Frequently Asked Questions
Q) I started making a batch of beer (or wine) two days ago and so far I have seen no signs of fermentation and my airlock is not bubbling. Is by beer ruined? I am fermenting in a plastic bucket style fermenter.
A) Most often the problem is a leaking seal on the primary fermenting bucket. Pull off the lid and look inside. If you see foaming or the residue left from foam that rose and fell back inside the beer your batch will be fine. Snapping the lid back on will often create a seal and you will see the airlock starting to bubble. Even if the lid does not form a perfect seal it will have no impact on the quality of the beer/wine. Once the foaming begins to subside, transfer to the secondary fermenter.
Q) I just finished making a Vintner's Reserve Cab wine kit. It has been bottled for 6 weeks now. Why am I getting carbonation in my wine?
A) This is a common problem with the wine kits. Most likely you are getting carbonation because the fermentation process creates lots of co2 gas. Much of it is expelled but some is trapped in the liquid. As you rack or transfer the wine some of this trapped gas is expelled. Also, as a wine sits and ages some of the gas is expelled. With the wine kits, you are usually only doing one or two racks before bottling thus not all the gas is expelled. This is why the instructions inform you to stir the wine vigorously with a spoon/racking tube etc to get the gas expelled before bottling. Some manufacturers even make a wine degasser that you attach to an electric drill (they can be found on our website). With wine kits you really have to work at getting the gas out before bottling.
In your case you can either uncork all the bottles and put the wine back into a container and degas it over the course of a few days and then rebottle, or just open the bottles of wine and decant it several hours in advance of drinking it and stir it well to degas it.