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T-Red
05-12-2009, 09:22 PM
Tomorrow I'm going to bottle my second batch of mead.

The first time I bottled mead, I used every wine and liquour bottle I could lay hands on. I used my oddball bottles (liquour bottles) as my "tasting" bottles for people who didn't know what mead was but didn't want to open the gift I was giving to find out if they liked it or not.

This inspired my brother to start making wine and mead. Instead of using liquour bottles for his "tasting" bottles, he used beer bottles. I thought this was a good idea. I hate having to re-cork an open bottle of mead and feel like I have to finish it if I open it. Since I'm the only one in my household who drinks, I expect I'll be the one drinking from the beer bottles and save the wine bottles for entertaining company or gifts.

Since I plan to bottle tomorrow (and won't be able to talk to my brother in the mean time), my question is: Is there any reason I cannot use bottle caps instead of corks for the tasting/beer bottles? I have no idea if the metal in the caps will react adversly to the wine, or if it makes no difference.

skunkboy
05-12-2009, 09:55 PM
Some of us having been using plastic lined beer caps on our mead in beer bottles for years with no ill effects. Smaller bottles are also much more effective for small samples, you might want to see if you can get ahold of some 6-8oz glass pop or beer bottles.

akueck
05-12-2009, 10:48 PM
Skunkboy nailed it--the metal caps have a polymer lining so there is no worry about reactions with the metal. I use crown caps on all my stuff (for now).

wildoates
05-12-2009, 10:51 PM
I do plan to cork bottles, but was thinking to put a few beer bottles of each batch up as well for tasting the aging progress. I've read here that smaller batches age differently than larger ones, but how so? Is it enough of a diff that my brilliant plan won't work?

Medsen Fey
05-12-2009, 11:07 PM
Your plan will work fine. The difference won't be that pronounced, at least not within a few years. For really extended aging it might be more relevant.

wildoates
05-12-2009, 11:22 PM
Ah, good. I hate to waste a perfectly good brilliant plan.

Gracias!

Fox Hill Mead
05-13-2009, 11:12 AM
Even here at the Meadery, we put a bit of every batch into beer bottles. Makes for a good size taster!

Syme
05-13-2009, 05:46 PM
I hate having to re-cork an open bottle of mead and feel like I have to finish it if I open it. Since I'm the only one in my household who drinks, I expect I'll be the one drinking from the beer bottles and save the wine bottles for entertaining company or gifts.


My wife and I have similar problems with commercial wine. We'll often want a glass of wine on Sunday's but then be too busy for several nights to finish the bottle and then the flavor of the wine get pretty bad. I assume this is oxidation. Anyway, we bought some of those rubber stoppers that work with the little pump thing that they sell in kitchen shops. The little pump lets you suck some of the air out through the rubber stopper and the life span of an opened bottle is greatly improved. We can open a bottle, pouir two glasses, stopper, pump, refridgerate, and a week later the wine is still drinkable. I assume this would work with mead also. It's a nice $10 solution.

However, but for mead consumption around the house, I typically bottle in beer bottles :)

imcelt2
05-13-2009, 09:07 PM
I've been brewwing and sharing mead for a dozen years at least. For around the house for personal consumption I tend to use the Grolsh type bottles with the swing top caps. Those make it easy to reseal between glasses. For sharing and gifts we tend to use wine bottles with plastic stoppers. They are cheaper than corks and are reusable several times. They also don't need to be kept wet for the first two weeks to properly seal. After waking up at three in the morning to a loud pop and finding a cork across the room and a trail of mead along the firing line I also started wiring the stoppers in. If you stop your fermentation then this is less of a concern. Finally, for long term storage I use champagne bottles with corks and crown caps. I don't know if this works any better but a lot of Belgian Lambics are sealed this way and they age for years before shipping. Most of my bottle inventory was collected from friends who learned I brew beer and mead as well as wine. They save their bottles for me.

Medsen Fey
05-14-2009, 09:18 AM
After waking up at three in the morning to a loud pop and finding a cork across the room and a trail of mead along the firing line I also started wiring the stoppers in. If you stop your fermentation then this is less of a concern. Finally, for long term storage I use champagne bottles with corks and crown caps.

