How much is lost using marbles?

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Have a couple inches of head space in my blackberry wine. Don't want to thin it with water and I don't like the idea of adding store bought to it. Considering using marbles.

Any old glass marbles work right? Do you loose a lot more wine racking? It seems like there would be a lot more spaces created you couldn't get to with a bunch of marbles. Especially if the lees is dying off falling into the cracks and on them.
 

wineforfun

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One consideration with the marbles is if they have lead in them, which most of the cheap Chinese imports do.
Beyond that, it will only take care of your headspace problem now. Depending on how much sediment you have built up, you are going to lose more wine and have more headspace next racking.
For me, here is what I would do and would do in the future.
For now, get a bottle of cabernet, shiraz/syrah or merlot and top up with that........drink whatever is leftover. Water will just dilute the flavor and ABV.
In the future, if you are making a 1 gal. batch, start out with 1 1/4 gal. so you have extra for racking. If a 5 gal. batch, start out with 5 1/2 gal. You get the idea.
 

pete1325

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Keep in mind that if it's still fermenting you don't have to worry about head space since it's giving off O2. But of course if it's in the bulk storage stage I'd top off with a similar wine......I know you'd rather not but it's much easier adding wine then dealing with marbles...IMHO.
 
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Thanks for the replies. I thought headspace was never ok. As soon as it's done it will probably getting bottled quickly to free up the carboy. Don't think I'm too worried about bulk aging and clearing too much on this Since it didn't turn out like id hoped
 

BernardSmith

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You may be surprised about how many marbles you need to make up for any volume lost through racking. But bottling very soon after fermentation has stopped may not always be very wise. The wine is full of CO2 (remember that half the weight of all the sugar that was in the must will convert to CO2 - and half will convert to alcohol, and to be sure much of that mass of CO2 will have been expelled if you are fermenting in a bucket - far less if you have capped a carboy with rubber bung and airlock) and the wine is likely to be undergoing chemical changes that may result in all kinds of particles collecting and dropping out of suspension. Those particles then act as points of nucleation and that means that they provide the CO2 dissolved in the liquid with the possibility of gathering closer together to form larger bubbles of gas that then can force there way to the surface without the need for any additional energy. That CO2 can have enough force to pop corks taking with it large volumes of your wine , however it may have turned out. You can find yourself with wine painting the ceiling or the walls depending on how you are storing the bottles.:rdo
 
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You may be surprised about how many marbles you need to make up for any volume lost through racking. But bottling very soon after fermentation has stopped may not always be very wise. The wine is full of CO2 (remember that half the weight of all the sugar that was in the must will convert to CO2 - and half will convert to alcohol, and to be sure much of that mass of CO2 will have been expelled if you are fermenting in a bucket - far less if you have capped a carboy with rubber bung and airlock) and the wine is likely to be undergoing chemical changes that may result in all kinds of particles collecting and dropping out of suspension. Those particles then act as points of nucleation and that means that they provide the CO2 dissolved in the liquid with the possibility of gathering closer together to form larger bubbles of gas that then can force there way to the surface without the need for any additional energy. That CO2 can have enough force to pop corks taking with it large volumes of your wine , however it may have turned out. You can find yourself with wine painting the ceiling or the walls depending on how you are storing the bottles.:rdo

Id add sorbate or something. I learned the hard way already. About degassing too. So sparkly. Haha
 

Floandgary

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Keep in mind that if it's still fermenting you don't have to worry about head space since it's giving off O2. But of course if it's in the bulk storage stage I'd top off with a similar wine......I know you'd rather not but it's much easier adding wine then dealing with marbles...IMHO.
You did mean "giving off CO2" correct??? :?
 

pete1325

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Yes.....CO2....sorry.

Ditto on the above advise. I normally don't bottle for at least 10 months, and I keep an airlock on it the whole time. Chemically there's a lot going on with wine in the months after fermentation...adding Sorbate to stop nature is probably not good for the end results.

Did you check the S.G.?
 
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Yes.....CO2....sorry.

Ditto on the above advise. I normally don't bottle for at least 10 months, and I keep an airlock on it the whole time. Chemically there's a lot going on with wine in the months after fermentation...adding Sorbate to stop nature is probably not good for the end results.

Did you check the S.G.?
Now or when I had an incident?

If things went better I'd do it more caringly. Now it's so watered down it'll probably just be something to drink ASAP
 

Bubba1

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Have a couple inches of head space in my blackberry wine. Don't want to thin it with water and I don't like the idea of adding store bought to it. Considering using marbles.

Any old glass marbles work right? Do you loose a lot more wine racking? It seems like there would be a lot more spaces created you couldn't get to with a bunch of marbles. Especially if the lees is dying off falling into the cracks and on them.
instead of marbles you can try one of these Headspace eliminators from vacuum pump man

________
Mike

IMG_0178.jpg
 
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vacuumpumpman

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instead of marbles you can try one of these Headspace eliminators from vacuum pump man

________
Mike
Mike - I was just ready to reply when you beat me to it - No breaking of glass due to the marbles hitting the bottom of the carboy. You can use the allinonewinepump or a hand vacuum pump to create a vacuum within the carboy,
 

richmke

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Do you loose a lot more wine racking? It seems like there would be a lot more spaces created you couldn't get to with a bunch of marbles. Especially if the lees is dying off falling into the cracks and on them.
You won't loose much. I tilt the carboy towards the end of racking, and the wine flows to the low side. You can jam the racking cane into the marbles and get the last little bit.
 

limulus

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One consideration with the marbles is if they have lead in them, which most of the cheap Chinese imports do.
Beyond that, it will only take care of your headspace problem now. Depending on how much sediment you have built up, you are going to lose more wine and have more headspace next racking.
For me, here is what I would do and would do in the future.
For now, get a bottle of cabernet, shiraz/syrah or merlot and top up with that........drink whatever is leftover. Water will just dilute the flavor and ABV.
In the future, if you are making a 1 gal. batch, start out with 1 1/4 gal. so you have extra for racking. If a 5 gal. batch, start out with 5 1/2 gal. You get the idea.
Lead??? Ah crap!! I've had a small batch sitting on marbles for about two months now and I have no idea where they were manufactured. I bought them from Amazon. I just went to Amazon and checked the Q&A section, someone asked about lead and there were two answers stating no. One from the actual seller. Someone also said they are from China so now I don't trust them at all.

False alarm: Now that I've posted this, I went down to my wine cellar and none of the 5 carboys have any marbles. I think I only used them when I was racking so they have not been in the wine for several months. They were actually in a small bucket. I think I'm going to throw them away and buy a head space eliminator.
 
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