Degassing Process

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joeycannoli

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Can someone please explain to me the degassing process and when during the wine process this should be completed? I have read many different approaches, but wanted to see if there was a general consensus here.
 

Scooter68

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Degassing is normally done once all fermentation is completed. (After MFL completes - If you are doing MLF (MaLoacticFermentation))

The two most common ways are:
1) Just let time do it - If you age the wine a year with an airlocked carboy, then there is no action you need to take.
2) If you want to get involved you can use a whip and drill OR do it by transferring (Racking) with a vacuum pump which will pull the gas out. It may take a couple of rackings to do that.
 

Johnd

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Can someone please explain to me the degassing process and when during the wine process this should be completed? I have read many different approaches, but wanted to see if there was a general consensus here.

Degassing can normally be accomplished in one of three ways, or a combo of the three:

1. Actively whipping the wine to cause the CO2 to come out of solution, with a long spoon, or drill driven whipping device
2. Creating a vacuum with some type of device to cause the CO2 to come out of solution, can be done while racking under vacuum, or vacuum without racking with devices like Accuvin wine savers, brake bleeders, HVAC vacuum pumps, or the All-In-One wine system
3. Let your wine sit in bulk to degas naturally

All three work, with number one being the most labor intensive and difficult, number three taking the least effort (if you have patience), and all are more effective when your wine is in the mid-70's.

Timing wise, there's no sense in degassing until all of your gas-producing activities have ended, both Alcoholic Fermentation and Malolactic Fermentation produce CO2, so they should be completed first. Your wine will also clear much more quickly when free of CO2, as the gas keeps particles in suspension.

I doubt you will get a clear winner on the best approach, as lots of folks here do different things, but all of the above used alone or in combination can be successful, just make sure that your wine really is free of CO2 and clear as a bell before you bottle..................
 

tjgaul

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Johnd is right on the mark (as usual).

Just a warning. The wine whip method is effective . . . sometimes too effective. If you go this route, it's a good idea to go slow at first and see how much gas comes off and how fast. If the wine is loaded with CO2 and the temperature is warmish (70's) it is easy to create a volcano of foam which spews out of the carboy, even with a good amount of headspace. This comes from first hand experience on (sadly) more than one occasion.

The All-In-One wine pump eliminates the need to whip the wine. It's a few bucks, but if you plan on making several batches it is worth the money.
 

joeycannoli

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Thanks for the information, gents! Always appreciated. I use SSVC tanks for stabilization and aging. The tank lids come with built in airlocks so I was doing degassing naturally. I just wanted to make sure this was sufficient and that I wasn't missing any steps.

Johnd is right on the mark (as usual).

Just a warning. The wine whip method is effective . . . sometimes too effective. If you go this route, it's a good idea to go slow at first and see how much gas comes off and how fast. If the wine is loaded with CO2 and the temperature is warmish (70's) it is easy to create a volcano of foam which spews out of the carboy, even with a good amount of headspace. This comes from first hand experience on (sadly) more than one occasion.

The All-In-One wine pump eliminates the need to whip the wine. It's a few bucks, but if you plan on making several batches it is worth the money.

I was looking at the AIO wine pump, but I already have a 7.7gpm impeller pump for racking and transfers because we do a decent amount of wine. Not sure if its worth the price if I were only to use it for degassing.
 

tjgaul

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You can find many reviews and testimonials to the AIO on this forum. Since it always works under vacuum no wine ever runs through the pump. Thus, it is easy to use and a snap to clean up. It's very handy for carboy transfers as with any pump it eliminates the need to need to get carboys in the proper vertical position to allow for siphon action. Plus, it makes bottling much simpler, faster and more consistent.

However, I'm pretty sure that it's intended for small batches and only a few at a time. I'm not sure if it can handle your volume. Steve, the vacuumpumpman is always glad to answer questions and provide specifications.
 

Ajmassa

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Thanks for the information, gents! Always appreciated. I use SSVC tanks for stabilization and aging. The tank lids come with built in airlocks so I was doing degassing naturally. I just wanted to make sure this was sufficient and that I wasn't missing any steps.



I was looking at the AIO wine pump, but I already have a 7.7gpm impeller pump for racking and transfers because we do a decent amount of wine. Not sure if its worth the price if I were only to use it for degassing.

Is there any specific reason why you want to manually degas your wine tho? I understand it with kits or smaller batches when co2 is delaying the clearing/bottling process —- but for larger amounts of grape wine I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.
I like to view the co2 as extra protection from oxygen while it ages
 

joeycannoli

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Is there any specific reason why you want to manually degas your wine tho? I understand it with kits or smaller batches when co2 is delaying the clearing/bottling process —- but for larger amounts of grape wine I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.
I like to view the co2 as extra protection from oxygen while it ages

Hey AJ - I was more questioning whether I should manually be degassing. A lot of the process is still new to me so I want to make sure I am doing things properly to avoid any mistakes.

Btw - where in NJ are you located? Maybe we could meet up over a bottle sometime and compare notes!
 
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I can't add anything to the above advice, but will provide an example.

Typically, I move a wine to a carboy when the SG is +/- 1.010. There's still active fermentation but it's not vigorous. I let the carboy set for 1 to 3 weeks, during which fermentation ends and a fair amount of sediment drops.

Next I rack the wine into a primary, add sulfite (1/4 tsp/5 gallons), and sorbate if I'm going to sweeten it. Then I use a drill mounted stirring rod to stir the wine vigorously for 4 minutes, changing directions every 30 seconds.

DO NOT do this in a carboy .... unless you want first hand knowledge of what a volcanic eruption is like. :) The wine may foam up a lot.

I usually add a fining agent and rack back into the carboy. With the CO2 gone and the addition of a fining agent, the wine is clear within a week or two.
 

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My take is that "degassing" is unnecessary. Just let it age and the "degass" process will happen naturally over a few months. And, if you move wine around with vacuum racking, it accelerates the removal of CO2. But there is no special step that requires "degassing".
 

Ajmassa

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Hey AJ - I was more questioning whether I should manually be degassing. A lot of the process is still new to me so I want to make sure I am doing things properly to avoid any mistakes.

Btw - where in NJ are you located? Maybe we could meet up over a bottle sometime and compare notes!

Well You know my thoughts on degassing already.
I’m in Burlington County. Just above Mt. Holly. Wknds in the summertime you can find me on the beach at 69th st in Sea Isle City downashore! Rest of the time I’m trekking back and forth to Philly every day.
 
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My take is that "degassing" is unnecessary. Just let it age and the "degass" process will happen naturally over a few months. And, if you move wine around with vacuum racking, it accelerates the removal of CO2. But there is no special step that requires "degassing".
Absolutely agree -- degassing is not necessary.

Degassing is a choice. I like it as the wine clears sooner and I can rack it off the lees sooner. Both choices are equally valid.
 
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