What to top up with

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Dec 11, 2007
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I currently have 5 gal of raspberry clearing in a carboy (2nd racking) that will be ready to be racked again in about 2 weeks. The recipe I followed allowed for adding water to top up the carboy . I don't want to mess up the flavor or dilute the alc. content. What would be best to use to top up at the next racking?
You could use an inexpensive store bought wine. For raspberry a syrah may work well.
Depends on how much water you need to add as well. A little water wont hurt that much. If you want to go with wine though like said above the syrah should be ok.

A well made recipe goes heavier on the fruit and
alcohol as is needed.
This way the wine can be safely topped up with water.

Most times the amount of water needed is so little
that it will not harm your wine.

How about not topping up but adding marbles.
I did this with many of my wines and it works great.

Personally I never top up with another wine.

What are the opinions of the experts?
I have heard that you can take any extra left in the primary (excluding the lees) after racking and put it in the fridge and use that for topping off. For example , I have a 3 gal batch going that I am going to rack into 3 1gal carboys. I tried to slightly increase my initial batch fruit and water to have maybe a pint to a quart or so excess after I rack into the 1gal carboys. Could I put that in the fridge with plastic wrap rubberbanded on the jar and use that for topping off? What problems might this cause?? Thanks in advance.
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Using your own wine to top off with is likely the best option but you must plan ahead to do this. Knowing before you start you'll have some left over is a wise way to go. Be sure to have the "extra" wine topped off though. A quart of top off wine in a half gal. container is not desirable. You wouldn't want to mix oxidized wine with your full batch, so match your left overs with an appropriate size container.

As long as fermentation is complete, sealing the top can be done using a screw cap or what ever means you have. Remember, you want to treat this sample with as much care as you'd give a full carboy.
Depending on how much needs to be topped off you can use apple juice which won't affect the flavor. At least it did not when I used it to top off my raspberry/blackberry blend. I like the idea os Sryah, haven't heard that one before.
There is a Wild Vines Raspberry Zinfandel (think its red not blush, but not certain). Arbor Mist have a Exotic Fruits White Zinfandel (raspberry first fruit listed) and Mixed Berry Pinot Noir (raspberry second). And there are other flavours & brands.

I think they might be good commercial top ups for a raspberry wine.

Bad news: Arbor Mist & Wild Vines are sweet wines. But a little in a batch shouldn't be noticable.

Thanks for all of the ideas. I found my solution. A buddy is giving me some of his home brewed raspberry(he owes me , my wife picked him enough berries for 15 gal.) By the way, has anyone tried a few drops of olive oil to seal out the oxygen?