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Partially Filled Wine Bottles---Wine Oxidation

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raguido

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One area of concern that I had when bottling a batch of wine was the case where I didn't have enough wine to completely fill the bottle. This could result in possible oxidation of the alcohol to vinegar over time. To avoid this issue, I came up with a simple solution. I bought a small (5-lb) size CO2 bottle, pressure regulation, appropriate fittings, and plastic tubing from Amazon to make a purging system. I took the empty CO2 bottle to my local welding-supply dealer and had it filled for a very small fee ($10, I believe). When I end up with a partially full bottle of wine, I just purge the air out of it for several minutes with this system and then cork or seal the wine for long-term storage. I've attached a picture of the setup that I made.

Another advantage of the purging setup is that it allows you to make your own fizzy (carbonated) water (or juice). With the appropriate plumbing and an appropriate PLASTIC bottle---like the 2-L soda bottles--you can easily make your own fizzy drinks. You should not try this, however, with standard wine bottles, as the glass could shatter and injure you if you overpressurize the bottle. I find that a pressure of about 20 psig works great with the soda bottles and this is in the same realm of pressure in a standard bottle of soda. With additional fittings and a valve, I can fill a glass without having to open the bottle each time, which quickly drains off the pressure.

To keep an opened bottle of wine protected from air when the bottle may not be consumed in a short time, I find that the Vacu Wine Saver from Amazon works quite well. It uses a special rubber stopper that allows you to pump the air out of the wine bottle for short-term storage.

CO2_Setup.jpg
 

DoctorCAD

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Wait...about 75% of all posts are about getting CO2 OUT of our wine, but now you want to put it back IN???????
 

raguido

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I'm not putting CO2 back into the wine. It will just replace the air in the dead space over the bottle. Very little CO2 will end up in the wine afterwards. If you are bulk aging a gallon of wine that is only half full with air in the dead space, you will have significant acetic acid being produced over a period of a year. The CO2 cover gas just prevents that from happening.
 

salcoco

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I believe the CO2 you added in the blank space is still absorbed by the wine. it would have been cheaper to buy 375ml bottles. Have you opened any bottles with this treatment that are at least 6 months old or older?
 

raguido

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The absorption of CO2 is pressure dependent. At only one atmosphere, the amount absorbed is not that significant. I've taken a 1-gallon jug that was only half full where I bulk aged wine for 9 months or more without any problems when later transferred into 750-mL bottles.
 

mikewatkins727

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This is were beer bottles come in handy. Cork 'em with tapered #7 cork (Label Peeler's SKU 4207).
 

raguido

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I have used soda or beer bottles with standard caps for small leftover amounts of wine. I have a mechanical capper that works well with this setup and the caps are much cheaper than corks.
 

Boatboy24

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I see that partial bottle as the winmaker's reward for all that hard bottling work. So it doesn't usually see the next sunrise. :dg That, or I put it into a 375.

Very useful setup for making sparkling wine.
 

dcbrown73

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At bottling, I use 375lm. Anything left gets consumed that night.

If I'm still aging, I fill the largest bottles I can fill and keep moving down to smaller bottles until the smallest container is still too big, then it's back to consuming the rest that night.

This is 4 1/2 gallons of Pineapple, Mango, Lime wine I'm currently aging in this format.

 

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