Do I need to pull corks?

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Huba Huba

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I recently bottled a strawberry/banana mead. I put the last bit into a plastic soda bottle and now can tell there is increased pressure in that bottle. If I pull the corks, what do I do afterwards? Add sorbate and wait? Just mix a 3 gallon dose of sorbate into 15 ml water and add 1 ml to each bottle? Just watch and see what happens?
3 gallon batch
started 6/14
6/24 racked to secondary
7/25 rack degas K Meta
9/28 rack, crystal clear no signs of fermentation. 0.83 gm K Meta and 1.8 gm K Sorbate. Sweeten to 1.020
10/5 rack to bottling bucket, added 2.5 oz glycerin and a little more sugar. When I racked I noticed a small amount of carbonation and should have taken note, but thought I had not degassed it well enough. There had been no airlock activity noticed since well before adding sorbate. I also did not take sg reading at bottling, mistake!
 

Ohio Bob

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Does your plastic bottle seemed pressurized? Does it taste fizzy? If so perhaps the wine contains CO2. If not it could be just the SO2 pressure. If the latter I would open one in a few weeks and reevaluate. That also depends on the storage temperature.

And by all means if you start pushing corks out or break bottles, immediately uncork everything and put back into a carboy.
 

vinny

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Now, I'm just a guy on the couch sipping a vodka.... but if it was me, I would sacrifice a bottle (maybe the plastic one to start) and open it outside. I've opened a pressurized wine vessel and I even had the foresight to put my hand over it to ensure it sprayed everywhere.

It's had a week, so you should have tell tale signs by now. A little more time might not be too risky, but I'd rather have peace of mind than clean up a mess.

The answer for me would be either pull all, or reevaluate later if there is little or no carbonation. That's about as far as I can stretch my 2 cents.
 

Huba Huba

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There is increased pressure in the plastic bottle, but it’s only firm and not rock hard. Out of town for a couple of days, when I get back I’ll check it, and pull a cork From a bottle. If it is carbonation what’s the procedure? Pour into carboy, add sorbate and rebottle in a couple of weeks? Add sorbate to each bottle then re-cork? How much sorbate? Full dose again? Re-dose K Meta?
 

vinny

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There is increased pressure in the plastic bottle, but it’s only firm and not rock hard. Out of town for a couple of days, when I get back I’ll check it, and pull a cork From a bottle. If it is carbonation what’s the procedure? Pour into carboy, add sorbate and rebottle in a couple of weeks? Add sorbate to each bottle then re-cork? How much sorbate? Full dose again? Re-dose K Meta?
I think this is one of the major self control issues we face as winemakers, 'I'm worried it's messed up, how do I fix it?". I think you have made the right decision to check yourself. See what happens when you crack the plastic bottle. It may not concern you enough to open a corked bottle. If it does, report back and you can get a way more up to date response than what would I do... IF?

I don't have experience with reactivation after bottling, but I've had many 'what am I going to do?' moments. Don't get me wrong, I get it, just don't get too far ahead of yourself.

It's wine... Its gonna be fine. 😉
 

Rice_Guy

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I put the last bit into a plastic soda bottle and now can tell there is increased pressure in that bottle. If I pull the corks, what do I do afterwards? Add sorbate and wait? Just mix a 3 gallon dose of sorbate into 15 ml water and add 1 ml to each bottle? Just watch and see what happens? , , started 6/14
The answer for my “problem” was to pull corks and pasteurize like hard cider people do 140F for 45 minutes in a water bath/ the goal is have the wine get to 140F so water up to the liquid level.
My current standard procedure is to age all wine nine months before bottling or else to add sorbate. I try to avoid K sorbate since it is reactive and oner time will form ethyl sorbate (bubble gum flavor) which masks fruit/ is detectable at 20ppm. On a four month wine I would expect some dead yeast in the bottom of the bottle by a year, ,,, yeast starve and then clump together.
Practically speaking putting a carboy in a hot box/ closet/ attic at 115F for a week should also pasteurize the wine, ,,, but may damage fruity flavors.
 

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