Quantcast

what can I use for topping the wine when transferring to sec.

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

pkirtani

Junior
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
28
Reaction score
3
Hi,

I am making a sangiovese from wine expert. I came a bit short on the quantity (about a quart)
I am not sure if I should use water since it will dilute it.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
-Prasanna
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
@Ajmassa5983 has it right, but match the quality of wine you add to what you think you have. If you got Paisano, then go that route. If you use water two things happen. You dilute the flavors, but more importantly you raise the pH which can be a very bad thing.

Last idea is buy a bunch of the Rossi, drink it and use the jugs to get the right total volume. :b
 

skyfire322

Junior Member
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
371
Reaction score
248
Location
Ft Wayne, IN, US
When I made my sangio/merlot blend, I used a bottle and a half of the Banfi Chianti Classico for $8 a bottle (75% sangio 25% cab sauv). Didn't turn out to shabby!
 

pkirtani

Junior
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
28
Reaction score
3
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I will go with the carlo rossi
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,344
Reaction score
1,828
Location
Northwest Arkansas
At the risk of getting flamed here. IF a person plans ahead there are several options for topping off.
1) Avoid it by downsizing to a smaller carboy or multiple carboys. Not always practical or possible
2) Allow for volume loss by increasing the batch size and put the 'extra' wine in smaller airlocked suitable containers (Smaller glass bottles, even clean wine bottles)
3) * Allow for volume loss by increasing the fruit concentration and SG so that a little water used for top off doesn't water down the wine. Even pH is not automatically an issue with some wines. As long at it remains 'in the range' for the wine variety you are making. (Not possible with wine kits of course.)
4) Use a similar wine or complementary wine for topping off.

* I am basing on my limited experience of course (Only 3 years) and on making only fruit wines not grape wines. What's interesting is that my original 'handbook' (came with my country fruit wine making kit) stated that their recipes allowed for using water to top off. There was a planned volume loss taken into account The KEY of course is that repeated or large quantities of water will most certainly change the characteristics of a wine.

For a 5 gallon batch 12 oz of water is less than 2% of the total volume. I would suggest that if any prior planning is done that 2% is not going to terribly change the pH or water down a robust wine.

I make a lot of berry wines, especially blueberry and with those pH change is rarely an issue and in fact overly low pH is something I have to watch for each time. After fermentation completion I've had a pH as low as 2.86 when using large quantities of blueberries and wild blackberries.

I'm not knee deep in experience but getting there slowly.
 
Last edited:

GaDawg

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Messages
1,279
Reaction score
686
Why not use wine you have made. It isn’t wasted, you will eventually drink it.
 

BigH

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
299
Reaction score
145
I fill empty space with these, typically in this order
  • Food grade glass marbles
  • My own wine from a previous year (especially if we are talking dry reds)
  • Cheap wine off the shelf that is similar to what I am making
  • Water (especially if I started with high brix, high acid grapes)
Like Scooter68, I try to pick the best combination of containers to minimize the problem. I have a stock pile of 7 gallon fermonsters, 6 gallon fermonsters, and carboys that are 6, 5, 3, and 1 gallon. I can usually find a combination that limits the problem to a gallon or less.

Beware of adding wine with significant residual sugar to a new wine that still contains active yeast cells. There is a good chance that sugar will get fermented into alcohol, which is going to shift your flavor profile a bit. Also, beware of adding wine that has been stabilized with potassium sorbate to a wine that has underwent MLF. I usually end up using marbles on whites that come up short, and wine to top up dry reds.

I have a couple of 1/2 gallon and quart sized jugs that I save excess in. Comes in handy when another carboy falls short of the top.

H
 

Ignoble Grape

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Messages
152
Reaction score
92
Location
Central Coast, CA
At the risk of getting flamed here. IF a person plans ahead there are several options for topping off.
1) Avoid it by downsizing to a smaller carboy or multiple carboys. Not always practical or possible
2) Allow for volume loss by increasing the batch size and put the 'extra' wine in smaller airlocked suitable containers (Smaller glass bottles, even clean wine bottles)
3) * Allow for volume loss by increasing the fruit concentration and SG so that a little water used for top off doesn't water down the wine. Even pH is not automatically an issue with some wines. As long at it remains 'in the range' for the wine variety you are making. (Not possible with wine kits of course.)
4) Use a similar wine or complementary wine for topping off.

* I am basing on my limited experience of course (Only 3 years) and on making only fruit wines not grape wines. What's interesting is that my original 'handbook' (came with my country fruit wine making kit) stated that their recipes allowed for using water to top off. There was a planned volume loss taken into account The KEY of course is that repeated or large quantities of water will most certainly change the characteristics of a wine.

For a 5 gallon batch 12 oz of water is less than 2% of the total volume. I would suggest that if any prior planning is done that 2% is not going to terribly change the pH or water down a robust wine.

I make a lot of berry wines, especially blueberry and with those pH change is rarely an issue and in fact overly low pH is something I have to watch for each time. After fermentation completion I've had a pH as low as 2.86 when using large quantities of blueberries and wild blackberries.

I'm not knee deep in experience but getting there slowly.
Okay - I have the same problem. I just racked off from my primary fermentation for a very small batch of strawberry - Got two solid gallons in 1 gallon carboys which is what I planned - and about 1.5 quarts leftover in a 3/4 gallon carboy - way too much space to add marbles. I would love to keep the 1.5 quarts and do something with it. Questions:

1. What would happen if I added that much finished wine to the active yeast cells?
2. What would happen if I topped off with a fruit juice?

Do either of these options work?

Fun experimenting!
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
3,582
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Okay - I have the same problem. I just racked off from my primary fermentation for a very small batch of strawberry - Got two solid gallons in 1 gallon carboys which is what I planned - and about 1.5 quarts leftover in a 3/4 gallon carboy - way too much space to add marbles. I would love to keep the 1.5 quarts and do something with it. Questions:

1. What would happen if I added that much finished wine to the active yeast cells?
2. What would happen if I topped off with a fruit juice?

Do either of these options work?

Fun experimenting!
Finished wine would be ideal. Nothing negative would happen. Adding juice would likely kick off more fermenting and just be a headache to deal with.
Or 1.5 quarts just put into a 1.5 liter bottle or 2 750ml bottles to age.
 

BigH

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
299
Reaction score
145
Okay - I have the same problem. I just racked off from my primary fermentation for a very small batch of strawberry - Got two solid gallons in 1 gallon carboys which is what I planned - and about 1.5 quarts leftover in a 3/4 gallon carboy - way too much space to add marbles. I would love to keep the 1.5 quarts and do something with it.
Buy a half gallon jug or growler, or a couple of 32 oz growlers. Should be able to find bungs for them. If not, siran wrap and a rubber band work.

H
 

Ignoble Grape

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Messages
152
Reaction score
92
Location
Central Coast, CA
I ended up topping off with a lemon/apple wine. It was very dry. The strawberry used a Premier Cuvée yeast, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Thanks, all!
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,919
Reaction score
1,137
Location
Maryland
If you have your own wine to top up, you can do that. Otherwise I'd go with a similar type. I do that rather than rack down to smaller containers because I want to keep the batch as big as possible.
 
Top