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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Apfelwein in a 6.5 gal carboy
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
Lechien
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Default Apfelwein in a 6.5 gal carboy

Making my first batch of Apfelwein and only had a 6.5 gallon carboy available. Made 5 gallon recipe in sticky, was wondering if now that the yeast has started fermenting if I should top off with more juice/sugar to reduce the top surface area.

I only used one packet of yeast so I didn't want to use too much juice/sugar in the beginning. Does this make sense?

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Old 04-08-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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you're worrying too much. leave it alone it'll be fine.

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Old 04-09-2011, 07:49 AM   #3
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If you add more juice now to top it up the yeast will still be able to convert it into alcohol, but be aware that if you are adding straight apple juice (SG 1.050 or so) to a must that has been boosted with sugar you will be slightly diluting the mixture. There are some good calculators to figure out just exactly how much alcohol you should end up with online, just google chapitalization calculator or something along those lines. Really, you don't need to worry about the final alcohol outcome, I like to know though. I would top up my carboy with something for sure. Apple wine can take a while to clear if you don't use pectin enzyme, etc. etc.

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwetschgen View Post
I would top up my carboy with something for sure.
Thanks, I'm very new to wine and the couple of wine kits I'm doing talk of topping off the carboy at a point I'm not at yet. Thats what got me thinking about it. I will keep the juice/sugar ratio the same.

Also would like to know, Why do you top off when making wine? What function does having less liquid area at the top provide? I'm just trying to learn the reasoning behind the technique.

Thanks
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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Oxygen is wine's worst nightmare. If you top up the carboy to the neck there is less oxygen to wine surface contact, thus less likely to oxidize or something along those lines. If you rack into secondary before the wine ferments dry it will continue to produce co2, which should occupy that space anyway. The problem you may run into is after racking and the wine ferments to dryness, then you rack it again. You will lose some volume to lees and what-not and then there will be a large pocket of air in with your wine, this can be a problem if you need to age it for six months or more. In a pinch I would try to rack the wine before it's done fermenting, to fill the space with co2, then rack it once it's nearly done and then immediately degas by pumping the co2 out of the wine.

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:21 AM   #6
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How do you degas and when do you add the pectin enzyme

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
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Pectin enzyme is not needed for apfelwein made from apple juice. Unless you boiled the apple juice for some reason, and even then I doubt it.

Best thing to do for apfelwein is to make it and forget about it for a few months. Bottle (or keg) and forget about it for many more months. Sure, it's drinkable at ~6 weeks, but it's #$&@^^%@ nectar of the gods at 1+ year...

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