WineXpert Good advice or bad advice?

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Feb 28, 2010
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I'm making Stags Leap Napa Valley Merlot. After stage 3 I was told that it wasn't important to top up all the way(6 gallon carboy) but directions say otherwise... any suggestions?


How far are you from the bung and i havent done a W.E. in a long time so can you tell me what stage 3 is?
Stage 3 is the stabilizing and clearing stage (with the WE kits this involves stirring up the sediment). I normally top off, at this point, you usually don't need too much. Step 4 says to wait 8 days then rack off all the sediment and top off with a like wine. I really doubt much will happen in a week if you don't top off, but I usually play it safe anyway.

What ever you do dont top up with water, get a like wine, it doesnt have to be an expensive one as it wont change your profile but adding water will thin it out!
how much headspace is there? there shouldnt be much as winexpert has you carry over most of the lees into secondary so the carboy should be nearly full.
There is not too much head space, maybe 5"... Yes stage 3 is stabilising and clearing. It's been in their since the 15th of March.
There is not too much head space, maybe 5"... Yes stage 3 is stabilising and clearing. It's been in their since the 15th of March.
5" ! Thats alot of head space. Like Wade said top off with a QUALITY like wine.
Thanks. Will do, should have just listened to directions. I'm adding the same kind of wine this afternoon, hopefully I didn't mess it up?
You didnt mess it up in that small amount of time. We just dont want you bulk aging with that much space. Red wines can with stand quite a bit of time before any noticeable difference shows up unlike white or light wines whicg show discoloration first which is just unsightly and hats it unti you really oxidize.
Ok, one more question...if you haven't noticed I worry a lot....

I added a bottle and it still wasn't up to 2" from top. So, I transferred to a 5 gallon after 5 days so there would be no air and filled up a few bottles. The directions say to rack it after 8 days. Should I still rack it after 8 days(3 more days) or should I just leave it alone for 28 days as directions state for Step 4.

I hope you can follow that.
I would just leave it alone for a few weeks and let the sediment compact down more, thats what I do. Makes it easier to rack off without disturbing the lees much.

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