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Old 08-10-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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I very briefly boil my corks (I actually use synthetic corks) and I've found that this not only softens them slightly, but they soak up some water which helps with the initial seal. I store the bottles upside down for at least the first couple weeks to really set the seal on the lower end of the caps, and then I'm less concerned, but If I have a case that I'm planning on forgetting a while, I invert the box to keep the corks wet. I've also thought about adding wax seals for ones that I plan to age for an extended time, but I've not tried that yet. I think I remember reading in Papazian's book that he feels this provides a superior seal for aging a long timie,and guards against cork drying.

EDIT: Oh, and I also do cap at least a couple bottles here and there, and over the short term (a few months) I've not noted any problems...I do/would use oxygen absorbing caps, though.



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Old 08-10-2010, 09:27 PM   #12
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Winsome,
I bought some tapered corks that you just tap in with a mallet. My understanding is that these are fine for short term storage which is what I intend.


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Old 08-11-2010, 09:50 AM   #13
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I tend to do a primary, then a secondary, and do some final conditioning in a keg under a little pressure. Just enough to seal it initially but it does slightly carbonate it.
I have only had one cork blow on me with mead, I'm thinking a bug got in there and started a little party.
I have also only had one cider blow a cork on me.
It really breaks down to using corks if I want to age it for possibly ever, the stuff I'm going to drink soon is capped.
Also mentioned above, if I'm giving it to friends, corking is a "must" (please forgive the pun).
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:31 PM   #14
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If you look at wine studies, particular the AWRI research, the verdict is pretty clear - the Stelvin screw cap does the best job of preserving a white wine for long term aging. Since few of us can afford a Stelvin machine at home, that's not really and option, but the next best thing may be a crown cap. On the other extreme, the closures that allowed the most oxidation of the wine were the synthetic corks.

Crown caps are used in Champagne Production; the crown cap is removed after riddling when they are ready for corking. Sometime they age for decades with the crown cap on before they remove the yeast, so crown caps have the potential to age for a very, very long time. Some folks advocate waxing the crown caps, and that is certainly an option though I don't know if it is necessary.

I currently have a comparison between good quality natural cork (Scott Labs USS grade), Zorks and crown caps using a dry mango melomel. I'm due to update it, but so far, it appears (with blind tasters and triangular tasting) that the crown caps have preserved the aroma the best, with Zorks a close second, and the natural cork had the least fruitiness. This is only one batch, and I wouldn't generalize these findings without some more tests, but I did find it interesting.

The problem with using crown caps is the perception of the people opening the bottle. I had one friend say, "why the cheap caps?" and it seems clear that unless there is a cork, people are inclined to judge your wine/mead as being cheap/inferior - a very unfortunate misperception.

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Old 08-12-2010, 02:23 AM   #15
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Medsen, thanks for that informative post.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
I currently have a comparison between good quality natural cork (Scott Labs USS grade), Zorks and crown caps using a dry mango melomel. I'm due to update it, but so far, it appears (with blind tasters and triangular tasting) that the crown caps have preserved the aroma the best, with Zorks a close second, and the natural cork had the least fruitiness. This is only one batch, and I wouldn't generalize these findings without some more tests, but I did find it interesting.
Medsen
I currently have three meads going and will want to store some of them long-term. I bought some Zorks and was wondering how well they will hold up. This comparison you did, how long of a time span did your test cover? Also, I have only found these for sale at Midwest Supplies (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/winem...-closures.html), have you found them elsewhere?
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLAAYHAUS View Post
Also, I have only found these for sale at Midwest Supplies (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/winem...-closures.html), have you found them elsewhere?
My LHBS has them in stock regularly.

http://www.google.com/products?q=zorks&hl=en&aq=f

http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...-8&sa=N&tab=wf

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:27 AM   #18
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Yeah, I am trying to get mine to start stocking them as well but for now I will continue to order them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLAAYHAUS View Post
I bought some Zorks and was wondering how well they will hold up. This comparison you did, how long of a time span did your test cover?
It is just past the 2 year point now.

The Zork manufacturer says they are good for aging up to at least 5 years. We really need some long, long term tests with meads. Given that meads may be much less oxidation prone than wines, Zorks might allow for much longer aging of meads. We need to find out.

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Old 10-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
It is just past the 2 year point now.

The Zork manufacturer says they are good for aging up to at least 5 years. We really need some long, long term tests with meads. Given that meads may be much less oxidation prone than wines, Zorks might allow for much longer aging of meads. We need to find out.

Medsen
Thanks, I agree that we do need to see some long term studies.


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