I think the practice of wiring stoppers (or crown capping) for unstabilized mead in a Champagne bottle is potentially dangerous. If the exact amount of priming sugar to produce a controlled amount of pressure is not used, yeast are capable of generating more pressure than even a Champagne bottle can tolerate. In the Pressure Crashing thread in the Patron's area, a little testing showed that more than 8 atmospheres could be produced; enough to trigger the pressure relief valve of a keg.

Champagne bottles sometimes explode even using the controlled process of the Methode Champenoise. If you think cleaning up a popped cork was fun, wait until you see a Champagne bottle explode (I hope you and your family are not in the vicinity to witness it should it occur). If you do choose to disregard this danger, please keep the bottles cold.

Stabilizing mead is not difficult, and it can even be done without chemicals. I highly recommend it.

Medsen

Oskaar
05-14-2009, 05:05 PM
I think the practice of wiring stoppers (or crown capping) for unstabilized mead in a Champagne bottle is potentially dangerous. If the exact amount of priming sugar to produce a controlled amount of pressure is not used, yeast are capable of generating more pressure than even a Champagne bottle can tolerate. In the Pressure Crashing thread in the Patron's area, a little testing showed that more than 8 atmospheres could be produced; enough to trigger the pressure relief valve of a keg.

Champagne bottles sometimes explode even using the controlled process of the Methode Champenoise. If you think cleaning up a popped cork was fun, wait until you see a Champagne bottle explode (I hope you and your family are not in the vicinity to witness it should it occur). If you do choose to disregard this danger, please keep the bottles cold.

Stabilizing mead is not difficult, and it can even be done without chemicals. I highly recommend it.

Medsen

I agree with Medsen and will go a step further to say that after having been to several wineries in the US and Europe that produce sparkling wine, Cava, Prosecco and Champagne the one thing they all have in common is a lot of broken glass. Making a sparkling wine is a risk to begin with, and with plenty of decision points that are dangerous when the process and appropriate measures (stabilization is key) are not followed. Bear in mind that broken glass is common to people that do this for a living and have appropriate safety and remediation measure in place. A home mead maker generally does not.

Wiring corks onto bottles filled with unstabilized mead is a bad idea period, and Got Mead does not endorse, recommend or in any way shape or form purport this to be a "best practice" for home mead makers. Spend the time to stabilize your mead correctly, and bottle using fresh corks, caps or screwtops.

Cheers, Oskaar

imcelt2
05-14-2009, 10:47 PM
I never intended to endorse bottling sparkling meads. I was just giving my own track record with this. I very rarley bottle till the meads are over a year and half old and have long stopped fermenting. Every once in a while I get one that has a mind of it's own and wants go slightly petillant. This is a refreshing suprise. I have had bottle bombs with beer and ciders and fully know the mess you speak of. I have also had a whole case of young mead push the corks out while being stored upside down. That was a real mess. The only way I would ever attempt a sparkling mead is in a corny keg with a working pop off. Sorry for the confusion.

Oskaar
05-15-2009, 02:41 AM
Not a big deal, just giving the Got Mead standard disclaimer when there is a practice being discussed that could lead to bodily harm.

Cheers, Oskaar

T-Red
05-17-2009, 04:47 PM
Thanks guys for your advice. My husband is the one who was really pushing the beer bottle idea, since they're easy to keep in the fridge (I like to drink my mead cold, I know it's supposed be room temp, but what can I say, I'm a redneck)

My second attempt at mead making is now bottled, half in wine bottles and half in beer bottles of which I've had 1 and 1/2 bottles now and I'm still here, so I guess I didn't poison myself with it.

I'll post my recipie in a separate thread and hopefully some of you kind souls will be inclined to make suggestions or tell me what I did wrong with it.

Thanks again for the bottling suggestions

akueck
05-17-2009, 05:38 PM
(I like to drink my mead cold, I know it's supposed be room temp, but what can I say, I'm a redneck)


:eek: cold mead!!

Mead should be consumed at the temperature you like best. Every mead will likely have a different "magic" temperature where it tastes best to you. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to drink *lots* of mead. Darn!