How to degas wine with a home made degassing wand

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Gunge

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Yuze guys - messing around with vacuum cleaners, coat hangers and drills lol! Just whip out the airlock and replace with a syphon tap. Open the syphon tap and suck hard, then close the tap whilst maintaining suction. This creates a sufficient partial vacuum to cause the CO2 to readily leave the wine which at no point do you need to expose to the air. Simple and highly effective. They say that the simplest ideas are the best so it's fitting that a simple guy like me had that idea, what what?
 

Chippy_Tea

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I like my home made coat hanger degassing wand as it only takes a minute to degas a DJ of wine, it also allows me to dissolve the sugar in cold water when i make the wine which saves me heating water and leaving it to cool to pitching temperature once i have dissolved the sugar. (and cleaning the pans)
 

Gunge

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Sez Chippy, whilst rummaging around in his bits 'n' bobs box for a syphon tap!
 

Vinotinto

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Yuze guys - messing around with vacuum cleaners, coat hangers and drills lol! Just whip out the airlock and replace with a syphon tap. Open the syphon tap and suck hard, then close the tap whilst maintaining suction. This creates a sufficient partial vacuum to cause the CO2 to readily leave the wine which at no point do you need to expose to the air. Simple and highly effective. They say that the simplest ideas are the best so it's fitting that a simple guy like me had that idea, what what?
So are you getting your lips around the top end of a 5l dj or sucking on something much larger - 30 bottle jobbie maybe? Have used a similar process with a brake bleeder and must admit, Chippy has the right option with the 'frogblender' approach! I use a whip on the drill for 30 bottle kits. Very little effort needed. Love to see you do the job on one of these with this method. ;)
 

Gunge

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So are you getting your lips around the top end of a 5l dj or sucking on something much larger - 30 bottle jobbie maybe?
Lol no... I think you've misunderstood. Just pull the airlock out of the bung / hole that is fitted to and replace it with a syphon tap. Open the tap, suck hard then close the tap. The resulting low pressure in the space above the wine extracts dissolved CO2 in very short order.
 

Vinotinto

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Lol no... I think you've misunderstood. Just pull the airlock out of the bung / hole that is fitted to and replace it with a syphon tap. Open the tap, suck hard then close the tap. The resulting low pressure in the space above the wine extracts dissolved CO2 in very short order.
Er, no, the point I was trying to make (joking aside) was are you applying this process to a small dj as I woild think it may not be quite as effective or certainly not as quick, on a 5 gallon brew. As mentioned before, I have used the brake bleeder which is the same principal as you are using, and not found it very effective.
 

Gunge

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Er, no, the point I was trying to make (joking aside) was are you applying this process to a small dj as I woild think it may not be quite as effective or certainly not as quick, on a 5 gallon brew. As mentioned before, I have used the brake bleeder which is the same principal as you are using, and not found it very effective.
You need to suck harder lol! Takes a day tops for me, but the big plus is that the wine doesn't get exposed to the air, sediment disturbed etc.
 

mgrds

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Don't do it in one direction only as it ends up like a vortex, this is more likely introduce air rather than remove the CO2, i find 5 seconds in one direction before switching to the opposite direction for 5 seconds works best.
Don't overfill your DJ when you start the wine, i fill to the bottom of the shoulder and top up after racking and degassing.
Bang on about changing direction - definite wine . whipping against the vortex also degasess faster !
 

DanielB

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please forgive my naivety....but what is all this about degassing...I wasn't aware that we need to degas?

When should I do it?
How will I know it needs doing?
How will I know it has been done!?

Many thanks!
 

mgrds

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Hi DanielB - its not complicated. After fermentation is over there is a still a lot of carbon dioxide CO2 dissolved in the wine - it will prevent the wine clearing as little bubbles keep forming on yeast and debris carrying them back in to he wine . This can render using finings ineffective or slow or just make the wine hard to clear. So to make the wine clear well we get rid of the fizz (carbon dioxide) . You can usually taste the presence of he carbon dioxide as a mild fizz if you put a bit of wine to your tongue. We get the gas out of the wine by agitation. Same as when you you used to shake a bottle of pop/soda as a kid to make the gas come out and fizz over (or the formula 1 champagne trick!) The simplest way but hardest work is just to rock the fermentation vessel several times a day for two or three days. Most peopel use some sort of stirrer or whisk type attachment in an electric drill to do it fast. You want to keep you "whisk" emerged as you don't want to incorporate air like whipping a merangue - you want to just get the CO2 gas to come out - You can buy a suitable attachement in a home brew shop or make your own as described above - or many similar gadgets brewers have come up with depending on what is to hand . Hope this helps. Mark
 

