Degassing tips?

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cavino

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Hey all. I am making the winexpert cab sav 6 gallon with grape skins. SG was .995 for a couple days so I racked it to glass carboy. I used the drill and attachment to degas per instructions. I went back and forth for a good 8-10 minutes but still gassy. Don’t want to overdo it. Do you recommend letting it degas naturally in carboy over time? If that’s the case how long can a kit bulk age? Or keep degassing manually and how often?
 
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Johnd

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Do you recommend topping it up now or waiting to give more space for the CO2 to escape? If waiting, how long? Here’s what it looks like now. Thanks!
The amount of headspace won’t affect the dissipation of CO2. You should top up with similar wine, leave 1” - 1.5” below the bung.
 

RickD

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I am eyeing the degas process as well, on my first batch of wine (blackberry from frozen mashed berries). I tried the Fermtech Whip after primary, but it did not seem productive, so I racked to carboy and airlocked. That was on 2-4-21.

Today, I have streams of very small (sub-sand) bubbles. They appear to be originating in the lees. Positive pressure in the airlock, but that seems constant, so I am wondering if I still have fermentation going on? Or is that just CO2 outgassing? And is the CO2 is just going right back into solution since it doesn't seem to be building up enough to bubble the airlock)?

IMG_1483.JPG
 

sour_grapes

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No fermentation, just degassing.
CO2 won't come out of solution, then back in. I suspect you are just missing the bubbling of the airlock.
 

winemaker81

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@cavino -- First, how to degas. The easiest way is to use a drill-mounted stirring rod (which you did). Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, changing direction every 30 seconds. There is no need or benefit to stir longer. The wine will continue to foam, and will show activity after put back into a carboy under airlock. This is normal.

Stirring is NOT going to drive out all the CO2 -- it drives out a lot and the agitation continues the process. Stirring speeds up the process from months to days.

Folks post about how stirring introduces O2 into the wine. Correctly done, so much CO2 is being emitted that I doubt it. I have not seen credible evidence that stirring introduces O2. That doesn't mean evidence doesn't exist -- just that I am unaware of it.

Did stirring for 9 minutes damage your wine? My best guess is "probably not" but don't degas again. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Degassing is common in kit wines, as their intention is for the consumer to get their wine in the bottle ASAP. This is because the wine is safer in the bottle, e.g., it's not open to contamination like a carboy is. More importantly, from both the vendor and consumer POV, the wine is ready to drink sooner. For consumers it's "wow I made wine, let's drink it!". For vendors it's, "you made wine and are drinking it, buy another kit!" Everyone is happy.
:db

Paul (@sour_grapes) is absolutely correct -- wine degasses with time. If you're going to bulk age a year, why degas? Because with the CO2 gone, wine clears faster as CO2 holds sediment in suspension.

I typically rack/press when the SG is between 1.010 and 0.998 (juice/kits vs grapes), and rack again a week later. At that point fermentation is done and I stir to degas. I rack again a week or 2 later, and after that my wine is mostly sediment free. In another 3-4 months I'll rack again, and probably have only a dusting.

I agree that most reds benefit from a year of aging, sometimes more. Some reds, whites and fruits? It depends.

Keep in mind that Paul and I can both be correct -- there is more than one right answer. For the first few kits, follow the instructions. Once you feel comfortable, branch out.
 

RickD

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This picture was taken well towards the end of degassing 750 ml of blackberry wine. I started out using the VacuVin, and it worked amazingly well. There was a very sudden and significant drop in volume of wine...the level started out at the TOP of the piece of blue tape. Will consign my whips to stirring.IMG_1584.JPG
 
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