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Old 04-12-2012, 01:59 AM   #1
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Default champagne corker

Hello,
I'm looking for a champagne corker for a home-small scale commercial scale cider/mead maker. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on what type of champagne corker I should purchase. I would love to be it used. .. Any ideas of used champagne corkers?

cheers,

jon

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Old 04-13-2012, 04:49 AM   #2
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Unless you want an automated corker that will run $3K or more, the Ferrari champagne corker may be your only option. It runs about $150 online or from most home brew stores. It's the same as the Ferrari floor corker but has a larger hole below the jaws to accommodate champagne corks in addition to wine corks. They rarely come up used on Craigslist. One I lucked into was like new, I paid $85 for it and it came with $350 worth of extra winemaking equipment thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Here's my blue Ferrari champagne corker shown next to a Portuguese floor corker. The Ferrari also comes with a capper attachment for capping beer and champagne bottles.




Fwiw, there is a Ferrari corker on the Boulder, CO Craigslist now. It doesn't specifically mention it's a champagne corker and it's awfully close to the retail price, but there you go: Ferrari corker



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Old 04-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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ive read you can use the belgian corks in the regular ferrari wine corker.....do you know if this is true? or if you need the champagne corker to do the belgian beer bottles.

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Old 04-13-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpweeks View Post
ive read you can use the belgian corks in the regular ferrari wine corker.....do you know if this is true? or if you need the champagne corker to do the belgian beer bottles.
I'd like to know this as well. I plan on trying this once I get some Belgian corks. I currently just have the poly-corks and wire stays, but real corks would be so much cooler.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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I haven't used Belgian corks but they are only a little larger (25.5 x 44mm) than standard #9 wine corks (23.5 x 44mm). Champagne corks are 28.5 x 47mm. It's a pretty safe bet that they will work in the regular Ferrari floor corker.

See this description about Belgian corks on the Midwest site which confirms, "An Italian floor corker is required to insert the corks into the bottle."

I don't know whether Belgian corks will work in the Portuguese floor corker. The discharge hole is ~20.6mm, but the cork is compressed as it is pushed through so it might work.

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Old 04-15-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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There is a short but useful article in the spring 2012 Northern Brewer catalog that describes corking Belgian style bottles. The author, Karl Engebretson, set the "portuguese floor corker to its shortest setting. That way the corker would only push the cork partially into the bottle. Once corked, the bottle was lightly stuck in the corker so I gently rotated and pulled the bottle down out of the corker. A champagne corker would aid the process of leaving the cork partially in the neck of the bottle and removing it smoothly, because that is what it is designed to do."

"After corking, I placed a wire and hood over each cork and tightened the wire with a carabiner...."

So, it is possible to use either the standard Italian or Portuguese floor corkers for Belgian corks.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:49 AM   #7
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If you don't feel like forking over between $130 to $150 for the Ferrari corker, perhaps see if any of your local winemaker / home brew stores have them for rent. I'm renting one for the weekend, and SWMBO will be happy because after this weekend it no longer will take up room in the garage!

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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Colonna bottle capper will do corks also. I really like mine.

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Old 05-05-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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I as well have had problems with corkers, and there are a few things to keep in mind.

The corker you will choose depends on how many bottles you plan on corking and the types of corks you plan on using. If I had to pick one I would simply suggest buying the Portuguese floor corker.

It's not too difficult to find one for $50-$70 and it's absolutely amazing. It doesn't even matter how strong you are or your workload, this is pretty much the best value for those just getting into the hobby or those looking to increase their workload.

There might be a better one out there, but for my money, I can't fathom any product being better.

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Old 05-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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The only problem with the Portuguese floor corker is that you're going to be corking bottles so quickly that you're more likely to get a repetitive stress injury.

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