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With my budget being somewhat limited I can only really afford to put my wine into sanitised used bottles from store bought wine, rather than proper bottles with corks. My main concern is oxidation and I'm wondering if I'm better off keeping the bulk of my wine in the fermenter (all cleared and syphoned - ready to drink) until I come to drink it?

As my wine is still fairly carbonated is there a way to ensure the head-space of the bottle would be purged of oxygen? or will it always be a matter of time before it goes sour?

Thanks

  • Oxidation won't manifest as "sour". The common description of oxidation is "wet cardboard" or "sherry"-like character. Sourness is going to be related to some sort of infection or contamination. – jsled Nov 13 '15 at 22:00
  • Oxidation can often be described as candy like. Like jolly ranchers – Escoce Nov 14 '15 at 3:17
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If you have a corker, you can use a cork on wine screw-top bottles. Even if the opening is sometimes lightly smaller, the cork will go in. I tried it many times with success, I also used corks with Scotch bottles with success.

Keeping wine in a plastic primary fermenter for a long time is not a good idea after the fermentation is done, they are not 100% air tight.

A glass carboy, with a proper bung is a better option as long as your carboy is filled close to the top and the temperature is not too hot. But then, when you will want to drink it, you will have to bottle it since you cannot leave your carboy half full...

So in the end, if you bottle using the screw-tops, your wine will be fine in the short term (weeks and maybe months) if well screwed. I am not certain how long it will take before the wine spoils, it may depend on many factors like how much gas there is still inside, how much acidity and tannins, sulfites, etc.

Adding sulfites will protect your wine against oxidation. You may look into adding a few campden tablets, it will buy you some time.

  • I might add that a good quality screw cap, can be just as good as a cork. – Philippe Nov 14 '15 at 22:25

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