Ask Wine Wizard

A week in I realized that I forgot to put water in my airlock…


Empty airlock I am new to making homemade wine and I recently started my own batch of Pinot Grigio. A week in I realized that I forgot to put water in my airlock. The fermentation is still going on (I can see bubbles) and I now have water in the airlock. Tell me have I messed up the wine? Can I fix it if I have? Benjamin Adams Brunswick, Maine No worries, mate (as my Australian harvest interns used to say), you should be just fine. The water (I think water with a pinch of sulfur dioxide and citric acid is even better) in the fermentation lock is there to act as the final gas barrier between your fermenting wine and the air. Carbon dioxide gas from the fermentation exits, bubbling up through the water, while outside air can’t get in. Simple, brilliant and a bit of winemaking technology that’s been around for over a thousand years. Lucky for you, your fermentation was still going on when you did remember to put water in the airlock, so it’s pretty likely