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Pam

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I dont get topping off. You dont fill a gallon jug real full to allow space for fermentation. But then after you rack it, the volume drops even more. As it clears, I have read you need to keep the level up to the shoulder of the jug. I have read about topping off with concentrated grape juice etc. Doesnt that all change the sugar content of the wine? or water doesnt that water it down? If I making elderberry for example, doesnt the grape juice change the taste? I would think that adding water would dilute it. What do most people do? I read about the marbles, maybe that is the way to go. I have also talked to a guy that doesnt worry about the air space. How much will just leaving the air space there effect the wine?
thanks a bunch in advance.
 

Wade E

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02 introduced into wine with not enough S02 can cause various effects. It can let microbial bacteria that is always present but kept in check with correct S02 levels run rampid in your wine and completely ruin your wine, it can cause short shelf life to your wine.
 

bein_bein

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Pam, What I usually do when making a wine from a recipe is oversize the amounts just a little so I end up with extra when I rack to the carboy. For example when I make a 6gal batch I upsize it by 2 liters or so. Then when I rack to the carboy after primary fermentation I have about 2 liters extra. I put that in a plastic pop bottle and put an air lock on it. When I rack the wine off the lees, I use the wine from the two liter to top off. So far it's worked out pretty good for me. I never liked the idea of adding water or juice or a similar wine to top off either, so this is how I get around the issue :)
 

Wade E

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I agree with the making extra and always do this when making a wine from scratch. I use wine bottles with extra airlocks and #2 bungs.
 

Manimal

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If you're wondering how the oxygen exposure will effect your wine, simply open a bottle of wine (any wine) and drink a couple of glasses. Now let the bottle sit on your kitchen counter for a couple of days. You'll notice the unmistakable smell of oxidation the next time you pour a glass. That's what will eventually happen to your whole batch if you don't top up... and that's just the start... eventually acetobacter and other nasties will turn your wine into an undrinkable mess. As the others have noted, the best way to avoid this issue is to plan the quantity of your batches accordingly and to have plenty of different sized containers, bungs and airlocks ready to go to accommodate the varying amounts at different stages of production. Also, it's a good idea to keep a few bottles of previous batches kicking around for topping. By using a similar wine for topping, you won't dilute, sweeten or otherwise affect the properties of your wine, provided the amount used for topping is kept to a minimum by using appropriately sized containers.
 

arcticsid

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Manimal. what about all the nylons I just bought? Luc brought up a fantastic suggestion to use marbles to displace the liquid without adding any "foreign" liguid. Use glass marbles inserted into a nylon or symilar bag until the displacement is reached, when it is time to remove it just pull out the bag.
troy
 

bein_bein

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Arcticsid, I have also used marbles to top up ( in 2 litre bottles ) and it works well Also with loose marbles the lees will settle into the spaces between the marbles. You would have to add a LOT of marbles to a 3 or 6 gal carboy to effectively change the volume. I'm curious as to the type of nylon Luc uses. If I take one of my wife's old nylon stockings and add marbles, they create a bulge at the end of the nylon. If I did this inside the carboy, there's no way I could lift that out of the carboy :eek:The neck hole is too small. Maybe I have misunderstood how or what type of nylon Luc uses. I trust that if Luc says it will work...it will.. just trying to understand how...:confused:
 

arcticsid

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Bein, I have a hard time navigating through this site sometimes myself, but somewhere in here we recently had a discussiion about this and it made great sense. Put the end(toe end) into the carboy and add the amount of marbles reguired to displace the liquid. Try the searc link above and type in nylons, you beable to find the thread. Great ingenuity, I thought.I was able to find the thread in the search I started it called "Hmm I never bought nylons before", I don't know how to send you a direct link to the thread, but Luc brought up a great idea.
Troy
 
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Manimal

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Yeah, marbles are a good idea... never personally used them myself... mainly because I don't have marbles at home and never remember to pick any up when I'm at the store. Anything to keep that damn air space to a minimum!!
 

arcticsid

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Just make sure the nylons match your eye color!
 

Luc

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If I take one of my wife's old nylon stockings and add marbles, they create a bulge at the end of the nylon. If I did this inside the carboy, there's no way I could lift that out of the carboy :eek:The neck hole is too small. Maybe I have misunderstood how or what type of nylon Luc uses. I trust that if Luc says it will work...it will.. just trying to understand how...:confused:
Why on earth would you use old nylons ???????
The cheap ones cost about 1/2 a dollar a pair over here.

Now on to the next part.

Indeed they will create a bulge at the end. but that is no harm.
Tie a knot at the filling end and just lower it in to the carboy.

When time is ready rack the wine.
Lay the carboy on it's side and with a hook (or by gentle shaking)
get the empty part (the one with the knot) out of the mouth of the carboy and by gently shaking the rest will follow.
Trust me it works.
Why don't you try it on an empty carboy.

Luc
 
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bein_bein

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Why on earth would you use old nylons ???????
The cheap ones cost about 1/2 a dollar a pair over here.
I was hoping the 'ambiance' of the used would add a ..um...unique flavor to the blend??? :eek:
LOL...well of course i would use new...I was just trying a 'dry run' experiment and my wife said "Hands off" on her new ones :D

Your description makes perfect sense and was indeed the only way I could see to get a bulbous bag out of a carboy. Through the course of discussion I was getting the impression that there was a way to lift it directly straight up out of the standing carboy :eek: glad to see my engineering skills and powers of visual conception are still intact and functioning :D
 
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arcticsid

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Nylons for topping off

Sorry Wing,
I actually thought Luc brought up a great idea for containing marbles in a nylon for use in displacing air space when topping off, or in this case NOT for topping off, but instead to displace the empty space. It may appear to be out of the ordinary, however, if it works, and works effectively in the process of producing wine, than I think it is quite appropriate to be included in this thread/discussion.

Toy
 

arcticsid

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I appolagize Wing, took it the wrong way,too fast. I hope were still pals.
 

Wade E

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Hey, if you boys cant play nice then Im gonna send both of ya to your rooms with no wine! :)
 

arcticsid

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None?

But Umcle Wade!! Why don't you just beat me with a mixing rod?:) Sorry if I offended Wing, it most certainly wasn't my intentions! But no wine? Thats' a lil harsh!
Troy
(sorry Wing, been a long couple weeks!)
 
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Conquistadude

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Yeah that is harsh...I think a nice bottle of Bread yeast & High o2 exposed wine would be punishment enough ;)
 

wingnutooa

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no problems. i understand that more often than not, text gets mis-construed with out the emphasis that can be given verbally....


and if wade wants to take my wine away he's gonna have to come get it :D
 

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