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View Poll Results: What should I do about the headspace?
Ignore the headspace 4 57.14%
Top off with water 0 0%
Top off with beer 1 14.29%
Top off with wort 2 28.57%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:43 AM   #1
mf6421
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Default Head space concerns for secondary

I brewed my first sour beer about a month ago, and it has been in secondary for about two weeks. I purposely mashed high so the SG after 3 weeks was around 1.016. My main concern is that the beer level goes just up to where the carboy starts to taper in, probably about 3/4 of a gallon from being mostly full.

I'm not too worried about oxidation in the short term because the bugs still had plenty of sugar left, and I haven't opened it up since racking. I plan on adding some oak cubes in a month or so, but I'm not sure if I should bother topping it off with beer or water.

The beer is a pale Belgian ale with dregs from a brett beer, Jolly Pumpkin, and two lambics pitched in the primary. My goal is for it to be fairly balanced between brett flavors and sourness, without any strong acetic flavors. I know different yeast and bacteria thrive in different settings, which makes me think I might want to do something about the head space.

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Old 02-29-2012, 03:44 AM   #2
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That doesn't seem like a problematic amount of head space. Imagine if you were using a barrel.

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Old 02-29-2012, 03:46 AM   #3
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BTW, when lambic breweries top off for the angels share, they just use wort...never water, so far as I am aware.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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I wouldnt worry about that little bit of headspace, most of my beers have quite a bit more than that and they turn out fine

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