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Racking before bottling question

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Vinman

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I just racked my cab from the seconday fermenter into another 6 gallon carboy. Due to the sentiment that was in the secondary fermenter, there's a lot of space between the bung and the top of the wine.

Should i top off and if so, with what???
 

Racer

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Top off with a store bought wine of a similar type. Once you have a few kits made just use one of those to top up with then.
 

Wade E

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I would, if you have a like wine in your inventory then use that. If not then buy some like wine!
 

cbw

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Sounds expensive to go out and buy a "like" wine to top off ... but remember, you get this "top off" wine back at bottling.

Do it soon. If your wine is done fermenting, you need to top it off ASAP
 

Tom

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Sounds expensive to go out and buy a "like" wine to top off ... but remember, you get this "top off" wine back at bottling.

Do it soon. If your wine is done fermenting, you need to top it off ASAP
A $10 bottle is good insureance so your wine will not go bad.
 

Vinman

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Just topped off

Thanks for all of the replies! I just topped off my cab with 3 750's, which frustrates me to no end. That's an extra $45 to top off my 6 gallon carboy!

Any potential ways to ensure i don't need so much wine next time? I know 3 750's sounds like a lot, but there was a pretty good amount of sediment and i didn't want to rack the wine which was sitting just above it.

The worst part is, after testing for clarity after 15 days (just before potentially bottling), the wine was CRYSTAL clear!
 

Wade E

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I dont worry about the sediment, worry about getting as much as you can as each time and the sediment will fall out. Dont rush your wine by trying to eliminate sediment rackings cause youll just end up short like you did. Get every bit of wine you can and let what needs to fall out fall out over time. Another trick is to keep the carboys tilted to one side so that all the sediment falls to one side and then when ready to rack gently tilt back the other way and rack off the shallow end.
 

cbw

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vinman>>That's an extra $45 to top off my 6 gallon carboy!

Vinman, you'll get the three bottles (and the $45) back back when you bottle.

If you were three bottles short in your carboy, and you use three bottles of wine to top it off ... you'll get three MORE bottles out of the carboy when you bottle.

Let the wine sit another two weeks and it will be clear and easier for you to bottle ... with less lees.
 

Tom

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Thats alot of $. I would have bought cheaper ones. Follow what Wade said & you will be OK. The most I ever had to add was 2 bottles. Mostly just 1.
 

Wade E

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I actually havent had to add any top off in at least 2 years now. Give it time, let the lees compact, and do the tip thing. And also when making afruit wine make about 3 liters extra.
 

dderemiah

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I had the same thing happen the first wine I made. I had to top off with almost 4 bottles. Now I just make an extra gallon and bottle that early using some #2 or 3 drilled bungs. Then if I need to top off, just use those bottles to top. It also helps to make a little more than you expect to have at the racking because you will lose some from test samples. I have to pull about 150ml to take a SG reading. do it three times and I have lost almost half a liter!
 

Tom

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Why don't you add it back after you measure? As long as all is sanitized there is no reason not to pour it back.
 

xanxer82

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Maybe an investment in a couple of smaller carboys would help.
Sanitized lead free marbles are also good to take up head space. It's cheaper than buying more wine.
 

kiljoy

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I can barely imagine moving a 6 gallon carboy let alone one full of marbles as well! I have a 6 gallon in my shed, but have been afraid of such a huge batch.

I started making a little bit extra and put it in empty bottles with plastic wrap and rubber bands. I also hate to go and buy wine to top off. Then it’s not 100% mine. I grow my own grapes.

One other thing I do; is rack, then top up with simple syrup. In 1 gallon batches, it usually works out to the right amount of sweetness. It’s a shot in the dark, but has worked for me so far.
 

wyntheef

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I actually havent had to add any top off in at least 2 years now. Give it time, let the lees compact, and do the tip thing. And also when making afruit wine make about 3 liters extra.
Sounds like a nice idea Wade, do you use the wedges they sell on some wine sites? How much is 'tipped' to sit in storage? Do you do this with all of your carboys? I only imagined using the wedges during racking, not during storage.

Steve
 

Runningwolf

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Steve, since Wade mentioned this the first time I have been doing it ever since. I just use apiece of 1x about 10" long. I use it under everything.

 

fuzzmeister

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Runningwolfe

your table looks like it has a wow in the middle, from all that weight on it I would not like to see it break, and loose all that wine, that would make a grown man cry.
 

Runningwolf

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LOL..I never noticed that before in the picture. It is just a distortion in the picture. I built this table for bear. I has 2x4 support braces every 16" and a 2x6 frame. Good catch though, thanks.
 

vvolf34

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Not trying to Hi-jack this thread, but did not want to start a new one for virtually the same thing.

If I rack to a new carboy for 2 weeks, do I need to add some campden tablets? My MM Black Cherry Shiraz is ready to bottle, but will do the extra 2 weeks like you suggest in this thread.

Edit: Runningwolf, what is to the left of your primary? Kind of a yellow/white color?
 
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