Originally Posted by damdaman
then racking to secondary and fitting with an airlock, why is this? I'm assuming maybe to let oxygen in to help the yeast during the initial part of the fermentation?
I don't want to do this because I have ants sometimes that could get in to the fermenter.
Could I airlock the primary like normal if I a) opened and stirred once a day for 10 days, or better yet b) aerate the must with oxygen directly using bottled oxygen initially, then leave it alone until secondary?
You certainly can airlock the primary if you'd like. And you can aerate if you'd like. The reason to loosely cover the primary is to make it easier to stir. Some wines form a "cap" from the fruit and you have to stir that a couple of times a day to keep it wet so it doesn't dry out and mold. Once fermentation slows, the wine is transferred to a carboy and airlocked and protected from oxygen at that point. Usually it is taken off of the fruit at that time too, at about day 5 depending on the speed of fermentation.