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De-gas dilemma

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drunton

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I made a strawberry zinfandel tweak using the general suggestions from Joe's "cheap tweak" thread. 2 of the 5 gallons got back sweetened, the other I have kept separated to stay dry and play with fining tannins.

Before back-sweetening, I used a new AIO to vacuum splash rack 3 times, thinking I would have de-gased, but I found the 10 bottles that are back sweetened would bubble when given a little shake. No popped corks, but definitely still have gas. The wine was in the bottles for about 3 weeks. So, I poured the 10 bottles into a 3 gallon carboy and de-gassed with a new "three-prong" de-gasser. What a bunch of foam! (see pic)

I added 1/8 tsp of K-meta (to the 2 gallons) just in case, and added an airlock. After leaving for about 12 hours the foam is gone, but there is still a few bubbles showing up with medium shake of the carboy (see 2nd pic)

The questions are related to what did I do wrong and what should I do now?
Did the splash-rack add oxygen or did I just not de-gass enough?
Now that it's here in the 3-gallon carboy, do I let it sit a while longer, de-gas more (is it done)? What about the headspace - move it to 2, 1gallons?
If I use the AIO to bottle will it take the last little bit of CO2 and I'm good?
Did I over sulfite and should dilute with my "reserve" for experimenting wine?

Looking for suggestions - it's made to be a summer early drinker but some bottles will make it until next summer.
 

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meadmaker1

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You need to add potassium sorbate and k meta to a still wine before back sweetening.
Without it the added sweetener (sugar) will ferment in the bottle.
No amount of, or degassing method will prevent this.
 

drunton

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Thanks for the input, I did follow the kit directions for additions - FG was 0.992 after fermentation. de-gas, k-meta, k-sorbate, clarifying agents were added two weeks before back-sweetening per the kit directions.

To add more information, I also have two one gallon carboys with no back-sweetening (waiting for experiments) and when I did more de-gasing with the "three prong de-gasser" there was the same foaming, just smaller amounts because it's one gallon size. Without back-sweetening it's acting the same.

With this extra information: do you think it's still re-fermentation?
 
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Donatelo

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I had a white cranberry that did the same. It took several weeks before it calmed down. It did make a VERY fine wine , just took a little more time. I would give it some more time. Patience is a hard thing to learn.
 

cmason1957

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I have found that if you rack multiple times in a row using the All-in-one wine pump, you get diminishing returns as far as gas removal. Now, I can't explain that from a physics, chemistry, natural law or any other good explanation, but racking, waiting a week, racking, waiting has done better at gas removal for me than trying to rush it and do three in a row. Or maybe it is that I don't really pay much attention to the time frame given on the kit directions and generally there is a minimum of six months from start-to-finish and generally more like a year.
 

jburtner

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I’ve found that if you warm it up to mid 70*F or so with a heating pad, splash-rack several times, then use a headspace eliminator and store under vacuum, rinse/repeat after a week then it will be well degassed. If you cellar is pretty cool then it has the tendancy to hold on to gas.

Give it the thumb-pop test and half fill a 750, put yoir thumb over it and shake. Release thumb and listen for a pop or just air pressure. If you have any it’s not done yet.

Lots of commercial rose’s I purchase still have gas for some reason. Rush to market?

How do they degas in larger commercial scale?

Cheers!
-johann
 

meadmaker1

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Just because a kit states a time frame, it doesn't mean time is up. Differant temps, water chemistry ect. Can have an effect on how long it takes to complete fermintation.
It is hard to stop active fermentation. This may not be your issue. I like to pull vacuum on my carboys for 30 min. To an hour then let sit until the hoses aren't flat any more. Then do it again in a week. If it has a bunch of bubbles the second week I assume it's new co2 when it doesn't bubble or foam up I add stabilizers then sweeten, then always ,always ,always wait another week and test vacuum again. If suspicions I wait to bottle.
One round of bottle bombs was enough for me
 

drunton

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Thanks everyone - appreciate the inputs.

So far I've de-gassed again with the "3 prong" degasser - lots of bubbles but not as bad as the first time. I added one of the gallons I was saving to keep less sweet so I could fill the 3-gallon carboy, pulled a vacuum with the AIO and Headspace Eliminator for a few hours, and I am just being patient. It's currently under air-lock, and there are still bubbles fizzing around the to of the neck and coming to the top when I agitate the carboy, so it's not ready yet.
 

Johnd

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I made a strawberry zinfandel tweak using the general suggestions from Joe's "cheap tweak" thread. 2 of the 5 gallons got back sweetened, the other I have kept separated to stay dry and play with fining tannins.

Before back-sweetening, I used a new AIO to vacuum splash rack 3 times, thinking I would have de-gased, but I found the 10 bottles that are back sweetened would bubble when given a little shake. No popped corks, but definitely still have gas. The wine was in the bottles for about 3 weeks. So, I poured the 10 bottles into a 3 gallon carboy and de-gassed with a new "three-prong" de-gasser. What a bunch of foam! (see pic)

I added 1/8 tsp of K-meta (to the 2 gallons) just in case, and added an airlock. After leaving for about 12 hours the foam is gone, but there is still a few bubbles showing up with medium shake of the carboy (see 2nd pic)

The questions are related to what did I do wrong and what should I do now?
Did the splash-rack add oxygen or did I just not de-gass enough?
Now that it's here in the 3-gallon carboy, do I let it sit a while longer, de-gas more (is it done)? What about the headspace - move it to 2, 1gallons?
If I use the AIO to bottle will it take the last little bit of CO2 and I'm good?
Did I over sulfite and should dilute with my "reserve" for experimenting wine?
It's hard to say whether or not you have added too much sulfite, as free sulfite dissipates faster with exposure to oxygen as it does it's work preventing oxidation. The speed at which you sulfite dissipates is directly related to the amount of oxygen exposure and agitation. The only way that I know to answer the question would be to test your sulfite levels. My guess would be that you are just fine for the time being.

Regarding what you might have done wrong, not really anything, short of bottling too quickly and expecting the wine to degas faster than it normally does. That's not really your fault, kit instructions, IMHO, are a bit misleading along those lines. In the beginning, many of us had similar experiences with degassing wine, expecting it to be a breeze as represented in the instructions. In my experience, kits seem harder to degas than fruit or fresh grape wines, but there are things you can do to help the process along. If you can get your wines into the mid 70's for degassing, they will release CO2 more easily, and your vacuuming with the AIO is a huge positive factor in the activity as well. Time will make it go flat, just like a soft drink left open. Continue on your course, keeping it under vacuum with the HSE, maintain temps in the 70's, and get another wine project to work on so you can distract your attention from it.
 

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