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Old 04-24-2008, 03:07 PM   #1
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Do all wines need to be degassed? I just got a kit that said to degass it and was wondering if I should do this for all my fruit wines as well. I haven't before, but I'm kind of new at this.

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Old 04-24-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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Well, I haven't made many kits, but I've mad tons of fruit wines. In my experience, "regular" wines don't need to be degassed. I think there is one major reason- those kits are meant to be bottled quickly and are only racked once or twice and kept under airlock. That means any co2 produced doesn't really have a chance to go away.

In my fruit wines, I generally ferment in an open primary so most of the co2 is released, then often pour/strain when the SG is 1.020 or less. More co2 is released, and the wine goes under airlock then. Usually I rack at least 4 times before bottling, and often bulk age. So, it is usually a year (or sometimes more) before I bottle those wines. I think that gives it plenty of time to release the co2. If I had a gassy wine, though, I'd add sulfite and degass it before bottling.

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Old 06-24-2008, 05:55 AM   #3
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I have to bring this up a bit since it's something I've been thinking about lately. I'm a brewer and in general I believe it's not good to swirl, stir, whip to foam any beer in it's secondary stage and beyond.

So I finally ponied up and made a kit wine. The instructions tell me to whip to a foam while adding the sulfites and chitosan. This is at a point where the instrucations say my Gravity is low enough to move to the next step.

Anyway, whipping to a foam? Since that was such an affront to my nature, I checked with a long time wine maker. This dude ferments in an open crock with a diameter of roughly 4 feet. I forget how many gallons he does but he's Italian and his poppas, poppa made wine and if you don't get your grapes on time, well... etc.

Anyway, what he said basically echoed what Yooper said. He takes his sweet ass time. He doesn't even add yeast but lets the grapes do their thing.

He recognized that kits have the stuff to enable someone to clarify/stabilize faster. He said he figures he's gassed out after fermenting for a year...

I can tell you now that tasting something before it's degassed versus after, I can definitely taste the gas. This happens in my younger meads too...

Apparently and based on my understanding from reading, you would degass so that you can further clarify. The idea is that the brew has gas holding particles in suspension so if you degass it, it will start to clarify...I think I buy this concept in the short run.

So now my question is this.

If we all buy into the concept that a fermenting beverage (wine and mead in this case) under an airlock will basically be full of C02, does it not follow that you can safely swirl, shake, degass a carboy of wine without fear of oxidation?
If this is true, does this then mean that our favorite wines and meads are actually taking longer to clarify and gas out simply because we are not swirling them up?
Can we not shorten our time from brew to bottle by degassing at some point without fear of oxidation? All other factors aside...

I look forward to hearing from some long term wine makers.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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yooper, you must have a clean house! I wouldn't dare let anything open ferment in this thing I live in.

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Old 06-24-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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My take is that if you add sulfite at the time of whipping it should help to guard against oxidation of the wine since sulfite (and metabisulfite) both can be oxidized by oxygen to sulfate.

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Old 06-24-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levers101 View Post
My take is that if you add sulfite at the time of whipping it should help to guard against oxidation of the wine since sulfite (and metabisulfite) both can be oxidized by oxygen to sulfate.
Yes, this is correct. The ONLY way I would degas/whip/aerate is if I dosed with a fairly large dose of k-meta. My understanding (and I am not a chemist) is that the so2 will prevent oxygen from binding to our wines. I don't use an so2 meter, so I use campden tablets at the rate of 1 tab per gallon at every other racking. This "rough math" can translate to 50 ppm more or less, which is under the threshold for taste but still protecting the wine when you rack or bulk age.

I ferment in open fermenters only during the primary- approx 5 days. Once the wine slows down (after 1.010-1.020), I put it into secondary and top up. I cover the fermenter loosely with a towel to keep out fruitflies and doghair. I've never yet had a contamination. Remember, if it's a fruit wine, I dose with campden to kill wild yeast and bacteria before adding my yeast.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:24 PM   #7
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Ok, ya'll...

It is now time to throw this thread into reverse, back up, and bring a newbie up to speed on 'degassing.'

As I plow through many of these threads, seeking enlightenment amid this world of bottles and hoses, many, many, many posts are devoted to how to carbonate (add co2, right?) their brew once it is time to bottle.

But, this thread seems devoted to removing the gas (co2, right?) once it has finished fermenting, right!

And, then, it seems to me that everyone is now going to want to know the best way to carbonate (add co2, right?) when they bottle, right!

Why not just NOT degas, and bottle, thus saving two steps?

I'm sure that my logic is flawed.

I just don't seem to be able to find the flaw by myself!

Any help would be appreciated.

Pogo

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Old 06-25-2008, 10:34 PM   #8
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Hi Pogo!

This is in the wine subforum. They are talking about degassing wines and meads so you don't have bubbles in your wine. People do not degas beer for the reasons you stated.

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Old 06-25-2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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Thanks BK -

Hmmm...I haven't even been to the beer forum yet!

All of my time at this site seems to be spent here in the wine/apfelwein section, and a little in the cider threads.

At least I see the flaw now!!

Thanks, again,

Pogo

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