# How many marbles?

### Help Support Homebrew Talk:

#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
How many marbles equal roughly 1 gallon?

Can be pounds or quantity!

Im sure someone must have an idea, I just cant find an answer.

#### Aleforge

##### Well-Known Member
Is this a science project or something in the world of winemaking? Just curious as I have never heard of marbles outside the little glass ones our grandparents use to play with.

#### Snuffalupagus

##### Well-Known Member
Is this a science project or something in the world of winemaking? Just curious as I have never heard of marbles outside the little glass ones our grandparents use to play with.
sanitized glass marbles are commonly used to occupy headspace using
Archimedes' theory of bouyancy:

If one places a copper ball in a pail of water it will sink, whereas a wooden ball will float. Whether or not a given object will sink or float in a fluid is determined by the buoyant force on the object. The buoyant force is essentially caused by the difference between the pressure at the top of the object, which pushes it downward, and the pressure at the bottom, which pushes it upward. Since the pressure at the bottom is always greater than at the top, every object submerged in a fluid necessarily feels an upward buoyant force. Of course, objects also feel a downward force due to gravity, and the difference between the gravitational force and buoyant force on a submerged object determines whether that object will sink, or rise to the surface. If the weight is greater than the buoyant force, the object sinks, and vice versa. It was Archimedes (supposedly while in his bath), who realized that submerged objects always displace fluid upwards (the level of water in the bathtub rose when Archimedes got in). Thus, he reasoned that the buoyant force on an object must be equal to the weight of fluid that object displaces. If the weight of an object is greater than the weight of displaced fluid, it will sink, wherease if the weight of the object is less than the weight of displaced fluid, it will rise. Moreover, it is evident that the volume of displaced fluid is precisely equal to the volume of the submerged part of the object, so that the difference between the buoyant force and the weight is determined by the relative density of the object and the fluid. In particular, we come to Archimide's principle, which implies that a solid object will sink in a fluid if it's density is greater than the than the fluid's density, and will float if the density is is smaller -
This explains why wood and styrofoam float on water, whereas concrete and steel sink. It also explains why it is nonetheless possible to make boats out of steel or even concrete. As long as there are portions of the boat below the surface of the water that are hollow (i.e. contain air), the effective density of the boat can be less than that of water even though the real density of the material is greater.

EUREKA!!!

#### StoutFan

##### Well-Known Member
approx. 736. 46 fill an 8 oz. jar. 16 cups in a gallon. 16 x 46= 736. Hope that helps.

#### PavlovsCat

##### Well-Known Member
Sounds like 736 chances of introducing infection. Glass marbles may have imperfections or very tiny pits on the surface. Sanitizer doesn't always reach these places. Better off boiling them if you're going to use them. How much do 736 marbles cost anyway? If you're worried about headspace why not use an inert gas like the stuff they bottle for preserving wine after it's opened? I spray it in one limb of the carboy cap until I see bubbles in the airlock.- for reducing the oxygen contact right after racking to a secondary when the protective CO2 blanket is interrupted by the transfer.

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks, that does help.

I can get 1500 on ebay for \$30 shipped.

I thought I read somewhere that you should not use inert gas with wine for long term preservation, but I am not really sure. I am certainly open to suggestions, I am a newb for sure. I have done 2 kits and one is way too watered down due to having to add too much to take up the headspace, the other is in a 5 gallon carboy so its fine.

I have 2 more kits on the way, and want them to be as good as I can make them. I only have one 5 gallon carboy and its being used, the rest are all the 6.5 gallon carboys I bought when I first started doing beer kits. I really dont want MORE carboys since I already have 5, and if I could just take up the headspace in 2 carboys for the cost of one carboy I will be happy.

#### AZ_IPA

##### PKU
I like Archimedes' death ray better than his theory of buoyancy

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Michaels sells 3lbs of marbles for \$7

......wait for it.......

How many marbles are in a pound?

#### Aleforge

##### Well-Known Member
I like Archimedes' death ray better than his theory of buoyancy
I watched that episode a few days ago!

#### hcarter

##### Well-Known Member
I can't believe no one has offered this yet. Don't use marbles to "top up" your wine. Just top up with a similar wine off the shelf. I know it is done, and is considered acceptable practice, but you'll do better IMO to top up with a similar wine.

