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Old 04-22-2013, 12:25 AM   #1
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Default Screw top bottles (again)

I am sure this has been asked before but...

I have access to all the bottles I need ( Maine has bottle redemption centers)
so I can get either screw top or corked.

I just brewed my first batch of wine so I have NO experience bottling wine.

My question is can i reuse screw top bottles? I mean reuse the cap and the bottle.
Can I reuse the bottles but buy new caps?

Or just go ahead and cork?

Sorry for the noob question.


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Old 04-22-2013, 02:00 AM   #2
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I resuse the screw caps that came with the botles. Buying new can be difficult, as far as getting a good seal goes. As long as the bottle does not leak when put on its side for three days I say it is good to use. However I do drink those bottles first. Then the corked bottles and lastly the zorks. Unless I am taking a bottle somewhere. Then I take whatever is easiest to open! Three reuses per bottle cap is about right. Some warp or bend out of shape sooner. I usually bottle at least a few easy open bottles each batch for imediate taste testing. Quality controle is so important!!!


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Old 04-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Please don't follow that post by jensmith.

We value your health and want you to continue to grow as a winemaker.

1. Do not ever reuse a screw-top cap. EVER!!!!! They get crushed to make a seal and cannot be "uncrushed". They will not keep oxygen and/or critters out of your wine.

2. Using screw-top bottles with new corks can lead to broken bottle tops. The glass where the threads are is not thick enough to hold up to a pressed in cork.

3. If by some miracle, you can find new screw caps for wine bottles, you could use them, but if you look at most screw capped wines, the cap is machine sealed and rolled on, not threaded.

Corks and corking is a simple process that is cheap, reliable and easy.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks Doctor,
I have no problem corking. I am in the process of "emptying" bottles not so I just want to make sure I only keep the right ones.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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more questions
How do I know what size cork? #8 #9 ???
Do the Italian hand type corkers work?

How do I bottle? I bottle my home brew beer with a spring loaded racking cane will this work?
I have seen cheap units in Midwest Supplies that supposedly stop filling when the correct amount is filled.
Are these worth it?
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldood View Post
more questions
How do I know what size cork? #8 #9 ???
Do the Italian hand type corkers work?

How do I bottle? I bottle my home brew beer with a spring loaded racking cane will this work?
I have seen cheap units in Midwest Supplies that supposedly stop filling when the correct amount is filled.
Are these worth it?
If you have a hand corker, use #8 (or for those small 375 ml bottles). For a floor corker, or if you have a hand corker that compresses well, use the #9 corks.

I don't like hand corkers- I've bought 3 of them! I wish I would have just bought my floor corker in the beginning, since I bought three corkers (over $65 total) before buying the Portuguese floor corker ($57 at the time, more now I'm sure).

Those bottling wands are the schniznit! I bottled 13 gallons of wine today, all with the bottling wand. You push down, the wine flows; you lift up, the wine stops (and doesn't drip much at all). I think mine was about $8, but I've had it a long time and it might be different now. It's the same one I use for beer, so you probably have the one I mean.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Yooper

How's about sharing buckets with wine/beer. Will it make my beer taste funny after leaving my wine in the bucket for weeks?
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Yooper

How's about sharing buckets with wine/beer. Will it make my beer taste funny after leaving my wine in the bucket for weeks?
You don't leave wine in your buckets for weeks. Maybe 5 days or so, then the wine is racked to a carboy.

If you're going to make wine, you really need an appropriately sized carboy, as you'll rack at least a couple of times and the wine needs to sit in the carboy until clear and no longer dropping any sediment (lees).
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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why not just rack to another bucket?

( cause I aint got no carboy )
And my LHBS guy said not to bother.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cooldood View Post
why not just rack to another bucket?

( cause I aint got no carboy )
And my LHBS guy said not to bother.
A bucket has a wide headspace. It's way too hide to protect the wine from oxidation. A carboy really is imperative if you want to make a drinkable wine. Short term (a week), it'd be fine. But normally wine is in a carboy for more than 6 weeks before being racked and then again in a carboy for 6-8 weeks. Those are minimal times.

If you want, you could get carlo rossi jugs (from a recycling center, or drink bad wine yourself!) and a #6 stopper fits them. You can easily use 5 of them for a 5 gallon batch, or use a 3 gallon carboy and one jug for a 4 gallon batch as an example.


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