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I still consider myself a newbie so I'm happy to be corrected on anything. A by product of fermentation is CO2. In still drinks, CO2 can prevent wine from clearing and, when bottled, if you're not using bottles able to handle pressure, the CO2 can leak out and cause bottles to leak/explode. So you have to remove the CO2 gas before adding finings to wine and/or bottling. I've read that wine will naturally degass over time, but it takes a long time. The longest I've left something (still cider from kit) is three months, and it was still slightly gassy (you can feel it on the tongue). This thread considers other options/techniques for degassing. Wine kits will tell you when to degass and those I've done usually highlight the importance of degassing thoroughly. The most popular method, which I've adopted, is to use a degassing wand attached to a drill.
 

DanielB

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Mark/Tonibee - thank you so much for such swift and full replies. I understand now.... Being quite new I haven't really got as far as drinking anything yet; not properly at least... Although I did try some quick and fairly rough ginger beer...and that was definitely 'fizzy' on the tongue...this explains why.

I assume it also explains why my blackberry wine still 'belches' every now and again?

  • So..I understand what I have to do.
  • I understand why I have to do it.
  • I understand when I have to do it - after fermentation....but before racking?
Now though...how will I know "when it is done"? Taste it? And feel for 'no fizz'?
 

mgrds

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Its worth checking fermentation is really finished - ie hydrometer reading no longer dropping (and below 0.998 and dry to taste for a dry wine) .
Degassing is no good if fermentation is still proceeding slowly as the wine will be "regassed"
If you are unsure if you have fully degassed leave for a few days while agitating daily.
If or if you use a drill thingy leave for 24 hours.
I usually use 2 part finings and incorporate first part of finings with the degassing and second 24 hours later.

Clears fast !
 

Tonibee

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  • I understand when I have to do it - after fermentation....but before racking?
Now though...how will I know "when it is done"? Taste it? And feel for 'no fizz'?
You want to rack off the lees before degassing and fining. As for when it's done, there's lots of stuff in this thread about how long it takes using the various methods. I rack off the lees and de-gas when adding stabiliser according to kit instructions. I use a drill and wand made from coat hanger (my drill only goes in one direction so I hold a (sterilised) kitchen slice in the bucket to prevent a vortex forming) for a couple of minutes several times, leave an hour and then repeat before adding finings. Based on what I've read I do it for longer than necessary, but I've never had any issues. You can usually feel it on the tongue - try it at different stages to see how it changes.
 

Chippy_Tea

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Now though...how will I know "when it is done"? Taste it? And feel for 'no fizz'?
I use the 5 seconds forward then 5 seconds in reverse method and switch between the two for about a minute and that does the trick, i use a degassing wand and drill similar to the one he makes in the video.


 

mgrds

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You want to rack off the lees before degassing and fining. As for when it's done, there's lots of stuff in this thread about how long it takes using the various methods. I rack off the lees and de-gas when adding stabiliser according to kit instructions. I use a drill and wand made from coat hanger (my drill only goes in one direction so I hold a (sterilised) kitchen slice in the bucket to prevent a vortex forming) for a couple of minutes several times, leave an hour and then repeat before adding finings. Based on what I've read I do it for longer than necessary, but I've never had any issues. You can usually feel it on the tongue - try it at different stages to see how it changes.
Whether you rack off the lees before degassing depend on your prior method and the wine style you are making. With the cheaper kits it is generally advisable.

However some of the more the more expensive high juice volume kits for big body reds recommend the procedure I follow. I start fermentation in an open bucket with a loose lid - when the gravity gets down to about 10 or thereabouts but fermentation still going strong I rack of the main more "trubby" lees and the oak chippings. I then track off to a vessel under an airlock. When fermentation finishes I degass and stir up the the remaining cleaner lees and leave a day and then fine. It clears brighter than doing it after racking and the flavour is better. However this is usually with wines i am going to store.

With cheaper kits for more immediate consumption or with whites I would usually rack of the lees before degassing and fining.
 

Nicks90

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I'd never heard of degassing when I did my first wine (blackberry) and it was fizzy on the tongue when I started drinking it 6 months later
I'd already bottled it by that point, so now I use one of them winer saver rubber caps and hand pump the day before I want a bottle and it seems to be effective at dear fizzing it
Learnt my lesson though and I properly degass before bottling now.
 

DanielB

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thank you so much for clarifying (pun intended)! This makes sense to me now. Cheers!
 
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