#### EvilTOJ

##### Well-Known Member
I like Tesla's death ray better than his theory of buoyancy
There, fixed that for ya.

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
I can't believe no one has offered this yet. Don't use marbles to "top up" your wine. Just top up with a similar wine off the shelf. I know it is done, and is considered acceptable practice, but you'll do better IMO to top up with a similar wine.
Kinda pointless to make my own wine if I am going to dump a gallon of shelf wine in there isnt it?

I mean, thats literally 20% of the total.

On my last batch I filled a 5 gallon carboy and then 2 bottles, thats just too much to top off in a 6.5 gallon carboy.

#### hcarter

##### Well-Known Member
I suppose that is one way to look at it. I guess it depends on your losses after racking. I never lost more than 750ml. I guess I offered the idea simply because it was offered to me by someone who had substantially more experience than myself. Seemed reasonable at the time. BTW, you do know that most kits are designed to be topped up with water, right?

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks, I am also going by something that I read from someone who had way more exerience that me. There was a post somewhere dedicated to the topic.

Its not about losing a bottle anyway though. At most you get 6 gallons out of a kit if you dont lose any when you rack off. My carboys are 6.5 gallons, so I already have to add .5 gallon on top of what I lose racking off the lees.

If I add 750mL and another 1/2 a gallon it gets watered down too much.

I know that most kits are designed to be topped up, but they also specifiy the size of the carboy you should be using, and mine are too big.

#### Yooper

##### Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Mod
Kinda pointless to make my own wine if I am going to dump a gallon of shelf wine in there isnt it?

I mean, thats literally 20% of the total.

On my last batch I filled a 5 gallon carboy and then 2 bottles, thats just too much to top off in a 6.5 gallon carboy.
Ideally, you'd match the carboy size to the batch size. Marbles work for a very small amount of headspace, like 1/4" or something like that. They are kind of a pain, though- they roll around when you lift them up to the racking shelf, and they have a ton of sediment on them so you have to be careful not to stir them up.

The choice is yours of course. I'd either make 6.5 gallon batches (homemade wine, not kits- those are always 6 gallons), or get the right sized carboy.

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
I know, and I have already asked a buddy if he has any 5gal carboys, he is not making wine at all and may have a few for me. But ultimately I dont want to spend too much more.

#### TheBandit

##### Active Member
You don't have too many choices. I really don't like the marble idea, chipped marbles , chipped carboy etc. Watering it down doesn't sound good. If you can't get the 5 gallon carboys from your buddy I would top it off with those bottles you have and put some commercial in there if needed. I know it wouldn't be completely yours but its better than having it oxidize.

#### pen25

##### Well-Known Member
5 gallon or 6 gallon better bottle will work wont it? if yuo have an old time pottery around go swing by they have tons of 5 gallon glass carboys for 20 bucks a peice

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Buddy came through, he has quite a few 5 gallon carboys that he does not use anyway. He only does beer, and has a stainless conical that he uses. Thanks for all the help guys, I was pushed into asking for what will ultimately be the best solution anyway. Cheers!

#### malkore

##### Well-Known Member

they may not be made without impurities like our carboys.

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Ugh.

Guess he only has 2, not sure what I am going to do now. Guess I will call the LHBS place and see how much they are. Craigslist has nothing.

#### Texron

##### Well-Known Member
Or, you could top up with a similar wine. *^)

Its not like you don't get to drink it.

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#### arcsum68

##### Well-Known Member
Yeah, but it would be 1 gallon or more, thats just too much wine to add IMO. 1/5th of the total volume. And how do I decide how much the wine should cost?

LHBS has 5 gallon carboys for \$40 EACH! Way too expensive.

#### pizzaman

##### Banned
The main problem with using marbles in your wine is having to re-sanitize them after you drink them and poop them out. No, wait, pooping them out is the main problem.

#### JCastro

##### New Member
I can get 1500 on ebay for \$30 shipped.
LHBS has 5 gallon carboys for \$40 EACH! Way too expensive.

\$10 more for the right tool ain't that expensive. Actually a lot cheaper than a ruined batch.