Can I bottle my wine in beer bottles and use bottle caps or do I have to use cork bottle stoppers because it is wine? I have the stuff to bottle beer but I do not have wine making materials for bottling. If I have to buy corks for beer bottles what ones should i get?
I am planning to make mostly fruit wines. Right now I have a blackberry wine working that I made from frozen blackberries.
In theory, there is no reason why you can’t use beer bottles and bottle caps to bottle your wine. You would not have to buy corks. In fact, there are not really any actual cork stoppers that would work that well on beer bottles, so bottle caps would be preferred in this instance. It would be no different than using screw cap wine bottles to bottle wine–in theory…
In reality, bottling wine in beer bottles is a lot of extra work. Whether you bottle in a 12 ounce beer bottle or in a 25 ounce wine bottle, its still the same amount of work per bottle, so basically you’re doubling the amount of time and effort to bottle the wine. Trust me I’ve been there.
There’s also the issue of aging. The ability of the wine to improve with aging may be impaired by using beer bottles, not because of the bottle, but because of the bottle caps. Cork stoppers allow a wine bottle to breath slowly or exchange air over time. This is was causes aging to occur… a very slow infusion of air. Bottle caps do not allow for this exchange. Bottle caps don’t let any air through at all. This can limit how much the wine can age.
In the case of most fruit wines such as your blackberry, this is not so important, but in the case of heavier red grape wines, where successful aging is a must, this could very well be detrimental to the wine.
Happy Wine Making
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.