Rebottling to Degas

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Jan 14, 2009
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First - This Forum has been a great resource for me - a beginner. I've made a few mistakes along the way but have been so far I've been able to salvage my first kit (A Liebfraumilch) and made it to bottling one week ago.

At bottling I did some tasting and things tasted pretty good.

Now, a week after bottling I tasted again. I have slightly carbonated wine with a slight sulfury smell.

I did stabilize w/ sorbate and added K-meta at bottling so I'm thinking I didn't degas enough. (It was a little cool when I bottled but I don't have the temp. - probably around 60 F).

I'm thinking I'll uncork, pour into a carboy, stir to degas, then rebottle. I know this sounds like a lot of work but that's ok w/ me if it will help the situation.

Any advice on whether this will solve the problems or is there another course of action someone could recommend?

Thank you in advance!!
I can't answer your question B, but I encourage you to start another batch right now!!!!!If the more experienced makers in here can't answer your questions on this one we can sure make tommorrows work!!!! I can't wait to sem em tear you up when they see you admitted to popping the cork after a week. I'm quilty of impatience as well, you got further than me. Whats a bottle?
As you said, a lot of work but that's what needs to be done. I suggest you degas and return to a carboy for a few days just to be on the safe side. To avoid this in the future degas while still in the carboy and check the SG. If .996 or less you know it's done fermenting, then add the sorbate and K-meta and still wait a couple days before bottling. This may sound overly cautious but it could avoid trouble in the future.

??? You stabalized with sorbate...was the wine still fermenting when you tasted it? Did you back sweeten prior to sweetening?
Did you check the S.G. prior to bottling?
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I don't know it pouring it would be a great idea, I have a feeling that would massively increase you O2 exposure. I know it would take a long time (depending on the number of bottles you have) but I personally would rack them back. I might be wrong, but to me that sound like a better choice.
Any advice on whether this will solve the problems or is there another course of action someone could recommend?
Thank you in advance!!
You could decant the wine before serving. Some of the CO2 will dissipate. Enough? Maybe.

A couple of years ago, a fellow home wine maker invited me over. He commented that the wine was good but still had some CO2 in it. So I poured myself a glass and tasted it. Yep, CO2. So I gently swirled the glass for a bit. Drank some more. Didn't notice the CO2. Nice red wine.

I would buy a vacuvin and just degas each bottle when opening. This device is used to pull excess 02 out of the wine so that it will store longer but you can actually dgeas a carboy or bottle with it.
Provided that your hydrometer readings have definitively shown that fermentation is completed, the wine has clarified fine, and you've properly stabilized it, you could just leave it as is. A little spritz in a light white like a Liebfraumilch is perfectly acceptable and is often desired. Portugese Vinho Verde and some German wines intended for early drinking often have a little prickle of CO2 to them. Any pouring or racking at this point is going to expose the wine to excess oxygen and you may risk oxidizing the wine or at least dulling some of the more delicate aromatics. The sulfur smell should subside with a little more time in bottle, however the CO2 will make it more pronounced at this point.
Anyone ever try de-gassing a bottle of wine by sticking a (hollow?) needle through the cork? I'd rather not add a bunch more chemicals to my wine, or re-bottle it!

Thanks, Jaimes Beam

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