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Old 11-04-2007, 09:48 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Posts: 435

I've done a little research, and there are plusses and minuses to both - with apparently more minuses on the vacuum side.

The inert gas approach - Winelife or Private Preserve and the like - stability is important. If you keep the bottles upright and still, then the inert gasses will settle at the bottom of the airspace, blocking the oxygen from reaching the surface of the rum, thus eliminating/reducing oxidation. But constant movement can disrupt this.

The vacuum approach is very dependent on the seal. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if the seal isn't *perfect* then the vacuum will suck air back in over time. Sometimes not very long at all. Also, the vacuuming process may also be vacuuming out the aromas...

In both cases, the fullness of the bottle is very important. In one test a bottle of wine that was 3/4 full kept for 10 days, while the same brand that was 1/3 full kept for only 3. Transferring to smaller bottles makes a lot of sense. Wine and brewing stores stock many different sized bottles.

I purchased some bottles and corks for homemade ingredients and I have to say that the synthetic corks sold fit *very* tightly. So I would recommend buying some of these corks and bottles of various sizes, and testing the corks to choose bottles that seal tightly. But not too tightly, since the bottle neck could crack.

A seemingly perfect system in the very expensive Winekeeper, which uses a special bottle top to keep the wine/spirit under constant pressure from a nitrogen container. The pressure seems to pour it for you, so once opened the liquid never contacts air again. The cost makes this prohibitive for those of us with many bottles of rum, but might be an idea for those very expensive bottles of rum.

Myself, I'm going for the inert gas approach. 2 cans are supposed to do up to 240 bottles at a cost of about $20. Over time I will buy bottles and corks and transfer. Buying 100 bottles of various sizes would be fairly expensive, but transferring a dozen expensive rums makes sense, or choosing ones that get consumed slowly.
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