RJ Spagnols Degassing Question

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Sep 22, 2009
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I am working on my 2nd ever kit. I'm doing a RJS,CRU Select - Australian Cabe/Sauv. I started this kit on 2/13/10, on 2/27/10 I'm supposed to rack to a carboy, add sulphite and stir. then add Sorbate and degass for 5 minutes. The next step is to add Kieselsol and stir, then add Chitosan and degass for another 5 minutes. Then I'm to top up, put on bung and airlock and leave until day 42.

My question is: Is degassing two times for 5 min. enough? The one other kit I did required 6-8 degassings over a two day period of time. and Tim Vandergrifts article "Kit Winemaking 1-2-3" clearly leaves the impression that you can't whip the wine too much while degassing.

Any thoughts or info on this question will be appreciated.

the more degassing you do prior to adding fining agents, the better and faster they will work in clarifying as dissolved CO2 has a unique ability to curtail fining.

the kit instructions are a guide. you know from experience that degassing, depending on method and other variables, is usually a little more involved than they lead you to believe.

degass on a day of low atmospheric pressure, rainy/snowy and get the wine warmed up to 75-80* if you can. this can greatly improve the effort. if you are using a drill system, burst it and try to minimize creating vortexes or introducing O2 into the wine by "mixing" it. what you want to to is agitate the CO2 out of suspension, just like when you shake a can of soda it explodes soda all over you but if you stir a glass of soda it doesn't do as much as quickly.

O2 exposure at this stage isn't too much a concern, you're adding sulfites at this stage so there is some protection offered here.

chances are good you will not fully degass at this stage. after clarification you'll get a chance to rack off the sediment and sometimes a moderate splash rack here does the last little bit (k-meta gas from sanitizing the receiving carboy here again helps to conteract the effects of the splash racking)

after that you have clear wine and will need to taste and observe to see if CO2 levels are still too high for your liking and adapt.

vacuum racking/vacuum degassing takes alot of the guesswork out of this though. if you can splash rack under vacuum from secondary to new carboy, substantial amounts of CO2 are widthdrawn (on low-pressure days at the right temp) and a separate vac degassing sometimes is not even necessary.
I degass for how long they say then test it. I hook a little vacuum hand pump to the bung and airlock. Pump it several times and see if any bubbles come to the surface. If they do I keep stirring, if none come, it is almost safe to say it is degassed.

Something like this, hooks up to an airlock nicely. Make sure you have no liquid in your airlock. Also make sure it has been sanatized along with the bung.

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This is one of the RJS kits with a 14 day period in the primary fermenter, and many people report that degassing is easier because the larger surface area for another week allows more CO2 to bleed off.

In limited experience with these 14 day primaries, I haven't noticed a big difference.

Sorry, after I posted this thread I got called away.

Thanks to all of you for your inputs.

I'm thinking that after I add the sorbate I will degass several times and wait until the following afternoon before I fine and clarify if it appears that all the fizzing has stopped. I have one of those little bottle vacuum pumps and I'll give that a try.

If anyone sees a problem with this idea please speak right on up.

thanks again, LOUMIK
Loumik, the way you just described is usually what I do, I add the sulfite and sorbate and then degass well. The next day I degas againg and then hit it with the fining agents and top up. I let those fining agents sit about 2 weeks with the carboy tilted so that all the lees are collected on one side of the carboy and when ready to rack I genly tile the carboy to the other side slightly and rack from the clear side and that lets you get all the wine out with little to no problem of any lees transfer at all.
Thanks Wade. I feel much better about my plans now that I have the support and advice I have received from everyone. I will proceed with dgassing on Saturday and Sunday and fine and clarify Sunday evening if everything looks good.

Thanks again everyone. This forum has been great help to us newbies with our doubts and questions.:h
What is better for clearing purposes? In a cold room or in a warm room?
I normally recommend that newcomers follow the instructions as close as possible. The Cru Select instructions that are online say.

10. Let wine stand until Day 42 in an elevated cool area (15-19ºC/59-66ºF).

However, personally I would be clearing at warmer than that. Probably 21-24ºC/70-74ºF.