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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Too much headspace in my secondary?
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
ptafan
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Default Too much headspace in my secondary?

I've had my ciders sitting in secondary 1 gallon carboys for about two weeks now, as this level, to allow them to settle. There's almost no fermentation activity happening since I've racked, so probably not much CO2 buildup. I'm worried that this may have been too much headspace. Thoughts?


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Old 12-31-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Let them go, if this is secondary there shouldn't be any activity you can see but they are still working. That head space looks fine.


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Old 01-01-2014, 03:19 AM   #3
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No it doesn't! Waaaaay too much headspace...
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:08 AM   #4
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I'M curious about the head space too. Can anybody with experience chime in about the con's?

I've made a couple crappy beers before and wondering if that played a big part.

I have just racked my first cider into secondary and I have about that much space. Should I add more apple juice? I was about to use super Kleer. Can I use it after adding the apple juice? I didn't want to use sorbate.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:27 AM   #5
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The only time that head space is ok is during an active fermentation, the CO2 being produced will be sufficient to protect your wine, cider, mead and so forth, once wine of cider has finished fermenting, (no guess work, use a hydrometer to tell you, if you're not using one, it's only time before mistakes happen), you need to stabilize the wine or cider with Potassium Metabisulfite.
As far as what I see in your picture, I'd take one of the gallons, top off the other two and rack the rest into a 1/2 gallon jug leaving only an inch of head space.
If your hydrometer tells you that fermentation is finished, you can put solid stoppers in, no need for airlocks.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinman2012 View Post
The only time that head space is ok is during an active fermentation, the CO2 being produced will be sufficient to protect your wine, cider, mead and so forth, once wine of cider has finished fermenting, (no guess work, use a hydrometer to tell you, if you're not using one, it's only time before mistakes happen), you need to stabilize the wine or cider with Potassium Metabisulfite.
As far as what I see in your picture, I'd take one of the gallons, top off the other two and rack the rest into a 1/2 gallon jug leaving only an inch of head space.
If your hydrometer tells you that fermentation is finished, you can put solid stoppers in, no need for airlocks.
So can I just top up with apple juice and stir and use the super kleer? I just racked to secondary after 3 weeks. I didn't bother taking another reading as the last was .990.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:55 AM   #7
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If I were you, if it doesn't bubble once per couple minutes, just be sure and add some juice. Something (tame) to fill up the headspace and create a lil fermentation. Fill 'em up a bit with something a lil sugary (any juice) and let them sit. Minimizing the headspace with a bit more juice will be good to give the co2 blanket for secondary.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheA View Post
If I were you, if it doesn't bubble once per couple minutes, just be sure and add some juice. Something (tame) to fill up the headspace and create a lil fermentation. Fill 'em up a bit with something a lil sugary (any juice) and let them sit. Minimizing the headspace with a bit more juice will be good to give the co2 blanket for secondary.
Day 16 was bubble once per 3 minutes, today is day 20.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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as long as it bubbled at first and you haven't opened it since there should be a layer of CO2. If it never really bubbled or if you've removed the airlock for testing/tasting then that is too much headspace. Should be up in the neck.


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