It’s tightly sealed when you buy a bottle of wine with a cork. In fact, you need a corkscrew to get it open. But sometimes, a bottle of wine can “pop” itself open. How is this possible? Read on to see why this happens and tips to prevent it.
Why does a wine bottle pop itself open?
Here are two reasons a wine bottle may push the cork out:
It was bottled too early
The wine that gets bottled too early doesn’t have the chance to finish fermenting outside the bottle. So when bottled, the sugar produces alcohol and C02. When the wine consumes all the C02, it can build pressure.
Pressure means that the cork will be pushed out because there’s no room for the gas to escape. To avoid this from happening, you’ll need to ensure that the wine has no chance of re-fermenting 30 days before bottling.
Extreme Temperature Changes
When wine is exposed to extreme temperatures, pressure can build up inside, especially in freezing temperatures. To avoid this happening, you don’t want to put a full bottle of wine in the freezer for too long. Otherwise, it can and will push the cork out.
How to prevent a wine bottle from popping itself open
Here are some useful tips to ensure that the wine bottle doesn’t open itself again:
Ensure fermentation is finished
You’ll want to be sure that the fermentation is finished. When racking the wine, you’ll see whether the yeast is still working. If there are air bubbles, then yes, the yeast is still working. Before bottling, you’ll want to make sure this process is done.
Keep Checking carboy pressure
Monitor the pressure because if the carboy goes negative (liquid inside the airlock being pushed toward the part of the airlock that’s connected to the bung), it will still be fermenting.
You’ll want positive pressure. You’ll need to check on this daily for at least two weeks. Keep in mind that weather can also affect pressure. You only know that fermentation is finished by taking a hydrometer reading.
You should check the gravity of the wine if the fermentation is done. If it’s not dry (1.000 or lower), you’ll need to ensure that fermentation is done. The wine won’t be ready to be bottled if it isn’t done.
If it is dry and ready, use one Campden tablet (crushed) for every gallon of wine. Make sure that it’s dissolved, and use ½ teaspoon of potassium sorbate for every gallon. You will need to stir it very well and put it in the carboy and rack the wine into it.
Reattach the airlock and wait at least two weeks minimum to a month before bottling.
Final Thoughts on Wine Bottle that Popped Itself Open
Corked wines are wines made with care. If a bottle pops itself open, it is most likely the fermentation process wasn’t done, or it was left in extreme temperatures. To avoid this, buy wine from winemakers that have an excellent reputation for producing quality wine.
Also, make sure you don’t leave it in extreme temperatures for too long. With that said, your bottle of wine will be safe and ready for you to enjoy when you’re ready.