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View Full Version : storing botles of mead: corc up or down?



ash
07-14-2010, 09:57 PM
simple question:


My first batch of mead turned out great ! I have boteled 15 wine bottles with a natural corc.
Do I keep them best with the corc down so it is wet, or just with the corc up ?

AToE
07-14-2010, 11:30 PM
They are generally stored on their sides, so that the cork is wet (as in a wine rack). If you have to go vertical I would go upside down.

akueck
07-15-2010, 12:21 AM
I believe they are usually stored upright initially (couple days, a week?) before being set on their sides. If a cork pops out, better to have it upright.

PitBull
07-15-2010, 01:17 AM
I believe they are usually stored upright initially (couple days, a week?) before being set on their sides. If a cork pops out, better to have it upright.

"Natural" corked bottles are typically left upright for three days. This allows the air that was pushed into the bottle by the cork to seep back out and the bottle pressure to equalize. Then they are laid on their sides (but can be inverted) to keep the corks wet which prevents cork shrinkage.

Synthetic corks do not dry out and hence do not have to be stored on their sides. However, there's growing evidence that "natural" is better than synthetic and screw-tops are best of all (although they may lack the ambience, when opened, that a corkscrew provides).

ash
07-15-2010, 07:39 AM
ok, they have been stored upright for a week or so. i will put them on their side now. Best keep them in a dark place?

AToE
07-15-2010, 09:21 AM
I did forget to mention that they are stored upright for a while, but I don't think the pressure really equalizes, that difference in pressure is what causes the "pop" when you uncork something (maybe it just equalizes a little then stops?).

Medsen Fey
07-15-2010, 09:33 AM
I think the pop comes because you create a small vacuum as you pull the cork out.

AToE
07-15-2010, 10:25 AM
I think the pop comes because you create a small vacuum as you pull the cork out.

Bah, I lose the logic game! :)

Pewter_of_Deodar
07-16-2010, 11:39 AM
When you insert a cork, especially using something like a floor corker, it compresses the cork to more easily slide into the neck of the bottle.

The recommended three day waiting period, with the bottles upright, is to allow the cork to decompress back towards it's normal shape (at least as much as the bottle will allow) so that it will fit snuggly and better seal the bottle.

Before the cork expands back, smaller amounts of pressure can force the cork out or force liquid around the cork. Having the bottle upright keeps liquid in the bottle should the cork allow leakage.

wayneb
07-16-2010, 11:59 AM
ok, they have been stored upright for a week or so. i will put them on their side now. Best keep them in a dark place?

To answer your second question, yes, a dark place is better. Mead can become "lightstruck" by exposure to bright light (especially the UV found in natural sunlight and some fluorescent sources). This can happen with grape wines as well. Even though the use of dark green or amber/brown bottles minimizes exposure, nothing is better than storing your bottles in a cool, dark (at least subdued light) location. If the temperature of your storage area is stable (within a couple of degrees), so much the better.

AToE
07-16-2010, 12:01 PM
Ha, mine is a nice sunny kitchen with temps all over the place. Blah.

dacj501
07-26-2010, 07:07 AM
Ha, mine is a nice sunny kitchen with temps all over the place. Blah.

See, I have the same problem...just how serious is the light issue? If the mead is going to be drunk within a couple years is it significant? I just don't have a dark space anywhere really...

Pewter_of_Deodar
07-26-2010, 08:17 AM
Use dark bottles and place them somewhere where they do not get direct sunlight.

akueck
07-26-2010, 12:02 PM
A cardboard box is a wonderful thing. ;)

dacj501
07-26-2010, 12:04 PM
A cardboard box is a wonderful thing. ;)

I concur...I've got about 3 dozen in boxes, but I've got all these pretty wine racks...and no more room for cardboard boxes:)

AToE
07-26-2010, 12:17 PM
I don't really have the ability to keep such quantities anywhere other than my wine racks, though I could move those around the house. I have 1/4 of a duplex (basically a 2 bedroom apartment with a big living room), so putting stuff into boxes (especially well over 100 bottles) and storing them just isn't possible.

I could drap fabric over the wine racks, but that would be pretty ugly.

I do have a fair bit bottled in 750ml beer bottles though, which are dark brown and much thicker glass - should provide much better protection than regular green bottles I figure (or at least a tiny bit better).