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Old 12-29-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default Headspace in Secondary

I know this is me being paranoid, but I don't want to waste gallons of cider. I racked to my secondary and there is a lot more headroom I expected - can anyone check out the photo below and tell me everything will be alright?

If it is too much headspace what options do I have to make sure the cider doesn't go bad? Would it be worth sticking my CO2 hose in the carboy to blow out any O2 for a few seconds?

Thanks!

photo-1-.jpg  
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
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Too much headspace for sure. Here's a photo of some of my wines and ciders yesterday, before racking:

dscn1820.jpg

You can rack them all to one vessel, and put the remainder in one gallon jugs if you don't have enough to fill two carboys.

I sometimes use wine bottles (with a #3 stopper, I believe) or growlers (#6 stopper) or Carlo Rossi jugs (#6 stopper) for top-up wine and cider.

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Old 12-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
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Crap in a hat. I have some one gallon jugs I can use; I might have to combine some different ciders as well (used different yeast, etc.).

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Old 12-30-2013, 01:08 AM   #4
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Or you can top them off with finished cider, even store bought.

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Old 12-30-2013, 01:14 AM   #5
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I agree with Cyclman. If you don't want to mix yeasts, you can always top with plain juice. Of course this will throw off your final ABV, but the idea is to void the space of O2.

If you aren't going to age it for months in these vessels...a shot of CO2 on the top would probably blanket it for a week or so.

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Old 12-30-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Too much headspace for sure. Here's a photo of some of my wines and ciders yesterday, before racking: You can rack them all to one vessel, and put the remainder in one gallon jugs if you don't have enough to fill two carboys. I sometimes use wine bottles (with a #3 stopper, I believe) or growlers (#6 stopper) or Carlo Rossi jugs (#6 stopper) for top-up wine and cider.
. Magnificent cider production you have going!! Cheers!
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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I just mixed them up - I wanted to keep each strain to its own, but all in all I am happy just to drink yummy cider in a few weeks/months.

Thanks for all your help!

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Old 12-30-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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This may be a dumb question, I have read many times about maintaining the smallest amount of head space above ciders. Wouldn't the co2 already in the wort produce enough gas to prevent oxidation?

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Old 12-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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In the primary vessel, yes. But these are racked to secondary and I assume they are finished fermenting, so there won't be any more CO2 production without additional sugars.

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Old 12-31-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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I had the same issue in my last batch. I was really worried, probably overly worried, and ended up just topping my secondary off with more fresh cider knowing that fermentation would start again. Ultimately it all worked out and I had a great batch.

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