I just moved my wine from the primary fermentation bucket to a carboy with an auto siphon. I had some trouble with the auto siphon. It worked fine when I tested it out with water. But when I used it with the wine it kept needing to be re-pumped to keep it going and there was lots of little bubble production which seemed to stop the siphon action. This happened more and more near the end of the process. It seemed that c02 trapped in the wine was messing with the siphon operation. I only hope the additional pumping didn't add too much air, I was pretty stressed and disappointed with my first rack with that auto siphon I must say. Do you think my wine is ruined? Should I consider using a regular racking cane next time?

Now that it's in the carboy with a ferm lock it's bubbling pretty intensely. Is this normal? It was at an SG of 1.00 before I did the transfer. Is it still fermenting out alcohol from the last bit of remaining sugar? Or is this just dissolved c02 gasing out of the wine? Did the siphon malfunction disturb the wine in some way?

Any tips to a newb much appreciated!


  • Are you sure there wasn't an air-leak around the tube on the auto-siphon? I once accidentally aerated an entire batch of post-fermentation stout like this. Sigh.
    – Kingsley
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 3:39
  • 1
    I did inspect it after reading about other people's auto-siphon issues. It looked fine. But I will take a closer look at it. It also worked fine when I did the test racking run with water. Tbh, I think I'm going to try a regular racking cane next time and just fill it up with water as many suggest. It was just too stressful and disappointing. I'm worried I ruined the batch but it might be ok because degassing wine introduces a lot of air and I haven't done that yet. Some people apparently do that right after primary so fingers crossed.
    – cabredman
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 2:04

3 Answers 3


Aeration/agitation will rouse sleepy yeast, like swirling to restart a stuck fermentation.

Secondary infection seems unlikely at this point since the yeast already ate all the low hanging fruit. If it is biological activity (making the CO2) the organisms were already there. You'd have to add a TON of bugs to get an immediate airlock bubble response.

Agitation will bump CO2 out of solution (but that's a quick reaction, not sustained).

Raising the temperature will drive CO2 out of solution until it reaches the new temperature equilibrium - did you place the carboy in a warmer location?

It's likely not Ruined; maybe a bit more oxidized, still wine.


My guess is a combination of dissolved CO2 and revived fermentation. Wine can ferment down lower than 1.00 SG so there may have been some remaining sugar. Additionally, stirring up some of the yeast could have re-activated yeast and re-circulated nutrients throughout the wine (I'm wondering is the "dead" yeast at the bottom started to decompose and provide additional nitrogen into the solution).

My bottom line opinion: your wine is likely unharmed or possibly even improved. The fact that you have seen so much air lock activity means any air/oxygen that did make it into your wine was probably quickly pushed back out, displaced by the CO2 whether from fermentation or coming out of solution. Additionally, wine is generally less susceptible to oxidation and contamination than beer.


I've seen it before, nucleation at the transition to the hose bad enough to break the siphon. I attributed it to racking too soon, but that's just a guess. A rapid push to the bottom and leaving the plunger at the tip usually got a reliable flow. You didn't leave it half way up the outer tube or pull it back up one more time to have a large volume in the tube? And I've had an autosiphon go bad with hairline cracks in the outer tube. Debris, troob trapped between the seal and outer tube is also possible, a problem that won't be there when you go back to look for it since washing it after racking.

I almost always get secondary airlock activity after racking, but not vigorous. I can't think of any cause of vigorous bubbling in the secondary except further fermentation. Might be that you stirred up the yeast. Possibly reinvigorated it with aeration during the racking. Possibly contaminated and you're getting bacterial or wild yeast fermentation. Or as simple as it hadn't reached FG which might explain continued fermentation and nucleation while racking. Have you given it a taste since?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.