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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > How much headspace is okay?
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:20 AM   #1
Sago
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Default How much headspace is okay?

I hit the bottom round part of the glass carboy with wine and the rest is headspace, is that okay? I want to get lead free marbles but I'm on a budget before I spend



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Old 01-12-2014, 02:40 AM   #2
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It sounds like way too much headspace. You want the wine to be at the narrowest part of the carboy, right below the bung, right up into the neck of the carboy.


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Old 01-12-2014, 03:34 AM   #3
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What should I do? I bought 20L pail of juice and a 19L carboy, obviously something isn't right here lol.

Lead free marbles from the US is a problem, I'll be paying like $70 for 3lbs, $20 shipping + duty\custom fees + prices of marbles.

I can buy another pail of juice and add the difference than add water filled vodka bottled inside if the cap wouldn't interfere. It is a painted cap.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:22 AM   #4
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Pour a few bottles of wine in if yours has stopped fermenting. If it's still fermenting, then don't worry about the headspace.

You get the wine back when you bottle.

This is way easier and less risky than marbles. It'll still be your wine when done. You'll prob only need about 2 bottles... 2 out of 30 will not impact flavor if you choose a top up wine that is at least close to the wine you are making.

Eventually you'll have a stockpile of your own wine and be able to use this for topping up. This is standard practice if barrel aging, as nobody outs marbles in barrels... They add more wine as it naturally evaporates through the pores in the wood.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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I have a selection of differently sized carboys for cases like this. They don't seem to make 4 gallon carboys, but I have several three gallon carboys and some one gallon "jugs" that I would use for 4 gallons.

You can top off the wine with similar commercial wine, or rack to a smaller container. You'd need pounds and pounds of marbles to reduce the headspace as much as you need to in this case.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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Both are good to use. I'll save the wine I make for next time, usually I drink it all =)
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:57 AM   #7
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so, I'm making a 3 gallon ice wine kit, OG 1.120, instructions say to use a 7-12 gallon primary bucket, and only a 3 gallon carboy secondary. it's a 4 week kit (2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary). I typically leave my wines a few weeks longer than the instructions.

The catch is, my beer making carboys are all 5 gallon.

What will be the effect of using a 5 gallon bucket primary (I suspect none), and a 5 gallon carboy secondary (too much headspace)? Is it really worth spending another $30 on a small carboy I'll likely just use once?

note - it's a $60 kit that was on clearout for $20 - the smaller carboy's worth more than the kit.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckler73 View Post
so, I'm making a 3 gallon ice wine kit, OG 1.120, instructions say to use a 7-12 gallon primary bucket, and only a 3 gallon carboy secondary. it's a 4 week kit (2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary). I typically leave my wines a few weeks longer than the instructions.

The catch is, my beer making carboys are all 5 gallon.

What will be the effect of using a 5 gallon bucket primary (I suspect none), and a 5 gallon carboy secondary (too much headspace)? Is it really worth spending another $30 on a small carboy I'll likely just use once?

note - it's a $60 kit that was on clearout for $20 - the smaller carboy's worth more than the kit.
It just simply won't work in a 5 gallon carboy. The wine will oxidize with that much surface exposed to air. You could always buy 3 gallons of Carlo Rossi Piasano wine, drink it and use the gallon glass jugs as carboys. Buying a specialized 3 gallon carboy seems like a waste of your money unless you really intend on making lots more ice wine kits (I'm going to say that you aren't). Ice wine is a tough wine to drink!
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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Simple enough to just buy three gallon of apple juice. Drink it and use the plastic jugs to finish it out. Cheap enough.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:21 AM   #10
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Good suggestions there, but how about using balloons filled with water to take up the space. You'd need to be sure the rubber won't taint the wine. Or you could use plastic bags. Ziplock or heat sealed.


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