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Old 06-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
nediver
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Default Belgian Corking by Hand...no corker

I have some Belgian Corks, cages, and bottles. I do not have a floor corker. I just made a saison and I kegged it because I am lazy and had no time to cork. I also don't have the funds at the moment to invest in the corker.

Can I push a few in by hand just to see what difference i get from bottle or keg?

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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Can you rent one? From what I've read, the primary purpose of the corker is that it can compress the cork to get it into the bottle, it may be possible to do a couple by hand but I would imagine it's not an easy task.

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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I'm assuming you are wanting to bottle in Belgian bottles (750 ml with the fat, roundish lip on top). It is not possible to "cork by hand" using standard belgian corks. some people report success using plastic champagne corks (using a rubber mallet and gently tapping them in). to do real corks, you really need a corker to compress the corks evenly and push them partially into the bottles. There are a few threads on corking Belgian bottles...use the search function on this forum to find them.

Lots of Homebrew stores will rent corkers for something like $10/day...these are usually wine corkers, but will work for Belgian bottles...the trick is to only push the cork part-way into the bottles (leaving enough to afix the cages). I've heard people having success putting a stopper over the plunger (I don't recall which #) preventing you from pushing the corks too far in.

Personally, I just invested in a Colonna capper/corker (~$65 as opposed to $150 for an actual champagne corker)...works great for capping standard 12 oz bottles and 750 ml bottles (with the larger caps) as well as corking...it is not really made to do Belgian bottles, but it works (again, use the search function to find exact instructions)

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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Check out the link in my sig for a pictorial of corking Belgian bottles.

I don't see how you can successfully do that without the corker. Mermaid's right, it compresses the cork so it fits into the bottle. The Colonna is what I used. Borrowed from a friend, but am planning on getting my own before I do another Belgian.

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