Fundamentals

2 Easy Methods For Topping Up Your Jugs

These 2 simple ways you can use to your up your carboys after racking

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topping-upAfter main fermentation when most suspended particles have settled down you have to rack off the clearer wine into another jug (secondary fermenter). During transferring from primary to secondary fermenter a little amount of your wine get lost and you want to fill the clearer wine in a jug that takes all of the liquid. You don't want it to overflow, but rather to have about one inch of airspace between the top of the wine and the bottom of the airlock (stopper/bung). If to much airspace is at the top of your carboy it will cause oxidation your wine during storage. There are two good solutions to overcome the problem of to much airspace:

1. Use Different Jugs

A good way to topping your carboy after racking is to use a variety of jugs. For example you can start main fermentation in a 5 liter carboy and rack after it in a 4,5 liter jug. For second racking you should have another 4 liter jug. Another good combination is a 20 to 25 liter (6 or 7 gal) carboy for primary fermentation and a 19 liter (5 gal), 11 liter (3 gal) and 4 liter (1 gal) jugs.

As you can see it's very good to have several sizes of jugs at home. Even if you have enough jugs it's possible that sometimes a excess of wine is left. You don't want to throw it away. Fill it into a 750mL, 500mL, 375mL, etc. wine or plastic bottles and close it with a airlock. You can use this wine for topping after racking.

Sometimes this startegy will not work and you need another way for topping. Let's have a look for the second option.

Possible variety of jugs for down-sizing:
25l, 20l, 19l, 11l, 5l, 4.5l, 4l, 3.5l, 3l, 2.5l, 2l, 1.9l, 1.5l, 1l, 750mL, 500mL, etc.

2. Use Glass Marbles

Put as much glass marbles in the jug to displace the volume of wine lost during racking. It's one of the easiest and cheapest ways for topping if you don't want to buy a lot of jugs.

Of course you can use several other containers for storage. Download our free report about how to get the most jugs for free. You will find it at the end of the text.

The airspace between the  top of your wine and the bottom of the airlock (bong) should be one inch to reduce oxidation during storage. It's also named an inch of ullage.


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