15 days ago I started a batch of wine from a Wine Kit. I went to measure the SG to begin the next step when I found the wine had a film layer at the top. Anyway I phoned the place that sold it to me and am getting a new wine kit tomorrow.

Before I pour this contaminated wine down the toilet, I am wondering if I could finish the process and distill it? Can I do anything to salvage this ~21L of bad juice?

Here's a picture of the contamination, it looked more like a white film before I poked it with a thermometer then it cracked: enter image description here

  • 1
    Did it ferment? If not then no point in distilling it. By the way, polishing a turd just makes for a shiny turd.
    – Escoce
    Oct 21, 2019 at 3:22
  • @Escoce Yep it fermented. I am not hoping to make this wine better or shine it up, just making use instead of dumping. The wine actually seems OK now that it's in the second stage. A person on another forum suggested the issue was pellicle. So nothing vitally wrong with the wine.
    – dustytrash
    Oct 21, 2019 at 3:37
  • Update: the distilled wine (Brandy) turned out great. My only complaint is it only lasted a few days :-)
    – dustytrash
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:18
  • Nice, how long did you let it age? And also how much brandy did you get from it?
    – Escoce
    Jul 31, 2020 at 18:03
  • @Escoce Tbh I didn't let it age at all, was too excited to try it. I got about 4L from it
    – dustytrash
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Yes you can! You are just distilling the alcohol, not all the bad stuff. If you catch it before it turns to vinegar you should be fine.


Without knowing what type of contamination it is, it's hard to tell if anything can be done. Is it a white film? Does it smell bad? A small film isn't always contamination, it could be soap residue, etc.

I am inclined to think that if contamination results in bad taste, that some of the bad taste will be tranferred during the distillation process (Garbage In -> Garbage Out).

This is particularly true with vinager, maybe less with distillation.

  • It is a white film, I'll attach a photo. Their is no smell, it still smells like wine. I don't mind a bad taste, just worried about getting sick
    – dustytrash
    Oct 18, 2019 at 21:27
  • Added an image and description
    – dustytrash
    Oct 18, 2019 at 21:39

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