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Old 09-23-2012, 05:24 PM   #1
jagec
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Default topping up...really neccessary at the degassing stage?

Just finished transferring a couple of kits...one from primary to secondary, the other from secondary for a new carboy for stabilizing/fining/degassing. Incidentally, their sensitivity to oak-chip clogging and the need for 3-handed operation convinces me that auto-siphons are the tools of Satan intended to corrupt the holy process of winemaking. But that's another story.

After stirring in all of the stabilizers and finings agents, I whipped the wine for a while to get rid of the bulk of the CO2, put the oak spiral from secondary back in (I love oak), and then put it on the Mityvac to finish it off. As I sat there pumping, I got to thinking: If we're pulling all of the CO2 out of solution into the headspace, isn't it redundant to top off the wine? Any oxygen that got into the headspace during the transfer and stirring would surely be driven out by the flood of CO2 released during degassing.

Am I missing something, or is reducing headspace really only necessary once the wine is still?


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Old 09-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Just finished transferring a couple of kits...one from primary to secondary, the other from secondary for a new carboy for stabilizing/fining/degassing. Incidentally, their sensitivity to oak-chip clogging and the need for 3-handed operation convinces me that auto-siphons are the tools of Satan intended to corrupt the holy process of winemaking. But that's another story.

After stirring in all of the stabilizers and finings agents, I whipped the wine for a while to get rid of the bulk of the CO2, put the oak spiral from secondary back in (I love oak), and then put it on the Mityvac to finish it off. As I sat there pumping, I got to thinking: If we're pulling all of the CO2 out of solution into the headspace, isn't it redundant to top off the wine? Any oxygen that got into the headspace during the transfer and stirring would surely be driven out by the flood of CO2 released during degassing.

Am I missing something, or is reducing headspace really only necessary once the wine is still?
But if there is headspace, and you stick the airlock on, you're essentially trapping all the room air in there. Which means that you can oxidize the wine.

Once fermentation slows, and the c02 is no longer being produced, wine should be topped up.


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Old 09-23-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Okay, I'll play Devil's Advocate.....
What if you transfer and instead of whipping the wine you put on an airlock and use a vacuum pump?

Would topping up be necessary then?
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Okay, I'll play Devil's Advocate.....
What if you transfer and instead of whipping the wine you put on an airlock and use a vacuum pump?

Would topping up be necessary then?
Yes.

Remember that in the headspace, it'll never be 100% co2. Ever. But once fermentation slows down, it'll be even less c02. Room air will be in there also, even if you vacuum pump out much of the c02. If you formed a total vacuum, and pulled out all of the air, then the carboy would implode.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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Carboy implosion. I'd like to see that.

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