A Stirring Question About Wine Making

Hi E.C.,

I’m making my first wine ever with your starter kit and my own wild grapes. I have your plastic fermenter that came with the kit, but I bought one of your glass jugs for secondary. I just started the secondary fermentation and I am not sure if I should continue to stir daily. I assume once the air lock is on I should just leave it alone?

Thanks,
Luke

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Dear Luke,

Once all the wild grape pulp has been removed from the fermentation, there is no need to stir the fermentation daily. Removing the pulp is something you should have done when you moved the fermentation from your plastic fermenter into the 5 gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation. This is done simply by syphoning the wine into the secondary container and leaving the pulp and sediment behind. This is a process called racking.

The purpose of stirring the fermentation is to make sure that the pulp does not form a dried cap on the surface of the liquid. The dried cap can interfere with the wine yeast’s supply of oxygen, making it hard for the yeast to multiply itself into sufficient numbers. By stirring daily, any cap can be broken up and mixed down into the juice. In the secondary fermentation there is no pulp and therefor no reason to stir.

Best Wishes,
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

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