Bottling with screw caps

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Dec 4, 2006
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I've been collecting bottles with resealable screw caps. Are these good for wine bottling?
I presume you mean commercial wine bottles with Stelvin (or Auscap or ...) screw caps.

Good for wine bottling?? Well yes & no. Obviously many commercial wineries like them. There has been a lot of testing of these caps, and wineries have choices of the materials for the liner in the cap.

However, there has been NO TESTING of wine storage with a reused screw cap. New screw caps are not available for the home winemaker due to the machine required to apply them. Short term storage is probably OK.

There has also been NO TESTING of corks in these bottles. YES, you can cork them. Again short term storage is probably OK.

Should you use them? Your choice.

Do some people use them? YEP!!

Will I use them? NOPE!!!

I'm not planning on long term storage at this point so they may well suit my purpose. It would be very convenient to have a reliable screw-cap wouldn't it?
I'm not planning on long term storage at this point so they may well suit my purpose. It would be very convenient to have a reliable screw-cap wouldn't it?

I'm gonna answer this with MAYBE.

At the moment, an expensive machine is required to apply a Stelvin-style cap. Will somebody develop an 'at-home' version? MAYBE.

The commercial cap has a 'tamper-proof' skirt. Would home users want this? Is it part of the seal?

Colour choice. If you have the caps from these commercial many colours, logos, styles? Would be like the current shrink caps, trying to match labels, etc. My store has about 20 colours/designs of shrink caps, and there's many more that I don't carry.

Conversion. Sounds like you don't have any cork-finish bottles. The rest of us winemakers have oodles of 'em. Mostly, we recycle/return/... the screw cap bottles. In this environment will stores move into the equipment & supplies? Maybe large stores or in large cities.

Finally, do all screw caps bottles have the same size mouth, etc? NO!!!! I have about a dozen screw top bottles at the moment. One is non-standard, at least compared to the remainder. Arbor Mist screw tops are different again. Haven't checked Wild Vines bottles yet.

On the other hand, unless it's a Mateus bottle, a bottle designed for a cork will take a standard cork.

You can buy screw caps for 750 ml bottles but they are not the safety seal caps like CPFAN refers to. You can get some HERE.

I know quite a few who use these type bottles for short term wines like White Zin, Mist kits, etc. I wouldn't use it for Big kits like a Cabernet Sauvignon or the such though but in theory you could.

Smurfe :eek:
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Polyseal caps DONOT Fit commercial screw top bottles designed for Stelvin sytle closures. They do fit Arbor Mist bottles and maybe some others.

Some retailers carry bottles that take these caps, but it is difficult to 'collect' wine bottles that accept these caps.

I've been collecting bottles with resealable screw caps. Are these good for wine bottling?

I just made a batch of 80 bottles of plum wine with resealable screw caps which I collected at a festival during this summer. Well frankly, the bar volunteers collected them for me, all I had to do was clean them.
But this wine is a blush wine and made for short term storage and drinking this upcoming summer (if it is not drunk before that time because it is really good).

I did however bottle 30 bottles of this plum wine in normal bottles with a cork for long time storage in my basement.

What I would like to suggest is that each of us bottles a few of his wines with screw caps and stores them in their wine cellar and we will all meet again here in 2 years time to test the wines and exchange experiences.
Now that would be a great research project for this forum. :D

I've been collecting bottles with resealable screw caps. Are these good for wine bottling?
I'm with cpfan on the issue of long term storage. Commercial wines with screw tops are both sealed by the correct machinery and also designed to be drunk within a year or so of purchase.

If you re-use them you'll be better to store a wine that can be drunk younger as Luc suggests.
I'd use them with caution and start collecting standard 'corkable' bottles for future batches.
Bottling with Screw Caps?

I haven't seen a discussion of this since 2006. Anyone tried it since? I have 20 gallons to bottle and am considering reusing screw caps/bottles. Any thumbs up or warnings out there?

I've been making wine for 20 years and natural corks are getting spendy for my current budget and I'm not strong enough to hand-compress conglomerate corks. It'd be cool to reuse the caps from that excellent Australian Shiraz we've been drinking this past year!

As far as I'm concerned there has been no change in status. I did see something on another forum, but there was little (if any) hard info available.

Bottle a few in screw caps for early drinking maybe.

At the time I suggested putting some bottles away to see what would happen.

I have started doing that since last year.
From some batches I make, I take 1 or 2 with a screw cap and
the same amount with a cork and put them aside.
The oldest ones are now about a year.
I plan to take tasting notes when they are 2 to 3 years old.

However I did make a beet wine 2 years ago which HAS to age at least a few years for the earthy tones to mellow out.
I am planning to test a bottle of this shortly. Specially for the testing/tasting I bottled a dozen mini-bottles of this wine with screw-caps. So that should be a good test.

All the screw caps I use are 'recycled'.
I get loads of empty screw-cap bootles at festivals and dance-happenings and I get them complete with the screw-caps. I re-use them only once.

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New caps?

Up until this point, everyone says they have re-used screw caps. What about new caps? I'm getting ready to bottle a batch using screw caps. This is the first time I have ordered new bottles and the recommended caps from my supplier. The caps they suggested are "SARANEX LINED". I don't know what that is, but at $0.49 a piece, they had better work!
Is it just tradition (and perhaps a bit of snobbery) that makes people think corks are better?? I know screw caps or synonymous with "cheap" wine, but I have to wonder. Maybe it's the cork manufacturer's lobby that makes us think this...
I just like the corks better myself as tradition, nothing eelse against caps.
Saranex appears to be a "barrier film" from Dow. Saran-ex? So that would be the lining inside the cap. Duh!! "SARANEX LINED".

Did you ask your unnamed supplier how to apply these caps?

Yes, I was aware that Saranex was the lining. However, they were vague in the description and did not list what the advantage of using that material was. I can only assume it's for a better seal. As to how to apply them; my vote would be for screwing them on tight.
I forgot to mention that my "supplier" is on-line and their web site isn't the best in the world. However, the prices are good and they are a local shop. I would rather ship than trek 2 hours one way. We do have a loacal winery that sells some supplies, but thier store hours are limited during the winter.,11635.html
Good, the picture shows pre-threaded caps. Stelvin and Auscap sleeves come un-threaded. Note that these fit bottles bought at the LHBS not most of the bottles from a commercial winery.

A lot of folks use polyseal caps (quite common in Canadian LHBSes). Same bottle rules as above.,7935.html

I would have not guessed that caps came unthreaded. Anyway, since I am only going to bottle 1 gallon, I bought 12 bottles and those caps. If they don't seal well enough for wine, I make homemade Kahlua that I can use them for.

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