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Degassing

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Amanda35

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How can I tell if my wine is totally degassed? I stirred it 3-4 times a day for the past two days as it said to do in the kit instructions, and then I used the degassing tool that you attach to a drill twice today for a couple minutes. It's foamy but no big bubbles and after about 5-10 mins the foam is gone. Is it safe to move to the next step?
 

Tnuscan

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How can I tell if my wine is totally degassed? I stirred it 3-4 times a day for the past two days as it said to do in the kit instructions, and then I used the degassing tool that you attach to a drill twice today for a couple minutes. It's foamy but no big bubbles and after about 5-10 mins the foam is gone. Is it safe to move to the next step?
So your wine is in a carboy, am I correct? Are you at the stabilization stage?
 

rustbucket

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The last time I entertained the notion that I was a wine maker was when I was in college during the early 70's. There were no wine kits available back then. We made wine from recipes gotten out of wine making books. We never degassed, we aged. The gas escapes over time.

I've never heard of the wine chateaus degassing their wines. I suspect that degassing is an invention of the wine kit companies. In order to meet the time requirements of a 4 week or 6 week or 8 week kits, that time designation referring to the period from pitching the yeast to bottling the wine, you must get the gas produced during fermentation out of the wine. These short time frames are insufficient for the gas to escape the wine naturally.

The best way that I've found to get all the gas out of a kit wine is to slow down the process. After the initial wine racking from the primary fermentation vessel to a carboy, the wine is protected from air infiltration by an air lock. At this point, you can slow down the process.

Rather than continue to follow the time line in the kit instructions, I leave the wine in the carboy for a month. Continuing to follow the instructions with regard to process, but not with regard to time, I clarify and do some degassing exercises, but don't concern myself with eliminating every last gas bubble. Then another month, or so, goes by before moving on to the next process; etc.. It takes me 3 to 6 months, or longer if I'm traveling, to go from yeast pitching to bottle. After 3 months, the wine is flat; there is no gas left.

If this is your first wine making experience, Amanda, you are no doubt anxios to get it bottled and begin sampling it. I'm still anxious to try my wines even though it has been a few years since I started this hobby. However, based on my own experience, my suggestion to you is to slow down your process at this point. The gas left in your wine will dissipate naturally if given the time.
 

Amanda35

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Yes Dave it is in the Carboy and I am at the stabilization stage
 

AZMDTed

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Degassing is the area that gives me the biggest pain. Following kit instructions has always failed me, my wine remained gassy. The two main tests I always heard were:

1. The poof test. fill a test tube or your hydrometer beaker half full of wine. Put your palm over the top to seal it, shake it, and then put it up to your ear when you open your palm. If you hear a 'poof' it still has gas. I've never been able to do that as I always hear a poof, even with clear water.

2. take a small sip of the wine and see if you can feel the fizz on the tip of your tongue. The fizz would be the CO2, that too takes a delicate and practiced tongue, more than mine offers.

If you're going to age the wine in a carboy for six months then getting the gas out completely now is not that big of a deal. If there's too much gas you might run into issues with the Chitosan clumping together, but that can be dealt with. With aging, as mentioned before the wine will degas.

But if you're going to bottling as early as possible then the wine will not degas more once corked.

it sounds like you have a wine whip. If so, beat the heck out of the wine for a minute or two, making sure that you go in one direction for about 15 seconds, then reverse direction for 15, so on. When you've done that for a few minutes look at the side of your carboy. If it's still gassy you will see bubbles rising up the side. If you see a lot rising and forming a fast stream of bubbles then keep going because you still have too much gas. If it's down to just some then you're okay.

Good luck
 

NorCal

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Sure test: Fill a 750ml wine bottle 1/3 full, put your thumb over the top shake hard. Be sure to do this outdoors, yea made that mistake.
 

