View Full Version : Corking vs. Capping Mead

Sebastian Haff
07-19-2012, 03:43 PM

I'm getting ready to bottle my first batch of mead, and I'm wondering if there is a big difference between capping my bottles or corking them? I already have a bottle capper for my homebrew beer, but I don't have a corker, and I don't want to go spend $20 on a new corker if I don't need to.

Does it matter?


07-19-2012, 05:22 PM
Crown caps are perfectly fine, if not better.

07-19-2012, 05:37 PM
Crown caps work fine?
Yay then! :D
I wanted to ask this myself as I thought I'd prefer to put my mead into 320ML beer bottles than large 750ML wine bottles for the most part.

07-19-2012, 07:43 PM
If you can buy a corker for $20, go for it! Assuming that's a typo, they go for $150-$600 here depending on quality.

07-19-2012, 07:44 PM
You can also crown seal champagne bottles if you like, for the brew to share.

07-19-2012, 07:50 PM
If you can buy a corker for $20, go for it! Assuming that's a typo, they go for $150-$600 here depending on quality.

$150+ Are you insane? This $20 wine corker does the job perfectly fine for me: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Double-handled-corker-home-bottling/dp/B001EOSVUC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342741743&sr=8-1 ;)

07-20-2012, 06:31 AM
No. Not insane. I just dislike hand tools.
I like the lever action ones, like my capper.
Tell me you don't use a hand capper that you hit with a mallet?

Perhaps I have too much money. 'twould explain why I spend it so quick.

07-20-2012, 12:41 PM
The one posted in the link IS a lever action corker. I have one. You put the cork into the little hole in the side, put the top of the bottle into the bottle, then press down on both handles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI2xIlEZH5o
I have one kind of like it, only instead of it grabbing with pincers on the bottom, it has a round stretchy spring thing. I can't find a picture of my model right now.

07-20-2012, 02:25 PM
Perhaps I have too much money. 'twould explain why I spend it so quick.

That is a nice luxury to have! ;)

07-20-2012, 03:42 PM
This is what I meant by a lever action.


Nice, simple, elegant, requires only 2 hands, bottle's not at risk of toppling.

Midnight Sun
07-20-2012, 05:28 PM
If you are going to do long term aging using crown caps, then consider using the caps specially designed to be oxygen resistant. There appears to be a number of people that have the caps fail over the course of years. Could have been user error too, who knows? Nothing in my house under a crown cap lasts longer than 1 year, so I have no personal experience. With the exception of braggots, I prefer my meads and wines to be corked. Aesthetics you know.

Just a quick note about the corkers shown: the lever-action corker linked to by Wijnand is typically only effective with #7 and #8 corks. The #9 corks are too fat to fit into the necks of most bottles. To use #9's, you need an iris-style corker that compresses the cork before insertion. The floor corker linked by kudapucat likely is an iris-style.

I use a hand-held iris corker and only use #9 corks when bottling in wine bottles. IMO the #9 corks provide a better seal allowing for longer bottle aging. The down side to my corker is that it requires a bit of strength to compress the cork. For reference, my wife is not quite able to compress a #9. Consider asking you LHBS if they'll let you try one out before you buy.

For small batches my corker works great. For 5-gallon batches, I start getting tired towards the last few bottles. If I ever move up to batches larger than 5 gallons, then I will also move up to one of the floor corkers.