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degassing prior to bottling?

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muskie003

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some of the wines that I have bottled seem to have a hint of gas/bubbles when I first open the bottle. they'll go away with some decanting and time, but I was wondering if degassing with something like a whip just prior to bottling would take care of this. anyone else deal with this? using the whip appropriate? maybe a better method?
 

CabSauv

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I'm still new at this myself but just the first thing that comes to mind, are you bottling right after the fining process, bottle aging, or bulk aging? Also, what kind of wine is it and what was your last SG reading? My guess is that either fermentation wasn't complete or if you bottled right after the degassing stage or aged in bottles and it might not have fully degassed. Bulk aging seems to be where it's at from everything I've read and what advice I have been given. Wine will continue degassing naturally and will do so better in bulk rather than in bottles. After the degassing and fining stage, rack the wine to another carboy (or to bucket and then back to carboy) and let it bulk age for a few months (ideally several). If you did bulk age for an extended amount of time, did you add 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite per 6 gallons every 3 months and rack the wine before adding if it wasn't clear?

Maybe someone else has other ideas and can offer ideas on how to fix your current situation, I'm not sure if you can put the wine back in the carboy for more aging and degassing or not, above my pay grade. :h
 
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muskie003

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yeah fairly new myself. and not all that scientific about it either.

it has happened on a variety of reds. sangiovese, malbec, brunello to name a few. and its not like champagne bubbly or anything - just has a little gas/bubble on the palate that goes away if I decant a while. or even just by giving the glass a generous swirl. I usually bulk age in glass carboys for about a year (bc that's when I need the carboys for the next batch). kmeta every 3 months. rack off into a new container at about 6 months and take my oak out.
also usually do a little kmeta prior to bottling. just wasn't sure if running a whip thru prior to bottle would help get that last bit of gas out
 

CabSauv

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yeah fairly new myself. and not all that scientific about it either.

it has happened on a variety of reds. sangiovese, malbec, brunello to name a few. and its not like champagne bubbly or anything - just has a little gas/bubble on the palate that goes away if I decant a while. or even just by giving the glass a generous swirl. I usually bulk age in glass carboys for about a year (bc that's when I need the carboys for the next batch). kmeta every 3 months. rack off into a new container at about 6 months and take my oak out.
also usually do a little kmeta prior to bottling. just wasn't sure if running a whip thru prior to bottle would help get that last bit of gas out
Sounds like you have the bulk aging down. According to my WineXpert kit, it was very specific in the directions telling me to add metabisulphite and then use the degassing wand for 2 minutes, add chitosan, and then use the degassing wand again for another 2 minutes with the sediment still in the carboy (do not rack). Not sure what kits you have used but I opted to use the degassing wand for about 5 minutes prior to even starting their fining/clearing process to try and expel as much CO2 as possible. I'm not sure what you're stirring with but my kit came with the power drill wand so I made sure to get on it pretty good. Did you use a wand via power drill or hand stir?
 

muskie003

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ive never really degassed at all. just relied on the racking more or less. I just bought one of the ones like you described for a drill
 

CabSauv

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Ahh, you should definitely notice a difference with the degassing wand. Just be careful with the speed on the drill, too high speed and you'll have a wine foam volcano. Ease into the speed and gradually work your way up and down the carboy. You should notice big bubbles rising to the top at first and then they will slowly get smaller and smaller, which is an indication that your wine is expelling the CO2.

When you get to the degassing and clearing stage I'd use the degassing wand for a few minutes, add the metabisulphite, then use the degassing wand for 2 minutes, add chitosan, and then use the degassing wand again for another 2 minutes. That worked really well for me and you should notice a big difference. Good luck!
 

NorCal

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I degas mine under vacuum. I go through great lengths to keep airlocks on, watch the amount of SO2, the thought of purposely whipping oxygen into the wine goes against all that work.
Perhaps it's not significant, but a few vacuum transfers and the CO2 is history.

 
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Ajmassa

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I definitely understand your concerns there. And I probably wouldn't be comfortable drill degassing that late in the game either. And you'd think with all those racks you would be good to go.
90% of the time my reds are rid of any CO2 by bottling time usually 9-12 months. But I have had some like yours. In those cases I just chalked it up to 'not ready yet' and let time eventually get the job done for me - out of fear of screwing something up. K-meta and 3 month racks.- splash racking if needed. --also picked up a cheap $15 VacuVin for this purpose. Getting out CO2 without disturbing the wine
 
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Floandgary

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If you don't go wild crazy with a drill whip, you can agitate enough to bring out the CO2. Full speed ahead will create a vortex and thus draw in O2. Backing up a bit ,,,, daily stirrings during fermentation will also help release some CO2. Splash racking during secondary aging will usually take care of the rest.
 

bkisel

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Vacuum degassing (I use a VacuVin similar to the one in the video below) has allowed me to begin enjoying even my bold reds with only 3 months of bulk aging and 3 months of bottle aging and not have any CO2 issues.

