Brake bleeder not degassing my wine?

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buttonsrtoys

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I bulked aged a kit of Cab Sauv (Costco Canada, Argentia Ridge) for 4 months in a fairly cool environment (~65F). I just tapped it and its quite fizzy. It's only my 8th kit, so read up on it and the consensus seem to be that it needs more degassing. I put my whip to it for 45 minutes, and it created quite a froth on the top, but it never seemed to abate. I read a lot of people having success with a brake bleeder, so I picked one up today and pumped my carboy up to 20"+ but and getting not bubbling? The pump is holding steady at 20", though I've only had it on for 30 minutes. Do I need to wait longer?

Attached is a pic of what I'm seeing. (My carboy is quite low because I racked it to its primary fermenter last night and there was an "incident". Also, the bubbles on the top are because I gave it a quick swirl to see if it would kick things off, but it didn't -- there's no movement in the bubbles.)

Do I need an additive to facilitate degassing? I've also read that heat can make a difference, though would I really get no bubbling? (I just put my heat pad under it, just in case).

Any thoughts or advice welcome! Regarding the taste, its quite good for a 4 mos. of ageing (aside from being fizzy).

pump.jpg
 

BernardSmith

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If you whipped the wine for 45 minutes is it not possible that you have pretty much degassed it? I would think a vacuum of 21 inches would be all you need to pull out any CO2 in solution..
 

Boatboy24

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65F is a little cool, though with the brake bleeder, you should be able to coax that gas out. In the mid 70's, you should be able to degas very well. If you leave it at 20-21" for an hour or two, it should be done.
 

Johnd

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When I degas my wines, the vacuum is all of the way up to 29, and the wine is at 75F. You'll have a hard time degassing with a brake bleeder with that much head space, you'll be pumping til your hand falls off, that's why I use an electric vacuum pump.
 

buttonsrtoys

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If you whipped the wine for 45 minutes is it not possible that you have pretty much degassed it? I would think a vacuum of 21 inches would be all you need to pull out any CO2 in solution..
Thanks for the thought, Bernard. If it's completely degassed, would whipping it still generate foam? I thought I read that fully degassed wine would generate any foam?
 

buttonsrtoys

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65F is a little cool, though with the brake bleeder, you should be able to coax that gas out. In the mid 70's, you should be able to degas very well. If you leave it at 20-21" for an hour or two, it should be done.
Thanks Jim. So no need for additives?
 

buttonsrtoys

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When I degas my wines, the vacuum is all of the way up to 29, and the wine is at 75F. You'll have a hard time degassing with a brake bleeder with that much head space, you'll be pumping til your hand falls off, that's why I use an electric vacuum pump.
Thanks for the thoughts, John. It was a bit of a workout, but managed to get it to 20"+, so should be good?
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the thoughts, John. It was a bit of a workout, but managed to get it to 20"+, so should be good?
As @DoctoCAD said, the higher inHg (lower pressure) of 25 or greater will be more effective. To eliminate the headspace issue would help you achieve this much easier. Can you rack down to a smaller carboy or do it in 1 gallon jugs with little headspace? I think you'll see a big difference.
 

ceeaton

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Warm to 72*F plus and pump up to 25 inHg. Put a soft towel (like a bath towel) under the carboy and gently rock side to side, and see if more bubbles are produced and the vacuum drops to around 20 inHg. Then pump it up and repeat. I do used to do that several times each day for several days, and still sometimes had some residual CO2 after I bottled. Hence I bought an AIO (All in One Wine pump) and for the most part my CO2 issues have gone away. I still need to bring the wine up to a higher temperature than I age it at or I don't get complete (or nearly complete) CO2 removal (I age in the 50's during the winter, 60's during the summer, in my basement).

I agree, less head space in the carboy makes for easier CO2 removal (and less hand strain from pumping so much).
 

