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Some my wine/meads have been a bit bubbly after bottling. I'm thinking the problem is I have not be degassing. If I use a drill whip, how do I ensure I will not bruise or aerate the brew?

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3 Answers 3

You should be agitating the wine or mead without sloshing it. The agitation happens under the surface, which causes the co2 to be released. There should be little or no motion on the surface, and certainly no splashing.

This next point is a bit controversial - for mead, don't worry about oxidization - the oxidization of honey is apparently actually flavorful, according to Moonlight Meadery

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in my experience, that flavor is "cardboard" –  baka Sep 23 '12 at 21:47
    
I thought the same - I couldn't believe what I was hearing. However, since Michael Fairbrother is an international award winning mead maker, I'm hoping there is some credibility to what he says. I've oxidized beer and got that papery, cardboard and sherry, and got typical port flavours in wine, but not had that problem in pure-honey meads. –  mdma Sep 24 '12 at 11:33
    
The issue with mead 'oxidation' (in my opinion) is that you will tend to drive off some of the aromatics, which tend to be pretty volatile. A mead that just sits with exposure to ambient air/oxygen will be somewhat less fragrant. –  bk0 Sep 25 '12 at 10:43
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The oxidation in wine you get from vigorous degassing is minimal compared to beer, and those flavors are actually beneficial.

The cardboard or paper flavors that brewers fear from post fermentation oxidation are a result melanoidin based molecules. Melanoidins are very low in wine.

They sell those wine whips that attach to a drill for a reason. Whip away and get that gas out. The out serious out gassing will also counter act some of the O2 pick up.

I make wine as well as beer, and whipping it into a frothy mess is not a problem for the wine. In fact, you need to get the gas out to help ensure clarity steps further down the road. We also add sulfite base stabilizers to wine which helps with oxidation.

I'd recommend strongly that you use your wine whip with you fermentor either in a larger sink or place in on a couple old towels. The wine will foam over if you are in a 6 gallon carboy with 5 gallons of wine.

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I'm not sure that it's true for wine - I made a red wine last year that oxidized going into the bottle. Got a brown tint and tasting of port/sherry. It was not ruined, but not as planned. –  mdma Sep 24 '12 at 6:02
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've had meads that have suffered from oxidation and have turned for the worse. I believed this to be at least partially at fault of using a drill whip to degas. After doing more research and experimentation, I've decided that the best method to degas my wines & meads is to actually use a vacuum. I've had successful results of using a foodsaver to degas, similar to what is seen here in this video.

My advice to anyone trying this is to take one of your bungs, and make a custom fit from the vacuum. I used hot glue to the bung, and it creates a air tight seal.

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