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Techniques in Home Winemaking

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Wine smells moldy or musty


A moldy or musty smell in wine is a serious fault likely due to 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, more commonly known as TCA, the culprit in so-called corked wines, which can also devoid wine of its complex flavors and aromas that we seek out so much. Although not a common occurrence in home winemaking, the nasty effects of TCA can be devastating if not prevented, and prevention is the only cure.


Possible Causes

Corrective Actions, if any

The result of a chemical reaction between phenolic compounds in oak wood & wines, and mold or chlorine that produces TCA.

No corrective action



There is no corrective action but to dump the wine if the smell is overwhelming.

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