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Old 10-06-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default how did historic winemakers get away without degassing?

I'm firmly in the keep-it-simple camp. We know that the great winemakers of Europe have make fantastic still wines for centuries without the use of wine whips, brake bleeding kits, foodsaver vacuums, etc. Yet I see all the discussion here regarding the best method of degassing. Is this just due to the fact that many people are eager to finish/drink their wine kits, and can't wait for the CO2 to evolve out naturally?

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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Its a lot more difficult for gasses to dissipate naturally is plastic/SS/glass vessels than it is in wood.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:26 AM   #3
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Well, I"m not "historic" but I am old.

The only time you have to degas normally is if you rush to bottle. With kits, you have to degas (they are rushed to the bottle) but I've had exactly ONE wine in 20+ years that needed some degassing.

So, not really an issue at all. If you leave the wine for the proper amount of time in the carboy (clear, no longer throwing lees after 60 days, etc), then the wine should degas on its own with time.

So, let's see. I've made hundreds and hundreds (maybe a thousand?) gallons of wines and had one 5-gallon non-kit batch that needed to be degassed. Not really an issue.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:02 AM   #4
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They didn't make kit wines.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
Its a lot more difficult for gasses to dissipate naturally is plastic/SS/glass vessels than it is in wood.
agreed. but if it's easy for CO2 to offgas out of an oak barrel, it's easy for air/O2 to leak into a barrel. So why the modern focus on preventing oxidation with and airlock?
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Well, I"m not "historic" but I am old.

The only time you have to degas normally is if you rush to bottle. With kits, you have to degas (they are rushed to the bottle) but I've had exactly ONE wine in 20+ years that needed some degassing.

So, not really an issue at all. If you leave the wine for the proper amount of time in the carboy (clear, no longer throwing lees after 60 days, etc), then the wine should degas on its own with time.

So, let's see. I've made hundreds and hundreds (maybe a thousand?) gallons of wines and had one 5-gallon non-kit batch that needed to be degassed. Not really an issue.
so it really is just a matter of impatience?
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
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They didn't make kit wines.
is there anything unique to kit wines that demands active degassing? Or is it just the fact that the instructions lead you to beleive you can drink great wine 30 days after pitching yeast? In other words, if you were just as impatient with a non-kit wine would you still need to actively degas it?
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
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agreed. but if it's easy for CO2 to offgas out of an oak barrel, it's easy for air/O2 to leak into a barrel. So why the modern focus on preventing oxidation with and airlock?
Because oxidized wine doesn't taste good. It gets "sherry like" flavors (madierized) and darkens in color.

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is there anything unique to kit wines that demands active degassing? Or is it just the fact that the instructions lead you to beleive you can drink great wine 30 days after pitching yeast? In other words, if you were just as impatient with a non-kit wine would you still need to actively degas it?
Yes, the reason for degassing is impatience as far as I know. Even a kit wine, if left to sit in a carboy with an airlock to degas, will eventually degas on its own. There may be a tiny bit of gas remaining, if there isn't enough gas pressure to cause the airlock to bubble, but not much.

I did have one wine that held onto gas, and I did degas one batch but it was only one batch in the last 20 years.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

Because oxidized wine doesn't taste good. It gets "sherry like" flavors (madierized) and darkens in color.

Yes, the reason for degassing is impatience as far as I know. Even a kit wine, if left to sit in a carboy with an airlock to degas, will eventually degas on its own. There may be a tiny bit of gas remaining, if there isn't enough gas pressure to cause the airlock to bubble, but not much.

I did have one wine that held onto gas, and I did degas one batch but it was only one batch in the last 20 years.
I'm sure our ancestors did the same things we do. Sample the fermenting must, sampling/ drinking young wine. As sampling thinking "man I wish there was a way to degas this wine"!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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...or they just stirred it...

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