How not to top off

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g8keeper

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no problem, rampage....that's what this forum is all about....any time...
 

John Prince

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I still can't figure out why argon gas can't be use for bulk aging. How could it escape since it's heavier than O2? I add argon once per month. Should I change it up?
 

ibglowin

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John,

It may be heavier than air but its not like it weighs 3X as much. Its only 39% heavier than air at 0 degrees C. A gas wants to diffuse. Its what it does best. There is NO stopper that will hold a gas indefinitely. Changes in atmospheric pressure will push that gas out of the carboy over time even with a solid stopper. 1 week at best. And again, its better to TOP UP or RACK DOWN for long term bulk aging.
 
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vacuumpumpman

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ibglowin said:
John,

It may be heavier than air but its not like it weighs 3X as much. Its only 39% heavier than air at 0 degrees C. A gas wants to diffuse. Its what it does best. There is NO stopper that will hold a gas indefinitely. Changes in atmospheric pressure will push that gas out of the carboy over time even with a solid stopper. 1 week at best. And again, its better to TOP UP or RACK DOWN for long term bulk aging.
I totally agree !
I have some friends that believe in using the heavier gases and it's too bad that they won't change their ways as they are constantly throwing out wine at the end of the year.
 

frtrey

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I wanted to say thanks for all the replies. I'm glad to know that the 1/2 gal difference isn't something that i'm screwing up on (too badly). I'm going to take a break from the 6gals and try a port (for sacramental purposes, of course)- and see what the 3 gal will do. At least the top-off is brandy!
 

FL Steve

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John, I think maybe I can explain it this way, stand by, I might get on a roll. Even though Argon is heavier, Graham's Law comes into play, it talks about the way gases act when together. Think about liquids such as gasoline and water, the gas floats on top and blankets the water. Gases don't behave like that. The molecules pass each other because they are spread out. Like having 6 people in a room and having 6 more enter the same room, the original 6 aren't forced to leave. (Unless they are chewing on garlic). They occupy the same space. Even though you add an inert gas, there will still be oxygen present unless you flood the area with lots and lots of gas. Gases don't stratify quite like liquids. I know that is no where near a scientific explanation and the scientists (Mike) will have a fit. I agree, short term protection. As a side note. I have seen co2 used in flex tanks. Since it is absorbed, you have to open the tanks to top off with more gas since it partially collapses the tank, by creating sort of a vacuum. Nitrogen is cheaper than Argon by the way and serves the same purpose.
 

winggolder33

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For topping off, I use a 2lb sugar to 1 gallon water soloution, with 1/8 teaspoon meta to retard spoilage. This is 1.090 on the hydrometer, same as my starting must, for 13% alcohol. It usually ferments out to dry, in the 2 years in the carboy, before bottling.
 

ShtWine

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Instead of topping off, why not just make an 11 if you're shooting for a ten or a 22 if you'ree shooting for a 20 and over time collect up a bunch of 1.75L handles, 1.5L 3L 4L bottles then fill your overflow into these. You just need a few more airlocks and 6 or 6.5 stoppers. Top up with the same Sht!

Other than doing that, I do not top off either.
 
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Tess

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I like the topping off with wine idea myself and you can enjoy what you have let over
 

Elmer

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I was advised by my local wine shop to top off.
I usually make 6 gallons and lose about a combined gallon when I rack (due to dumping the must and thick wine at the bottom)
I end up bulk aging my wine in a 6Gal carboy for a few months before I bottle.
However I was advised to add water at the top.

I am apprehensive to do just this, for fear of watering down the wine. However the women behind the counter told me that since my wine kit had 3 gallons of concentrate and just under 3 of water.

I don’t know if I should add water or an actual bottle of Chianti?
I could add a bottle of my other homemade wines!
 

FTC Wines

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Hey, My answer is TOP off with anything BUT water! I make extra wine to top off with, OR I top off with a similar wine, or I use a brandy that's similar, OR I just fill up the carboy with ANY wine I have available. Blending is a great thing! Roy
 

ldmack3

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I always bottle some in 375s & 187s so I don't have to pop open a 750 and only use a little. With 5 barrels now I have a collection of small bottled wines strictly for topping. Ok sometimes I drink one.
 
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