As you are no doubt aware we encourage our customers to take their time making their wine. Remember it’s a hobby, and in no way should your wine dictate your life plans. However, if you are planning on leaving your wine in the carboy for a longer period than indicated in the instructions, you should consider topping up your wine. One of the ways in which wine can be spoiled is through oxidation. Wine is basically a fruit, and like a cut apple left on a table it will go brown. The same may happen to your wine. So, to slow this process down, we want to minimize the surface area of the wine to air contact. If the surface area of your wine is the size of a dinner plate, there is a lot of area for oxidation. But if the surface area is the size of a golf ball, the chance of oxidation is far less. So top up your carboys.
What should you top up with? Well the kit manufacturers allow up to 750 mls.(a standard size wine bottle) of water without affecting the quality. If you should need to top any more than this add a similar wine. What do we mean by similar? Well if is red add red, if it is white add white. As simple as that. And don’t forget you are simply lending the wine, as at bottling time you will get back that wine that you added. You may as well add a young wine and save your older aged wine.
Note that topping up is only required after stabilizing. Why not when you transfer from the primary to carboy? Well at this point your wine is producing sufficient Carbon dioxide to protect your wine during this stage.