Substance on corks

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tradowsk

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I have some bottles of mead aging in my cellar since May, and yesterday I noticed a few bottles have an amber-colored sap-like substance on the exterior of the cork (see photo). The substance is highly viscous (like the sap of a pine tree) and lacks any distinguishable smell or taste. The corks are from my LHBS and are the agglomerated type.

Any ideas what this could be? I have a theory but I din't want to bias anyone yet.
 

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dralarms

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Looks like their seeping a bit.

Edit to add: no flavor? Maybe glue?
 

cmason1957

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Is it possible you soaked your corks, even just a little while, before insertion. I had the same thing happen, back when I soaked corks, particularly the agglomerated kind.
 

Rice_Guy

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If someone brought this to the lab my first test would be is it water soluble (likely plant/ bee origin) or is it solvent soluble (possibly a glue or resin).
 

tradowsk

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@cmason1957 I don't soak the corks, I just dip them in water right before corking to make it easier.

@Rice_Guy I'll check the solubility of the substance later today.

My theory was maybe the pressure didn't equalize after corking before I laid the bottles on their side. Thus, there would be positive pressure in the bottle forcing the mead out through the cork (and maybe taking some glue/resin along with it). I'm probably just going to recork these bottles to be safe, but am still interested in finding out what it is.
 

Kantuckid

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taste the stuff and report back...
I use agglomerated corks, and soak them a few hours in water before insertion, with some campden tabs- no juicy stuff seeping out of corks.
 

Rice_Guy

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My theory was maybe the pressure didn't equalize after corking . . . I'm probably just going to recork these bottles to be safe said:
I would not recork; theory, a cork is about 10 ml of volume, add 3/4 inch of ullage and you are up to 19 ml. To saturate 750 ml of water takes 4.5 to 5 ml of pure oxygen. Air is about 20% therefore you would almost saturate the wine with oxygen a second time.
What ever is in the cork has mixed with the wine/ come out of the wine , , what do you gain?
 
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