Oxygen and bottling buckets

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detlion1643

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So tonight I bottled up a mixed berry wine that I made a couple years ago, it's been in secondary for at least 1 year, maybe more. The airlock has always been full and barely any headspace existed. I popped open the airlock a few days ago and dropped about 4 campden tabs in it. The airlock was off for just a few seconds.

Tonight I felt the urge to bottle this up. I haven't bottled anything in a few years, so I was second guessing myself a bit. Popping the airlock and having the secondary open, while it siphons to a bottling bucket (that is wide open to air), was how I remembered doing this before. So that's how I did it tonight. I siphoned so it swirled around rather than splashed. But now after having some of the "extras" during and after dinner, I got to thinking a bit. Is having the wine exposed to air for the entire bottling process okay or is that too exposed to air? The bottles are filled to just inside the neck area.

I remember having one batch ruined to oxidation before (but that was because someone had opened the secondary and poured drinks from it, ahhh!).
 

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Ajmassa

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pretty sure it’s perfectly fine and many people bottle from an open bottling bucket. Oxidizing really needs prolonged o2 exposure for an extended period of time. a one-off bottling sesh is too quick to oxidize i’m fairly sure —- but i’m no scientist.

looks great btw. a freshly bottled batch of wine is always a kodak moment 👌
 

jumby

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Been using a bottling bucket for decades with no ill effects. You're fine!
 

Rice_Guy

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The bad news is that oxygen is what we breathe. The table is from a presentation where a vendor was talking about oxygen in large commercial wineries. The low number is what could be typical oxygen pick up with fairly intense nitrogen or CO2 flushing. The high number would be the oxygen pick up in an air atmosphere.
5C257F15-8994-4E95-93CC-714DA14DBC36.jpeg
In the scheme of things oxygen isn’t too soluble so we live with some air in all factory operations. For you as a carboy (5gallon) wine maker the ullage is a higher percentage of the tank volume therefore the effect of oxygen exposure (bottle shock) will be greater, but as with 750 ml bottle shock chemical reactions take time, (less than a month) and it isn’t life or death of the wine. Conceptually look at your wine as a chemical system with an oxidation buffer capacity, ,,, the more you open it the more you spend the buffers maintaining fresh flavors.
So tonight I bottled up a mixed berry wine that I made a couple years ago, it's been in secondary for at least 1 year, maybe more. The airlock has always been full and barely any headspace existed. I popped open the airlock a few days ago and dropped about 4 campden tabs in it. The airlock was off for just a few seconds.

Tonight I felt the urge to bottle this up. I haven't bottled anything in a few years, so I was second guessing myself a bit. Popping the airlock and having the secondary open, while it siphons to a bottling bucket (that is wide open to air), was how I remembered doing this before. So that's how I did it tonight. I siphoned so it swirled around rather than splashed. But now after having some of the "extras" during and after dinner, I got to thinking a bit. Is having the wine exposed to air for the entire bottling process okay or is that too exposed to air? The bottles are filled to just inside the neck area.

I remember having one batch ruined to oxidation before (but that was because someone had opened the secondary and poured drinks from it, ahhh!).
As @Ajmassa said the freshly fermented wine is in a Kodak moment. ,,, Unfortunately there are so many uncontrolled “well it depends” unit operations/ headspace questions and most home wine makers don’t have tools to measure a half milligram of dissolved oxygen (or SO2 consumption over a month after the air exposure), ,,,,, so each opening of the wine is like asking are you the one in a thousand asymptomatic covid spreader that I will meet today.
 
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Scooter68

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This is one area where I have simply decided that sometimes you just have to proceed with due caution but not take PREcautions too far. There are far more dangerous times and events in wine making that concern me more now that that period of time from when my wine is ready to bottle and the time I get the cork in the bottle. I cover the bucket with a cloth most times but it depends on how much and how fast the bottling and corking process is going. I do it all by myself so it might be 10-15 mins at most from the time I fill the first bottle until the last bottle gets corked. I'm not going to sweat bullets or worry about that. If I come up with a better process I'll follow it but I also have limited space so moving a bottle from the filling spot to the corker every time would wear me out,
 

detlion1643

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I appreciate it. As mentioned, it's been quite some time when I last bottled a batch and wanted to make sure it wasn't exposed too much. Good to know.
 

Rice_Guy

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and how fast the bottling and corking process is going. I do it all by myself so it might be 10-15 mins at most from the time I fill the first bottle until the last bottle gets corked.
* from a technical view I have no issue in having QUIESCENT wine open for half a day. Just sitting there does not significantly change what gets dissolved.
* typical ullage is large enough to hold enough enough oxygen to form a saturated solution, therefore keep ullage as low as possible/ I have been trying 1 to1.5 cm on the finished bottle combined with running a vacuum corker at 15 to 20 inches Hg vacuum. I also like the screw cap filling lines which drip liquid nitrogen.
* racking/ splash racking can provide enough turbulence to saturate the liquid, again how can we be quiescent? Or go the other direction and flush with nitrogen in a bubbler as racking.
* temperature has a major effect, oxygen (as well as CO2) are more soluble in a cool liquid, therefore we are better off putting a brew belt on a carboy over night.
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You and I both do fruit wines which don’t contain substantial antioxidant (buffering against oxidation),,,, so it is worth my while pulling tricks out to get five years of acceptable shelf life,,,, the vinters club has budgeted a project with an argon gas set up so more opinions on this in a year, would be nice if the club also would buy a DO set up.
 
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