New Master Vintner Blog: Headspace in your carboy

Check it out here:

The kits don’t tell you to top up–but that’s because they don’t want you to!

When you do top up, what do you use? Have you ever had to buy wine to top your carboys? Oh, the agony!

Tim, what’s your timeframe for topping up a wine after primary fermentation? I don’t do kits but make the occasional country wine. Usually I top up as soon as I rack to secondary, but I’m curious how far one can go before it’s necessary. It would certainly make things easier to not top up until it had cleared for a month or two. TIA!

Anything beyond a week or at most two, after the scheduled bottling date and you’re going to need to think about topping. For me a month would be too long.

If you’re making country wines (like I do) then I’d strongly recommend a sulfite testing kit to hit and maintain a decent sulfite level at bottling. Test, add, test and then top up for any extended ageing. Oxidation is the number one flaw I see in judging country wines