question on topping up

I just finished racking 2 carboys of red wine and have none available to top up with and would like to top them without having to add water, as I tried that in the past and ended up with a weak result... I do have some white wine that i can use easily, but I am wondering if it will effect the taste much? or if there are any other reaosns it would not be suitable? At worst I'll break down and buy a bottle of red tommorow but with the white being ready at hand seemed like an easy fix... any suggestions?
Reply to
santos
How big is the gap? Stephen SG | I just finished racking 2 carboys of red wine and have none available to top | up with and would like to top them without having to add water, as I tried | that in the past and ended up with a weak result... I do have some white | wine that i can use easily, but I am wondering if it will effect the taste | much? or if there are any other reaosns it would not be suitable? At worst | I'll break down and buy a bottle of red tommorow but with the white being | ready at hand seemed like an easy fix... any suggestions? | | |
Reply to
Stephen SG
You can use sanitized glass marble that will raise the level of the wine.
Sebastien Mailloux President AVAQ
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Reply to
seb
Have you considered this if you filter the sludge and add a little spring water, you may get what you require to top up. Stephen SG | Why not try it out on a small scale first? My bet is you will not | notice any difference and can safely go ahead. | | "Stephen SG"
Reply to
Stephen SG

Go buy some similar red wine and top up leaving no headspace. If you're using a rubber stopper to seal the carboys, leave a _little_ headspace, but be sure your free SO2 is up where it should be.
I rather like the pop-off plastic caps that come on carboys of bottled water. You can top completely full, and not worry about thermal expansion blowing the bottom out of a carboy.
Tom S
Reply to
Tom S
The amount of space does not warrant topping of. However if you feel you must; the white wine would not make any difference assuming the wine was of a similar format. Stephen SG
| | "Stephen SG"
Reply to
Stephen SG
Sebastien,
Just out of interest, what is the AVAQ. I would assume from your name that it is an association of Quebec home winemakers.
Cheers and best wishes,
Glen Duff Rockwood, Ontario ---------------------
Reply to
Glen Duff
Keep the air space to a minimum by topping up with a similar red wine. Excess oxygen will spoil your wine. Adequate levels of sulfite will help prevent over-oxidizing your wine but cannot prevent the wine from spoiling if it is exposed to excess headspace for a long period of time. You should definitely avoid water for the reason you have experienced. It is rarely desirable to dilute wine, often desirable to concentrate it such as in barrel ageing.
You can also rack into a series of smaller containers but that can be a nuisance at this point. Most winemakers try to make wine in quantities that are a little more than the volume of their secondary carboy(s) and keep 10-20% in smaller containers for topping off after racking.
Leaving too much headspace for a significant amount of time will cause oxidation of the wine and both reds and whites will take on a brownish tone and a distinctively bad taste, usually making the wine undrinkable. Once a wine is over-oxidized I am not aware of any practical way of reversing it. Exposing a wine to excess oxygen is probably one of the most common mistakes made by beginners and even experienced winemakers who might become a little sloppy.
Good luck,
Glen Duff
Reply to
Glen Duff
Sebastien,
Just out of interest, what is the AVAQ. I would assume from your name that it is an association of Quebec home winemakers.
Cheers and best wishes,
Glen Duff Rockwood, Ontario ---------------------
Reply to
Glen Duff

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