How to Remove Foam or Fizz in Homemade Wine

Homemade wine being de-gassed to remove carbonation

De-gassing is a complex process and one at the heart of efficient wine kit production. Unless you can ensure that carbon dioxide generated by fermentation has been removed from the wine, it may not clear on time and dissolved gas in finished wine can alter the flavor and mouth feel.

Vigorous stirring using a drill-mounted Mix-Stir wine paddle with careful attention to proper fermentation times and temperatures are the keys to effective de-gassing, but how can you actually tell if you've gotten all the gas? Sometimes stirring can generate a lot of foam in a wine and telling the difference between foam and fizz isn't always easy.

The best way to check for remaining gas is to do a 'puff' test. Fill a hydrometer test-jar about half-way with a sample of the wine being degassed. Very carefully cover the top of the hydrometer jar with the palm of your hand, pressing tightly to seal it and give it several short, sharp shakes. Slowly release your palm from the top of the jar while simultaneously listening for a 'puff' of escaping gas and checking for the sensation of released pressure against your palm.

That's all there is to it, except for discarding the wine afterwards (it's less than 100 ml, so unless you can guarantee that you've got sterile palms, don't pour it back in the carboy).

CO2 and de-gassing:

Gas saturation comes from yeast activity; if your yeast gets a slow start your wine will have less time to naturally evolve gas out of solution. Cold liquids hold more gas than warm ones. Stirring doesn't de-gas, agitation does, so you need to make sure you're starting the yeast as quickly as possible: never re-hydrate as that's much more likely to kill yeast than spur it on. Make sure the must is 75F before the yeast touches it. Maintain must temperatures above 72F (75F is ideal) the entire time you handle it before bottling.

Choose the right glass to use when service homemade wine

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