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A reader wrote asking for a blog on degassing.

All wine kit instructions call for degassing after the secondary fermentation has completed. Most wine kits list this as the third stage. Its important to remove as much C02 as possible from the wine after it has finished fermenting as soon as possible. This will allow for faster, more complete clearing in the next stage. There are a couple ways to go about degassing. 

Firstly, most wine kits direct you to invert a mixing spoon or paddle and use the handle to fit into the carboy and stir like that gently for a few minutes several times per day. This does work, however it is somewhat labourious and time consuming.

Secondly, suggested as an alternative to the above in most wine kit instructions, is to simply shake the carboy. This method is probably the least safe and most physically demanding. Not recommended.

Thirdly, there are tools designed specifically for this task which work quite well. The Wine Agitator ($18.95) is manufactured from the highest food-grade 318 stainless steel and foodgrade plastic. It is comprised of a stainless steel rod with two attached fins. Attached to a drill, you can control the speed of the agitation. This allows you to slowly mix a wine that has a lot of C02 to release or vigorously pursue the last bit of C02 before clearing. A quick 10 second mix is enough to get the wine degassing – while also effectively mixing in any other products you are adding at the time. You just have to be careful about how vigorous you are, as forcing too much C02 out at once will cause your carboy to overflow with foam. Do this 2-4 times over a couple days and your wine will be ready for clearing. There is also a plastic version of this tool that has a similar effect, but with a less sturdy construction – The Wine Whip ($13.95). While you don’t get the nice stainless steel construction, the Whip will perform similarily but comes a little cheaper.