Head space in 5 gal carboy

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by 1stfinger, Jul 18, 2015.

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  1. Jul 18, 2015 #1

    1stfinger

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    Is it important to fill the carboy to the base of the neck? I have about 4" of head space in a 5 gal carboy after my first rack. Should I add sugar, water, yeast nutrient, and yeast to reduce the head space? My SG is at .995 and still fermenting.
     
  2. Jul 18, 2015 #2

    vacuumpumpman

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    no you do not have to worry about your headspace as long as you install an airlock.
    Considering it is still fermenting it will push out any air with the CO2 that the wine is producing and it will protect your wine.
     
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  3. Jul 19, 2015 #3

    1stfinger

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    vacuumpumpman, when the fermentation has finished, what should I use to raise the volume to the top without weakening the wine? Should I invest in smaller carboys, or is water OK, or is that the time to bottle it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  4. Jul 19, 2015 #4

    Rocky

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    You have a number of choices, water would be my last choice. I would either size down to a smaller carboy or top up with a similar wine (even store bought wine). Alternatively, you could add something to the carboy to take up some of the volume. Many people use sanitized glass marbles.
     
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  5. Jul 19, 2015 #5

    vacuumpumpman

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    Like Rocky has mentioned -
    a similar wine perhaps -
    marbles

    or you can use the headspace eliminator with a handheld vacuum pump -
    http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50011

    I sell them on my website -

    You can always go down to a smaller carboy if you are lower than 1 gallon difference. Or you can also purchase additional 1/2 gallon containers also.
     
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  6. Jul 19, 2015 #6

    montanaWineGuy

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    You can add marbles, glass beads, to the carboy to fill the space.
     
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  7. Jul 20, 2015 #7

    Julie

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    But if you are looking at sweetening this wine, I would do that now and see how much space that takes up, just remember to add sorbste.
     
  8. Jul 20, 2015 #8

    joeswine

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    Head space eliminator

    you can do all the above or.............

    1.jpg

    4a (2).jpg
     
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  9. Jul 20, 2015 #9

    1stfinger

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    1 gallon carboys

    I ordered 1-gallon carboys. I tasted it (1 Tbs.) when I racked it to the 5-gallon carboy. It was warm to my tongue and it warmed my throat all the way down to my stomach. The taste was wonderful. I will do anything to not loose that now.
    Would you call that a hot wine or a dry wine?
     
  10. Jul 20, 2015 #10

    vacuumpumpman

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    It is proudly hot or just a young wine. How mature is the wine ?
     
  11. Feb 11, 2019 at 5:31 AM #11

    Keith5

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    So,what exactly is this head space eliminator Joe? Is that a baby nose suction ?
     
  12. Feb 11, 2019 at 5:45 AM #12

    NorCal

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    Holy backspace Batman! I can’t believe the head space eliminator (quite the name) was almost 4 years ago! The baby nose suction deal is just a vacuum indicator. Think of it as a visual indicator that you still have vacuum.
     
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  13. Feb 11, 2019 at 2:19 PM #13

    dallase

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    The baby nose suction is too rigid to be a good indicator long term. The sucker gets a memory and never wants to re-inflate. If I break seal, the sucker does not magically reinflate. Those suckers need some sort of mechanical spring inside to force back open.

    I bought several drilled stoppers (size 6.5, and 7) and some of the one way valves on ebay and use them without a sucker indicator at all. Now I use the 7s on my carboys and the 6.5s on my 1 gallons.
     
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  14. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:03 PM #14

    Keith5

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    Dallas’s thanks for your reply. I’m new at this, can you post or pm me a few pics of the valve and set up you use? Thanks
     
  15. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:17 PM #15

    dallase

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    I use the AIO wine pump with these. I actually bought 4 or 5 head space eliminators from Steve and use them, but I think the baby bulb is unneccesary. I will upload pics of my 6.5 and 7 both in 1 gallon carboys on these pics so you can see fit. You would want size 7 on your 3/5/6 gallon carboys.
     

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  16. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:26 PM #16

    dallase

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    I have had a bad valve before also, so you need to test your valves to make sure they hold a suction for a day first. I seem to pop the suction every week or two and repressurize
    just to make sure its holding as I lost 3 gallons
    of pinot to a half full carboy. After testing that valve, I realized it would pressurize and once AIO was shut off, the one way was stuck open and immediately lost pressure. Lesson learned. Its better to reduce headspace vs trusting gadgets if you have large volumes of good wine. I could have moved my 3 gallons into a 3g carboy but instead i left it in a 6 under pressure (or so i thought). A new functional baby bulb probably would have shown this, but an old bulb with suction memory would not.

    I have had 3-4 years with AIO and head space eliminators, and just the one problem, so I really cant complain.

    Hope my experience here helps you avoid any issues in the future! Cheers.
     
  17. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:29 PM #17

    Keith5

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    Beautiful, thanks for your help and insight
     
  18. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:29 PM #18

    dallase

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    On ebay, you are looking for
    3/8” Kynar® Viton® Check Valves

    Just shove them into drilled stoppers, flat side down.
     
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  19. Feb 11, 2019 at 7:40 PM #19

    BABRU

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    Someone posted a special plastic bag tapered at the top inserted into carboy then filled with water until the wine level reaches the top of the neck of the carboy. The bag keeps the water separated from the wine and allows complete top up of the carboy. I tried my first one several weeks ago and it seems to work great. Anyone else try topping up this way?
     
  20. Feb 12, 2019 at 2:32 AM #20

    vacuumpumpman

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    I can believe that it has been 4 years also !!

    We have been in business for over 11 years now -

    We are going to be a Sponsor at the winemakers conference up in Traverse City Michigan in May -
     

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