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WineXpert Having issues degassing

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Courtney

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I did a search a few weeks ago because I was having problems getting my World Vineyard Chilean Merlot to degas competly. I had already added the chemicals. So I read that it would be best to rack off the lees and degass more after that.

The problem is that I am still getting a hint of CO2. Did I do something wrong or would it be ok to keep racking and degassing until i do not tast the CO2 anymore.
 

rawlus

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what method are you using to degas? what is the temp of the wine when you degas?
one of the better ways to degas is to simply wait. dose the wine as necessary with sulfite for aging, put on an airlock and put the wine away for awhile.
 

Courtney

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I'm not for sure on the temp. The apt is usually between 67 and 72. I was using the attchment for the end of the drill. How often should I add sulfite? And what is a good way to check the temp of your wine??
 

Tom

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Malbec will get better with age. Saying that dont worry. I degas @ every racking. Sulfite (k-meta) should be added every 3 months. Using the drill method just make sure you use low speed and not making a "frothing" action.
 

Courtney

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That might have been my issue. I was beating the crap out if it. Oops
 

rawlus

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okay. temp should be between 75*-80* F for best degasing results. you can move the carboy to a warmer room or apply some sort of direct heat via a device like a brew-belt®*or Fermwrap® heater.

I will assume that secondary ferment has completed, you've added your clarifiers and stabliziers and k-meta, and racked off any remaining sediment so that this wine is essentially complete as far as the instructions go with no more steps left.

the dill-mounted attachments take some practice to learn the method and routine that works best for you and your situation, but in general, it usually takes longer to fully degas than you think it will. when i used a fizz-x on a drill i would use it for 10-20min twice a day for 3 or 4 days in a row, creating short bursts of action that would erupt a small amount of carbonation each time. think of how long it takes a bottle of coke to go flat.... it usually does not happen right away. but it will happen quicker if the coke is warm.

during this process you still want to minimize O2 exposure so keep it air-locked between degasing sessions and try not to create a big vortex in the carboy (like a tornado) that sucks are into the wine.

eventually the wine will be pretty flat, if you put a sample in a small bottle, cover with your thumb and shake, you may get bubbles from the agitation but you won't see that carbonation or hear a fizz or pop when you release your thumb. if you shake a corked commercial bottle of wine you'll see some bubbles so you might want to do that just so you know what that looks like and that it's not carbonation.

now keep in mind that this physical abuse of the wine by degassing is going to stress it out a bit and if you bottle now, its gonna need to sit a good long while to recover... at least 3months probably and thats just to recover from the shock... the WV chilean merlot would probably benefit from an additional 9 months of aging too.

what you could do as an alternative is give it a bit of degassing now in the carboy after you've warmed the wine up a little more than 72* and see if that has a noticeable impact on driving off CO2. and then airlocking the carboy and putting it away to bulk age for several months. common consensus and standard protocol seems to be to add 1/4tsp of k-meta per 6 gallons every 3 months or so, but if you have a way to test for SO2, that is always the better way to go than by some arbitrary calendar schedule.

i would suggest reading both of these articles.
Winemaker Mag - Make your kit wine shine
Winemaker Mag - Make your kit wine shine - redux
 

rawlus

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also to support what tom was saying - i don't run the drill like a blender for 20min. all that does is create a big vortex that spins around and around. my method was to do more of a "pulse" of the drill. i use a A/C drill instead of a battery as it has more torque and i slam it to it's highest setting for a brief second and just that one pulse will send an eruption of bubbles to the surface like ginger ale without creating any vortex or introducing any air into the mix. when the bubbles subside i do this again. and repeat for 20min or so. then go back and do it again the next day and so forth.

i use vacuum now which is much less effort on my part but the drill works if you learn the right approach.
 

wyntheef

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like courtney, i was also apparently getting way too vigorous.

the kit directions are very implicit that problems will arise from not enough vigor, so maybe a bit confusing.

anyways, as i was drilling my wine, i thought i probably was sucking in air through the vortex, so i began doing the pulse thing with the drill similar to what rawlus is saying, and then so i didn't have to keep waiting for it to settle before another burst, i would reverse the drill alternately. this seemed to work pretty well.

still, i wonder, will i get a 'feel' for degassing and 'know' when it's done, or
is this something that will require testing of some sort?

so many questions! :?
 

Tom

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It like riding a bike
Kinda hard in the begining but, much easier with experience.
 

Dugger

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"common consensus and standard protocol seems to be to add 1/4tsp of k-meta per 6 gallons every 3 months or so"

Rawlus, do you think it is necessary to add additional K-meta every 3 months or so, or just if you are racking at that time period? If there was no sediment present it would seem unnecessary to rack and therefore unnecessary to add more K-meta since there is no air exposure. Certainly if you rack, then K-meta should be added again as an anti-oxident.
.. Doug
 

Dugger

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Wade - OK, when it comes to SO2 I'm lost - is this an indication of bacteria in the wine and applicable to both kit and grape/fruit wines? I really know nothing about sulphur dioxide or what it indicates so need some help here.
.. Doug
 

Dugger

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Wade - sorry, I should have done a little research before I posted the previous reply. If I understand correctly, the SO2 test simply tells you how effectively your K-meta addition is holding up and whether or not your wine is still protected. Since I only do kit wines, almost always add the additional 1/4 tsp of K-meta and rarely bulk age beyond 3-6 months, it's not something I've even thought about.
.. Doug
 

Wade E

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Then in your case you do not need the test kit or any other additions of k-meta. your research taught you well.
 

andrew

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Regarding the degassing issue, are there any potential drawbacks to using a vacuum to remove the CO2. I came across a method using a drilled stopper and cheap "wine saver" pump on the web ( [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjL80hXkHdI[/ame] ). It seemed so easy I was curious to try it.
 

Wade E

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You will not be able to harm your wine using that wine saver but you will expend lots and lots of energy trying to use that. With an electric pump like mine there is though, you need to have a general idea of when a wine is degassed cause running it all day pulling avcuum through your wine could ruin your wine and 1 without a pressure regulator could ruin your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imploding glass carboy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

andrew

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You will not be able to harm your wine using that wine saver but you will expend lots and lots of energy trying to use that. With an electric pump like mine there is though, you need to have a general idea of when a wine is degassed cause running it all day pulling avcuum through your wine could ruin your wine and 1 without a pressure regulator could ruin your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imploding glass carboy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for advice. On the utube video it didn't sound very labor intensive, just pumping it down (20-40 pumps) two or three times, one day apart would do it. I guess it's not that simple.
 

Wade E

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I guess it all depends on the wine but I used to use a Mityc=vac which is a brake bleeder designed for ridding brake systems of 02 and that works way better then the wine saver which I also have for its intended purpose and it requires much more work then that. It will get the job done though and better then nothing!
 

gonzo46307

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I use the mityvac method and it works well...builds up your forearms also.

No matter how you de-gas, the warmer the wine the easier it will be.

Peace,
Bob
 

rawlus

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the difficulty with the wine saver is merely the volume of air needed to evacuate from the carboy to generate 18Hg/in of vacuum and the super-small amount of displacement created with each pump of the winesaver. it can take alot of pumps to even begin to draw a strong vacuum on a carboy with decent headspace, that and there's no gauge to go by.

any sort of suction/vacuum device can be used, but not all are ideal.
 
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