During the fermentation of homemade wine, a build up of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas occurs. This gas is desirable in Champagne and other sparkling wines, but not in other types of wine. It is important that wines be degassed while they sit fermenting in carboys (glass or plastic containers) to ensure there is no danger of explosion. There are three methods of degassing wine and the choice of which method to employ is at the discretion of the individual winemaker.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Carboy or barrel of fermenting wine
- Long-handled spoon
- Long-handled paddle or long-handled whisk
- Power drill
- 7.5-inch bung
- Wine suction pump
Insert a long-handled spoon through the top of the carboy holding the wine. Stir vigorously until all the bubbles, indicating the presence of CO2, have disappeared. This process is the most time consuming and requires the most physical exertion.
Attach a whisk or paddle-like utensil to a power drill. Insert it into the carboy or wine barrel and stir until the CO2 is gone.
Attach a 7.5-inch bung (stopper) into the top of a wine pump. A wine pump is what is used to suction off excess air from an open bottle of wine. Place the bung/wine pump over the top of the carboy. Pump 12 to 15 times until bubbles appear at the neck of the carboy. Replace carboy top. Repeat the process every 24 hours until the CO2 is dissipated in approximately two days.
Tips and warnings
- To determine if a home wine has been properly degassed, pour some of it into a glass. Tip the wine, and if bubbles appear, more stirring is necessary.
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