Alternate Degassing for Wine Kits

What could vacuums have to do with wine kits? While there have been times when a wet/dry vacuum would have been very helpful in my wine cellar, there is a specific benefit a bit of vacuum can have for kit winemakers. Regular readers will recall my article “Degassing Your Kit Wines,” in the October-November 2005 issue of WineMaker, which was an examination of the problems associated with dissolved carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in wine. In commercial wineries, it usually takes a year or more to get wine ready for bottling, giving the CO2 gas plenty of time to come out of solution. In kit wines, however, the wine is intended to be bottled after a few months. In that article, the gas problem was addressed extensively in a discussion of properly enthusiastic stirring techniques, including the use of drill-mounted whips to drive off the maximum amount of gas. However, there are some folks who don’t have as much success with stirring as a kit manufacturer might hope. If you are one of the people having problems chasing the last of