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cuz

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I recently bought a 6 1/2 gallon carboy where I buy my 6 gallon pails of wine juice. Don't ask me why he sells 6 1/2 gallon carboys or why I bought it. However, after realizing this is not going to work with a 6 gallon pail of juice I returned it. The vendor had two of the larger carboys on display from his 6 gallon pails. The head space was about 6-8 inches from the top. The wine was obviously less than 6 gallons after racking. He said it's fine like that and was going to leave it like that for for 6 weeks and then bottle it. I have always topped off my carboys. So is a limited amount of exposure to oxygen acceptable? Why do we have to be so cautious about oxygen and headspace? I should note that this juice is pasteurized - I don't think that makes a difference.
 

Ajmassa

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Likely because he’s bottling in only 6 weeks. Like most kits instructions- they don’t instruct any topping up until the very end at the bottling step. Says something like,
“If you choose to bulk age instead of bottling then top up your carboys with water or a similar wine to eliminate headspace”.

The first bunch of weeks after fermentation still has all the co2 in there to protect it. It’s not really enough time for all the co2 yo dissipate and then take in enough oxygen to oxidize the wine. Headspace is much less of a big deal early on then it is later in aging.
 

Rice_Guy

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* I would top off with white grape from the grocery or apple juice or even a low flavor zucchini juice
* @Ajmassa notes 6 weeks, yeah it will still have CO2 so it should be OK, oxidation is cumulative so I try to avoid it as much as possible ,,,, no it isn’t really best practice
* pasteurized juice will not naturally ferment so you have to inoculate it

i look for a variety of carboy sizes so I have something slightly smaller to rack into.
 

cuz

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I do bulk age - 6-12 months. I started off with a 6 gallon carboy but ended up with some 5's and 3's. If I have some left over I put it in gallon jugs with an airlock. Always topped off but seeing the display at my vendor threw me a curve ball.
 

VinesnBines

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Have you tasted his? I saw something similar with a long time winemaker (lot of headspace) several months back. He gave us a bottle of his 2016 Cab Sav. It was too nasty to use for vinegar. Horribly oxidized.
 

Scooter68

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This sort of mis-direction isn't uncommon to hear about. We've had several people post about retail stores making comments that just will leave your head spinning. Almost as bad as some of the "Experts" on YouTube telling the world how to make "Great Wine" with no tools, no chemicals and for less than $.50 a bottle. (Usually involves some practices that just defy logic.)

I like to say that yes, in the centuries past folks made wine with no special chemicals and without anything like our modern day health practices. BUT what the the average life span of people then and how much reporting was made about A"Family dies from bad wine" (Or food poisoning)

They just didn't keep records, there were no newspapers and the only thing that provided a moderate surety in a recipe is that they followed the same one for several generations with nobody dying after imbibing.

And some folks idea of a 'good wine' hmmmm well....
 
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