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Old 08-31-2012, 05:38 PM   #1
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Default Carbonating with a #8 cork

I know you are supposed to use a bench corker and champagne corks for carbonating, but I recently came into some champagne bottles for free and thought I'd experiment in the name of science. So I dropped two carb tabs and a few drops of slurry in a bottle, filled it with water, stuck the bottling wand in for proper head space, and used a rubber mallet and my $5 corker to get a #8 cork most of the way in. I then fashioned a hood from some scrap wire and let it sit for a week or so. I just popped it and it was at least as carbonated as I would expect a beer to be, the mouthfeel was nice and tingly, though it smelled foul and had poor head retention. Maybe Revvy's 3 weeks in a bottle would have conditioned the smell away, but I called it a success.

I went ahead and bought some 29mm caps and bell to use, but in a pinch this will probably work for beer levels of carb, though I'm not sure it would completely hold 8-9 volumes like champagne (maybe that'll be my next experiment!).





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Old 09-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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I decided to bottle one each of my recent India Brown and Saison in Belgian 750ml bottles with #8 corks. We'll see how they are carbed in a few weeks. I also made the hoods myself; I love DIY and am a huge cheapskate.





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Old 11-21-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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Here is the popping of the Saison. It seemed perhaps a bit undercarbed, but not bad. I definitely wouldn't try going really high with this, but I'm tempted to try some #9 corks.

http://youtu.be/sQ95hkGkjBM
I'll be popping the Brown tomorrow, so we'll see how it's carb is.

Edit (Brown Video)


This is not undercarbed at all! Listen to that pop!
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Last edited by tennesseean_87; 11-23-2012 at 02:03 AM. Reason: new video
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
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Just watched this thread. They really don't look like Champagne bottles, more like regular Bordeaux bottles, but if you say so.

But it looks really interesting! Belgian beer corks are much more expensive then regular wine corks for some reason... I couldn't see myself DIYing the hoods, I'll leave that to you haha, but the cork idea is cool. Once I get a sour ale and a Tripel through the pipeline, I might try this.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:36 AM   #5
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The bottles pictured and video-recorded are Belgian beer bottles. The un-documented first test was a sparkling wine bottle, which also worked.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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Interesting. As I am playing around with lambics now, I'd like to get a plan for how I might bottle some in 2014. I also have 5-10 of the Belgian 750's (or whatever they are).

I was going to use plastic corks and a hood (cheap, easy, and reuseable), but the fit is a little loose. I might try something around the plastic cork to make it a hare larger. The pressure will eventually force it against the neck ID, so this might work. But your idea looks to be a solid back up plan.

The plastic corks work well with recylced champagne bottles. I try to bottle a few higher gravity Belgian's this way to age for 3-4 years. BTW, I have that same crappy $5 wine corker and a rubber mallet

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'm really surprised it works, since it isn't really supposed to, so that's why I wanted to get the word out a bit. I had some extra corks because I'd been bottling apfelwein still, but decided it is much better carbed, so I started picking up champagne bottles (which I can cap), but I also have a few Belgian bottles.

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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Without hoods, #8 corks will hit the ceiling in the middle of the night...Lesson learned.

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:47 AM   #9
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My hoods didn't seem stretched, but maybe that's a temp thing. I did have some wine this springthat wasn't de-gassed properly that blew out a #8 cork once the temp got up. I'll keep using them (hoods).

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Last edited by tennesseean_87; 01-14-2013 at 12:31 PM. Reason: typos and ambiguity
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:24 AM   #10
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It could be a temp thing. I had my bottles right around 80 to help get them to carb.



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