Floandgary

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What wine are you working with??? Most commercial wines are a couple of yrs old before release AND they've been run through filtering,,, both of which contribute to a CO2-less product. Your efforts with the whip will have driven most of it off and as all of the reply's have suggested, a little time/patience will take care of the rest. Tough to do when you're new at it but eventually you'll appreciate the significance. G'Luck ;)
 

tbayav8er

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Degassing has caused me so much frustration, and made me realize that is almost impossible to degas wine completely, if it's not given enough time.

Now, when I get to the stabilizing step, I degas for 10 mins or so with my drill mounted wine whip, then I let it bulk age for 6 months+. Seems to work pretty well!
 

Tnuscan

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All the posts are so true. Time in the carboy is the best way. Drill with a whip is definitely easier than a stick or a spoon. I now use the drill and a AIO. When only using the drill I would go in forward direction for several seconds, then reverse. Let the bubbles settle then repeat this process for 20 minutes or so. Still I wonder if this is enough. lol. I only do this one time at stabilizing, then proceed.
Even after all this if you decide to bottle early like the instructions say. Before you open your first bottle get 2 glasses. Open bottle, pour some in 1 glass, then place you finger over opening of bottle shake like crazy, release, do this 4or 5 times then pour some in the next glass. Bet you will taste a difference, I know I can, even after doing it with the drill and the AIO I can still do this and tell a difference.
So I guess my answer for a first time kit maker, or a beginner would be 15 to 20 minutes with the drill, then proceed. Take notes, you may want to add more minutes on the next kit at degassing. I like the time in the carboy method, but I also bottle early so I understand.
Cheers!!!
 

dcbrown73

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So, it's:
  1. Use degassing whip with drill for 15 minutes reversing every 15 seconds
  2. Use All-In-One-Pump to and from carboys four times.
  3. Bulk age for three months in carboy.
  4. Magically degassed wine!

(this is just a list of stuff I've heard)

Lots of work and time to get bubbles out!
 
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AZMDTed

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So, it's:
  1. Use degassing whip with drill for 15 minutes reversing every 15 seconds
  2. Use All-In-One-Pump to and from carboys four times.
  3. Bulk age for three months in carboy.
  4. Magically degassed wine!

(this is just a list of stuff I've heard)

Lots of work and time to get bubbles out!
It takes me about an hour total with a wine whip on my drill to degass thoroughly and make wine ready for early bottling. As far as four times with the AllinOne, I believe that may relate to the number of rackings one has between preparing the wine and some bulk aging which in combination results in degassed wine.
 

Floandgary

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So, it's:
  1. Use degassing whip with drill for 15 minutes reversing every 15 seconds
  2. Use All-In-One-Pump to and from carboys four times.
  3. Bulk age for three months in carboy.
  4. Magically degassed wine!

(this is just a list of stuff I've heard)

Lots of work and time to get bubbles out!
1. Mentally prepare (buy some box wine to hold you over)
2. Splash rack to carboy
3. Stabilize, oak, backsweeten, etc.,, insert airlock
4. Splash rack a couple more times @3-4 months,,,K-meta
5. Magically degassed wine!

Little bit of time, very little work to get bubbles out! :b
 

Johnd

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Or, the easiest of all, make sure your wine is about 75 degrees F, attach an electric vacuum pump to your glass carboy, degas your wine in under 5 minutes and never worry about it again. No racking needed, no whipping needed, no added exposure to oxygen, no waiting needed. It'll clear faster, you can bottle faster, or you can still choose to bulk age for years if you like.
 

Dhaynes

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I'm not sure all of this degassing effort is actually good for the wine. Here are quotes taken from two of the leading experts from a thread in another forum in February of this year. Daniel Pambianchi literally wrote the book on home wine making and Tim Vandergrift is the guru of kits who wrote the WE instructions.

Daniel Pambianchi
Yes, temperature definitely is a big part of it. But wine will in fact degas over time and with normal processing, i.e. every time you stir, rack, filter, etc, some gas dissipates. It dissipates more readily at higher temperatures. But it will never (and should not) go down to zero gas as some is needed for freshness, more so in whites. So you will still get some gas if you tried to degas at that point where you shouldn't any longer.

