Headspace

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Gram1289

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So I’ve read about the different options when it comes to headspace to avoid oxidation: top off with a similar wine, use a smaller carboy, top off with some sort of gas.
My question is specifically about the gas option. If I wanted to dose the top of my carboy with some gas instead of topping with wine, is there a need for an airlock? Or does that layer of gas prevent anything from escaping from the wine?
 

salcoco

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you will need an airlock or bung at all times. argon gas can be used. apply gas using a tube with a "T" on the end so that the gas is dispersed parallel to the liquid' insure all tools to touch the wine are sprayed with a suphite solution made by using three grams of k-meta, 11 grams of tartaric acid and one gallon of water.
 

cmason1957

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Even with that argon layer, you cannot get all the oxygen out of the headspace. Physics says no, at least as far as I understand it. Topping off is the best, even with a layer of gas.
 

mainshipfred

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I use argon as only a temporary means of controlling head space. CO2 is another less expensive inert gas you can use and welding supply stores have a mixture of Argon and CO2. Argon and CO2 are heavier than air so if you force it to the head space the air leaves the vessel. The amount, unless you have a regulator that can measure the volume of gas, is an unknown. I do recommend a solid bung though since O2 can enter through an air lock. Again, and just my preference, topping up is the safest way to go.
 

sour_grapes

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As the others have said, you definitely need an airlock. Gases freely mix and diffuse on the timescale of minutes. If you just flushed with argon (even if you completely flushed out all oxygen), after a minute or two oxygen is hitting your wine; after about an hour, you will have no argon left to speak of.
 

Gram1289

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I always use an airlock just to be safe. I’ve just always wondered how worried about oxidation due to headspace I need to be. Aren’t the sulfites supposed to help prevent oxidation?
 

cmason1957

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I always use an airlock just to be safe. I’ve just always wondered how worried about oxidation due to headspace I need to be. Aren’t the sulfites supposed to help prevent oxidation?
The key word in what you typed is help prevent. If there is a great deal of oxygen present and the more headspace, the more oxygen, they get consumed before the oxygen is completely done.
 

vacuumpumpman

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I will purge the headspace with a heavier gas to displace the oxygen - then put and keep it under vacuum - sucking out all the unwanted air and pulling out more CO2 from the wine at the same time using the headspace eliminator.
 
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