OOPS...How did THAT happen..?

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Senior Member
Jan 4, 2008
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Ok, so I am ready to bottle my first wine tonight (Friday) and last night (thursday) I am looking at my carboy sitting in the large tub in my bathroom. (the only place that stays a constant 65-68° in the house...long story..) I have it wrapped with towels to keep light out ,anyways..I notice my airlock doesn't have enough water in it to actually act as an air lock :eek: So I am thinking this must have happened within the last 48hrs. (I checked for clarity..and had to sample it to provide an accurate description on the back label I was making :D )
The questions are:
1) Am I in trouble?
2) Can I just refill the airlock (already done) and proceed as normal?
3) Should I add something to counteract/stop any oxidation, like k-meta?
4) Can I just refill the airlock (already done) and proceed as normal?
5) How much?
6) Do I need to wait before bottling?

TIA as always,
I'm only a beginner myself so I can't really help but from what I've read in the past there should be a blanket of CO2 over the wine because it is denser than air. This would help prevent oxidising. The shape of the air lock could prevent contamination and probably did because it was for such a small time and I doubt there was any air flow through it. Had the wine still being activly fermenting the constant push of the CO2 out would also have aided this.

I'd say you're fine...
Hope this helps...

#1 Not likely.
#2 Yes
#3 If you're able to test for SO2 then do that and let the results guide you. If this isn't an option and you had planned to add k-meta at bottling then now is the time.
#5 How much what?
#6 No need to wait...go for it.
How much k-meta.
I wasn't planning on adding it but if is something that would be beneficial then I can. Would I just add to the carboy and lightly stir?
Thanks for the help guys!
The wine should be fine if it were only a day or two with low water in the airlock. As suggested in a prior post, refill the lock. If you are not ready to bottle, check the water level at least every week.

In your last post you said you were not planning on adding any potassium metabisulfite. Did you not add any during the entire process? If not, you really should to help prevent oxidation and spoilage of the wine. If you did not add any prior, mix 1/4 tsp in about 2 ounces of water (or you can use the wine). Make sure the powder is completely dissolved and add to the wine. If you have previously sulfited the wine, I would recommend adding a 1/8 tsp about 2 days before bottling.
This is a WE kit wine. I added metabisulhpite that was in the kit but I don't think it was pot meta. General consensus seems to be that I can proceed as normal. Thank you for all your help!! but it gotta get to bottling the wine!!! :D
The meta in a WE kit is potassium metabisulphite (aka K-meta). The last section of a WE kit instructions usually mentions adding extra K-meta if aging the wine for a length of time.

As with all kits, I recommend reading the instructions.

PS...when asking q's about kits please remember to be specific. ie what brand, what sub-brand, what variety. Sometimes the exatc brand/variety will change an answer. In this case which WE brand? Selection, Crushendo, Chai Maison, Vintnre's Reserve?

MY bad...I should have included all that info in the first post...
I did read ( and followed) all the instructions and was only days away from bottling when the inadvertant exposure to air occured because of the water level in the airlock being to low. My only concern was if that might cause problems and if I should add ADDITIONAL meta to carboy to counter-act possible problems. Nothing in my instructions mentions anything about additional meta. I just wanted to cover all the bases....evryone says GO...so stand back folks...... :D

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