If You Struggle With Degassing Homemade Wine, Then Read This…

Degassing Homemade Wine With DrillDegassing the wine has been one of my biggest problems, stirring just does not get it done. I am in the health field so… Next I tried a surgical suction pump generating about 20 inches of mercury neg pressure. That did ok but there is still a little fizz. Next I went for stopcocks, tubing and 60cc syringe, boy can I get negative pressure with that. No more fizz but you should see the bubbles that come out and keep coming out even after the wine taste flat with no fizz. Any idea what I am pulling out, can’t all be CO2 can it?

Name: Bill B
State: NY
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Hello Bill,

Thanks for your great question on degassing homemade wine. I hope this information clears things up for you.

To answer your question, absolutely there can still be CO2 gas in your homemade wine. At one atmosphere the wine can be completely stable and still have CO2 gas. Then as you apply negative pressure or try degassing the wine with a vacuum, the CO2 bubble begin to appear. The fact is, some CO2 will always want to remain saturated into the wine, just not enough to matter or taste. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

As you have suggested, there are also other gases in your homemade wine. They are mostly produced during the fermentation. These are gases such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Fortunately, these gases are only in trace amounts as compared to the carbon dioxide, but can affect the aroma and flavor if they become excessive.

Degassing Homemade Wine With The WhipOne item you might want to try in the future for degassing your homemade wines is called The Whip. This is a basically an optimally-shaped rod that is used with a drill. It attaches to a hand-drill just like a drill bit would. It agitates the wine and causes the CO2 gas to nucleate and release as bubbles.

 

The reason I bring up The Whip is twofold:

  1. It will degas your homemade wine without splashing it. This is important because splashing can cause air to saturate into the wine which can promote oxidation if it becomes too excessive.
  1. It’s a lot less work. You just stick it into the wine, pull the trigger, and let it do its thing.

 

It is important to realize that when siphoning, pouring, bottling, or doing whatever to a wine, you will get bubbles, no matter what. This is because, just like most liquids, the wine has surface tension that causes these bubbles to form.

I would suggest to you that if you are to a point that you can not get anymore CO2 bubbles to occur when using an agitation method such as a The Whip, then you are done degassing the wine. While you may be able to get more CO2 from the wine with a vacuum, it is not necessary.

Shop Mini Jet Wine FilterAlso, realize that as you go through the steps of making a wine, the act of racking, transferring and bottling will give additional opportunities for the CO2 and other gases to release. What it comes down to, is that degassing homemade wine is not completely necessary until you are ready to bottle it.

Overall, degassing homemade wine is not anything you should worry over too much, Yes, you want to get the bulk of the gas out of the wine. And yes, you want to do it without splashing the wine. But expecting to get every last bit with a vacuum a strong vacuum is not necessary.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed 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.

12 thoughts on “If You Struggle With Degassing Homemade Wine, Then Read This…

  1. In regard to degassing, I know you need to degas the grape homemade wine, but what about the other fruits, such as apple, elderberry, chokecherry, etc? Do we need to degas these wines and if so at what time period of the process do we degass Thanks for your assistance.

  2. Lucy, it really does not matter what type of wine you are making, the same holds true. Some time before bottling you need to get the residual CO2 gas out of the wine.

  3. To degas wine, is there a problem with shaking(gently) the bottle just before it is corked? I have done this on a couple of five gallon batches and have had no problem. I can feel the pressure on my thumb and hear the sound when pressure is released.

  4. Thomas, there are really two issues with shaking the wine to degas it. First, it does not degas the wine all that much. Some CO2 gas will release, but not that much compared to how much is really saturated in the wine. Also, this method of shaking allows air to saturate into the wine. This is not something you do not want to do at this point of the wine making process. The ideal situation is to have turbulence within the wine that does not slosh the surface.

  5. i want to use a medical vacuum i just received to rid the gas in my wine.
    Can you tell me the best way to degas and what pressure the gauge should be at so i don’t implode my 6 1/2 gallon glass carboy.Thank you Lenny

  6. Lenny, it does not take all that strong of a vacuum to degas a wine. If you are patient, somewhere around 10 psi or 20 Hg for about 20 minutes should be enough.

    • Hi Josh, Your fish tank aerator idea soounds great. You say its slow, how slow?
      How long does it usually take and what size aerator do you use?
      Thanks

  7. I had problems with bottles exploding wine all over due to excess gas. I was bottling too soon and not degassing properly. I read somewhere you can leave all the wine to age in the 5 gallon carboys with air locks and when you are ready, move the wine to one gallon bottles with air locks on them. Then when ready to drink them, run them thru a blender one at a time to remove the gas, and then put into .75 liter bottles. It seems to work. This also aerates the wine so I don’t do this until ready to drink. I especially do this if the wine tastes a little harsh. Seems to mellow it out.

    • Thomas, normally the only time degassing is necessary is when you are make the wine kits that are bottled in 4-6 weeks, because the gas has not had time to leave naturally. When wineries are producing wine, it will sit around a while before bottling so that it degases itself over time. Wineries will also rack the wine a few more time and filter the wine which will also assist the gas in leaving the wine. The article posted below will give you a little history on degassing.

      Degassing Homemade Wine
      http://www.eckraus.com/blog/degassing-homemade-wine

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