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Newbe...very confused.

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Hello. This is my first attempt making wine at home (from frozen concentrated apple juice) Ok, it is 1 gallon batch and I followed an online recipe. Today it has fermented for 6 days and I siphoned it to a new jar and discarded part of its solids and some liquid close to the bottom. Now when I put it back in the gallon jar with the airlock, I notice it needs like 2 inches of liquid to be totally full. I am concerned since I don't know if that amount of air in it will be bad as it continues this second stage of fermentation. Oh I tried it and it had a very nice flavor. 2 questions...do I need to transfer it to a smaller container, top it with anything to fill the void, or just leave it as it is now? Also, how much longer does it need before its ready? Thank you in anticipation!
 

Noontime

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You are spot on with your concerns (which I mean as a compliment). Yes you want to reduce the amount of headspace as much as possible, so there is the smallest amount of surface area contacting air. If it's in the neck you don't have anything to worry about. It's always recommended you get the liquid up into the neck. If it's down in the shoulder area and has a bit of surface area you might want to reduce that space (hard to tell without a picture). Since it's only a gallon, if it was really bad you probably don't want to add another wine to it since that could change the flavor a bit (if you have a 6 gallon batch, even adding a full bottle of a like wine is still just 1/30th so it doesn't contribute much). If you have another container (regular wine bottles, 1.5 liter bottle, etc) you can move it into those to minimize the headspace. If it's just a little bit needed you could probably get away with adding a little bit of a like wine (red to a red or white to a white or fruit). Or if it's still just at the end of fermentation you could add more apple juice (which will increase your alcohol a touch). Hope I didn't make things more confusing. :)
 

Noontime

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And if you just racked it off the gross lees, you'll probably want to let it sit for a few weeks to let it settle out more (solids precipitate out). I've never done a gallon batch, so I'm not confident in how much time it takes. It is wine now though, so you can start drinking it anytime you want. It's just going to get better, clearer, and more integrated the longer you wait.
 

meadmaker1

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Is it and how fast is it still bubbling in the air lock.
If it is still consistently bubbling i wouldn't worry about head space too much yet.
But when it seldom or never bubbles you need to top up .
You seem in a hurry, you'll get over that, so i recommend topping up with a decent white wine for apple.
You could add juice but that will add time and more lees leaving you back to the same issue.
After about 30 days youll have a fair layer of crud you can rack off of and that will be the buck of sediment but apple will take 6 months to a year to clear. I bet you drink it long before that.
Next time ferment in a bucket that holds more than your car boy. Make extra to have enough to fill after losses.
 
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Thank you very much for your responses, noontime and meadmaker1. I'm planning to make a 5 gallons batch next/ Your advice has helped a lot!
 

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