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Old 08-23-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
DuffmanAK
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Default Bottling: Cork vs Caps

Hey there folks, I did a cursory search for this and didn't really find anything. So, I've made a number of beers, but only 1 mead. When I did, I just bottled it in my beer bottles with caps. Turned out fine, just I'm wondering if there's any reason to use say, old wine bottles with a cork versus just the beer bottles with a cap. I kindda like the beer bottles approach, since if it gets opened, not that much in there, so almost always will be drank. No worry about recorking or anything.

ANywho, I suspect there's not really any difference just wanted to ask folks.

Thanks!

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Old 08-24-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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My sister knows quite a bit about wine and one time I asked her why corks are used for wine. She said that the cork allows the wine to "breath" or something over the course of several years, so that apparently an actual cork is necessary for proper aging (versus a cap). Apparently, the cork is basically air-tight but not quite over the course of a long period of time.

That's probably a bit wine-anecdotey/geeky to really matter much for most people though (if it's even true). I think another advantage is that corks expand to fit the particular bottle opening.

Also, would caps rust after a few years??

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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For 90% of the people who make and drink mead, caps are just fine. Corks are the only good alternative for storing the mead for longer than 4-5 years though.

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Will the mead age well in bottles that are capped instead of corked??? I have a batch that has bulk aged for just a shot period of time, about a month. I put in some sparkaloid and it has cleared up very quickly. I'd like to go ahead and bottle the batch in a week or two so I can use the carboy. I've heard though that mead wont age well if it's capped since it can't breathe.

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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While on a wine tour on Niagara on the lake a couple weeks ago in Canada one of the tour guides said if you let a wine sit for 4-5 years when you take the cork out if it is all black it is a good thing the cork pulls out some impurities and gives it a smoother more mellow taste. Maybe this is the same with mead?

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Old 12-15-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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There are a few advantages of using corks with wine at least. The most important one is that when wine was first being made it was the only way to seal a bottle. Sometimes excuses are made for tradition.

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Old 12-15-2009, 12:51 PM   #7
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So, have you guys bottle aged mead in capped bottles with good results???

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Old 12-15-2009, 01:15 PM   #8
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I've bottled white wine in capped bottles with good results after a year. I've also had winemakers in other venues tell me capping is fine. I think what it comes down to is caps are good but corks might be better. I'm not in danger of making anything that's going to be mistaken for commercial wine or mead so I'm going with the convenience of caps.

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Old 12-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #9
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The wine industry is moving more towards using sealed twist off caps instead of corks. You can't assume a wine is "cheaper" just because it has a twist off cap anymore, many very good wines are going with this packaging. The corks do allow the wine to "breath", which essentially means oxidate. It's part of the flavor profile, however I've had oxidized meads before, and didn't care for them.

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Old 12-15-2009, 03:41 PM   #10
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Right on fellas... The guy that got me started making mead always uses caps but I don't know how long is the longest period of time he has kept some of it back without drinking it. I know he has some that are a couple years or so old but I'm not sure beyond that. I plan on putting back a bottle or two out of each batch I make from now on for as long as possible to build up some good inventory. Thanks for the replies.

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