Tim Vandergrift
Daniel's paper is excellent. I'll throw in 25 years of more-or-less forcing On Premise operators to buy 3-prong wine whips: if it takes you more than 2 minutes to degas a wine with a decent drill and a good (3-prong type) whip, your wine is either a) too cold, or b) you're stirring too slowly. Top speed or nothing--stirring isn't the paradigm, agitation is the paradigm, and cold wine won't degas effectively. Refer back to your kit instructions for recommended temperatures.

In the amount of time I recommend, done correctly, the whip won't add enough oxygen to spoil your kit. Side-by-side tests done at a major kit company showed there was a difference wines that were whip-degassed and wines that weren't, but taster preference was split, coming down slightly on the whipped wines.

You can have a look at the demo here (whipping starts at about 1:45) https://youtu.be/7NZJUSR762w
 

AZMDTed

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While I have great respect for Tim V., his comment that 2 minutes is all you need at the suggested 72-75 degrees is just flat wrong in my experience if you follow that with bottling per the instruction schedule. I have a couple batches from last year that 1., I used a wine whip, 2., at full speed 3., in a 75 degree water bath, 4., using forward and reverse for max agitation and the wine is gassy so much now that I have degas it in the bottle before I serve it.

I wish his guidance was true, but he also talks about using his morticians vacuum pump so I wonder how much manual degassing he does now. Using the AllinOne and carboy aging is the solution for me. Maybe others have had better experience following manufacturers instructions for degassing and then bottling a couple weeks later. It's never worked for me.
 

Johnd

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While I have great respect for Tim V., his comment that 2 minutes is all you need at the suggested 72-75 degrees is just flat wrong in my experience if you follow that with bottling per the instruction schedule. I have a couple batches from last year that 1., I used a wine whip, 2., at full speed 3., in a 75 degree water bath, 4., using forward and reverse for max agitation and the wine is gassy so much now that I have degas it in the bottle before I serve it.

I wish his guidance was true, but he also talks about using his morticians vacuum pump so I wonder how much manual degassing he does now. Using the AllinOne and carboy aging is the solution for me. Maybe others have had better experience following manufacturers instructions for degassing and then bottling a couple weeks later. It's never worked for me.
I've commented on more degassing posts here than I can shake a stick at. If you're unwilling to wait the carboy time, I'll agree that whipping is a waste of time and manual labor. AIO will do it over time with multiple rackings (it's vacuum degassing, by the way, just at lower inHg, and multiple times). EVERY SINGLE wine I've degassed with an electric vacuum pump was done within 5 minutes. Period. I've never quickly bottled a red wine, but have done many fruit and white wines in weeks, no carbonation, no fizz, nada, zilch. Do what works for you, but know that there are other alternatives.
 

dcbrown73

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I think I will just follow what I wrote above. Spend a few minutes with the whip then, use my AIO to transfer the wine around during the standard processing/racking of it and then allow the rest of the gas to come out naturally via bulk aging for three months. (stay patient!)

Now if I try a fast wine (like fruit I suppose) I will see how things go then.
 

Tnuscan

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How can I tell if my wine is totally degassed? I stirred it 3-4 times a day for the past two days as it said to do in the kit instructions, and then I used the degassing tool that you attach to a drill twice today for a couple minutes. It's foamy but no big bubbles and after about 5-10 mins the foam is gone. Is it safe to move to the next step?
Do you feel that you received your answer? lol
Give it a good 10 minute whippin' and move to the next step.
Have fun!!
 

Amanda35

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Well Thank you everyone for all the information!! It will not be lost on me! My question has been answered and I have been in contact with the owner of the wine shop where I purchase my kits and he gave me some tips as well. I am going to enjoy winemaking as a hobby since I am a stay at home mom, and I will definetly enjoy reaping the benefits of good finished product lol. I will update soon on the finished product! Cheers
 

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