View Full Version : Color, Cork, Caps

09-19-2016, 12:22 AM
So: I've got a couple of batchs (3.5gl Buckets) of Mead starting out in a mancave and a 3.5 gl batch of JOAM cooking in the water heater room. Now I get to the most
critical question of all: Brown, Green or Clear bottles, Cork in wine bottles (750ml) or cap in beer bottles (12 & 16 oz)? I really like the single serving size 1.5 liter bottles though!
Or is it a matter of use whats you got? Thanks for any input in advance.

09-19-2016, 06:43 AM
Wow! You consider a single serving 1.5 L!? We need to hangout! :-)

I actually have a collection of regular 22 oz bottles, 16 oz and 22 oz swing top bottles. I use some of each in every batch; the crown cap bottles for longer term storage and the swing tops for more current consumption. And I will use the occasional 12 oz beer bottle when I'm giving away to friends (not being cheap, just want to make sure they like the product first).

09-19-2016, 07:01 AM
What you have is always a good place to start!

I bottle mostly in beer bottles now -- it's perfect for two wine glasses, plus I can store them upright so that any remaining particles settle to the bottom, and don't get stirred up as badly when I pour (though I'm not very picky about drinking those extra nutrients, myself). It also works well camping.

I do bottle in wine bottles with corks, as well as upright swing-tops. For my mead kits, I sell them with 16oz swing-top bottles so that new brewers don't have to invest in additional equipment while they dabble with the hobby.

A mix of 750mls and 10oz bottles makes for a handy assortment; 10oz for the couples sipping night, 750ml for the "show it off to your friends" night.

09-19-2016, 07:31 AM
I would guess the traditional choice would be 750ml corked bottles. Colored bottles if you think you have ingredients that would be light struck (flavor changes due to sunlight shining in the bottles). Otherwise, clear is a nice choice as you can see the wonderful color of mead. Style of bottle - I am not aware of any traditional bottle style used for mead so I go with what I like.

I notice a lot of Meaderies going to 500ml bottles. The thing that used to get me about bottling beer in 12 or 16 oz bottles was having to have 'Many Cases' of bottles per batch, and that traditional beer caps were not reusable (bottling a big batch took significant time).

I have found that I am using a lot more 375ml bottles (half bottles). They seem to be a nice size for folks who want to try mead but don't necessarily want to start with a full bottle. (I note that a lot of 500ml bottles sell in the $20 range - some folks might risk $20 on trying something new, but might not risk $30 for a larger (750ml) bottle. (There is probably a whole marketing/price/value/perception discussion here - but it does not apply to me.))

Corks are probably the most used closure. Swing Top or Bail (Bale) bottles with rubber sealing rings are also popular. Bottle caps work well, but not resealable (I suppose you could say the same for corks.) Zorks are re-closable, look cool, but are too expensive for my home-brew non-commercial operation.

I personally have gone to screw top bottles with good poly-seal caps. It means I am buying bottles (and caps). But, bottling is easy regardless of bottle size, resealable, and I have found the caps can be put on just tight enough to allow any pressure buildup to escape but not allow air in. Getting the empty bottles back from friends is a bit sporadic, and a few of each case just go missing, so I have a constant investment. This probably also applies to Swing Top bottles.

For me, a big deal is a label. It just seems to finish the bottle and set it apart from un-lableled bottles. I usually put a title and picture on the front, and some trivia about the variety, honey used, adjuncts, historical facts, etc., on the back. I print them on regular paper and stick them on with a 50/50 mixture of water and milk. Keeps the label on, but it comes off easily when the bottle is washed. (Since I am not a commercial operation, I don't need all the warnings/approvals.)

Advice from this forum has allowed me to really step up my game and make mead that has people saying, 'Wow. This is good stuff.'