My wife and I started the Old Vines Zin two weeks ago. Preparation and primary fermentation went very well and we racked to the secondary carboy last weekend. The trouble is that we had at least three quarts left after the carboy will full. I think my “six gallon carboy” was actually five gallons. :oops: My question is how to proceed.
The instructions call for one more fermentation phase, including the addition of the oak cubes, sulfites, and more. Should I use only a portion of these remaining ingredients since I have only a portion of the wine, or should I use all of it?
I think my first thing would be to run off to the market and buy a one gallon glass jug of vinegar or something. Dump contents into another container of some sort and clean the jug well. I would rack the full six gallons into my bucket, stabilize, add all the additions as directed, then rack back into the five gallon carboy and one gallon jug. Other than that, just settle for five gallons and use all the stabilizers etc. I’m pretty sure in something as strong tasting as Zinfandel you won’t notice a 3/4 gm extra KMETA. I could be wrong but that’s what I would do. Good luck. :?
I don’t see a major problem adding everything to a smaller volume of wine. My main issue would be the degassing phase itself. You will have to rack into a larger vessel as there will not be enough room in your carboy to get this done - you will probably have to rack back into your primary, degass and process, then back into carboy.
I would say if you are planning on making more wine in the future you should probably invest in a larger carboy. The Italian glass ones are actually slightly larger than 6 US gal - so it would hold the full volume of wine and have some extra space for processing.