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Nightspear
05-10-2009, 03:53 PM
Ok So my fruit is dropping in my clear JOA and per the recipe I am ready to drink. Seeing that I am not a big drinker and the only one drinking it. I was thinking of bottling when the fruit has completely dropped. My question is what type of bottle should I bottle it into. I am thinking of bottling into 375ml bottles. I am guessing roughly 10 bottles should do. However I see I have the choice between colored or clear bottles. So my question is should I bottle it into the darkest bottle I can find or will a clear bottle be best. Then there comes the question of closures. Should I use a cork (natural or synthetic) or a screw on top? Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

akueck
05-10-2009, 05:52 PM
I came from beer brewing, so I always use crown caps myself. I tend to bottle 1-gallon batches in a mix of bottle sizes, usually 2 750 ml and 5-6 12 oz bottles. This way you can have a small bottle for ~2 servings and larger bottles for when guests are over. If you don't want to mix and match, I'd say use all smaller bottles so you don't have a half-full bottle cluttering up your fridge. Be aware that bottle size affects the aging of wine/mead and small bottles will age differently than large bottles. (If you haven't had a chance to taste a magnum vs. a 750 ml bottle of wine, it's something you should schedule. Very fun!) The differences are probably muted if you use screw or crown caps, since these should be airtight.

Assuming you're not going to have your mead stored out in the open, bottle color won't matter. Mead is light sensitive like other beverages, but like most folks all my stuff is stored in the dark. No light--no problem! Clear bottles are nice for presentation; I use mostly brown or green glass because that is what I have.

afdoty
05-10-2009, 07:52 PM
Seeing that I am not a big drinker and the only one drinking it

The only thing I'd caution you about and that is OXIDATION. If you bottle in a larger bottle, you'll be storing an open container that's been expose to air.

Example......I brought 2 750 ml bottle of... whatever type... of mead to my sister in laws for Christmas. We didn't finish either and my brother in law put one of those expandable bottle cappers in each. Well, months later, at Easter, we pulled them out and drank them. There was defiantly a change in both color and taste. Both had been bottled in dark green bottles and stored in total darkness (under the their counter). But the air had gotten in there and oxidized both over the course of those couple months and changed them. they were still Actually it very good.. Just different.

My suggestion would be to bottle your mead in 12 oz bottles and cap it. If you have a friend who drinks Becks, cool.. Scrounge a 12 pack. Or you can always make your own 12 pack…………..

Nightspear
05-10-2009, 10:00 PM
Seeing that mead is photo-sensitive the darker bottles are better, Just in case some light gets in. So my next problem will be oxidation. I am going to assume that a cork is more air tight than a screw on. I have never seen a crown cap, unless that is the type of cap that is on a beer bottle that you have to pop off, then I am good. What about the flip-top bottles?

Right now I am thinking amber bottles 12oz to 16oz possibly with a flip top to save time on the capping.

akueck
05-10-2009, 11:02 PM
Yup, crown caps are the pop-tops on beer bottles. Properly installed, crown caps and screw tops should both be airtight. Corks will have some air permeability, which is being studied now in terms of its beneficial aging attributes (micro-oxygenation is the buzzword).

Flip-tops should also be pretty darn airtight as long as the gasket is in good shape. Spring for new gaskets if you are reusing bottles.

Enjoy your mead! :occasion14:

afdoty
05-11-2009, 04:25 AM
Seeing that mead is photo-sensitive the darker bottles are better, Just in case some light gets in. So my next problem will be oxidation. I am going to assume that a cork is more air tight than a screw on. I have never seen a crown cap, unless that is the type of cap that is on a beer bottle that you have to pop off, then I am good. What about the flip-top bottles?

Right now I am thinking amber bottles 12oz to 16oz possibly with a flip top to save time on the capping.

