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Old 11-21-2009, 01:53 PM   #1
zeppman301
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Default Primary Wine Question

I have read a lot about wine making that claims you can ferment in all sorts of different containers and that you should just place some plastic wrap over top of the primary to prevent fruit flies. Now I know in later stages the wine can oxidize (especially during aging) however everything I have read has suggested that the wine cannot really oxidize during the primary (the first week or so) when all the yeast is actively fermenting. The one thing I have not read or found any information on is whether or not putting a one way air valve changes the nose of the wine. During wort boiling in beer you drive off all your undesirable flavors, however it stands to reason that the only time those flavors can escape from wine is during the primary fermentation when those gasses are released. However if you trap them in your primary, does it affect the flavor/nose of your wine. Conversely can you remove those off flavors by allowing your wine to 'breath' during primary. This is more of a what if, and I am just wondering if anyone has heard anything about this, or done anything about this?

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Old 11-21-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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When I first started making wine I used an airlock during the primary. I found the primary stage to be less vigorous with the use of an airlock and I switched to covering the primary with a towel instead. No, I couldn't tell any difference in the nose with either method. Due to less oxygen exposure during an airlocked primary it would be possible to stress the yeast making off flavors/smells more likely.

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Old 11-21-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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Yes, I have had the same experience as summersolstice. No problems with an airlocked primary, but since the fermentation is a bit slower there could be an issue with stressed yeast. I've not had that happen, but I guess it's possible.

In fruit wines, I stir my must daily in primary to keep the "cap" from drying out and to aerate it. That's harder to do with a tight fitting lid and airlock. I throw a clean towel over a bucket for primary, and then move to secondary when the SG is 1.010-1.020 or after about 5-7 days.

If you're making a wine kit, follow the directions. Kits don't usually have a cap to stir, or fruit to smash up so they are a bit different.

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Old 11-21-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I never thought of yeast strain through lack of oxygen. Perhaps it would be a good experiment to test against each other. Thanks again.

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Old 11-21-2009, 08:52 PM   #5
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I lid and airlock my primaries and have made 100's of gallons without a problem. I was glad I did it that way when the Barolo foamed up and would have ran all over if it wasn't for lid. We all do things a little different and as long as you like results do it your way

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Old 11-22-2009, 02:28 AM   #6
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every body does every thing just a little differnt, thats what makes every bodys wine tastes a little diferent than someone elses even thouygh same recipe is used, findv a teqnique that your comfortable with and you will make uniqe wines

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