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P2000

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This a a classic cab. After racking to the secondary with oak chips I let it sit and watched it bubble. Yesterday I stirred it and measured the SG at .098. Then all bubbling stopped. Right after stirring. Today I retacked it, added the rest of the chemicals, degassed and everything seems good. Except for the part where I'm afraid the oak absorbed more that I thought it would and/or I left too much sediment in the carboy. (This is only my third batch) Any thoughts appreciated. I'd rather not go get a bottle and add it, but I will if it's that important.

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Johnd

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This a a classic cab. After racking to the secondary with oak chips I let it sit and watched it bubble. Yesterday I stirred it and measured the SG at .098. Then all bubbling stopped. Right after stirring. Today I retacked it, added the rest of the chemicals, degassed and everything seems good. Except for the part where I'm afraid the oak absorbed more that I thought it would and/or I left too much sediment in the carboy. (This is only my third batch) Any thoughts appreciated. I'd rather not go get a bottle and add it, but I will if it's that important.
Since it's finished fermenting and you have added all of your chems and would like to bulk age for a while, which I would support, you'll need to get that carboy topped up with some like wine, or rack it down to a smaller vessel that won't have all of that head space.
 

cgallamo

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Ditto - what John says. Alternatively you could add some inert gas, but that is more of a hassle and less fool-proof than just adding some store-bought wine. BTW - the wine looks great!
 

Floandgary

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Does NOT have to be a "top priced" wine at that. Better over-all than water.
 

P2000

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Thanks folks. I had no intention of adding water at this level. Maybe a cup, but this was too much. I read one suggestion of 4 oz vodka to 1 qt water, and decided just to go get a cheap box of cab. As an aside the SG when I racked it had dropped to 0.996 so I'm assuming I'm good. Thanks!
Pete
 

JohnT

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You confuse me. You do not want to top off with wine, but would consider topping up with diluted vodka? You should not consider adding water as a viable solution to topping up (even if it is mixed with vodka).

Also, unless you plan on sealing your carboy with a solid bung, using inert gas is also not an option I would recommend.

The two best options you have at this point are to go with a smaller container or top up with store-bought wine.
 

tjgaul

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You confuse me. You do not want to top off with wine, but would consider topping up with diluted vodka? You should not consider adding water as a viable solution to topping up (even if it is mixed with vodka).

Also, unless you plan on sealing your carboy with a solid bung, using inert gas is also not an option I would recommend.

The two best options you have at this point are to go with a smaller container or top up with store-bought wine.
Just wondering why the solid bung is important when using an inert gas? I have been topping off my headspace with CO2, but I continue to use stoppers with airlocks. Am I at risk for spoilage? Also, is a vented bung adequate or does it need to be 100% solid?
 

Boatboy24

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Just wondering why the solid bung is important when using an inert gas? I have been topping off my headspace with CO2, but I continue to use stoppers with airlocks. Am I at risk for spoilage? Also, is a vented bung adequate or does it need to be 100% solid?
The airlocks still allow some movement of air into/out of the carboy as pressure changes. This airflow is minimal, but your CO2 will likely be 'diluted' or completely removed over time.
 

JohnT

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Yup, What boatboy said...

An air gap of that size will draw outside are into the carboy, and expel the headspace gasses when you use an airlock. This "breathing" is due to temperature changes and also barometric pressure changes.

Using a solid bung will inhibit this "Breathing".

Another thing to consider is note that you are not REPLACING the o2 when you use CO2. As you add CO2, the gas simply mixes with the gasses currently in that headspace. In short, you are only displacing SOME of the O2. Over time, this, too, can be a factor.

The best options for you are either a smaller container or to top off with wine.
 

cgallamo

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Yup, What boatboy said...

An air gap of that size will draw outside are into the carboy, and expel the headspace gasses when you use an airlock. This "breathing" is due to temperature changes and also barometric pressure changes.

Using a solid bung will inhibit this "Breathing".

Another thing to consider is note that you are not REPLACING the o2 when you use CO2. As you add CO2, the gas simply mixes with the gasses currently in that headspace. In short, you are only displacing SOME of the O2. Over time, this, too, can be a factor.

The best options for you are either a smaller container or to top off with wine.
There is a good brief article on this in Winemaker. The CO2 blanket should work for a time, but not considered as good as topping off...

"Even with measuring and monitoring the dissolved oxygen content on top of the gas-layered wine, I have never found a gas layer to be able to out-perform a topped container. It may keep your wine sound for 1–4 months but beware of VA (volatile acidity) creep, free SO2 disappearance, spoilage and oxidation thereafter. Reds fare better than whites and wines stored in cooler temperatures do better. Using argon is probably okay for a short term, as long as the containers are then topped up for long-term aging and the gas is replenished every couple of weeks. There is really no substitute for a topped vessel, however."
 

P2000

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Thanks for the responses. So I added a like finished wine from the store. All good, 2-3" from the top. Bung & airlock in place. No movement. My last question here is this: it's very dark. Will it be evident when it clears? My first two batches were a moscato and a Riesling. Just when I figured I'd screwed them up I saw them cleared. This can is so dark right now will it do something similar?
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the responses. So I added a like finished wine from the store. All good, 2-3" from the top. Bung & airlock in place. No movement. My last question here is this: it's very dark. Will it be evident when it clears? My first two batches were a moscato and a Riesling. Just when I figured I'd screwed them up I saw them cleared. This can is so dark right now will it do something similar?
As it clears it darkens and you'll see the lighter colored lees accumulate at the bottom of the carboy. It'll take, at least, a few months to clear well, probably 6-12 months to clear to the point where it won't leaves sediment in your bottles, maybe longer. Start a new kit and forget about it.......
 

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