Bottling into small format bottles

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ZAF

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I have been thinking about this for a while, so i did a quick search on this forum and couldn't find the answer so I hope this thread is not a duplicate. During the time I lived alone I was a big fan of half bottle portions at my local wine store (375 ml). Remembering this got me interested in bottling some of my wine into small bottles (270-350 ml). The reason behind this is that I find myself in a few occasions where I am alone and would want to enjoy my wine, but then I wouldn't drink again for another few days or a week. So rather than storing the opened 750-900 ml bottles in the fridge I'd rather open a small one and then the next time I drink if I am not alone I'd open a regular format bottle. Having that option of a few small bottles in my collection would be very helpful.

Since I am a newbie I wanted to know if there are any pitfalls or things to look for when bottling smaller format bottles. I will mostly be reusing bottles and their original screw caps (obviously after cleaning it and sterilizing it) then placing a tape around the cap to reduce the amount of air leaking. I could also consider using a cork but I am worried that the neck of these bottles won't handle the cork.

Many thanks
 

GaDawg

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I use some 375ml bottles that I can cork. I like to see how my wine progresses without opening a 750ml bottle. I got them from my local shop.
 
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StFrancis

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I've used beer bottles. 12 oz is about 333 ml. Can then just cap. Assuming you have the necessary equipment. I did several cases for daughter's wedding. Actually then put wine shrink covers. Tasted the peach mead 6 years later...still good.
 
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mainshipfred

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A week might be stretching it but if your just talking a few days why not use a Vacuvin.
 
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ZAF

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Thanks guys.
@GaDawg and @StFrancis do you think using the old screw cap, screw it tight then applying tape will be good enough instead of a proper beer cap?
@mainshipfred sometimes it stretches to over 2 weeks as well that’s why I thought about the smaller bottles. I am no where near producing great Tasting wine so I don’t think my wine will react where to restoring after opening. But, it’s so much fun and i get to learn a lot from it.
 

GaDawg

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I purchased 375ml wine bottles. As long as you don’t give them away, it’s a one time purchase.
 
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Rice_Guy

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I have routinely used 375 for hard to do like dandelion. The dregs in a carboy will also get a small size

On a theoretical issue 375s probably double the head space and bottle shock/ oxidation risk, and reduce shelf life. I also reuse some screw caps on every bottle run, the standard warning with screw caps is that a fraction will leak when reused.
 

ZAF

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@Rice_Guy Thank you. The smaller bottles will likely get consumed earlier than the larger bottles, which will reduce their storage wine and by default lengthening the storage of the larger bottle (win/win?). I think it will attempt it and tape around the cap and neck well. I have 270 ml glass bottles that were originally rose-water. Decent caps too (well hopefully). I'll clean them and use 3-4 of them during my next bottling. the rest will go in my regular 900 ml bottles.
 

Bts

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I bottle part of each batch in beer bottles for exactly this reason. I'm fairly new to winemaking and the beer bottles tend to get drunk earlier, but I've had some 2 years old that were fine. For headspace, just top them up real close to the cap by pressing the filling wand against the side of the neck. I probably have 1/4 to 1/3 the headspace of a wine bottle this way.

On a related note, you can re-bottle aged commercial or home made wines into beer bottles or those little 187ml screw top champaign bottles. It's a little risky depending on sulfite levels, but I've had pretty decent success. I'll occasionally open a bottle, and immediately pour half of it into 2 187ml bottles as carefully as I can and then throw them in the fridge. I've had 2 or 3 of these taste a bit oxidized, but maybe 50-100 that were fine, some as long as a month or two later. Likewise commercial wine. I was doing several cheap/experimental kits, so I bought a box of franzia, used half of it for topping, and bottled the rest in beer bottles. Drank some like 3 or 4 months later and it didn't seem to be any worse for wear. If I'm concerned about oxidation and think I might not drink it inside a month, I might add just a tiny tiny pinch of kmeta, but usually I don't bother.
 

