentation



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