I don't think a cork will work in a beer bottle. The shape of the neck is angled and the cork won't seal. Beer and wine bottles are shaped differently.

jfisherman7
05-11-2009, 05:05 AM
Seeing that mead is photo-sensitive the darker bottles are better, Just in case some light gets in. So my next problem will be oxidation. I am going to assume that a cork is more air tight than a screw on. I have never seen a crown cap, unless that is the type of cap that is on a beer bottle that you have to pop off, then I am good. What about the flip-top bottles?

Right now I am thinking amber bottles 12oz to 16oz possibly with a flip top to save time on the capping.

Nightspear
the flip top EZ Cap bottles work, I use them a lot on both me meads and my beers. they make quick easy work of bottling

akueck
05-11-2009, 09:58 AM
I don't think a cork will work in a beer bottle. The shape of the neck is angled and the cork won't seal. Beer and wine bottles are shaped differently.

For the regular beer bottles, you're correct you can't cork them. Belgian-style beer bottles take corks (but not caps).

Medsen Fey
05-11-2009, 01:12 PM
Seeing that mead is photo-sensitive the darker bottles are better, Just in case some light gets in. So my next problem will be oxidation. I am going to assume that a cork is more air tight than a screw on. I

Right now I am thinking amber bottles 12oz to 16oz possibly with a flip top to save time on the capping.

Choice of bottle and closure is a very individual choice and as you can see there are many options, so I recognize it is a bit challenging to get your arms around.

First of all, start with color of bottle. I mostly use clear bottles because I like to be able to see the beautiful clear mead. I don't keep the bottles sitting out in the light. If I did, I would use colored bottles, but I'd be partial to the Cobalt blue ones - they are really pretty to me. You may have other preferences.

Then for the closure. I think wine bottles and corks make the most elegant presentation. I like to put a nice label on as well. When serving it, presentation is half the battle. I have served the same mead, one in a pretty-label wine bottle and the other in unlabeled bottles - guess what? I keep getting compliments on how nice the mead in the wine bottle was, even though they tasted the same (to me). If you aim to impress anyone, wine bottles and corks fit the bill. Of course the choice between styles of wine bottle (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Hoch, or other) comes up - take your pick.

With that said, from a strict point of view of preserving mead and preventing oxidation, the two closures that provide the highest protection against oxygen are screw caps and crown caps. For long aging (4+ years), some recommend waxing the crown caps - I'm not yet certain if that is really needed, but it couldn't hurt.

High quality natural cork comes next, followed by Zorks, and then synthetic corks. Flip top bottles work well, but for long aging the rubber seals may dry and crack allowing air in.

So the next step is to decide you long do you plan on aging it. If the answer is "I plan to drink it so fast I won't be able to keep up with production" then you can use any alternative and the cheaper the better; so flip tops and crown caps become really good choices.

If the answer is "I want to save it for my daughter's wedding and she's a baby" then natural cork may be the best choice, or possibly screw caps (crown caps).

The fact of the matter is, that in the wine world, they still haven't determined if any choice other than cork is reliable for long aging of fine wines. There are studies being conducted and trials being run (both public and private) but the jury is still out. With mead it hasn't really been tested at all.

So there you have it. Clear as mud. ;D

Medsen

Nightspear
05-11-2009, 03:43 PM
Interesting. Clearly I have been lazy and not researched the topic much. I do appreciate all your insight. Seeing a 1 gallon batch isn't going to last me longer than a month. I should be pretty safe with the glass amber flip top bottles. I am opting for the amber because I cant guarantee my kids wont open the cupboard looking for something, also I prefer the taste of anything from glass than from plastic. I will also be ordering some new seals for them as well.

