Oxygenate before pitching yeast?

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crabjoe

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In beer brewing, it's recommended that one should oxygenate the mash before pitching the yeast. This helps with yeast multiplication and allows the colony to grow. Based on my research, it seems just a stir of the must is fine.

My questions are... Would it be ok to oxygenate the wine must before pitching the yeast or should I just stick with stirring? If it's not recommended to oxygenate, is there a reason why?

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Brettanomyces

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As in brewing, you always need to think about how much oxygen to introduce. Stirring introduces some oxygen, but not much. What wine are you making, and how were you oxygenating you wort?
 

DoctorCAD

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No need, in fact, you can simply sprinkle the dry yeast on top and cover the fermenter with a loose lid or towel.

It's wine...not beer
 

crabjoe

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As in brewing, you always need to think about how much oxygen to introduce. Stirring introduces some oxygen, but not much. What wine are you making, and how were you oxygenating you wort?
Haven't made anything yet, but I've got a cheap 6 gal kit on order and was planning on some skeeter pee. As for the how to oxygenate, I've got a Oxywand with a bottle of oxygen.
 

DoctorCAD

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Haven't made anything yet, but I've got a cheap 6 gal kit on order and was planning on some skeeter pee. As for the how to oxygenate, I've got a Oxywand with a bottle of oxygen.
Dont do it. This is wine...not beer.
 

Brettanomyces

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Haven't made anything yet, but I've got a cheap 6 gal kit on order and was planning on some skeeter pee. As for the how to oxygenate, I've got a Oxywand with a bottle of oxygen.
Like others have stated, I think you'll find that overkill for most wine. Some whites do better with a bit of oxygen up front and then getting airlocked, like beer, but most reds prefer less oxygen up front and more slowly throughout (that's what the loose cover gets you). Don't know for sure about SP, but I'd follow the usual recommendations for it.
 

bstnh1

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You want to make sure you mix the juice and water thoroughly and that will add enough oxygen to keep the yeast happy. I use a mixstir and that adds more than enough oxygen before I pitch the yeast. Pitch the yeast, cover the fermenter with a clean towel or cheesecloth and you're good to go!
 

jgmillr1

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In beer brewing, it's recommended that one should oxygenate the mash before pitching the yeast
The difference is that you don't boil the wine must (or juice) like beer, which drives off dissolved oxygen from your liquid/wort. The grape crushing process itself introduces plenty of oxygen to the must. And too much oxygen can feed acetobacter and promote vinegar spoilage to begin before the yeast can take over.
 

crabjoe

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The difference is that you don't boil the wine must (or juice) like beer, which drives off dissolved oxygen from your liquid/wort. The grape crushing process itself introduces plenty of oxygen to the must. And too much oxygen can feed acetobacter and promote vinegar spoilage to begin before the yeast can take over.
Now that makes sense as to why it's needed with beer, but not wine.
 

balatonwine

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most reds prefer less oxygen up front and more slowly throughout (that's what the loose cover gets you).
Reds actually can benefit from more O2 than can be had from just a loose cover during most parts of fermentation. Have you never see pumping over during red wine making for example?


This is never done with whites. Reds, during fermentation, actually do okay, and benefit from some extra O2 during fermentation on the skins. White wine, not fermented on skins and so needs a different type of "punch down", can too easily oxidize from such pump over O2 unless you want to make an amber/orange wine.
 

1d10t

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Yeast use oxygen to build cell membranes that helps keep them healthy and aid in reproducing (budding). Beer makers tried using olive oil to provide the needed sterols at one point. Some, but not all, yeast nutrients provide dead yeast cells for the sterols.

In theory if your pitch is proper and you add nutrients you can air lock from day one and the yeast will be happy. Yeast will scavenge all available oxygen within the first half hour or so. Early on it is hard to introduce enough oxygen to overwhelm the yeast uptake. What we are left with is 'what works' because there are many paths to the same goals.

