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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Champagne bottle corking
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:31 PM   #1
Gordie
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Default Champagne bottle corking

Well I had this groovy idea of bottling in champagne bottles with champagne corks and wires and it all went haywire last night when I seem to have discovered that a 30mm x 47mm champagne cork is too big for a standard champagne bottle/floor corker setup.

Anyone else try this? Any idea about appropriate sized corks?

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:06 AM   #2
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Tell me more. I'm planning on bottling around ten gallons of Saison, and four gallons of tripel in the next week. This will be my first experience with a floor corker.

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:16 AM   #3
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You have to be careful and make sure you have the champagne corker and not the wine corker, they look alot alike. I believe the only difference is that the champagne corker has a larger diameter opening to accomodate the larger Champagne/Belgian corks.

I have the Ferrari Bench Corker and have never had a problem with the larger corks.

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:45 AM   #4
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Okay, I got paranoid, and went down to the basement brewery to check out my borrowed Italian floor corker. Whew!
It worked....one Question, how do you size up the length of the corks so they can accommodate the cages? Is there a standard depth?

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:47 AM   #5
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Put a #7 stopper on the plunger. This helps to insert the cork at the perfect depth in the bottle to accomodate the cage.

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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Brilliant idea! Thanks for the snoop tip.
Do you prime with krausen or corn sugar when you bottle your Belgians?

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:48 PM   #7
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I use the Ferrari floor corker as well, the champagne version. They make both, the difference being a larger opening and a small lever to hold the neck of a champagne bottle.

For my Belgians I have used corn sugar or coopers drops, both with success. Just a note, if you use champagne bottles, use champagne corks and if you use Belgian Bottles, use Belgian corks. The openings/corks are slightly different between Belgian bottles and Champagne bottles.

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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I have several cases of Belgian bottles, along with their corks, as well as cages. Any issues with re-using the corks?

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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Great info in here, as I plan on bottling in some 750's soon - if I can ever find a supplier who has them in stock.

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Old 07-16-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
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I've got the Ferrari champagne corker, which also has a very get-medieval-on-the-cork brass compression action when you pull the lever, which squeezes the cork down to about 20mm or so. It also has a threaded ram-rod that allows you to fine tune how much of the cork to leave outside the bottle with a wrench.

As far as I can tell, 30mm diameter champagne corks are standard size for champagne bottles. However, at nothern brewer they sell 28.5mm corks and custom orders for other sizes are available from mainstream cork producers. My problem was that trying to jam a compressed 30mm cork into the neck of a standard US 750ml champagne bottle was apparently not in the cards on Monday night. Belgian corks are quite different and I may resign myself to going there eventually, but I'd like to see if I can get the champagne corks to work first.

So anyway - I'm going to see what I can do with other size champagne corks and experiment a bit and see if its just an issue with floor corking v. pneumatic corking and what its going to take to get the $#@%&ing little piece of bark in the bottle smoothly and efficiently...

If anyone has gone through this before, let me know.

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