Quantcast

Stirring vs Swirling during initial fermentation

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kalaloch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
88
Reaction score
18
All recipes/books on wine I’ve read say to stir the wine every day (once yeast is added) for the initial fermentation (where the wine is in a bucket only covered by cloth).

I have always just swirled the wine because didn’t want to have to worry about contamination. I don’t go crazy swirling so it is not oxygenated. Is swirling ok and as effective as stirring?
 

hamiltonkiler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
104
Reaction score
25
I've never touched it in the primary after pitching the yeast right on top then covering. Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks.
 

jonereb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
235
Reaction score
19
I've read that one should simply push the must down in various places in the bucket. Swirling not necessary.
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
1,577
Location
Saratoga Springs
I think there are a number of good reasons for stirring.
It helps keep the yeast in suspension;
It helps degas - CO2 build-up will increase the acidity of the wine and will increase physical pressure on the yeast cells - both conditions add stress to the yeast;
If there is fruit in the primary, stirring helps ensure that the surface of the fruit is kept wet and so inhibits the growth of mold;
Again, if there is fruit, stirring allows the CO2 to escape and prevents the fruit forming a cap which CAN create enough pressure in the fermenter to create an explosive force.
So, sure different strokes for different folks but those strokes are not meaningless - or useless. If swirling performs the same functions as stirring then whatever floats your boat.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,683
Reaction score
5,431
Location
Edgewater
I haven't read much on wine making but none of the kits I have bought, including some limited quantity releases, have mentioned stirring. So I never have.
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
1,577
Location
Saratoga Springs
I am definitely no expert on kits, having made only one, but in my opinion, the instructions that come with kits can trump any other practice - This for two reasons:
1. If you don't follow the instructions and something unexpected happens you really have no recourse with the manufacturer of the kit. Their warranty is predicated on you following their instructions - AND
2. Kits are assembled so that even novice wine makers can very successfully produce a very reasonable wine. The kit makers have tested their kits up and down and sideways and if they don't suggest that you stir or otherwise agitate their must/wine then they have found that if you follow precisely what they instruct you will end up with a drinkable wine. But that doesn't mean that you therefore MUST use the yeast they package, use their fining ingredients, bottle by the calendar and so forth. If you know what you are doing and why you are doing what you are doing and you don't blame your tools when something goes awry then I think there are good practices and best practices and kits tend (IMO) to focus on good practice. But as I say, I would be the first to admit that when it comes to kits I am no expert. I prefer to make my wines (meads, really) from scratch.
 

GeneDaniels1963

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
744
Reaction score
267
Location
Arkansas
I stir mine 2-3 times daily. I stir agressively with a wooden spoon that I rinse off each time, before and after, using.
 
Top