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Old 01-06-2011, 04:24 AM   #1
dummkauf
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Default Bottling with Corks?

Ok, so my first 1 gallon batch was bottled about a month ago, and I got 3 wine bottles and one 12oz beer bottle out of it. Anyway, I've noticed some honey on the top edges of the cork on 2 of the bottles. They've all been on their sides for a month and they are not leaking, but there is definatley a small amount of sticky honey in a couple spots around the top of those 2 corks. The only other thing different about those 2 is that the corks are pushed in a little below the top. The 3rd bottle with no honey on the top the cork is almost perfectly flush with the top of the bottle. This was my first time using the corked and it took me a couple tries to get the depth set correctly.

Should I open and recork those 2 with the sticky tops or should they be good to go? Again, there's been no actual leakage or reduction in the volume of mead in the bottles so it appears to be sealed, but the sticky tops are making me nervous.


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Old 01-06-2011, 04:37 AM   #2
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You *should* be okay.


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Old 01-06-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
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That's not honey, that is mead that has seeped around the cork, and evaporated leaving a sticky, acidic tasting residue. It is not really a problem and your mead should be fine and should not need recorking. You may want to wipe off the cork/bottle to make sure no mold grows on it. This sometimes happens if the corks are a little old/dry (if these are natural corks), and you may need fresher corks. If you aren't using 1 3/4 corks, you may want to. Also, after bottling, did you keep them upright for a few days to give the corks time to fully re-expand after being inserted?

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Old 01-06-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
That's not honey, that is mead that has seeped around the cork, and evaporated leaving a sticky, acidic tasting residue. It is not really a problem and your mead should be fine and should not need recorking. You may want to wipe off the cork/bottle to make sure no mold grows on it. This sometimes happens if the corks are a little old/dry (if these are natural corks), and you may need fresher corks. If you aren't using 1 3/4 corks, you may want to. Also, after bottling, did you keep them upright for a few days to give the corks time to fully re-expand after being inserted?

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They are natural corks, I am assuming just wipe with a damp towel?

No I did not, I laid them down probably 20 min after corking. Do you normally leave them upright for a few days first?
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dummkauf View Post
They are natural corks, I am assuming just wipe with a damp towel?

No I did not, I laid them down probably 20 min after corking. Do you normally leave them upright for a few days first?
When you force the corks into the bottle sometimes you create a positive pressure in the bottle. In my experience it generally equalizes within a few days. If you leave the bottles upright then the pressure equalizes as the air escapes. If you turn the bottles over then the pressure equalizes as the liquid escapes and you will see exactly what you describe. The pressure in the bottles will sometimes push the cork out a little as well. I leave my bottles upstairs for at least 2 or 3 days upright. In addition to allowing air to escape this gives me a chance to keep the corks level with the lip of the bottle. I have an old synthetic whiskey stopper that I use to push the corks back into the bottles as necessary.


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