WineXpert Degassing wine questions! Please help

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GVV

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I’m on my fourth batch of red wine and I’ve read a book about home winemaking. The book didn’t really say too much about degassing at all and I’ve been googling a lot and really this is the only thing that confuses me at the moment: when to know when I’m done degassing. I’ve been using the Wine Xpert kits… the instructions say to agitate the wine intermittently for 10 minutes ( we use the drill attachment).. I’ve read that commercial wineries don’t degas their wine because they age them for some time before bottling. Is this step necessary for the kits because it completes the winemaking process in just 4 weeks? So we can get done with each batch faster and buy more kits? We are by no means rushing to drink our wine and have only enjoyed 4 out of 88ish bottles that we have produced so far. I basically just want to know what the best way to do this is. I’ve seen people say to put some wine in a mason jar, shake it, open it, and listen for gas’s escaping. When that doesn’t happen your done. I use a sanitized beer bottle I put my thumb over the opening then shake it for a couple of seconds and even after agitating wine for almost an hour I still hear gas’s escaping. It a perfect world I would have tons and tons of space and car boys so I can let them age in the car boys for a few months before bottling but is that the only option I have? I’m very confused on how 10 minutes can be enough when I’m still hearing gas’s escape after one hour of agitating. Which is why I feel it’s a marketing move by winexperts team to get people to just crank out kits every month. I also want to note that I consumed a glass from my first batch yesterday that I didn’t necessarily think was properly degassed. I finished that batch the end of January. Sorry an advanced for all my scattered thoughts I just want to know what to do to waste the least amount of time and produce the best wine possible with what I have to use. Please help! Lolol
 

Ohio Bob

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Agreed. There’s multiple ways to do it. Some day I’m going to get the All In One (AIO) pump which pulls a slight vacuum on the wine, thus degassing. For now I simply rack the wine but let the stream of wine free fall into the carboy, thus splashing and creating some foam. Not a perfect system but it has gotten the job done, and I long term age in carboys so eventually the CO2 gets out.
 
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Many beginners will buy a kit they can bottle in 4, 6, or 8 weeks. If they thought the wine would take a year, they might not buy. IMO this is a larger factor than selling monthly kits.

To be fair, a kit can be bottled in 4 weeks and produce a decent wine.

Degassing is not going to remove all the CO2. The point is to jump start the degassing process, which will continue over the following days and weeks. I use a drill mounted stirring rod and stir for 20-30 second, then change direction 5 times. More stirring is unnecessary, and may introduce O2 is overdone.

If bulk aging at least 3 months, stirring is not necessary. I do it as it speeds up sediment dropping. YMMV
 

BMarNJ

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If stirring is your only option, then stir, and stir some more. Do not bottle a gassy wine. You can also get an inexpensive Vacuvin and pull a vacuum on your carboy to get the CO2 up to the surface. Lots of info on this site about how to do that. I use the orange carboy caps, and the vacuvin cork fits right on top. 1649006104291.jpeg
 

BMarNJ

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I agree. I got the AIO also for that reason. Even with aging a year in carboys, my wine was still gassy. I am hoping the AIO makes a difference. I don’t understand how people can bottle a kit in a few weeks. Stirring with the drill whip was never enough.
 
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Even with aging a year in carboys, my wine was still gassy. I am hoping the AIO makes a difference. I don’t understand how people can bottle a kit in a few weeks. Stirring with the drill whip was never enough.
I notice that I degas for 1 minute (30 seconds in each direction) and the wine is fully degassed within another 2 to 3 weeks. I use a drill-mounted stirring rod with a pair of plastic free moving arms, and don't "whip" the wine.

I'm not arguing with your results, but I am wondering what the difference is?
 

BMarNJ

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@winemaker81 I would like to understand it as well. I have the same drill bit with the arms. And I have used a hand pump to degas as well. Now trying the AIO. CO2 has been my biggest problem to date. I am new to this still, I’ve made Spring and Fall juice bucket and grapes for the last 3 years and kits in the winter. Spring and fall bulk age at least a year, and now I am heading that way with kits too. The decanted wines have been pretty good, but they need to breathe for a long time. I can’t figure it out.
 
