To top up?


Hi, I'm making my first batch of wine and I have question. I'm using a Wine Expert Rioja kit that will make 6 gallons. One of the steps calls for topping up to within a couple of inches of the bung so as to eliminate contact with air. However, the problem I'm facing is that I'm using 6.7 gallon carboys (I use these for my beer making.) I've asked around and one suggestion is to not top up but to add nitrogen spray to the carboy to prevent oxidation. The other one is to add about a quart of water to get the level of wine closer to the top of the carboy. I was also thinking that I could add some more wine to the must in order to bring up the level.
Do you folks have any suggestions?
Thanks, John
Reply to
john.lemaux

If you're planning on making more wine from kits then your best option is to buy some 6 gal carboys. You'll reuse them over and over again, so it's a good investment.
Barring that, I'd top up with wine. Gas is tricky to use properly.
Pp
Reply to
pp

I agree with PP. Get some(or at least one, which is all I ahve so far), 6 gallon carboys if you're going to keep this up, but I'd definitely top up with a similar wine.
Joel
Reply to
Joel Sprague

I agree with the others, top-up with a similar wine - water will dilute your wine. If you think this is a hobby you want to stick with, then I'd invest in some carboy's like Ray suggests. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V

Ray gave the best advice. Get at least one 5 gallon carboy and put the remainder into liter bottles and smaller sizes.
BTW, when racking fill the smaller topping bottles _first_, estimating how many you'll need. Then rack the main lot away from the lees into the 5 gallon carboy and top up from the small bottles. Finally, fill a small bottle with the lees for re-settling and top that from the stuff you racked first. Drink whatever is left over that you can't completely fill a bottle with.
When it comes time to rack again, repeat the process - filling the topping bottles with the clearest wine.
A note on inert gas topping: In theory, this works as well as topping up. In practice, it _can_ work just as well - but most people don't do it correctly and put their wine at risk.
Treating inert gas - even argon - as a "blanketing" agent is completely wrongheaded. The _only_ effective way to use inert gas to protect wine in a partially filled container is to *completely* displace ALL of the air with nitrogen e.g. and stopper the container so that it is absolutely airtight. Even then, it is wise to be sure that the SO2 level in the wine is set appropriately.
Tom S
Reply to
Tom S

Thanks for the help. I'm going to top up with a similar wine for now. I was hoping to not buy more carboys, but I think that will be the best solution.
John
Reply to
john.lemaux

i like to use 6 gallon carboy . i make 7 gallon batchs,then put it in a 6 gallon carboy and one gallon carboy,attach airlocks. then when i siphon the wine of the mud in the bottom of the 6 gallon carboy, i can top it back off using the wine in the one gallon jug. lucas
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Reply to
ds549

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