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Secondary fermentation and degassing/racking

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trustIsEarned

Junior
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Hello,
I'm making my first homemade wine kit and I got some conflicting information about the degassing process. One person said I did't have to rack the wine from the secondary fermentor and I could just degas after the specific gravity was under 1.00 and still in the carboy. The other person said I must rack from secondary fermentor to another carboy and then degas. I ended up following the first person's information and degassed without racking a second time. Also, I added potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate before degassing. My question pertains to sediments being mixed in while degassing. Have I ruined my wine since I didn't rack it a second time before degassing? Have all the sediments been mixed back in and will this affect the taste? Should I rack it once degassing is finished?

Thanks,
pennsylvania winemaker
 

Johnd

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Hello,
I'm making my first homemade wine kit and I got some conflicting information about the degassing process. One person said I did't have to rack the wine from the secondary fermentor and I could just degas after the specific gravity was under 1.00 and still in the carboy. The other person said I must rack from secondary fermentor to another carboy and then degas. I ended up following the first person's information and degassed without racking a second time. Also, I added potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate before degassing. My question pertains to sediments being mixed in while degassing. Have I ruined my wine since I didn't rack it a second time before degassing? Have all the sediments been mixed back in and will this affect the taste? Should I rack it once degassing is finished?

Thanks,
pennsylvania winemaker
It's probably most prudent to, first and foremost, wait for fermentation to be complete, as evidenced by SG below 1.000 and not changing for three days. After that, racking off of the sediment before degassing and adding chess is typical, but some kits (WinExpert) want you to leave them in. Follow your kits instructions. In any case, you've not ruined it, give it time to settle down and clear, then rack it and degas some more if you like, or just bulk age it and let it degas on its own.
 

AZMDTed

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Like all great answers, this begins with 'it depends'.

What did your kit instructions tell you to do?

Some kits, generally those with skins, will tell you to rack before degassing and fining. Many kits without skins will tell you not to rack. The reason is the amount of solids in the wine which are required to react with the fining agents for clearing. You didn't mention adding any clearing agents, did you?

I'm very confident your wine will be fine, and things will settle down over time. But always, especially when you're new to this hobby, trust the instructions for the kit you are making.
 

trustIsEarned

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Thank you for the information, I feel a lot better. I'll rack it and degas it more after letting it settle.
 

topper9520

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Always rack when you can you have to rack off the lees that accumulate ,
 

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