Maybe you sold your house, maybe you decided to rent a different apartment, but for whatever reason you’re moving. How do you transport your carboys and jugs without breaking them or spilling anything? I was in exactly that situation and I managed to get my fermenting and aging wine from the old house to the new house without incident. Here’s how I did it:
By far the best way is to bottle your wine or mead, pack it well, and ship it. I was able to bottle some of my wine by moving day and I just turned that over to the movers. Most of it was in commercial wine boxes with cardboard dividers, but some of it was in ordinary moving boxes with each bottle wrapped in newspaper. However you do it, make sure the bottles are packed to they don’t move and that glass doesn’t touch glass.
Move the jugs in a cooler
I had quite a bit of aging/fermenting wine, and not a lot of free time. So by moving day I had a lot of 1-gallon jugs with airlocks that I needed to move. As with the bottles, packing the jugs so that glass does not touch glass and they don’t move will prevent breakage. But there will be bumps and there will be sloshing. That could lead to spilling and popped airlocks. One way to handle this would be to replace the airlocks with solid bungs and tape them into place, but even if you do this (I didn’t) you should still plan for spills.
I did this by packing the 1-gallon jugs into a large (37.5 gallon – 142 liter) cooler. It held all of my jugs, with airlocks, and I was still able to close the lid. Now the jugs were prevented from moving, protected from impact, and enclosed in a watertight cooler. The cooler went in the back of my SUV, and the jugs made the trip without breaks or leaks.
Use nested garbage bags to contain spills from a carboy
I had one carboy to move and no waterproof container to put it in, so I turned to large plastic garbage bags. I place the carboy into one bag, let’s call it the “bottom bag.” The other bag, cleverly named “top bag,” draped over the carboy. I tucked the top bag inside the bottom bag, then pulled the bottom bag up to enclose the carboy. Once I fastened the bottom bag in place with tape, even a violent spill would be contained.
The waterproofed carboy joined the large cooler in the back of my SUV, where I nestled it between boxes, towels, old clothes and whatever else was handy. After I was satisfied that it was well padded and immobile, I headed for my new home. Like the 1-gallon jugs, the carboy, and – more importantly – the blueberry mead inside it, arrived in fine shape.
There might be better ways of doing it, and I’d love to hear about them, but this is how I did it and it worked. Remember: immobilize, protect, and waterproof. It’s worth the effort so you can – and you really should – pop open some home made wine when you get to your new place!