Why, How, and When to Degas Wine – WMA019

Why, How, and When to Degas Wine – WMA019

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma019.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSWhy How and When To Degas Wine Degassing is one of those wine making tasks that can be quite frustrating if you don’t have the right tools or know the best conditions under which you should degas. If not done correctly degassing can take hours if it is successful at all. In this episode we explore the three main ways to degas, how best to prepare your wine for degassing, as well as why it is so important in the first place. Products and Resources Mentioned Here’s a list of products and resources mentioned in the show as well as some links that you might find informative. Fermtech Wine Whip Long Handled Brewer’s Spoon Gas Getter Foodsaver Vacuum How to Degas Wine. (written article) How to Use a Degassing Tool. (video) Degassing & Clarifying a Kit Wine. (video) How to Reduce Tannins by Finning with Egg Whites (Winemaker Magazine article) Listener & Reader Questions Answered I’ve heard you say not to back sweeten a wine that has undergon malolactic fermentation. Why is that? Am I damaging my wine by not racking it off the lees? Are you supposed to sanitize oak chips or cubes? Can I split a 30 bottle wine making and ferment it in two different containers? Questions or comments for the show? Contact Matt directly. Photograph by: Lindsey...

Read More

How to Degas Wine

How to Degas Wine

Degassing your wine is a key step in the final stages of the wine making process. Simply put it’s the process of removing suspended carbon dioxide left over from fermentation. Before we talk about how to degas your wine let’s take a minute to talk about why it’s so important to get it done right. Why Degassing is Important It doesn’t seem like it should make a big difference, but leaving carbon dioxide in your wine can have three negative effects on your wine. 1. It leaves what should be a still wine carbonated. While white wines often have a bit of fizz to them reds generally shouldn’t. Fizzy Zinfandel is not cool. 2. Suspended carbon dioxide prevents wine from properly clearing. White wines are especially sensitive to the amount of suspended carbon dioxide. An improperly degassed white wine can have a haze to it that won’t clear through fining. 3. Carbon dioxide increases the sensation of acidity in wine. While the acid isn’t really there it tastes like it is. Despite all these reasons to remove the carbon dioxide you don’t want to remove absolutely all of it. This can leave a wine tasting flabby and boring. For the amateur winemaker, however, this is rarely a problem. Even sparkling wine is first made as a still wine and must be free of carbon dioxide prior to making a sparkling wine. Usually not being able to remove enough carbon dioxide to avoid the three negative effects listed above is what gets us in trouble. So, let’s look at the best ways to degas your wine. How to Degas Wine Carbon dioxide can be removed from wine through three main methods: agitation, creating a vacuum, and time. Let’s look at each of these in turn. Degassing Through Agitation Usually this is done with a type of stirring rod that attaches to a power drill. One of the more common degassing tools is the Fermtech Wine Whip (affiliate link). Run the drill in one direction for 20-30 seconds and then abruptly reverse the direction of the drill so that you’re agitating in the other direction. Switch directions every 20-30 seconds Be careful not to agitate the surface of the wine too much. Doing this can expose your wine to too much oxygen. Most kits recommend a total of about 2-6 minutes of degassing when using a power drill agitator. However, it has been my experience (and that of many winemakers I know) that it can take up to 30 or 40 minutes of agitating to completely degas a wine. To see a wine whip in action click here. Create a Vacuum A vacuum can be created by sealing off the top of your carboy and removing the air that is in there. This creates the vacuum. When there’s negative pressure in the carboy the carbon dioxide will come out of suspension (form bubbles) and float to the top of the carboy. Thus you’ll have to have a way to maintain a vacuum so that all the carbon dioxide is removed. I degassed a single bottle of wine using this method. I took...

Read More