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Head space in the carboy

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mumptia

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Morning Everyone,

I made a 5 gallon batch of apple wine from 40lbs of apples that I got off my tree up here in Northern Alberta and its looking pretty good I think.

The second racking is coming up here in a couple of weeks and that is my concern. When I took the apples out, the must was still working so I wasn't too concerned about having O2 on the head of the batch because the working must would work any O2 out. After the next racking there will be 4 or 5 inches in the carboy that will be full of O2.

What are my options to make sure the batch doesn't spoil? Kit wines are easy because there isn't so much residue after the primary. This apple wine has a couple of inches of settlings at the bottom (thus the head space in the carboy when I rack it next)

If I just add water I'll water the batch down. Apple juice perhaps?

Any thoughts?
 

wineforfun

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Top up with apple wine, if you have it.

Rack down to a 3 gal. + 1 gal. + 1/2 gal., etc. until you have full carboys.
 

mumptia

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Lol,

Yep, Splitting the batch is the easiest and best way.

Dang, why didn't that come to me when I was staring at the carboy.

Man, it's only Tuesday, wonder how smart I'll be on Friday haha.

Thanks a bunch.
 

mumptia

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Marbles is a good idea too.

Actually, marbles is an excellent idea.

But I'll need a few to off set 4 inches.

Time to do some shopping I guess.

Thanks again.
 

wineforfun

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Marbles is a good idea too.

Actually, marbles is an excellent idea.

But I'll need a few to off set 4 inches.

Time to do some shopping I guess.

Thanks again.
I will just point out, as it has been mentioned often on here, to watch what type of marbles you buy, as most you find will be made in China and could contain lead.
Now I have also seen on here where some think this won't be a problem.
For me, I just don't deal with them.

I would rack down to smaller carboys.
 

DoctorCAD

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Headspace eliminator form Allinone wine pump.

P.S. You would need a sheetload of marbles...try doing the math.

1/2" diameter marbles = 3554/gallon
1" diameter marbles = 445/gallon
 
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mumptia

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Headspace eliminator form Allinone wine pump.

P.S. You would need a sheetload of marbles...try doing the math.

1/2" diameter marbles = 3554/gallon
1" diameter marbles = 445/gallon
Haha I thought about that.

I think I'll just rack down.

I prefer glassbottles but I live up north and am about 7 hours from the nearest brew store, so is it ok if I found some plastic jugs that i could seal up? Wont change the taste of the wine?
 

knifemaker

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If it were me, I would top off with straight apple juice, it may ferment a little longer but not by much, it would solve a lot of the problems of finding the right combination of carboys without wasting a lot of your precious wine. Dale.
 

mumptia

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If it were me, I would top off with straight apple juice, it may ferment a little longer but not by much, it would solve a lot of the problems of finding the right combination of carboys without wasting a lot of your precious wine. Dale.
Oh, I didn't know I could do that.

That's a good idea.

Working a little more is no big deal. The recipe I found says this is a six month wine (due to settling time) so a little longer wont hurt a thing.

Apple juice I can find easy enough:h

Thanks
 

mumptia

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Well I ended up deciding to top up my wine with apple juice.

Nothing happened on day 1 and 2, but day 3,4,5 the wine was working like mad. So now I'll wait until the end of November to rack it a second time.

Just before I racked it the first time, the wine was as clear as clear could be so I'm hoping sitting for a month will do the same thing after its finished working.

Thanks again for the advice
 

mumptia

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Well, I racked the apple wine and added a few liters of apple juice to top it up. That was about a week ago and its been re-working ever since.
Wonder how long its going to work?
I know, until the yeast is done with the sugar. I just didn't think it would go on this long.
Can't wait to try it.
 

vacuumpumpman

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just a FYI - add sorbate before adding anything with sugar so it will not ferment again. Typically I always have to back sweeten my apple wine with a frozen apple concentrate.
 

mumptia

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just a FYI - add sorbate before adding anything with sugar so it will not ferment again. Typically I always have to back sweeten my apple wine with a frozen apple concentrate.
That part confuses me a bit. I know the sorbate stops the fermentation. But I don't plan on adding anymore fermentables so when this new juice is finished working can I just leave it and not add sorbate?

I don't mind adding sorbate at all. Just wondering if there are other options at the end of the fermentation process.
 

Johnd

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That part confuses me a bit. I know the sorbate stops the fermentation. But I don't plan on adding anymore fermentables so when this new juice is finished working can I just leave it and not add sorbate?

I don't mind adding sorbate at all. Just wondering if there are other options at the end of the fermentation process.
If your yeast has fermented dry and you do not intend to add any sweetener to your wine, there is no need to use the sorbate, although most kits makers provide it as extra insurance. Just make sure that your hydrometer indicates that it is dry, somewhere below .996 or so for several days in a row with no change, is the level that gives me comfort. Several wines in the cellar for over a year with no sorbate only got to .998 and have had no issues, so that's not a hard and fast number, but a comfy one.
 

Floandgary

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If your yeast has fermented dry and you do not intend to add any sweetener to your wine, there is no need to use the sorbate, although most kits makers provide it as extra insurance. Just make sure that your hydrometer indicates that it is dry, somewhere below .996 or so for several days in a row with no change, is the level that gives me comfort. Several wines in the cellar for over a year with no sorbate only got to .998 and have had no issues, so that's not a hard and fast number, but a comfy one.
Sage advice from a vet! Might I add for "mumptia", keep written record of every move just in case things turn out unbelievably outstanding:db
 

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