What is best to top off a carboy if I have too much headspace

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by jeff0219, Jan 12, 2013.

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  1. Jan 12, 2013 #1

    jeff0219

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    When I rack from my primary to my carboy if I have too much headspace what is best to top off the carboy? I have heard that water will just weaken the alcohol content so I am not sure what else to use. Suggestions???
     
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  2. Jan 12, 2013 #2

    Mcamnl

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    Going from primary to secondary I don't worry about topping up. There is still some fermentation going on so there will be a nice blanket of CO2 on top of the wine.
    After fermentation, if I decide to top up, it is with the same wine from a different batch or something very similar. Most times if I can't get a 6 gallon carboy filled to the top I step down to a 5 gallon carboy and a couple bottles. That way I don't worry about having to add anything to the wine. I don't ever use water.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
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  3. Jan 12, 2013 #3

    Rodnboro

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    Racking down is the best. If you can't, buy some cheap wine similar to what you are making. I usually find that it doesn't take as much as you think.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2013 #4

    tonyt

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    A bottle of the last wine you made is best IMHO.
     
  5. Jan 14, 2013 #5

    Wiccan_Lager

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    You could sterilize glass marbles and put them into the carboy to displace. I have never done it but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
     
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  6. Jan 14, 2013 #6

    jeff0219

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    That's an interesting suggestion. I know my wife has a ton of decorative marbles around the house. I don't think I will do it but it could be interesting seeing how upset she gets for me putting her marbles in my carboys. :db
     
  7. Jan 14, 2013 #7

    bakervinyard

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    Jeff0219, If you do that with her marbles she won't let you buy any more toys for your wine hobby. LOL. Bakervinyard
     
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  8. Jan 14, 2013 #8

    vacuumpumpman

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  9. Jan 14, 2013 #9

    WVMountaineerJack

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    Be careful with marbles, you never know if they have lead in them or not.

    Another way to top off is to make a topper with the same percentage of alcohol as your wine with everclear and adding acid blend to it to keep it from diluting the acid levels also.

    Another way it to make a special batch of wine you can use for topping up for the next couple of years, we like to use a high concentration of elderberries, even 100% elderberry, it give everything a nice color boost and adds a little bit of tannins. Blackberry is also good to make as a topper.

    WVMJ
     
  10. Jan 15, 2013 #10

    dan69man

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    Funny you should say that, I saw this on the weekend and wondered how one might adapt something similar to a carboy.

    Oops read your link and someone posted this contraption as well.

    image-1352313184.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  11. Jan 15, 2013 #11

    pete1325

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    The guy who invented that was on Shark Tank.......he's a bazillionair now.
     
  12. Jan 15, 2013 #12

    vacuumpumpman

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    Not sure if that is the same product used for wine bottles would work on carboys Also ?
     
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  13. Jan 6, 2019 #13

    vacuumpumpman

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  14. Jan 6, 2019 #14

    Fzee2

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    I never gave it a thought that there may be lead in the marbles. Any suggestions as to finding lead free marbles?
     
  15. Jan 6, 2019 #15

    StToddy

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    Blanket with N2 (to replace the O2) and/or use a vacuum pump as already suggested above
     
  16. Jan 7, 2019 #16

    Newine

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    I ordered food grade marbles a few years ago from one of the common supply shops, I am sure it would be easy enough to find them.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2019 #17

    Michael Alspaugh

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    I purchased the All in One wine pump in Dec 2018 and it takes about 30 seconds to put the "head space eliminator... purchased for a slight extra charge"... on the top of my carboy turn on the pump suck out the extra Oxygen and watch the ball deflate telling me It has no air inside, detach my pump put on the cap that comes with it and WELL-AHH no air no marbles and NO MESS! It is the best thing for my wine making hobby that I have invested in since my first kit one year and 13 5-6 gallon batches of fruit wine ago.
     
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  18. Jan 9, 2019 #18

    Kiazer

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    The topping up with like-minded wine is not a waste. if you back sweeten works. and marbles from the dollar store (sterilized) works well also.
     
  19. Jan 9, 2019 #19

    iridium

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    I also use the headspace eliminator from the all in one wine pump and it works great.
     
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  20. Jan 9, 2019 #20

    Michael Alspaugh

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    Okay this can be a messy hobby trying not to contaminate our wine or brew is hard enough and the less we put in that we have to clean-up later the better. so for me too the all in one wine pump is the bomb.
     

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