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zweitracht
10-23-2004, 01:39 AM
I've noticed in a few wine books that there are references to 'degassing'
the wine by stirring. I've never seen mention of this anywhere with
reference to mead.

Is there any reason that mead should be degassed in the secondary?
Any idea what this is supposed to do for the wine?

Thanks!
-- Zw

Dan McFeeley
10-23-2004, 02:58 AM
Here's some more info on degassing . . .

http://www.wines.com/ubb2/Forum33/HTML/000066.html

http://www.wines.com/ubb2/Forum33/HTML/000066.html
(you'll need to scroll down the page to find degassing)

Oskaar
10-23-2004, 03:43 AM
From my experience in making wine with my Dad and my Uncles the degassing was to rid the wine of excess C02 because it was coming out "fizzy" like a young cheap wine.

What happens is that the C02 production slows to the point of bubbling at intervals longer than 15 minutes. The pressure in the headspace is the same on the wine below as the liquid in the airlock above so some of the C02 ends up absorbing into the wine.

You can stir the wine vigorously for a couple of minutes with a wooden dowl or a long plastic dowel (just take one of those long plastic stirring spoons used for wort and use the handle end which usually fits into a carboy) and replace the airlock for 45 minutes or so and then do it again until the wine stops bleeding off the excess C02.

There are some cool drill attachments available at LHBS for this purpose and they work better than the inverted spoon. They fit like a bit into your drill and have some little blades (plastic) that flip up when you hit the bottom of the carboy, or when you press the drill trigger and let 'er fly!

Once you've completed degassing, you should let the wine sit for about 8 to 12 weeks. The wine gets flat after degassing and needs time to recover and re-build it's complexity.

I imagine the same process would be used for mead.

Cheers,

Oskaar

zweitracht
10-23-2004, 06:25 AM
From my experience in making wine with my Dad and my Uncles the degassing was to rid the wine of excess C02 because it was coming out "fizzy" like a young cheap wine.

What happens is that the C02 production slows to the point of bubbling at intervals longer than 15 minutes. The pressure in the headspace is the same on the wine below as the liquid in the airlock above so some of the C02 ends up absorbing into the wine.

You can stir the wine vigorously for a couple of minutes with a wooden dowl or a long plastic dowel (just take one of those long plastic stirring spoons used for wort and use the handle end which usually fits into a carboy) and replace the airlock for 45 minutes or so and then do it again until the wine stops bleeding off the excess C02.

There are some cool drill attachments available at LHBS for this purpose and they work better than the inverted spoon. They fit like a bit into your drill and have some little blades (plastic) that flip up when you hit the bottom of the carboy, or when you press the drill trigger and let 'er fly!

Once you've completed degassing, you should let the wine sit for about 8 to 12 weeks. The wine gets flat after degassing and needs time to recover and re-build it's complexity.

I imagine the same process would be used for mead.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Thank you, both! I've got an ale-yeast strawberry mel that feels fizzy ..
a feeling which I've never had in a mead before. Sounds like this is
exactly what I need to attempt.

Thanks again!
-- Zw

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-23-2004, 11:12 PM
Ok, I'll throw out the questions as follow ons...

1. Is degassing necessary if I am going to age for 8 or 9 months minimum?

2. How do I prevent oxygenation when degassing a batch?

Thanks in advance,
Pewter

Oskaar
10-24-2004, 06:13 AM
Generally if you're aging for several months you shouldn't have a problem with CO2 accumlulation in the mead. I haven't really ever had a problem with mead in that respect.

If you're degassing the mead, there will be sufficient ambient CO2 left in the headspace after the last "agitation" to keep any oxigenation at bay, and from premature oxidation of your mead.

Personally I like the little drill bit thingy. I use it all the time when I'm oxygenating my must before pitching my yeast. Nothing like power tools and mead together in the meadworx.

Cheers,

Oskaar

ScottS
10-24-2004, 06:53 PM
I always been worried about oxygenating it as well, so I've never degassed.

My braggot bulk aged for 9 mos and still had a little fizz. I like it that way though, so I don't intend to degas anything. ;D

Jmattioli
10-24-2004, 11:21 PM
Ok, I'll throw out the questions as follow ons...

