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Mead, headspace, and longterm storage

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beala

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So, I'm planning on making a mead and was considering bottling it in beer bottles, as I have a nearly unlimited supply of those. I know this is a beer forum, but I figured you beer brewers would know about beer bottles best. A few questions:

1) Being a mead, it'll probably be aged for 6 months minimum. Are there any problems with longterm storage in beer bottles (instead of corked wine bottles)?
2) I was looking into those oxygen absorbing caps. The homebrew store recommends them for anything aged over a year. Are these necessary?
3) Is there anything wrong with completely eliminating the headspace in a beer bottle? That is, can I fill it up to the rim with mead, then cap? I'm worried about this, because beer bottles will mean more headspace per volume (ie 50 bottles with 1 inch of headpsace, instead of 30 bottles with 1 inch of headspace). Also, if I can do this, will this eliminate the need for oxygen absorbing caps?

Thanks a lot!
 

Yooper

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Beer bottles will work fine. I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't be ok. Oxygen absorbing caps are probably a good idea, since you're talking long term storage. My thought is when you look at a beer bottle, the neck is the same size as the rim, so I'm not sure if there would be much advantage to filling higher. I'd fill it to near the top.
 

EvilTOJ

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Whenever I bottle my apfelwein I always fill the beer bottles up to the rim, then cap it. I've only heard that oxygen absorbing caps are a ripoff unless there's headspace but I've never used them myself. Glass and steel are impermable to oxygen, so the only way air could get in is through a leak in the cap.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Go with the oxygen absorbers. They are not much more expensive, and even if they save your very last bottle that you have saved and protected for 5 years, it is worth it. Fill them high and cap away!
 
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beala

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All right. Thanks for the advice guys. I guess I'll go ahead an use the oxygen absorbers if I make another order before bottling time.

One last question. Do oxygen absorbers go bad? It seems like if you left them out for too long without using them, they'd get saturated with oxygen, and no longer be able to absorb anymore.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Supposedly, they only start absorbing O2 when they get wet. I just seal mine in ziplock bags, 24 to a bag. That way I don't get all of them wet when I only bottle one case.
 

BeerIsHeavn

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if you are making a sparkling mead leave headspace...if it's a still mead (no carbination) then up to the top is fine. If you make it sparkling I would use the absorbing caps.
 

njnear76

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EvilTOJ said:
Whenever I bottle my apfelwein I always fill the beer bottles up to the rim, then cap it. I've only heard that oxygen absorbing caps are a ripoff unless there's headspace but I've never used them myself. Glass and steel are impermable to oxygen, so the only way air could get in is through a leak in the cap.
Interesting. Do you carbonate using a priming solution?

The reason why I ask is because I was running out of bottles last night when I was bottling my apfelwein.

I want the stuff carbonated, but I think I left around 3/4 inch to 1 inch of headspace in some bottles (Perhaps in a couple around a 1/2 inch.).

I was a little concerned about bottle bombs due to lack of headspace, but based on what I was reading the bigger issue might be lack of carbonation.
 
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