Thanks all

ObsidianBlade
05-16-2010, 12:38 AM
I am a total newb. Haven't even made my first JAO and I was going to post some questions about this very subject, so glad I searched first. Medsen Fey just answered every question I had. I read the newbie guide and at the end I go, Oh no... What is oxidation? I don't have money for a freaking CO2 tank?! That was one thought I had, along with, "Poor little yeasties, so little and fragile." After reading the guide I got kind of intimidated, I'm gonna have bottles in my cabinets exploding, stuck fermentations. I'm sure both will happen to me at some point... Inevibilities of mead-making.

fatbloke
05-16-2010, 03:48 AM
I am a total newb. Haven't even made my first JAO and I was going to post some questions about this very subject, so glad I searched first. Medsen Fey just answered every question I had. I read the newbie guide and at the end I go, Oh no... What is oxidation? I don't have money for a freaking CO2 tank?! That was one thought I had, along with, "Poor little yeasties, so little and fragile." After reading the guide I got kind of intimidated, I'm gonna have bottles in my cabinets exploding, stuck fermentations. I'm sure both will happen to me at some point... Inevibilities of mead-making.
Most of the problems only arise if you don't "follow the rules"!

Hygiene during the making.

Use your hydrometer - bubbling air locks are almost useless for gauging the fermentation.

You don't need temperature control per se - but think about the ambient temperatures of where you live and how hot/cold it can get during extremes of the year.

Patience

And of course, if it's a batch from someone elses recipe then it's worth remembering the "RTFM" comments you will probably have read around the web.

JAO is (guessing here) a very well thought out recipe. There's pretty much a reason for everything. If you do read the thread here (it's quite long), you'll see people moaning about occassional slight bitterness or a slight " English marmalade" sort of taste. Well I'd guess that's to counter the sweetness. The use of bread yeast in the ferment is, I'd suggest, so that there's an intentional sweetness to the finished mead (it's not that nice dry - which is what you get using wine yeast instead of bread yeast). Etc etc etc so if and when you make a batch, just stick to the recipe as closely as possible and you can't go far wrong.

As for the bottles? Just go for whatever's most convenient and cheapest. Flip top (Grolsch) type bottles are good, though initially expensive compared to others. All can be re-used - though screw tops can be the biggest PITA, because the outlay to be able to reseal them is highish (over here, I've seen the screw cap crimping plier for €360 - not cheap). So corks, flip top seals or best (and cheapest) of all, crown caps, are the cheapest to replace.

S'up to you.....

AToE
05-16-2010, 09:48 PM
I am a total newb. Haven't even made my first JAO and I was going to post some questions about this very subject, so glad I searched first. Medsen Fey just answered every question I had. I read the newbie guide and at the end I go, Oh no... What is oxidation? I don't have money for a freaking CO2 tank?! That was one thought I had, along with, "Poor little yeasties, so little and fragile." After reading the guide I got kind of intimidated, I'm gonna have bottles in my cabinets exploding, stuck fermentations. I'm sure both will happen to me at some point... Inevibilities of mead-making.

Stuck ferments might be pretty likely to happen to most brewers at some point, but bottle bombs not so much. I doubt I'll ever have that issue, as I have no urge to be rushed to the hospital with my eyes/face destroyed by glass! As as such I am very careful (over-careful really) to avoid this - you can too, just do a pile of reading before bottling anything that finishes sweet (you'll have lots of time to read posts on this site while it ages!).

socpsy
05-17-2010, 09:38 AM
For 1 gallon batches, I often bottle a few 187ml wine/champagne bottles.

snikje
05-17-2010, 01:59 PM
for me i use 0.75l green beer bottles i get from a local beer specialty pub. (he has like over 100 special brews in house at any time. and most come in their own kind of bottle) they come in 12 a crate and i pay him 0.20E for the deposit, as in you get that refunded when turning teh bottle in i believe its called deposit right?
they accept both champagne corks and crown caps, though you need the bigger size caps and capper head for em. 29mm as opposed to standard 26mm caps on small beer bottles

so all in all i have nice glasswork at basically no cost. and they can be capped for quicky batches or corked with high quality corks and stored for some serious aging.

not that i have had that much experience yet. just finished my 2nd batch .
but i did some asking around and stuff before i started out.
still working on a good honey supplier though. anyone in the netherlands who knows any please give me a poke.