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Old 08-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
jpoc
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Default Bottles for wine

I am about to start my first batch of wine since the eighties and I am wondering how to bottle it.

I have glass wine bottles available in limited quantities but I am not happy with the options for sealing the bottles.

Corks
Pros:
Traditional
Cons:
Quality concerns over cork supply and the potential problems of corked wine.

Screw Caps
Pros:
All my bottles have threads.
Less chance of spoilage.
Cons:
Not reusable.
Expensive.

So, I am wondering about beer bottles.

I can get 750ml PET bottles with screw caps. Bottles and caps are reusable.

I can also get glass beer bottles with swing caps.

Both of these are supplied into the local home brew market for beer bottling.

Any comments?

I am going to kick off the wine with a quickie 5 day cab sav kit just to get something to drink quickly and I am not expecting much in the way of quality.

Since that wine will spend little time in the bottle, I think that I will have a go with the PET bottles to see what happens.

The second batch will also be cab sav but it will not be one of the quick kits. I though that I might try half and half glass/PET beer bottles for that to see what the effect is on taste.

I have no intention of trying crown corks on glass bottles as I rarely finish a full bottle of wine in one session and I like something that I can reseal.

Any comments? Am I mad? Is this approach utterly flawed? Is it known to work well?

Thanks a lot guys. Looking forward to comments.

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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Been using number 8 corks since 1983 and they have severed me well. As to bottles I make 6 gal of blackberry wine for our Lutheran Church and I get all the bottles I need...

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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I too use traditional glass bottles with corks but I also use the occasional 12 oz beer bottle with crown caps. Given the two choices you've outlined, I'd go with glass and swing tops and avoid reusable screw caps.

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
I too use traditional glass bottles with corks but I also use the occasional 12 oz beer bottle with crown caps. Given the two choices you've outlined, I'd go with glass and swing tops and avoid reusable screw caps.
I mostly brew beer and it took me an embarrassingly long time after my corker broke to realize I could just bottle the wine like I bottle my beer. Also, there are quite a few brands of sparkling wine that take standard crown caps.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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I've used some grolsch bottles (with the ceramic swing caps) and they work great for wine! Usually, I use regular corks with wine bottles (1 3/4" number 9 sized corks) and have had a grand total of one wine where the cork failed in all of the hundreds and hundreds of bottles I've done. It could have been contamination in the bottle, and not the fault of the cork, but only one bottle ever was not good.

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Zorks

Always interesting to see the wine drinkers stare at the Zork.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
Zorks

Always interesting to see the wine drinkers stare at the Zork.
Zorks look cool but I do not think that they are available on my local market.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:20 AM   #8
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Thanks a lot guys.

Today, I picked up my wine equipment kit and of course, it comes with a corking tool and a set of corks. I also bought a case of swing top bottles.

I will start my first batch tomorrow and then bottle it in a mix of traditional wine bottles with corks, swing top beer bottles and PET beer bottles and see how I get on with each option.

I will report back.

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Old 08-13-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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I have a few fancy-ish restaurunts that let me go through their recycling the day before it gets picked up. Get all kinds of bottles.

Here's what to look for...

1) Regular wine bottles that are non-screw top, preferably with paper labels because they come off easier. But a lil goo-gone spray and you can get even the toughest ones clean.

2) Sparkling wine bottles and sparkling water bottles (pellegrino, Acqua Panna, etc). Many of the sparkling wine bottles, and those two brands of water, can be capped with a regular ole beer crown cap.

3) fancy-looking liquor bottles. Serving up your wine in like a Disaronno or Patrón bottle is just fun. Not meant for storage, just table appeal.

Here's what to avoid...

1) Twist off beer bottles, or wine bottles or anything like that unless you find the cap or are willing to buy/find the cap that will fit. Most twist off wine bottles will take a cork, but it's not their initial design so I don't trust 'em.

2) Check for chips! Lots of times the bottles are just tossed haphazardly into the recycling bin and will have chips or cracks that will make for sad times during bottling.

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Old 08-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Billions of wine bottles have been sealed with regular corks.

I wouldn't worry about any potential issues.

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