previous page: 50 Does Anybody Have A Recipe For {Insert Wine Type Here}?
page up: WineMaking FAQ
next page: 52 Cleaning Out Dirty Bottles, Carboys And The Like

51 Removing Carbonation From Wine


This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.

51 Removing Carbonation From Wine

The easiest way to remove carbonation is to filter your wine using a
vacuum pump to force the wine through your filter pads. This is done by
means of attaching the pump to a glass carboy with an adapted bung that
has an in and out tube -- one which leads to the vacuum pump and one
that comes from the filter. The filter system then has tubing that
connects to the carboy and another leading into it to which you attach
your J-tube that you place in your wine.

The pump creates a relative vacuum that creates the necessary pressure
differences to force the wine through the filters and, since the lower
pressure is subatmospheric, any carbonation in solution comes out in
the process.

You can also attach a vacuum pump directly to the carboy of wine but
this may create the possibility of overfoaming.

If you don't have access to this system, vigourously stir your wine for
5 minutes a day after fermentation but before clearing for three days.
You can also attach a carboy cleaning brush to a drill and, putting the
brush into the wine, turn the drill on low for a few seconds at a time.

Bulk aging and a couple of rackings will also get rid of almost all

{I transferred it to the secondary and by day 12 the bubbling has
pretty well stopped and the SG is just above 0.990. My question is
whether or not I should stabilize and de-gas it now or wait 10 days or
so like the instuctions suggest?}

This is a great question because it illustrates how winemaking is a
complex psychological process as well as a fermentative one. There is a
lot of activity at the start of making wine, all the more so in seasons
when grapes have to be crushed under threatening skies. Even in a kit,
wine fermentation is rapid at first and requires close attention. We
all tend to get a bit caught up in the process at that stage, but with
experience we learn that it slows down all by itself, that there is a
natural progression to things that starts with a dizzying rush of
alcohol and carbon dioxide and then leads to settled torpor. You learn
that a few days more or less on the lees is usually no great matter,
that air contact is both good and bad, that kit wines are fairly
insensitive but by the same token somewhat indistinct, especially as
compared to fruit wines.

In general, time is one of the greatest resources available to the
winemaker. It could even be said that most winemaking techniques exist
to create more time for the wine to develop its potential. Otherwise,
we'd just let the grapes ferment, wait a couple of days, and then
yahoo! What is sulphite except a way to buy time against oxidation and
bacterial instability? Time spent in maceration extracts tannins that
take increasing time to age. We allow time for clearing and
stabilization, perhaps we allow extended time for lees contact, or time
in barrel to pick up oak flavors, time to recover from bottling, and
time in bottle to age.

To answer the question as stated, it's probably best to just stay with
the program. Things are going fine, so why make short of a good thing?
It's going to taste better after a few months anyway.


Continue to:

previous page: 50 Does Anybody Have A Recipe For {Insert Wine Type Here}?
page up: WineMaking FAQ
next page: 52 Cleaning Out Dirty Bottles, Carboys And The Like