Technique

Fermenting & Degassing Wine Kits

In this article I’m going to go into detail on the reasons behind two of the four most confusing concepts in kit winemaking: 1) Temperature, and why higher is better, and 2) Why degassing is so important to the success of the kit. One: A hot time in the old kit tonight One of the most common sources of confusion in kit winemaking are the temperature recommendations for both yeast pitching and fermenting. Not only are they usually higher than traditional temperatures for grape winemaking — as high as 72–77 °F (22–25 °C) in some cases — they’re sometimes higher than the specifications that yeast manufacturers recommend for the strain included in the kit. It therefore seems natural to look to textbooks or do an online search for the “right” temperature, which can be up to 15 °F (8 °C) cooler. However, there are some really good reasons for the higher temperatures. First and foremost, wine kits are designed, advertised, and marketed based on a short production timeline, between four and eight weeks. That means the wine has to be warm,