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Old 09-08-2008, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default Headspace and bulk aging

So, I degassed and went to start topping off my 6.5 gallon carboy when I realized I should be using a 6 gallon carboy so that I can properly top the thing off, from what I read now would be a good time to go buy some marbles for future batches (i have one 5 gallon and four 6.5 gallon carboys but no 6 gallon carboys), for this one I guess I am going to throw a bottle of wine in there to help get rid of the headspace that I have.

I started added the remaining finers to my carboy after degassing and then started reading about bulk aging, in one of the articles it says to NOT add the fining agents if you are going to bulk age, should I skip the bulk aging and just go directly to bottles 14 days later like the kit says? Or is it ok to just leave it in the primary for a while?

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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someone needs to create a noob guide sticky
heres a few things I have learned that would be nice to have been able to read through quickly like the one in the beer thread


You CAN use a Foodsave to degas a full size carboy, it will not implode by all accounts so far, the older ones do not seem to produce as much suction as the newer ones from what I can tell. I was able to get more suction from my brake bleeder/vacuum pump tool, but it was difficult to maintain due to the gas filling the headspace.

Cover the carboy to prevent light damage

Make sure you are using the correct carboy size, a 6.5 gallon carboy will not correctly fill the headspace, use marbles or commercial wine to fill the gap.

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Old 09-08-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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I buy my fresh juice in 6 gallon batches, after primary fermentation I rack into a 5 gallon which holds about 5 gallons and 48oz or so when I top in off, i rack the leftover into a smaller bottle ie. 1 gallon or 1.5 litre etc with a small bung and airlock to use for future racking while I'm bulk aging and clearing. I do several racks and bulk age for a year before bottling so I lose a bit with each rack but I'm topping off with the same juice that I bought. Hope this helps, I use age to clear my wine and no fining agents so I cant answer your other question, Hope it helps, Ken

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Old 09-09-2008, 03:06 AM   #4
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I buy my fresh juice in 6 gallon batches, after primary fermentation I rack into a 5 gallon which holds about 5 gallons and 48oz or so when I top in off, i rack the leftover into a smaller bottle ie. 1 gallon or 1.5 litre etc with a small bung and airlock to use for future racking while I'm bulk aging and clearing. I do several racks and bulk age for a year before bottling so I lose a bit with each rack but I'm topping off with the same juice that I bought. Hope this helps, I use age to clear my wine and no fining agents so I cant answer your other question, Hope it helps, Ken
Not really, i cant find it now, but the article I was reading specifically said to not use the fining agents if you are going to bulk age, others say nothing. I guess I should probably just follow the directions exactly since its my first kit.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:07 AM   #5
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Not really, i cant find it now, but the article I was reading specifically said to not use the fining agents if you are going to bulk age, others say nothing. I guess I should probably just follow the directions exactly since its my first kit.

Thank you though, I do appreciate any information I can get, just doesnt help me right now.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:24 PM   #6
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I believe the kit fining agents are to speed the process so you can have your 6 week wine which will probably taste bad and have to be bottle aged anyway. Bulk aging is easier and your not tempted to drink the young wine like you will if it's bottled. I have never had a wine not clear so far with no added help. I'm guessing once the agents pull the junk to the bottom they dont want you leaving the wine on it. I'm thinking if you racked it off the leftover lees bulk aging would be no different then bottle aging after fining. I am also going to make my first kit to see how it compares to all juice as an experiment. I will however change a few things one being no oak in the primary. I like to bulk age for months before racking on oak chips and trying to clear by aging not agents, Ken

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Old 09-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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You can add the finings as the kit instructions, and bulk age for a bit. You probably don't want to age it too long (not for a kit made to be drunk young) but a month or so would be great. Then just bottle when you are ready.

You've found that it's handy to have several different sized carboys, so that it's easier to pick the right size. One thing you can do now though is use a 5 gallon carboy and a one gallon jug. (A #6 stopper fits a Carlo Rossi jug perfectly!).

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