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Jul 10, 2012 09:22 AM

Sealing home made cordials safely

I've just made a batch of elderflower cordial to sell at a market, and was using the reycled small wine bottles free from the local pub. To my horror I've just read somewhere not to use recycled lids if its to be stored in a cupboard for some time. Arrgghhhh.

In the past I've always reused jam jar lids if they were metal, clean and had the seal rpund the edge in good order; sterilise jars and lids in the oven for 30 mins, bottle whilst contents and jars are still hot, and screww them up very tight so they are sealed, in as much as the contents have usually kept long enough (say 6-9 months) and they 'pfft' when you open them.

Now these reused wine bottles with metal screw-on lids don't seem to be any different but the lids were once the 'tamper-proof' sort, you had to break the seal to open them etc etc. I can't find anyone who sells these lids but I can find plastic equivalents - of course the plastic ones don't come with any instructions... sorry to go on a bit here...

SO, does anyone have any experience or advice on either carrying on with the reused metal tops, or with using plastic ones, which i cans ee will be easy to use but how do I sterilize them?

If it helps, I have used citric acid to help with preserving the contents.

Help, I have a gallon of the stuff just a few days old, so it's not too late (yet). Thanks.

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  1. I would find a winemaking supply house pronto - and seek their permission.

    I use new corks and new plastic heat-shrink capsules -- but I make only small batches for ourselves and friends.

    I'm certain that since you're selling it, the health laws of local area (town, county, state, federal) will have something to say about the matter, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842


      Any reputable winemaking supply place will be able to point you in the right direction.

      1. re: LauraGrace

        heh -- you should see their **advice**...not their permission.

    2. Yes, thanks for these replies. Using wine bottles isn't what I had in mind because they're so big; I have found suppliers of smaller bottles but its a 5-day delivery deal for any size (or a 400 mile round trip), and the costs including delivery make it silly money if I'm hoping to make any profits. Phooey, I guess the lot will have to go in the bin. *sob*. Thanks very much for your comments tho.

      3 Replies
      1. re: WelshPam

        bottle it and drink it yourself. Give it to friends and family as gifts.

        And just because it's a *wine* making supply house doesn't at all mean that they won't have 37,5 ml "splits" or 50ml liqueur bottles.

        If you were to give some sort of a hint as to where you are located, it might also be easier to help you find a source. (calling yourself "Welsh" doesn't necessarily mean you're in Wales....)

        1. re: sunshine842

          I am in Wales but can't find anywhere close by, hence the postage costs for bottles (but, as it happens, I'm not Welsh originally, Australian native I am :)

          It's not fair really; the prices for jars and bottles in the US are so much better value than in the UK, but I have no idea why.

          1. re: WelshPam

            try a beermaking supply house...(or talk to the folks at Brains...they might be able to offer help or at least advice)

            But it would likely be best to talk to your local authorities first...better to find out what type of closures are required before you buy something that doesn't meet the requirements.