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How much wine to top up?

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enso:
This is only my second batch of wine.  I ran into this problem the first time.  When I racked to secondary I have 6 gallons.  That leaves the level of liquid only at the shoulder of the carboy.

I think last time I only had 5.50 gallons.  The first batch (well, and this one) were gifts for my wife so I wanted it to turn out well.  So, I topped up with store bought wine,  Took a 1.5 L then another 750 ml last time.  Makes the price go up...

I hate to add water as the instructions suggest mostly because I can't figure out exactly how that effects the gravity/abv?

What do other folks do?

tubercle:

--- Quote from: enso on May 07, 2010, 01:10:35 PM ---This is only my second batch of wine.  I ran into this problem the first time.  When I racked to secondary I have 6 gallons.  That leaves the level of liquid only at the shoulder of the carboy.

I think last time I only had 5.50 gallons.  The first batch (well, and this one) were gifts for my wife so I wanted it to turn out well.  So, I topped up with store bought wine,  Took a 1.5 L then another 750 ml last time.  Makes the price go up...

I hate to add water as the instructions suggest mostly because I can't figure out exactly how that effects the gravity/abv?

What do other folks do?

--- End quote ---

Adding water affects both the gravity and abv because you are just diluting the wine. Is it is oxygen you are worried about the the question is was the wine at terminal gravity. If not, then it will continue to ferment and produce co2 which will purge the air space. If so, one solution is to get a big bag of glass marbles, sanitize them, and drop them into the carboy thus raising the level of the liquid to minimize the head space.

enso:
I guess I should have put more info.  It was a wine kit, a chamblais.  It was at terminal gravity.  I sulfited it, added potassium sorbate, and finings.  I have done the marble trick and I have some, however it will need a LOT of marbles.

I ended up adding a 1.5 L of the last batch of wine.  It still is not topped up enough.  I will probably just buy a cheap bottle of white to add.  I wish there was some kind of calculation to determine how much to add.  Or a calculation to figure out just how much dilution will take place by adding x amount of water.  I would not mind diluting a tiny bit, but not a lot. 

I guess next time I should rack it into a 5 gallon carboy.  I guess that makes more sense.  May lose a bit of wine, but better than having to worry about topping up a bunch.

1vertical:
I have used those cans of CO2 in a pinch to flood headspace. Also if you
have keg equipment, you may be able to accomplish the same thing with your cylinder.

dbeechum:
Just a note: Private Preserve is a blend of CO2, Argon and Nitrogen

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