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@BMarNJ, if you're getting CO2 in a wine that's a year in bulk, it's probably not CO2. Without manual intervention, a wine should be fully degassed within a year. If you're degassing like I am (which is less than kits call for) you should be able to bottle at the 4 month mark (which doesn't mean you should, but can). I suspect you're mis-interpreting what you're experiencing. This would be FAR easier if we were sitting together, examining (e.g., drinking) your wine. Given that you're roughly 7 hours north of me, we'll have to muddle through.

Breathing and CO2 are totally different. I find that most reds benefit from breathing, and I use a bottle aerator 99% of the time. You can buy from Amazon for $15 USD. I've fooled people by handing them 2 glasses of the same wine, one aerated, one not. It's amazing how much difference breathing/aeration can make.
 

BMarNJ

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My friend got me an aerator for Christmas, and it helps. I also sometimes decant it and stir it up with a fork. CO2 masks all of the other measurements, so I am more careful now preparing my samples for pH and TA. A learning process for sure. I’ll have to find a winemaker to taste my wine and help me out.
 
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Maybe @joeswine can help, he is nearby.
I've learned that winemaking is more fun as a shared activity. Many moons ago my brother and I worked together, and later I helped the guys that mentored me, and roommates helped me. In recent years my sons help me, and now my eldest is making his own. I wait until he's available before barrel topping, as it's more fun, especially the quality control.
 

mikewatkins727

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Breathing and CO2 are totally different. I find that most reds benefit from breathing, and I use a bottle aerator 99% of the time. You can buy from Amazon for $15 USD. I've fooled people by handing them 2 glasses of the same wine, one aerated, one not. It's amazing how much difference breathing/aeration can make.
I find this true even in my fruit wines.
 

heatherd

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I’m on my fourth batch of red wine and I’ve read a book about home winemaking. The book didn’t really say too much about degassing at all and I’ve been googling a lot and really this is the only thing that confuses me at the moment: when to know when I’m done degassing. I’ve been using the Wine Xpert kits… the instructions say to agitate the wine intermittently for 10 minutes ( we use the drill attachment).. I’ve read that commercial wineries don’t degas their wine because they age them for some time before bottling. Is this step necessary for the kits because it completes the winemaking process in just 4 weeks? So we can get done with each batch faster and buy more kits? We are by no means rushing to drink our wine and have only enjoyed 4 out of 88ish bottles that we have produced so far. I basically just want to know what the best way to do this is. I’ve seen people say to put some wine in a mason jar, shake it, open it, and listen for gas’s escaping. When that doesn’t happen your done. I use a sanitized beer bottle I put my thumb over the opening then shake it for a couple of seconds and even after agitating wine for almost an hour I still hear gas’s escaping. It a perfect world I would have tons and tons of space and car boys so I can let them age in the car boys for a few months before bottling but is that the only option I have? I’m very confused on how 10 minutes can be enough when I’m still hearing gas’s escape after one hour of agitating. Which is why I feel it’s a marketing move by winexperts team to get people to just crank out kits every month. I also want to note that I consumed a glass from my first batch yesterday that I didn’t necessarily think was properly degassed. I finished that batch the end of January. Sorry an advanced for all my scattered thoughts I just want to know what to do to waste the least amount of time and produce the best wine possible with what I have to use. Please help! Lolol
The test is to put your thumb on a bottle of wine, shake it, and take your thumb off; if there's suction between the bottle and your finger you still need degassing. You can also taste your wine to check whether it tastes what I call "zippy." This is something that needs to happen before a wine will clear.

You have a few degassing options and all are equally good:
  • Manual degassing by stirring
  • Using a drill attachment
  • Time
 

wineh

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The puff test is not a reliable indicator of CO2. If you do it just right (ie wrong) you can make tap water have a puff. Better test is take a sample of your wine and put some on your tongue. Leave it there for a few seconds. If there is CO2, you will feel it. If you feel nothing, the wine is sufficiently degassed.
 

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