Some Newbie Questions

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Apr 6, 2009
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I am beginning a Selection International Wine Series Kit, and I was reading over the directions. It says when doing the first step for primary fermentation to just cover the fermenter with the lid and makes no mention of using an airlock until secondary fermentation. I thought I was supposed to use an airlock on the primary also. My lid has a drill hole for it too. What do you think airlock or no airlock?

My second question is, I only have one carboy, so when it comes time to rack the wine, can I rack it into something (my primary for example), clean the carboy, and then rack it back? Or should I save myself the trouble and cough up some dough for a second carboy?

What I do it stick the airlock in the hole with water in it and then just sit the lid in place. You can snap it down if you want. Some people just lay a towel over the hole in the lid.

During primary fermentation the yeast really like O2 for their metabolic activities. When fermentation slows down and CO2 production is decreased which provided an oxygen barrier to the wine, you need to do more things to prevent oxygen from the wine which can and will cause oxidation.

That last point brings up another thought when racking your wine. You can indeed rack to the clean and sanitized bucket, clean and sanitize the carboy and rack back. I don't know your financial situation but I would recommend at least 2 carboys. You will lessen the chance of oxidation and any infection although after the wine is done fermenting the chance for any infection vastly decreases. So, can you do it, Yup, sure can. Many do.
However, if you get another carboy, you have no excuse to not get another batch going. 2 batches is always better than one!!! It's part of the obsession.HaHa.
I don't know how many batches you have made. If its one of the 1st few do as you suggested when transferring. If you passed the 3rd batch and you are "HAPPY" with what you made then its time to invest in more carboys so you can start to get some backup.
Just my 2 cents worth