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Old 10-30-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
kevinstan
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Is it ok to top with water after racking ? Or does it depend on the wine ? How much does this affect the ABV and stuff ? Anyone else top when racking or is this bad practice ?

 
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
novalou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinstan
Is it ok to top with water after racking ? Or does it depend on the wine ? How much does this affect the ABV and stuff ? Anyone else top when racking or is this bad practice ?
Use a like wine when possible. If I plan on back sweetening, I sometimes top off with a simple syrup.

Others use sanitized glass marbles to displace the extra volume.

 
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
kevinstan
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I more want to top off since everything I do is 1 gallon batches. So racking can leave me minus a couple of glasses. For my concentrate wine i top off with water after racking to fill back up.

 
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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If you top up with water you dilute the wine and decrease the ACV. Moving forward, since only do one gallon batches, try to always make an extra three cups of wine...this is the topping up wine. Fits well in a 750ml bottle with bung and airlock.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:28 AM   #5
Honda88
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do not top off with water, it takes away from the wines flavor profile

 
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
Peppers16
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Topping up with water post-secondary is fine: the amount of water is insignificant.
It's the first topup after primary that's a bit of an issue as you probably had to leave some headspace. If you're following a recipe you just start concentrated then dilute to the proper gravity when fermentation calms down.
Otherwise topping up with wine is the ideal option.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
castti
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What happens if you leave it alone?

 
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castti View Post
What happens if you leave it alone?
Then there would be too much headspace, and a great risk of infection and/or oxidation.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
Peppers16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castti
What happens if you leave it alone?
You get a bit more surface area through which oxygenation can supposedly occur. I'm not sure how much of an issue this actually is, especially if a little CO2 is still bubbling out, but most homebrewers feel more comfortable topping up to the neck of a carboy.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinstan View Post
Is it ok to top with water after racking ? Or does it depend on the wine ? How much does this affect the ABV and stuff ? Anyone else top when racking or is this bad practice ?


I have designed my wine making procedure around not using water for topping up. I believe it thins down the profile of my wines even if it is just a little bit.

Instead I shoot for 6 gallon batches and use 5 gallon carboys post fermentation. I will keep it under a cO2 head in the 6 gallon secondary carboy then rack into a 5 gallon "aging" carboy leaving no head space at this racking, bottling the remaining 2-3 750-ml bottles for topping up at a later rackings.

As the old adage goes you can never have to many carboys.

 
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