Is there a "formula" to make extra to use for topping off?

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Arctic Contributor
Oct 26, 2008
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While we're in the topic of topping off, without displacing the empty space, how much extra should we start with? For example, lets say I start my wine in a 6 gallon carboy. I realize I will lose some of the volume after transfering to the secondary. Than I am going to rack it again, and lose more. Is there any kind of "formula" to determine how mucj to start with? If I want to end up with 5 gallons of wine, should I start with 7 gallons? I realize this could change depending om wether or not I used a kit, fresh fruit or juice concentrate, is there any sort of a steadfast rule that you generally follow?

No real formula. It depends how much sediment your wine sets, how aggressively you transfer, and the exact size of your carboys. FYI 6 US gallon carboys differ in size by up to a litre.

Makes sense Wade/Steve, but if I start with a 6 gal primary, where do I put the other 3/4 gal?
As always I really appreciate all of you all in here for your insight! I hope that my inquisitiveness doesn't begin to sound like I'm being a pest!! I mean that !!
Just take an empty Wine bottle or two and put an air lock on them. Just like in the pics that wade posted of his Wine room.

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Geez, just when I was thinking about sneaking in Wades room!!! Hmm? HrrHrr
(can I bring a cat or two?, well I have three, but can't fool all of them at the same time!!)