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Old 05-09-2013, 08:42 AM   #21
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I know its the cool factor of corks, or even thrift because you have them left over from something else, but why skimp? You spend all the time and some money to make the beer, then risk having a product turn out not as intended to save a couple bucks. If you want corks in champagne, seat them all the way, and finish with a crown. I do that on long term beers like my lambics and other long term brews. Otherwise I use proper Belgian beer or champagne corks (only in my 3L and larger bottles) and a wire hood. The big bottles get custom made cork retainers though due to their size not accepting a standard cage. If its worth doing halfway why not do it all the way? Its not like you are corking 4-5 cases at a time so the financial outlay is not that much. I do a lot of corked beer and lucked into 1000 Belgian corks for $120. If not for that I would only do a case or less per batch because the homebrew shops really put a markup on corks compared to what I paid.

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #22
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All valid points - don't get me wrong here. I only want to bottle some belgians to pass around to friends. for the ones I am going to age I will use proper corks.

I am mainly going to keg it.

Since we are talking about bottling and since I never bottled yet - (totally new here, my first beer ever is a trippel and is in the 1st fermenters as we speak) do you bottle and condition it or do you keg to carbonated it to the style and then bottled it ?

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #23
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Usually you bottle condition Belgians. If you had a counter pressure filler or something similar you could force carb and bottle I suppose.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #24
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What would be the best way to bottle condition them. I hear some people are using sugar. What's good resource ? I am planning to bottle some to age them.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:55 PM   #25
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Corn sugar or dextrose should impart no flavor at all, so most people use that as its simple to use. Invert syrup, belgian candy syrup, or DME are some other possibilities. You want to make sure the Belgian is completely fermented out prior to bottling, as sometimes they can be reawakened in the bottle.

Usually they can be carbed higher in the 2.5-3.5 volume range. You might want to stick 3 and below though to avoid issues of over carbonation. Link to priming calculator below:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:49 AM   #26
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Thanks. So the main idea is to wait is to make sure the carbonation is controlled.

So if I want to keg 4 gallon and bottle 1 gallon using the Belgian bottles what's the best way to do it ?

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:13 PM   #27
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Make sure the thing is completely done. Fermented in primary for a few weeks and I like to give them a month or two in secondary.

Then plugging in the numbers for 1 gallon to bottle, I get 1.1 oz of corn sugar added (assuming the beer is at 68F at time of bottling, which affects residual carbonation already in the beer). Boil up 1/2 cup of water and the 1.1 oz of sugar and add to the bottling bucket.

For the Belgian bottles either get a good corker and the real corks & hoods, or do the #8 method described above (but use a hood!).

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Old 05-30-2013, 11:53 PM   #28
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Just to give a little more info, I just bottled some belgians with #9 1 3/4 inch and a hand corker. It is possible, but it is not fun. The corks needed to be wet, I had a little vodka on them and they slid in. I had a yellowish heme breakdown from the bruise on my palm for about 3 weeks though. This is probably before I wetted the corks. They would not go in dry. Make sure you use hoods. I pasteurized some and they definitely needed them.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:34 PM   #29
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I just bottled 6 22oz belgians using the belgian thick and long corks. It went pretty well. I soaked the corks in a little plastic back with starsan for 30 minutes.

I have a Portuguese floor corker - the secret is to leave the bottle on the stand till next bottled is filled. then pull up the corker's handle. the bottle will be coming out very quick.

What I find interesting also is that the the cork got in and it seems that the mesh is not needed, i see no pressure yet.

I force carbonated the beer that I bottled (from the keg) - I want to age it to see if gets better.

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Old 06-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #30
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One additional note here the Portuguese floor corker inserts the cork a little bit more than then bottles you buy from the liquor store. One week in the corks didn't move up - the mesh is still above the cork (there is a gap in there)

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