Wine that’s not properly degassed will be carbonated. If you don’t get the carbon dioxide out of your wine before you bottle it’ll still be there when you open it later.
Most degassing tools attach to a power drill and can easily be inserted into your carboy. They’re designed to agitate the wine without introducing more oxygen into it.
The tool I use to degas my wine is the Wine Whip from Fermtech (affiliate link). Most of these tools, including the one I use, cost between $10 and $30.
What You’ll Need
To degas using a degassing tool you’ll also need:
- a power drill
- a cup of water
- hearing and eye protection (optional depending upon how much you value your senses)
How to Know When You’re Done Degassing
There’s a simple test you can do to see if your wine has been properly degassed. Using your wine thief draw enough wine to fill your hydrometer test jar about half way up.
Place your hand securely over the top of the test jar such that you get an air tight seal. Shake the sample for ten to thirty seconds while maintaining the air tight seal.
Listen closely and release your hand. If you hear a burst of pressure being released you know there’s still more carbon dioxide suspended in your wine. Should this be the case toss the sample out, grab your degassing tool, and hit it again for another few minutes.
Repeat this testing process until there is no pressure released after shaking a sample.
Temperature and Degassing
If you read the directions for a wine kit you’ll notice that there’s a very specific temperature range you’re supposed to keep your wine within. Generally it’s somewhere around 72-75 degrees (F).
While the many yeasts can function in temperatures as low as 60 degrees (F) if you let your wine go below 72 degrees more carbon dioxide will remain suspended in your wine. Thus the time it takes to degas completely will start to increase.
My Shiraz fermented and was clarified at around 64 degrees, well below 72. Because of this the two minutes of degassing turned into over twenty minutes! That’s a long time to stand there with a power drill screaming in your face.
Things to Remember About Degassing
1. Once bottled carbon dioxide cannot escape so if you don’t get it out now it’ll always be there.
2. Test your wine for any remaining carbon dioxide using the procedure above.
3. Prevent excessive degassing times by closely monitoring and controlling the temperature of your wine during fermentation and the steps preceding degassing.
If you’d like to pick up the same Wine Whip I use please consider purchasing through this link. It is an affiliate link which means that this site will earn a small commission on the sale. These commissions help me put up new content here at Winemaker’s Academy. Thank you for your support!