How much head space in the carboy is too much?

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snoopthulhu

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I am making a 6 gallon batch of apple wine from cider pressed by a local orchard. As I only have 5 gallon carboys and 1 gallon glass jugs, after racking to my secondary I split it accordingly. I knew I'd lose some in the later racking process.

I have now racked again off the sediment at low alcohol content. I lost approximately a third gallon to the process. For now, I've topped off the carboy to about 2-3 inches below the airlock, and the gallon jug is about 2/3 full.

Is there any recommendations for this scenario, or am I OK? Both are still slightly outgassing from fermentation.
 

rustbucket

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I am making a 6 gallon batch of apple wine from cider pressed by a local orchard. As I only have 5 gallon carboys and 1 gallon glass jugs, after racking to my secondary I split it accordingly. I knew I'd lose some in the later racking process.

I have now racked again off the sediment at low alcohol content. I lost approximately a third gallon to the process. For now, I've topped off the carboy to about 2-3 inches below the airlock, and the gallon jug is about 2/3 full.

Is there any recommendations for this scenario, or am I OK? Both are still slightly outgassing from fermentation.

The "outgassing" will mix with and push the air out through the air lock. Since the wine is saturated with CO2, it won't absorb any other gas at this stage so you're fine with the air space you have.

Welcome to the forum.
 

JohnT

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If fermentation has ended, I would top the carboy to about 1 inch below the stopper. This should leave plenty of room for outgassing and minimize the amount of headspace.

.. and I would rack that 2/3 gallon into 3 regular 750ml bottles. You can get smaller stoppers so that the wine bottles can be sealed under a fermentation trap.

If there is any left over (after topping up the carboy and racking down the 2/3 gallon), pour it into 2 glasses, light a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy it with your significant other.
 

Scooter68

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Remember the factors that weigh in are the time of exposure, the volume of air in the carboy and the surface area. Comparing the difference in surface area exposed (assuming a 8" inside diameter vs the neck at 1 1/4" diameter) the wider part is over 40 times the surface area. Of course as you drop down to that point the volume also goes up dramatically too. Does that make a real difference... that's the question you have to answer for yourself.

Once fermentation stops and no more CO2 is being released the potential for oxygen exposure is there. Of course adding K-meta will create a gas with SO2 in it but you still have a potential since the air is not going to be 100% CO2 or SO2
 
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