The question is how much and when oxygen starts having negative instead of positive effects during the wine making process. What we have is lots of traditions and tweaks that have been incorporated into the process because they have been known to work.
 

jgmillr1

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Reds actually can benefit from more O2 than can be had from just a loose cover during most parts of fermentation. Have you never see pumping over during red wine making for example?


This is never done with whites. Reds, during fermentation, actually do okay, and benefit from some extra O2 during fermentation on the skins. White wine, not fermented on skins and so needs a different type of "punch down", can too easily oxidize from such pump over O2 unless you want to make an amber/orange wine.
For sure this is the way to do the "punch down" on a tank when you couldn't otherwise.

There was a winery in Fresno I recall that put a large fan to blow over the pump over. This was intended to drive off alcohol though rather than include more oxygen. It successfully drove off a full 1% abv by the end. Lots of happy cellar rats I bet.
 

Brettanomyces

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Reds actually can benefit from more O2 than can be had from just a loose cover during most parts of fermentation. Have you never see pumping over during red wine making for example?


This is never done with whites. Reds, during fermentation, actually do okay, and benefit from some extra O2 during fermentation on the skins. White wine, not fermented on skins and so needs a different type of "punch down", can too easily oxidize from such pump over O2 unless you want to make an amber/orange wine.
Sure. Breaking the cap is always necessary. My point about a loose cover was meant to be in contrast to an airlocked carboy. One assumes stirring to drive off CO2 and punch the cap. I wasn't intending to generalize about processes in larger operations like you showed.
 

crushdaley

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Sorry to piggy back on this thread but I too am a hombrewer just getting into the wine making process. I understand the reason to punch down the cap but it seems I’ve read a lot about stirring at the same time. If you did this with beer it would be oxidized and ruined. Why does this not happen to wine?
 

cmason1957

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Sorry to piggy back on this thread but I too am a hombrewer just getting into the wine making process. I understand the reason to punch down the cap but it seems I’ve read a lot about stirring at the same time. If you did this with beer it would be oxidized and ruined. Why does this not happen to wine?
Wine is such a lower PH than beer and I always think produces more CO2 than beer, that there just is no comparison. Some major manufacturers of wine don't punch down they cap, they hook a hose up to the bottom and pump from the bottom to the top. There probably are a bunch of chemistry reasons it doesn't matter as much that I just don't even know.
 

jpwatkins9

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From this discussion, I take it that a loose cover, or cloth cover for reds is the way to go. How long before we should put the air lock on? How often to punch down the cap? I have made quite a few kits now, but not many from new crush. Just getting into doing that. Did one batch (6 gal) of Cabernet Sauvignon last year from grapes that I picked. Left the lid off for 1 day. Never did punch down the cap. Now in bulk aging and will bottle in December. Testing about every 3 months and all seems to be going good.
 

Johnd

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From this discussion, I take it that a loose cover, or cloth cover for reds is the way to go. How long before we should put the air lock on? How often to punch down the cap? I have made quite a few kits now, but not many from new crush. Just getting into doing that. Did one batch (6 gal) of Cabernet Sauvignon last year from grapes that I picked. Left the lid off for 1 day. Never did punch down the cap. Now in bulk aging and will bottle in December. Testing about every 3 months and all seems to be going good.
Yes, a loose cover / cloth is just fine, just to make sure nothing falls or flies into your fermenter.
Punch down several times a day if you can, 2 -3 is sufficient, do it more if you can.
Once your fermentation is nearly complete (in the 1.000 range), it'll be time to press off the skins, that's a good time to get your wine into carboys / vessels where you can airlock and limit oxygen exposure.
 

jpwatkins9

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John’s, thanks, as I mentioned, use kits more than crush. Will be doing more with fresh grapes and don’t want to screw the up too badly. This is a great way to learn about wine and actually make good wine. Inhave had some bottles that cost more than the premium kits, and wasn’t as good as what I make. Let’s keep on fermenting.

John
 
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