Ajmassa

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I feel your pain, as my arm is also tired right now from degassing. I allocated tonight for bottling but found I had a good amount of co2 in the wine.
I was all prepped and I am not about to chalk it up as a loss. I sulohited in a new carboy and racked with the AIO. Got some out. I then drilled it for a good while getting what seemed like the rest out of it. Started to bottle with the AIO and still have some residual co2. With about a gallon left in the carboy and 24 bottles filled im now using a VacuVin on each bottle. About to do another round of pumping.
Drinking a glass as I post and it's very clear, no noticible co2 in the mouth, and downright delicious. But still does not pass the "poof" test. It's the Sauv Blanc Rosè btw.
And this is what happens when you don't listen to your wine. Off to pump again.
 

Johnd

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I feel your pain, as my arm is also tired right now from degassing. I allocated tonight for bottling but found I had a good amount of co2 in the wine.
I was all prepped and I am not about to chalk it up as a loss. I sulohited in a new carboy and racked with the AIO. Got some out. I then drilled it for a good while getting what seemed like the rest out of it. Started to bottle with the AIO and still have some residual co2. With about a gallon left in the carboy and 24 bottles filled im now using a VacuVin on each bottle. About to do another round of pumping.
Drinking a glass as I post and it's very clear, no noticible co2 in the mouth, and downright delicious. But still does not pass the "poof" test. It's the Sauv Blanc Rosè btw.
And this is what happens when you don't listen to your wine. Off to pump again.
You're supposed to be following the quote, not running the vacuvin on fledgling wine bottles!! :h
 

Ajmassa

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You're supposed to be following the quote, not running the vacuvin on fledgling wine bottles!! :h

I'm beat. It's 10:30, it's been hotter than hell at work, I shoulda been asleep already, and my stubborn self just HAD to bottle tonight.
Ya live ya learn I guess. (Even though I already knew). I just underestimated 30'bottles worth of work with some residual co2.
Off to cork. About a half a case will need to be set aside and not shared, labeled "decant 1st".
Regrets, I've had a few.
 

sour_grapes

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I'm beat. It's 10:30, it's been hotter than hell at work, I shoulda been asleep already, and my stubborn self just HAD to bottle tonight.
Ya live ya learn I guess. (Even though I already knew). I just underestimated 30'bottles worth of work with some residual co2.
Off to cork. About a half a case will need to be set aside and not shared, labeled "decant 1st".
Regrets, I've had a few.
Actually, I think a little residual CO2 in a rose' would be desirable. Don't make it dead flat!
 

jburtner

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I have started degassing as soon as it's out of primary. A couple session with the vacuum pump up around 26" will foam it up nicely. Need to be very careful and a couple back to back rackings between carboys will significantly decrease the co2. Right after primary the wine is usually still fermenting a bit so I can't really keep it under vacuum with a headspace eliminator until it's done fermenting and not producing further co2. From that point I have just been topping up the vacuum and keeping it at close to 26"Hg or almost 700mmHg.

***note
The vacuum splash rackings appear to be the best (or most effective) for removing co2 plus of course heating to mid-to-low-70'ish with a brewbelt or heating pad.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Ajmassa

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Actually, I think a little residual CO2 in a rose' would be desirable. Don't make it dead flat!

You nailed it. I had a couple bottles of store bought Rosè on hand. During the session I decided to just kinda shake em up a little to see where I needed to be; which was right where I was it at that point.
The AIO showed gas where I previously wouldn't have detected. Racking with an auto siphon and bottling with a wand-- and it probably would have been fine too I suppose. Ignorance is bliss. But in hindsight I'm glad I spent the extra time on it. Just dragging *** at work now.
 

NorCal

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Actually, I think a little residual CO2 in a rose' would be desirable. Don't make it dead flat!
The grapes in my area suffer from high pH. Even with aggressive must adjustments, the wine will bounce back to a high pH. Acid adjustments post ferment render the wine sour. I don't over do my degassing, like @sour_grapes said, it gives a little something on the back-end of the taste, which I strive for, but don't achieve with my acid management.

So, like most answers in winemaking, the answer is "it depends".
 

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