Cap or Cork?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by wrongway, Mar 28, 2018.

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  1. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am getting ready to make my first batch of wine. I see alot about corking wine bottles but see very little about using wine bottles with a screw on cap. I have quit a few Arbor Mist bottles with plastic screw on caps that I would like to use to bottle my apple wine. Would this be a mistake?
    Thank You!!
     
  2. DoctorCAD

    DoctorCAD Senior Member

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    Yes, it would most likely be a mistake. The screw on bottles arent "screwed on" they are pressed on to create the seal. Once you opened the bottle, you broke that seal.

    You can buy bottles and caps that do seal, but they are more expensive than corks and free used bottles.
     
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  3. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi DoctorCAD

    That makes perfect sense!!. The bottles were intended for one use! Thanks!
     
  4. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    1st batch of wine!. —— first off, that’s awesome. And Good luck with it. Reaching out here before you even start is a good move.
    I don’t much about apple wine, but I will assume you do not plan to age this wine 2,3,4+ yrs. if aging, no doubt, cork it up. But if not then they can be used.
    My family would have cases of empty screw cap Alter wine bottles donated to us. We’d bottle our red wine after about 9 months aging and screw on the cap. Would drink it all by the time it was 1.5 yrs old. Never went bad. And they wouldn’t add sulphites to the wine ....at all!
    Not saying it’s recommended, but it won’t ruin your wine any time soon either.
     
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  5. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi Ajmassa5983,

    Thanks for the response. I was planning to make 5 Gallons and age some 2 years and some 1 year and suck on a little along the way! I thought maybe I could save a few dollars starting out using bottles that i have, but maybe I should go ahead and order a dozen anyway.
    Thanks
     
  6. meadmaker1

    meadmaker1 Member

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    Good luck getting apple to last two years.
    I've had some blends last that long but my straight apple disappears way to fast.
    Takes six months to clear and is pretty drinkable at that time.
     
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  7. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    Screw top bottles have a thinner glass than the cork top bottles, so you have an increased chance of breakage when corking screw top bottles. That said - I have never broken a screw top bottle when corking. If you use #8 corks (instead of #9) - you can "put a cork" in a screw top bottle just fine. Others will disagree, and using bottles designed for corks is no doubt preferred, but with reasonable care - you CAN cork screw tops. I recommend using a "wing" style cork remover for these bottles when it's time to imbibe.
     
  8. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    It isn't the corking that is the issue with screw top bottles, it is the removal of the cork. Yes, they can and do break, I speak from experience.
     
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  9. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Meadmaker1 Yes I doubt any will last 2 years, but I would like to experment to see what would taste best, 1 year or 2 year aged apple wine. Also am curious about sugar vs honey. Thanks
     
  10. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Wildhair, Cmason1957

    Thanks for the input. I just have collected quit a few of the frosted Arbor Mist bottles and thought they were nice looking. Maybe I should just buy Champain bottles then all corners are covered. Thanks
     
  11. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    Yep, I've heard. The #8 corks also remove easier - I've never had an issue using a wing style corkscrew. They slide right out. Still - I only use the screw tops for my own personal consumption bottles.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi Wildhair,
    Thanks so much for the picture and info. I will order some #8 corks and give it a try! Think i will go ahead and get a dozen champain bottles too! Thanks
     
  13. meadmaker1

    meadmaker1 Member

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    There are plenty of cork bottles available
    Age in bulk and screw tops will work for what you plan to drink soon.
    Cork the rest
    If you have arbor mist bottles, you will appreciate adding apple juice concentrate at the end to back sweeten.
    Apple is a good practice wine, concentrate will work, bottled is better., both are available all year and it will acept various flavors added to finish.
    I like to use several 375m bottles, this lets me check progress while drinking my way through it half as fast. Handy for tasting parties too. ! Only open full bottles of what folks like best.
     
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  14. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hi Meadmaker!

    Yes I bought a book that has a recipe using frozen concentrates.
    Thought I would start there and work my way up. I am a bit curious about sugar vs honey and other added flavors like a pinch of cinnamon ect. ect. Yes I was thinking to, to use several bottles so one would have some to drink soon and some later! There is a farm here that grows several kinds of grapes, strawberries, apples and peaches. They also will juice them and sell the juice so I am excited for the season to get started. Thanks
     
  15. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    Cork bottles are my first choice. Corking the screw tops is my back-up plan.
    The 375 ml bottles are good for gifts, too - let's people sample a couple different wines and tell you what they like.
     
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  16. Donatelo

    Donatelo Senior Member

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    Remember, they call them fifths. That is five bottles to the gallon. Five gallons makes twenty-five bottles. You can use your capped bottles for the young wine drinking and corks for those you wish to age longer. For corking you will need a tool to cork the bottles. I find that the double lever style of corker is adequate for me. #8 corks for those champagne bottles is a must due to the reverse taper in the neck, which makes champagne harder to push the corks out, but it also makes it harder to pull the corks.
     
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  17. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    For safety reasons I would never even try to cork a screw top bottle. If the glass chips you could end up with fragments in the wine or just a broken top, or, if are using a hand corker the possibility of ramming broken glass into your hand.

    Personally I stick with corked bottles from the recycling center.

    BUT you can buy new zorks or screw caps for those screw top bottles - IF you can be certain that the threading is the same. That is the issue that would concern me. Not sure that there is a true standard thread used for ALL screw top bottles.
     
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  18. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    I have the double lever corker as well, works good. I made a simple stand that holds the bottle in place so it doesn't slip or shift while you cork. Here's a bottling chart I put together for reference - you might find it helpful.
     

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  19. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Thank You Everyone for your input.
    Wildhair -Thanks for the chart! I ordered one of those corkers and #8 corks. Scooter68 Thanks for the great idea, Never would have thought of the recycle center! I think I better just get me a bunch of cork bottles! I can see myself filling a room with bottles with as many kinds of wine as I would like to make! May I ask you ladies or gentlemen what your favorite recipes are? Thank You
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  20. meadmaker1

    meadmaker1 Member

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    I suppose I should do a run with sugar
    I have bees and am not buying honey, so the added cost hasnt been an issue.
    I dont follow recipes, use them as guideline and always compair several
    I would shoot for an sg just below yeast threshold. For apple I will stabilize and back sweeten with concentrate.
    I like 71b 1122 for fruit wine yeast
    End up with about 10% alc

    Take sg regaurdless of recipe instructions , when you are done your notes should be a recipe. Your recipe
     
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