1. Is degassing necessary if I am going to age for 8 or 9 months minimum?
No


2. How do I prevent oxygenation when degassing a batch?

Thanks in advance,
Pewter
If you buy or make a degassing tool it is not a problem. The stirring is below the surface of the liquid and releases Co2. You can seal around the top of the carboy where the stirrer goes through and no oxygen will get in. You are not oxygenating the must if you have the proper degasser or substitute.
Joe

Talon
10-25-2004, 12:53 AM
I just bought a degasser/mixer and have found it to work really well. In mixing/aerating, anyway... I've yet to use it to degas a mead, but I'm looking forward to it, though. Especially since I've a metheglin that's really stubborn right now! lol.

Oskaar
10-25-2004, 04:02 AM
Thanks to Joe for clarifying that number 2 question. A lot of times when I'm doing something it's kind of autonomic in that I follow a routine when I do things and do them the same way every time I do them.

So when I explain I sometimes gloss over things that I do, but don't think about doing while I'm doing it.

I hope that didn't confuse you half as much as it confused me ???

Oskaar

Talon
10-25-2004, 09:18 PM
Joe,

You mention that degassing isn't necessary in regard to Pewter's 1st question. So, that raises a few questions for me...
Why would degassing not be necessary? (Okay, don't worry about this first one... Read further in some posts and found out why it wouldn't or would be necessary.)
What are the possible problems of not degassing?
Does it harm your final product any if you don't degass?

Personally, I've always waited until my product has completed degassing so that I have a completely (hopefully) innert and still mead.

Thanks,
Talon.

Jmattioli
10-26-2004, 04:01 AM
Joe,

(snip)
Does it harm your final product any if you don't degass?

Personally, I've always waited until my product has completed degassing so that I have a completely (hopefully) innert and still mead.

Thanks,
Talon.
Hi Talon,
No it doesn't harm your product but there are those who do not like fizz in their mead, like some of my relatives. The gas as you know is just light carbonation, nothing more than tiny co2 bubbles, no harm done.

I find that it is only necessary on meads that I am rushing to the bottle. If you wait long enough they will raise to the surface by themselves. That is why I answered no to the first question. Usually fermentation is complete and all the bubbles are gone after 6 months or so. Of course there are always exceptions as in the case of super slow prolonged fermentations because of abnormal conditions.
Joe

ronjohn55
10-26-2004, 06:07 PM
Joe makes some good points on degassing.

I've never had an issue with it on my meads, as they usually tend to age for a year in the carboy before bottling. I have had some wines (Both my own and those made by friends) where you could tell that it hadn't totally degassed. In these situations, it really wasn't even much of a carbonation thing, more just a faint fizz on the tongue, and a slightly more acidic mouthfeel/taste (from the additional CO2). Opening the bottle and letting it breathe for a while solves it. Especially by the time it breathes and then is pured into a glass.

John

Talon
10-26-2004, 06:14 PM
Thanks Joe.
I was thinking that's more of what it was all about. So, if I don't let something degas, then I'll bottle it in champagne bottles rather than regular bottles simply for the bottle bomb safety factor. ;)

Talon.

ronjohn55
10-26-2004, 07:50 PM
Thanks Joe.
I was thinking that's more of what it was all about. So, if I don't let something degas, then I'll bottle it in champagne bottles rather than regular bottles simply for the bottle bomb safety factor. ;)

Talon.


Hi Talon,

No worrries about bottle bombs from the amount of CO2 that would be present if a mead wasn't degassed. That amount of pressure would need to come from continued fermentation in the bottle, either from priming or the restarting of a stuck fermentation. On the wines I mentioned earlier, there was only enough for a faint pop when the standard cork was removed - it wasn't even enough to push the cork out of the bottle neck.

Now if fermentation DOES restart - well, I've had a cork shoot halfway across the basement when it dislodged! (And it only stopped because there was a wall there!) :o

I know some people are down on the grolsh style EZ-Cap bottles, but I've had very good luck with them, even holding a highly carbonated cider.

John