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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Belgian Corks and Corking
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:48 AM   #1
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Default Belgian Corks and Corking

I want to know what the best tool is to use when corking LOTS of bottles. What have you found to be the best for you and why?
How far do you drive it down into the bottle?
The corker I use ( a cheapo) buts a smushed piston mark at the top of the cork. How can I get a more professional looking job?
Plus where do you stop when filling? Is there a tool that does this better or more consistant?
THANKS!!!!!

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Doesn't blowing on it when its soft cause it to get hard? It's been a while, but I think that's how it used to work...


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Old 12-03-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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I was a part of a corking where we did a run around 400 corked bourbon barrel stouts. We used a nice floor corker and it worked great. You just don't push in the cork all the way and then crown it like a mushroom. It takes some practice. We used a beer gun (as we primed in a 3-4 bbl serving tank) and it just took some trial and error to get the right level and "professional" look. We then caged them by hand.

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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how did you crown it like a mushroom?Is that on the floor corker?

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Doesn't blowing on it when its soft cause it to get hard? It's been a while, but I think that's how it used to work...

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #4
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I suppose any corker could create a mushroom (at least the way we did it), but the better the corker the easier your time will be. If there is a more proper way to do it I don't know. Or maybe it just happens naturually if you get the right size cork.

The corker squeezes the cork before putting it in the bottle. You insert the cork in the bottle as normal. But instead of going all the way down with the cork, you stop. Release the cork. Then without squeezing the cork, you gently push it back down with the corker, you'll push the cork out in your mushroom.

That's the only part of the process I was a part of. I couldn't tell you any more than that because I just don't know...You'll also have to experiment. It took us 5 empty bottles as a test to get all of our settings right since it was all by hand.

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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That makes a lot of sense to test on empty bottles first. That way you can dial your process in perfectly. Good Points.

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Old 12-04-2009, 07:20 AM   #6
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I corked a barleywine a few months ago using a standard italian floor corker (not the champagne style). I forgot who I got the idea from (someone on HBT), but I used a drilled stopper as a guide as to how far to push down the cork. The only tricky part was getting the bottle off the corker without ripping the cork or letting it re-expand. The process I figured out:

-Put the stopper (it was a 5-1/2 I think) on the "pole" that drives the cork and adjust the nut to how deep you want to drive the cork
-Place filled bottle on bottle rest and smoothly pull lever until the stopper just touches the plexiglass guard over the brass parts that compress the cork
-While leaving the lever down, reach back to the metal bar on the corker that locks the bottle platform in place when you move the lever and move this piece back to the "neutral" position
-Gently pull down on the bottle and it should release, then you're free to move the lever back and repeat

I practiced on an empty bottle. After ripping a cork or two and a couple depth adjustments, I got it dialed in just right. Good luck!

EDIT: Just reread your post. I only bottled a couple dozen bottles. Depending on the numbers you're facing, this may or may not be efficient...

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