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 10, 2019 #21

    sour_grapes

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    What do you mean by "no air"?
     
  2. Jan 10, 2019 #22

    heatherd

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    I just top up with a similar wine.
     
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  3. Jan 10, 2019 #23

    BABRU

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    I’m not sure why no one suggests just topping off with a little bit of good water.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2019 #24

    vacuumpumpman

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    I believe you would be diluting your wine and throwing your PH out of wack.

    PH of water is 7 and wine is closer to 3
     
  5. Jan 11, 2019 #25

    ASR

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  6. Jan 11, 2019 #26

    Bts

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    ECKraus says water is "appropriate if your head-space is around a pint or less per 5 gallons of wine." PH is logarithmic, so I'm pretty sure it's not going to throw your PH off by more than a few hundredths of a point unless you're really going crazy and adding a gallon or two of water. I imagine you'll notice the difference in flavor and alcohol content before you go out of the acceptable range of wine PH. Well, unless you're starting with a red that's already pushing that limit. Presumably that's why they advocate water plus vodka, because dilution probably hits the ABV most noticeably.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  7. Jan 11, 2019 #27

    vacuumpumpman

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    The original post , mentions too much headspace -
    I took that we were talking more than just one 1 pint of headspace


    I understand where a pint of water will not effect PH that much. I use the headspace eliminator if I have several pints of headspace in a 5 gallon carboy.

    I believe that changes everything
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  8. Jan 11, 2019 #28

    Bts

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    I was assuming a pint or three. I figured a wine coming out of primary in January is probably a kit wine that's in the general vicinity of 6 gal. In which case it doesn't matter all that much what its toped with, just as long as long as it's topped off. If it's like half a gallon or a gallon then yea that's pushing the limits of topping up into the realm of you have the wrong size container....which is a pain unless you've got a headspace eliminator or a wide variety of carboys.
     
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  9. Jan 12, 2019 #29

    Michael Alspaugh

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    When you suck most of the Oxygen out of the top of the carboy there is little to no air in it.
     
  10. Jan 12, 2019 #30

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  11. Jan 12, 2019 #31

    Johnd

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    Paul, if one had a 6 gallon carboy with a gallon of headspace, and removed 3/4 of the “air”, is it safe to assume that it’s the equivalent of the wine being exposed to 1/4 gallon of headspace (assuming that the vacuum seal remains perfect and doesn’t leak air back in)?

    Or, is there a reduced interaction factor between the gasses in the headspace and the wine surface due to the reduced pressure in the headspace?
     
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  12. Jan 12, 2019 #32

    sour_grapes

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    John, there wouldn't be any reduction in the interaction. So more like your first statement, a reduction in the amount of gas.

    However, it may be a bit better than that in practice. While you are evacuating the headspace, I imagine that some gases, like CO2, may come out of solution. Thus, the oxygen in the headspace may be further diluted/reduced due to that effect. But I do not know how to quantify that short of sampling it.
     
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  13. Jan 12, 2019 #33

    Chuck Rairdan

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    If one racks just before primary fermentation is complete, the offgassing CO2 should replace the original air in the headspace to a tolerable level with a one-way breather in place.
     
  14. Jan 12, 2019 #34

    Michael Alspaugh

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    I don't know how anyone would know. I have no intention of putting water or wine in my carboy after the first fermentation has started. I have several sizes of carboys and as my wine volume shrinks I go down and what little space remains the All in one pump seems to be the perfect solution to the headspace. On top of that it is simple and mess free.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2019 #35

    sour_grapes

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    I apologize if my use of the word "probably" threw you. I "know" because the manufacturer of the pump has cited numbers for ultimate pressure of his pump in the ballpark of 3/4 of an atmosphere. I have not tested it independently, but I trust Steve.
     
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  16. Jan 13, 2019 #36

    Stressbaby

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    While I love my All in One pump, I've always felt like the "Headspace Eliminator" was unfortunately named. It would be more accurate to call it the "Headspace Gas Reducer."

    Great point about off-gassing CO2 replacing what air is left in the headspace. It raises a question: if the bulb inflates, how do you know whether you have a system leak vs vacuum just lost due to some degassing?

    The end goal here is to reduce oxidation and fortunately this is testable, even for a home winemaker. From one batch of wine, fill first 1 gal carboy to the very top and airlock; leave second gallon 1 pint* short and use Headspace Eliminator. Leave third gallon 2 pints short and use Headspace Eliminator. Maybe a fourth gallon 2 pints short and normal airlock. Three months later, measure the SO2 levels. The drop in SO2 level should correspond directly with the oxygen uptake of the wine at 4:1 ratio of SO2:O2. Maybe two trials, one using fully degassed wine, one with wine still a little fizzy.

    *I'm spit balling the volumes here but you get the idea.
     
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  17. Jan 13, 2019 #37

    Michael Alspaugh

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    Not much throws me in this life and certainly not this. We all have our own way of doing and saying things so I hope this answered the persons question but if I were just starting out I'd be confused by all the Jargon and so on. Steve helped me when I was looking into his pump and so far the things he claimed are true. I would not go back to my old way of racking no matter what.
     
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  18. Jan 13, 2019 #38

    Johnd

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    It’s all about what works for you and your winemaking situation, and you should stick to it!! Whether it’s an eliminator, marbles, racking down to smaller containers, purging with inert gas, the goal is to control exposure to oxygen, thereby limiting oxidation and microbial infestation opportunities.

    My personal preference, in my situation, having a vast number of bottles of home made and store bought wines cellared, is to simply top up my vessels for long term storage / aging. Most times, I’ve even bottled some of the same wine being bulk aged specifically for that purpose. I wouldn’t consider doing it any other way, because it works for me.
     
  19. Jan 13, 2019 #39

    joeswine

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    When I talk from fermenter to the secondary just before the fermentation is complete the gases trapped in solution form a cap on the wine.
    I nitrogen to cap , after a week or two keeping an eye on the bubbler I then retack , transfer to a clean carboy or rack down as needed.
    Headspace can be controlled.
     
  20. Jan 16, 2019 at 7:20 PM #40

    Kiazer

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    You are correct....if all else fail when I do a reisleling,,piesporter or other special fineky wines I add sterilized marbels to fill the gap (dollar store) if I don't want to impact the taste. If you top up with a couple of bottles from your collection you don't lose that bottle.... If my alcohol content is at 11% and I want 13-14% I add a bottle of tasteless bottle of silent Sam vodka. This bottle doesn't go to waste.
     

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