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Old 01-19-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
McKinley
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Default Belgian cork into champagne bottle

Has anyone used a belgian (~25 mm) cork in a 750 mL/29 mm cap size champagne bottle?

Using the ferrari corker and a lot of F-words I've bottle champagne bottles w/ champagne corks just fine. The problem is that the champagne corks are hard to come by, and cost about $ 0.45/cork, which adds up. I have a source for belgian corks that's much cheaper @ around $ 0.16/cork, but my LHBS doesn't carry belgian bottles, at its expensive to ship glass.

So the cheapest thing would be to use belgian corks with champagne bottles, but I'm worried the smaller cork size will leave me with a bunch of flat ciders and belgian beers.

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-20-2011, 07:05 AM   #2
StMarcos
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You can use the belgian corks in standard 22oz bombers. They don't explode at 3 volumes at room temperature in my experience. Or... start drinking belgians and save the bottles. When I gift 'em, I usually ask for the bottles back. Find a bar that sells bottled belgians. Go in on a Saturday and ask to scavenge the recycling. It's nice to not have the chimays with the paint though. A sharpie works great for twisting the hoods. Scrunch the 4 vertical wires into rough position before twisting. I've never had a cork fly out of a beer after removing the hood, but it did happen with a champagne once.

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StMarcos View Post
Find a bar that sells bottled belgians. Go in on a Saturday and ask to scavenge the recycling.
That's a good idea, thanks!
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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So I figured out the answer is that yes, belgian corks will hold pressure in a standard champagne bottle. I've got two points of evidence to support this:

I purchased a bottle of Westmalle in a 750 mL champagne style bottle with a belgian cork. I measured the opening with calipers and found it was the same diameter as several different kinds of commercial champagne bottles I've saved from New Years. Since the beer was obviously carbonated using a belgian cork, I could have stopped right there. But since I've got too much time on my hands right now, I took 1 L of water and rehydrated a pack of pasteur champagne. I then added enough sugar to prime the liter for 6.2 volumes. 750 mL of this "delicious brew" went into a champagne bottle from Mumm with a 25 mm belgian cork and wire cage. I let this ferment out over about a week, then opened it, foolishly, at room temp. This resulted in a nice yeast-water gyser in my kitchen. The water was appropriately spritzy, and tasted exactly like you can imagine a warm slurry of yeast and water would taste like.

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