The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 16 – Should I fill my vessel/barrel/carboy to the top?

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What’s the Winemaker’s Think Tank?

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! 🙂

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Should I fill my vessel/barrel/carboy to the top?

Any vessel that holds wine, whether it is a bottle, barrel, or carboy, should always be filled up to the top, to prevent exposure to oxygen. Barrels naturally breathe to promote micro-oxidation and reduction via evaporation of the wine and must be topped off once a month. The wine level will slowly drop due to the evaporation and this will create an air pocket that will slowly start to oxidize the wine. Any carboy should be filled up to the neck, preferably to the bottom of the ridge at the mouth of the carboy. Again, this will prevent any air from spoiling the wine.

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com.