BTW, I'll have a whole lot more head space going on, while degassing, than what you see in the video.
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[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv-xPAL9Wk"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv-xPAL9Wk[/ame]
 
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kevinlfifer

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I have found the CO2 levels are my Achilles heel. As many times as I've told others to be patient and take their time I don't follow my own advise. I bottled a carboy last month that is still CO2 heavy. So each bottle will need to be decanted a few times and allowed to breath. Or, I'll open them all and re-rack and age.

I have the most success when I de-gas once right after secondary and again 3-4 months into the bulk aging of 6-8 months. I use a stainless shaft paddle and I am careful not to vortex. I alternate the direction of the drill, giving short rapid bursts each direction. I rack to the 8 gal bucket, stir with an addition of K-Meta, then rack back to the carboy. I just did 8 @ 6 gal carboys yesterday. I have 3 @5gal and 4@ 4 gal yet to de-gas.
 

CabSauv

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I'm surprised many don't use a degassing wand or vacuum and just allow natural aging take it's course to rid wine of CO2. I know I'm new to wine making but the chemistry side of me tells me it just makes sense to get rid of the CO2 ASAP. That's the last thing I want in my wine and when I watched videos online when first researching that's the one takeaway that I double noted. If I wanted a carbonated beverage I'd reach for a beer. I'm sure aging alone can work just as well but degassing with a wand or vacuum sure would take some of the guess work out of it.
 

Ajmassa

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not using a wand doesn't mean more potential for CO2. There's many options. And none of em are wrong. So much emphasis is put on degassing when it's not really a necessary step. Just don't bottle before it's time.
I never manually degassed at all until I started kits. Or clearing agents either. But everything worked in harmony with my juice batches. With aging and routine rackings, the wine would be cleared and no co2 when ready for bottling. Even more so with an AIO pump.
I was taught in a way where we let the wine tell us when it's ready. Not vice versa. And I'm still more
inclined to let the process happen naturally. And only degassing or clearing when she tells me she needs the extra TLC.
 

CabSauv

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not using a wand doesn't mean more potential for CO2. There's many options. And none of em are wrong. So much emphasis is put on degassing when it's not really a necessary step. Just don't bottle before it's time.
I never manually degassed at all until I started kits. Or clearing agents either. But everything worked in harmony with my juice batches. With aging and routine rackings, the wine would be cleared and no co2 when ready for bottling. Even more so with an AIO pump.
I was taught in a way where we let the wine tell us when it's ready. Not vice versa. And I'm still more
inclined to let the process happen naturally. And only degassing or clearing when she tells me she needs the extra TLC.
And that's all true, commercial wineries don't degas either - they just age. Just as pop goes flat after time, wine will lose CO2 as well. I'm sure when I get into bigger kits or try grapes I might choose not to either. My thinking is, it's just so easy to do it, why not do it. It all depends on the wine and the wine makers urgency to bottle/drink. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
 

muskie003

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lot of good info in there guys. thanks. I do probably two stirrings a day during primary for first 10 or so days then drop to once daily until I rack it off into secondary. I think its just a time issue too. I'm kind of a minimalist - hate to put in all the additives if its not necessary. id like to just bulk age until the bubbly is gone but I kinda keep that one year mark as a goal so I can start a new batch. sometimes I get wine with a little gas, sometimes its ready. just never did any experimenting with the whip and didn't wanna do more harm than good! thanks again.
 

sdelli

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Are you making kits, Juice or grapes?
 

sdelli

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Should not have a large problem with gas from juice. Aging out should do it...
Would not suggest whipping air into your wine.
 

jswordy

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I use a section cut from a plastic coat hanger in a sort of J shape, chucked in a cordless drill at low rpm, to degas. I submit that I am not introducing any oxygen at all into my wine by using this method, since the wine is in a carboy and any headspace is actually filled with CO2 gassing off the wine in the process.

It's not necessary to "whip" the wine to get the gas to move off. All that's needed is to move the liquid enough for bubbles to form.

Everyone who has mentioned it so far is absolutely correct, if you age it out for long periods the wine self-degasses. With my higher-level wines this is my preferred method. Because I make a wide range of wines, I don't always want some grades to take up carboy space that long.

There is a second method that is also effective, called sheet racking. In this, you place the end of your racking tube into the new carboy high at the top so that the wine racked over sheets down the side of the new carboy. Gas is released from the sheet and quickly fills the empty carboy space with CO2. I have also used this method, which I learned here. It is probably best for bolder wines, and not for the more delicate bouquets and flavors. The advantage is that you degas as you rack.
 
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CryptoStorm

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X2 for degassing by vacuum. I use a food saver to create vacuum on the carboy.

Some people but $200 dry vac pumps.. I guess if you did a bunch of carboys in a day it might be worth it.
 

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