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Eliminating headspace necessary?

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HankRearden

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I'm currently working on my second attempt at kit wine.

I mistakenly bought a 6.5 gal carboy and had too much headspace on my first kit.
I didn't use sorbate or sulphite because I'm trying to avoid any additives.
So, though I didn't see a whole lot of bubbles coming through the air, I suspect there was enough CO2 to prevent oxygen from seeping in?

Also, what about using commercial CO2 from a tank to fill headspace before placing my airlock?
Wouldn't that be way easier than marbles and just as effective?
 

NorCal

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You need to prevent wine from spoiling. There are changes in compounds that happen from being exposed to oxygen and there are things that can grow in the wine. The pH, acidity, tannin, alcohol and SO2 provide an environment that is inhospitable for organisms.
Eliminating oxygen exposure is key and easy to do. There are plenty of ways to do it. If you are going to drink it right away, you could get away without any SO2. If you want a wine that will age for years, a minimal amount of SO2 (compared to other foods that commonly have SO2) will keep your wine preserved for years. Note: grapes naturally have and produce SO2 in fermentation.
 

DoctorCAD

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All-in-One makes a heafspace eliminator.

As to "avoiding additives", do you buy a cake mix and not add eggs? Sorbate you might be able to live without under careful conditions, but sulphites are a necessity for the home winemaker. Thet preserve and protect your hard work.
 

Floandgary

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I'm currently working on my second attempt at kit wine.

I mistakenly bought a 6.5 gal carboy and had too much headspace on my first kit.
I didn't use sorbate or sulphite because I'm trying to avoid any additives.
So, though I didn't see a whole lot of bubbles coming through the air, I suspect there was enough CO2 to prevent oxygen from seeping in?

Also, what about using commercial CO2 from a tank to fill headspace before placing my airlock?
Wouldn't that be way easier than marbles and just as effective?
There have been as many "headspace-elimination-methods" offered as there are wines, so to choose one you need only understand what it means to do so. If your wine is still fermenting (producing CO2) you may be safe. Adding CO2 or some other inert gas as a blanket would have the same effect. IMHO the most surefire method is to use a vessel which offers the least amount of headspace and/or use of like wine to top up!!:db
 

Stressbaby

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All-in-One makes a heafspace eliminator.

As to "avoiding additives", do you buy a cake mix and not add eggs? Sorbate you might be able to live without under careful conditions, but sulphites are a necessity for the home winemaker. Thet preserve and protect your hard work.
Forgive me if I misunderstand, but it seems to me as if this product is misnamed. It doesn't really eliminate headspace so much as create a permanent negative pressure environment.

These products appear to actually eliminate headspace (I have no connection to either product or the maker, I just found the videos online):

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24UnK2cUnTI[/ame]
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEf8A6uMbrI[/ame]
 

HankRearden

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You need to prevent wine from spoiling. There are changes in compounds that happen from being exposed to oxygen and there are things that can grow in the wine. The pH, acidity, tannin, alcohol and SO2 provide an environment that is inhospitable for organisms.
Eliminating oxygen exposure is key and easy to do. There are plenty of ways to do it. If you are going to drink it right away, you could get away without any SO2. If you want a wine that will age for years, a minimal amount of SO2 (compared to other foods that commonly have SO2) will keep your wine preserved for years. Note: grapes naturally have and produce SO2 in fermentation.
Understood about spoilage.
Part of my goal in making these kits is to see how the wine will age using pasteurization (during bottling) as a substitute for SO2.

That said, I mentioned the omission of SO2 / Sorbate because of how it may relate to headspace.

IOW, I did not stop fermentation when racking @ 2wks using additives as the RJS kit recommends, so in that regard there may have been a small amount of CO2 being produced and perhaps this nullified the issue of having too much headspace.

Would that residual fermentation be enough to mitigate the headspace issue or should I look into a contraption or CO2 bottle?
What do you guys think?
 

NorCal

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That said, I mentioned the omission of SO2 / Sorbate because of how it may relate to headspace.

IOW, I did not stop fermentation when racking @ 2wks using additives as the RJS kit recommends, so in that regard there may have been a small amount of CO2 being produced and perhaps this nullified the issue of having too much headspace.

Would that residual fermentation be enough to mitigate the headspace issue or should I look into a contraption or CO2 bottle?
What do you guys think?
It is very difficult to stop fermentation and the additives in the kit are not there to arrest fermentation, they are there to protect and stabilize the wine after fermentation is complete. If you have a "bubbler" and see the CO2 being released from the wine, it is still generating sufficient CO2 to protect the wine. If not, then it is time to eliminate the headspace and add SO2.
I've used the head space eliminator on a half filled carboy for 3-4 months and (to my surprise) work very well in preserving the wine.
 

vacuumpumpman

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Forgive me if I misunderstand, but it seems to me as if this product is misnamed. It doesn't really eliminate headspace so much as create a permanent negative pressure environment.

These products appear to actually eliminate headspace (I have no connection to either product or the maker, I just found the videos online):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24UnK2cUnTI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEf8A6uMbrI

I came up with that same concept back in 2012 - here is that link

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18124


Most recently I came up with the headspace eliminator which made all the difference in all the other products that I tried to remove headspace

http://www.allinonewinepump.com/product/headspace-eliminator/
 

GaDawg

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Will the headspace eliminator ( vacuum) increase the speed the oak departs its goodness?
 

cmason1957

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Will the headspace eliminator ( vacuum) increase the speed the oak departs its goodness?
I don't know the answer to this in a fer certain, ain't no s#*t way, but my guess is that it wouldn't make that happen much faster. The oak is mostly under the liquid and not above, so the vacuum shouldn't have much impact on the speed.
 

Scooter68

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Wood (The Oak Chips) will soak up moisture - So if it's touching the wine it's wet and it will give off it's precious bodily essences. Speed might be a might slower if floating so if you can keep it pushed under the surface it stands to reason that it will release faster.
 

Floandgary

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The only other thing which might influence the oaking effect would be temperature. The fer' sure "thing" is TIME
 

Mortalpawn

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I keg my wine for bulk aging. Its completely sealed in a stainless container with nitrogen purging the headspace so it does not matter how much headspace there is.
 

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