I made 10 litres of red wine ( pasteurized grape juice from the supermarket ), added 2kg sugar, used yeast bought from my local homebrew shop. Fermentation started after a day, and for the first two weeks, i had vigorous activity in the airlock. My problem is, its now been a month, and while the airlock activity has slowed down, it has not stopped.

Doesn't this mean that the yeast is still working, and there is still sugar for it to digest? Should i wait for the airlock activity to stop completely before racking?

1 Answer 1


You need to check the gravity of the must/wine to see if fermentation has finished. Specific gravity tells you about the residual sugar in the must/wine. Specific gravity is measured with a hydrometer. (If you know about this then disregard)

Bubbling can be from dissolved CO2 in solution. It will come out of the wine as the temperature fluctuates or if you move the wine. It is not an indicator that there is still active fermentation happening.

When making wine it is standard to rack the wine into a secondary vessel to get it off the yeast and also to degas the CO2 by active stirring. This is when its a good time to check the gravity.

  • 1
    De-gassing is not a necessary step in winemaking. The alternative is to wait some number of months for the wine to lose its CO2 naturally. Nov 18, 2014 at 14:56
  • It won't lose all of its CO2 will it. Temperature plays a role in it. If the temp the wine is being stored at is above below the solubility relationship for how much CO2 is in there it may never lose the CO2 I would think. What is making it come out on its own?
    – brewchez
    Nov 18, 2014 at 16:24
  • It'll reach equilibrium based on temperature and pressure, if I remember by grade 10 chemistry. Since the CO2 is in equilibrium, the wine won't be fizzy. My experiences is that wines bulk aged for 12 months do not suffer from unwanted CO2. Nov 18, 2014 at 17:17

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