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Topping off

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cuz

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just racked 3 carboys of red that are about 9 months in. I added egg whites as a finisher and want to wait 2 weeks before I rack again. Each carboy can take about a half bottle of wine (350ML) to top off.

Is it safe to leave with that kind of space in the top for 2 weeks?
 

BernardSmith

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Just an opinion here, but my bet is that it is not a problem but if the volume of wine is large and the headspace is that small then the cost of removing the headroom is kinda small compared to the cost of oxidizing (long term) the volume. In that case I my money would be on there being a problem and I would look for a way to reduce the headroom. The REAL problem, in my opinion is not what happens in the next couple of weeks but how well a large volume will age over years once you have introduced air... why risk the damage?
 

cuz

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Thank you - I wasn't concerned so much about the cost of removing the head space as I was about compromising the taste of the wine. I am pleased with it now and hesitated to add water or an inexpensive store bought wine.
 

BernardSmith

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Thank you - I wasn't concerned so much about the cost of removing the head space as I was about compromising the taste of the wine. I am pleased with it now and hesitated to add water or an inexpensive store bought wine.
Just thinking out loud: I wonder if it isn't possible to slip a sealable plastic bag inside the carboy and fill it with something more dense than the wine (say sugar solution) so that it will displace its own mass and so fill the carboy. That or lead free marbles...
 

NorCal

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Thank you - I wasn't concerned so much about the cost of removing the head space as I was about compromising the taste of the wine. I am pleased with it now and hesitated to add water or an inexpensive store bought wine.
Use an expensive bottle of wine :), your wine deserves it.
 

cmason1957

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Just thinking out loud: I wonder if it isn't possible to slip a sealable plastic bag inside the carboy and fill it with something more dense than the wine (say sugar solution) so that it will displace its own mass and so fill the carboy. That or lead free marbles...
Not to throw rocks at this idea, but what happens if the bag breaks? That would be my concern. Adding a bottle of like wine seems more the easiest way to go.
 

cuz

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Ok- it looks like everyone agrees - topping off is essential (however you choose to do it) even if it just for two weeks

Thank you for all the input
 

jsbeckton

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Ok- it looks like everyone agrees - topping off is essential (however you choose to do it) even if it just for two weeks

Thank you for all the input
Maybe not “essential” but a good insurance policy and if it’s a like wine (and maybe even if it isn’t) you are not going to taste any difference in the finished product.

At 1/2 bottle you are at 60:1
 

sremick

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Just thinking out loud: I wonder if it isn't possible to slip a sealable plastic bag inside the carboy and fill it with something more dense than the wine (say sugar solution) so that it will displace its own mass and so fill the carboy.
You mean like this:
 
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