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Topping up secondary ferment.

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Verac

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My primary ferment on my 1 gallon batch is almost done and I plan on racking to secondary to clear. However, the carboy is only filled to the point where the carboy only just begins to slope. I believe this is too much headspace for a secondary ferment.

So, I went out and bought some flat glass marbles. I read somewhere that sanitized glass marbles can be used to raise the level up to the neck. When I got the marbles home, I see the following listed on the label:

"Do not use in hot water. Not for use in aquariums".

At this point I'm questioning why they are not for use in aquariums and if something about them could affect my cider. The package calls them "Glass Gems" and they certainly seems like glass.

Any thoughts on the risk of trying to use these to raise the cider level in the carboy?

Thanks!
 

ShadesManna

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If you'd like to use them to help top off this batch, you could sanitize them in a way that doesn't involve boiling them. This would include any of the commercial sterilizers for use in wine making, or a weak bleach-to-water solution. If you use the bleach method, rinse them thoroughly before adding them to your cider!

You could also top off with distilled water, or boiled-then-cooled water, but it would dilute the cider a little bit.
 

Konstantianus

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"Do not use in hot water. Not for use in aquariums".
This statement leads me to believe that it has some sort of coating or toxic additive in/on the glass. I'd look for food safe glass if it were me but I could be wrong. Is the glass colored in any way?
 

Chalkyt

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The other issue that I found is that it takes a lot of marbles to fill up the airspace that you have. I think you might have bought "marbles" that are used in vases to support long stemmed flowers.

I ended up using two x two litre "flagons" for secondary after a 5 litre ferment (I don't know what sizes you have in USA but you probably have something similar). With two secondaries you also have the option of two different final approaches (i.e. bottle at different SGs for different carbonation/sweetness, add fruit such as cherries to one, etc).

I now do a 5-1/2 litre primary fermentation in a "bucket" so that I end up with enough to fill the 5 litre secondary carboy after after discarding the settled primary pulp etc. In your case I would top up the secondary with AJ (even "bought" juice) . Your fermentation will continue a little bit but you should end up with pretty much the same result. Experimentation is part of the fun!
 
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Verac

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This statement leads me to believe that it has some sort of coating or toxic additive in/on the glass. I'd look for food safe glass if it were me but I could be wrong. Is the glass colored in any way?
They are clear but they kinda of a barely noticeable iridescent sheen on them. I'm definitely thinking they might have some kind of coating on them now... I might just take them back and try to find something a bit safer (or maybe add more cider to fillup the secondary more.
 
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Verac

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The other issue that I found is that it takes a lot of marbles to fill up the airspace that you have. I think you might have bought "marbles" that are used in vases to support long stemmed flowers.

I ended up using two x two litre "flagons" for secondary after a 5 litre ferment (I don't know what sizes you have in USA but you probably have something similar). With two secondaries you also have the option of two different final approaches (i.e. bottle at different SGs for different carbonation/sweetness, add fruit such as cherries to one, etc).

I now do a 5-1/2 litre primary fermentation in a "bucket" so that I end up with enough to fill the 5 litre secondary carboy after after discarding the settled primary pulp etc. In your case I would top up the secondary with AJ (even "bought" juice) . Your fermentation will continue a little bit but you should end up with pretty much the same result. Experimentation is part of the fun!
That's not a bad idea! If nothing else, I plan on doing a 5 gallon this fall and I really like the idea of doing 5 different secondaries to experiment with different flavoring.
 

dwhite60

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Just don't secondary. Keep your beer two weeks in the primary and bottle from it.

I used to secondary everything but after doing some reading and testing I didn't see the point.

It's another chance to possibly get an infection and oxidize your beer.
 

ShadesManna

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Just don't secondary. Keep your beer two weeks in the primary and bottle from it.

I used to secondary everything but after doing some reading and testing I didn't see the point.

It's another chance to possibly get an infection and oxidize your beer.
He's making cider.
 
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