Couple questions from a guy who just did his first siphonings from primary
to secondary. First, how much head space do you leave in the secondary?
Also, I have a couple of things of "strange" things that happened during the
transfer. The batch of apricot wine (1 gallon) had tons of sediment (about
2 inches" upon transfer to the secondary. Should I rack it again in a
couple days? The other batch I transferred was a 1 gallon batch of
Raspberry. That had very little sediment (on the bottom), but has a foam
that formed at the top in the secondary. Is that OK? This batch always had
a thick foam all during primary. I just want everything to go as well as
Generally, an inch of headspace is recommended, but if it's still
actively fermenting, you might want to leave a little more room.
I believe it's generally best to avoid overhandling your wine. Every
time you rack, you expose your must/wine to oxygen. A little air
exposure is ok, but too much can ruin it. You also run the risk of
The amount of sediment depends on how the yeast flocculates and
settles. Some strains settle to form compact lees, others leave a lot
of sediment. The amount of sediment is also influenced by the amount of
solids or pulp in the must.
The amount of foam is also greatly influenced by the strain of yeast
you are using. Temperature and various other factors also come into
play. Don't worry about the foam unless it's spewing over like a
volcano. If that ever does happen, moving the carboy to a cooler
location will reduce the problem.
At this point, the best thing you can do is to make sure the airlock is
tight, then kick back and have a beverage. Worrying too much could lead
you to do some things that would be detrimental to the wine/must that's