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Long time brewer, first time vintner here. Working through a winexpert Pinot Grigio kit. Primary and secondary fermentation went off without a hitch. Got to the stabilizing, degassing, and clarification last night. The wine is currently in a 6 gallon glass carboy.

I added the stabilzation chemicals as the directions indicated, and stirred for the 2 minutes, as the directions indicated. I was using a mix-stir gizmo, hooked up to an electric drill. For these first two minutes, right or wrong (I'm beginning to think wrong), I was stirring full blast with the drill. Lots of gas came out. I added the clarification chemicals and stirred, full blast for 2 more minutes. A lot of gas came out again. I did the "puff test" at this point, using the thief to fill a hydrometer test tube about halfway, sealed the lid with my hand, shook it, and released my hand (instructions say puff - still dissolved gas, no puff - you're good to go). I got a puff.

At this point I was thinking that I probably aerated the wine, and may need to stir slower. I did some research and began stirring slowly on and off over the course of the next 1.5 hours until stirring no longer produced foam the way it had earlier. At this point, it was producing very very little foam if any.

My questions are:

Did the over-zealous mix-stirring damage the wine? If the wine is not degassed (never did the puff test again after the 1.5 hour degassing marathon), how shall I proceed? What is a standard timeframe for letting the wine degas naturally? I am in no rush.

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for the sake of disclosure - I just posted the same question on the forums at Northern Brewer, where I bought my kit. I will report back with details.forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=110294 –  revdrjrr May 31 '12 at 2:10
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd say you might be fine. Since a carboy has a slim neck, you probably didn't get too much oxygen in while the CO2 escaped. Is there any reaon not to do the "puff" test now?

If you were to bottle with a lot of gas in the bottles, you could get exploding bottles, corks shooting off or simply sparkling wine - depending on the amount of CO2 left.

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Don't think you'd ever get exploding bottles or ballistic corks from residual, dissolved CO2. That sort of thing would require active fermentation in the bottle. Slightly fizzy wine is the worst possible outcome. –  Tobias Patton Jul 30 '12 at 17:49
    
thanks for resurrecting this bad boy. I also spoke to the proprietor of my LHBS and they suggested adding a campden tablet, which apparently absorbs oxygen as part of its function of preventing fermentation. Other than that, it's still on the shelf. I'll post findings back when I test it. –  revdrjrr Jul 30 '12 at 20:25
    
Another follow-up: it was oxidized, and it was not good. –  revdrjrr Oct 30 '12 at 21:23
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yes, the over-zealous approach is what messed up the wine. Degassing only takes a few seconds with the paint mixer in drill method. In my experience of "natural degassing" it didnt work. after 9 months i still had some CO2 in solution.

Your on the right track, just only mix for about six seconds.

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