PDA

View Full Version : Corks or Caps?



mavityre
09-25-2004, 05:36 AM
Howdy again folks.
Sorry for all the posts but if I don't post imMEADiately, I will have forgotten what I was going to say.

What is best for bottling mead? Corks or caps? I have always used caps for ciders,occasional mead and beers.

dogglebe
09-25-2004, 06:22 AM
Howdy again folks.
Sorry for all the posts but if I don't post imMEADiately, I will have forgotten what I was going to say.

It's okay, HONEY, we forgive you. Now BEE a dear stop with the mead puns. They're giving me HIVES.



What is best for bottling mead? Corks or caps? I have always used caps for ciders,occasional mead and beers.


Caps are more practical. Corks are just for presentation, IMHO.


Phil

mavityre
09-25-2004, 06:33 AM
LOL ;D

Thanks

Pewter_of_Deodar
09-26-2004, 04:33 AM
I have no personal experience yet... but I was under the impression that you corked bottles that you were planning on keeping a long time (several years) and capped things you planned on drinking within a year or two max... Dunno...

I pretty much cork everything I bottle unless I know it will be used within a month or three, then I use taster's corks instead...

Jmattioli
09-26-2004, 08:58 AM
Here's an article on screw caps you might find interesting:
http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Daily/News/0,1145,2374,00.html
I purchased a dozen bottles and caps to give them a try. I like not having to set them on their side as with corks. Corks do make a better presentation but I think these are the wave of the future.
Joe

Oskaar
09-26-2004, 12:31 PM
I think you're BARKing up the wrong tree Mavityre because screw caps get my SEAL of approval!

Screw caps have been tested against corks and provide a better seal, a longer lasting seal and less loss of wine per lot than bottles that have been corked.

Cork is a finite resource whose quality and consistency is harder and harder to guarantee. Cork can impart off-flavors to a bottle of mead or wine, and can also foul the bottle to the point of making it undrinkable.

Cork is undeniably better presentation-wise than a screw-cap, but also undeniably inferior to a screw cap for seal and consistency.

Oskaar

svaros
09-26-2004, 07:37 PM
I'd have to agree with Oskaar. Caps (either screw type or bottle cap) are better for aging. Even with Champagne, they use caps until after they add the dosage. They are easier, and you don't run the risk of cork taint.


Though I will miss using my corkscrews once everyone has gone to screw caps. There's just something about pulling a cork that adds to the enjoyment of a good bottle of wine.


DE

David Baldwin
10-05-2004, 08:34 AM
I've noticed that many small wineries in Michigan are using the synthetic corks. Any thoughts on these?

Derf
10-09-2004, 08:48 AM
Synth-cork gets my vote. Best of both worlds as I see it.

Oskaar
10-10-2004, 04:49 AM
Actually, according to wine industry experts synth-corks are semi-dicey. There are a number of studies in progress at present that I remember reading. I'll see if I can find them and post some links.

Oskaar

Derf
10-10-2004, 11:22 PM
Early studies on caps said they were awful too. These things improve rapidly when the technology is new. A number of major wineries are using synthetic cork now--I can only think of Masi of the top of my head. And that, ad verecundiam, is enough to convince me that synth-corks can make a satisfactory seal. Now, whether or not the ones available at my lhbs are as good as the ones Masi uses is another matter all together.

Oskaar
10-11-2004, 03:32 AM
Well, since screw caps have been on the market for thirty plus yeast I'll take my chances with them. Synthetic may turn out to be a good alternative but there are still long term questions to be answered and the material itself still has lingering questions about porousness, shelf time and aging.

I like to be close to the leading edge, but not on the bleeding edge. Until I see some really compelling evidence to suggest that syntetic corks will stand the test of time I'll stick with capping and screwtops.

Here's a couple of links in regards to screw tops, cork and syntetic cork closures.

http://www.vwm-online.com/Magazine/Archive/2000/Vol26_No6/Closures.htm

http://www.ivillage.co.uk/food/drinks/wine/articles/0,,164372_181610-3,00.html

Cheers,

Oskaar

Jmattioli
10-11-2004, 03:50 AM
I think the compelling argument against synthetic corks for mead makers is the shelf life.
"They have a shelf-life of only a few years they become porous so are only useful for wines to be drank immediately."
As many of us know, many meads are made to mature over more than a few years which for many makes that an inferior choice to screw caps.
Joe

Derf
10-11-2004, 09:19 PM
I guess I stand alone on this one.

I seems to me that, since the inside of a screw cap is basicaly plastic, and synth-cork is basically plastic, there is no good reason why an inch and a half long plug can't be designed to make as good a seal as a wafer inside an aluminum cup.

As I see it, the only demand on the design other than a perfect seal is that it be soft enough to remove with a cork screw. Look, feel and smell of the plug are extraneous. All I care about is the wine itself, and, admitedly secondary, the preservation of that ritual of opening the bottle.

--Jay

Jmattioli
10-11-2004, 09:26 PM
Jay,
That's good reasoning. It makes sense what you say but we are only quoting what we read. Maybe it just needs more research to understand the difference if any. I got my quote from Oskaar's links above.
Joe

Oskaar
10-11-2004, 10:09 PM
Hey Jay,

I'm not saying that synthetic won't turn out to be the wave of the future, just that I'm comfortable with the solutions of capping and screwtops because they have a proven track record.

I drink wines with synthetic corks all the time with no disappointing results thus far. There are some synthetic corks that are perfect looking, and others that are very inconsistant in the finish.

Mt Eden West Slope Chardonnay has a very inconspicuous looking synthetic closure that looks a lot like a cork. color-wise. It has sharp edges and is rough finished. I've never had a bad bottle in three cases of the wine that I have purchased and drank.

I've also had a Chianti (Corina Chianti Rufina if I remember right) which has an orange colored synthetic cork that falls into the category of inconsistant looking from an asthetic point of view. The cork, in contrast to the West Slope cork is rounded and smooth, it also pulls from the bottle way too easily, and is prone to pushing into the bottle as the corkscrew is inserted.

The use of a corkscrew on synthetic corks in most cases is more difficult than a regular cork.

So from my viewpoint there needs to be a better set of quality control points in the manufacture of these corks, along with some standards and industrywide cooperative studies to really make me feel comfortable with using them in my hard work.

JMHO,

Oskaar

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-11-2004, 10:18 PM
Mt Eden West Slope Chardonnay has a very inconspicuous looking synthetic closure that looks a lot like a cork color-wise. It has sharp edges and is rough finished. I've never had a bad bottle in three cases of the wine that I have purchased and drank.


Oskaar,

What about the week before that one?

With a huge grin,
Pewter

PS: Hint - 3 cases, one week

Oskaar
10-11-2004, 10:32 PM
In the immortal words of Orsen Wells in the Paul Masson commercials:

"I will drink any wine before it's time!"

Oskaar ;)

plaztikjezuz
10-19-2004, 03:07 AM
you can also use bail top bottles, like those on, grolsch pint's.
i suggest you use a new seal for these. i put imperial stout in them all the time, which is aged, for year and up. the oldest i have is about three years old now and the last time i opened a bottle the seal was fine.

as for caps, i aways suggest to people, that they use the oxygen barrier type of cap if the bottle is going to be aged for a year or more. but my opinion is in most cases if the drink spoils it would be because you capped it wrong (ie. the seal was not made correctly). my mom used to make wine and used caps and i have tasted some of her wine several years after it was bottled and the seals were fine.