DizzyIzzy

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I have been thinking about this for a while, so i did a quick search on this forum and couldn't find the answer so I hope this thread is not a duplicate. During the time I lived alone I was a big fan of half bottle portions at my local wine store (375 ml). Remembering this got me interested in bottling some of my wine into small bottles (270-350 ml). The reason behind this is that I find myself in a few occasions where I am alone and would want to enjoy my wine, but then I wouldn't drink again for another few days or a week. So rather than storing the opened 750-900 ml bottles in the fridge I'd rather open a small one and then the next time I drink if I am not alone I'd open a regular format bottle. Having that option of a few small bottles in my collection would be very helpful.

Since I am a newbie I wanted to know if there are any pitfalls or things to look for when bottling smaller format bottles. I will mostly be reusing bottles and their original screw caps (obviously after cleaning it and sterilizing it) then placing a tape around the cap to reduce the amount of air leaking. I could also consider using a cork but I am worried that the neck of these bottles won't handle the cork.

Many thanks
Recently I purchased 375 ml bottles from Label Peelers, buy one case: get one case free. The downside to LP is the cost of shipping........................Dizzy
 
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ZAF

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Another interesting thought, how small is too small for bottling wine?
 

DizzyIzzy

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ZAF, I just ordered some of these.
View attachment 62979
Spoiled, you were lucky to get these. I went online to purchase some and they only had the clear bottles. I wanted the green and cobalt. Their message said they didn't know when or IF they would be available in the future...................Bummer!!.......................Dizzy
 

hounddawg

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I have been thinking about this for a while, so i did a quick search on this forum and couldn't find the answer so I hope this thread is not a duplicate. During the time I lived alone I was a big fan of half bottle portions at my local wine store (375 ml). Remembering this got me interested in bottling some of my wine into small bottles (270-350 ml). The reason behind this is that I find myself in a few occasions where I am alone and would want to enjoy my wine, but then I wouldn't drink again for another few days or a week. So rather than storing the opened 750-900 ml bottles in the fridge I'd rather open a small one and then the next time I drink if I am not alone I'd open a regular format bottle. Having that option of a few small bottles in my collection would be very helpful.

Since I am a newbie I wanted to know if there are any pitfalls or things to look for when bottling smaller format bottles. I will mostly be reusing bottles and their original screw caps (obviously after cleaning it and sterilizing it) then placing a tape around the cap to reduce the amount of air leaking. I could also consider using a cork but I am worried that the neck of these bottles won't handle the cork.

Many thanks
hum, never thought about that, i live alone therefore drink most times alone, but i recon i could bottle some in 1500 ml for when i have company, my wine glasses are 18 oz , so 2 about 3/4 glasses are 750 ml.
Dawg
 

DizzyIzzy

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I bottle part of each batch in beer bottles for exactly this reason. I'm fairly new to winemaking and the beer bottles tend to get drunk earlier, but I've had some 2 years old that were fine. For headspace, just top them up real close to the cap by pressing the filling wand against the side of the neck. I probably have 1/4 to 1/3 the headspace of a wine bottle this way.

On a related note, you can re-bottle aged commercial or home made wines into beer bottles or those little 187ml screw top champaign bottles. It's a little risky depending on sulfite levels, but I've had pretty decent success. I'll occasionally open a bottle, and immediately pour half of it into 2 187ml bottles as carefully as I can and then throw them in the fridge. I've had 2 or 3 of these taste a bit oxidized, but maybe 50-100 that were fine, some as long as a month or two later. Likewise commercial wine. I was doing several cheap/experimental kits, so I bought a box of franzia, used half of it for topping, and bottled the rest in beer bottles. Drank some like 3 or 4 months later and it didn't seem to be any worse for wear. If I'm concerned about oxidation and think I might not drink it inside a month, I might add just a tiny tiny pinch of kmeta, but usually I don't bother.
FYI............I have recently discovered a most wonderful Carlo Rossi Moscato Sangria which tastes wonderful and would also be excellent for topping off. It is a white Sangria, totally different in taste to red. Just a thought.................................................Dizzy
 
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