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Old 02-02-2013, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default Wine bottles...revisited

I have read the forums that say wine bottles are not capable of handling the pressure of fermentation. Only champagne bottles and Belgian Trippel bottles can handle it.
For yuchs I have "bottled" two separate batches in the aluminum twist top cans of Miller Lite (not the entire 5 gallons, just a few pints each). While I can't brag on the flavor; that little flimsy aluminum can withheld the pressure. No expansion or leakage.
I am having a really hard time getting my mind around the fact that little can is able to do what a wine bottle can't. Looking for a shout out from the tech heads that can help me grasp the fact that all my girlfriends wine bottles heading off to be recycled couldn't be put to better use by housing my prized homebrew.
Thanks in advance for the edification.

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Old 02-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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Again, this is an instance of why risk it? Wine bottles vary dramatically in quality and glass thickness (much moreso than beer bottles). Often this quality isn't readily apparent on first or second glance. Moreover, the bottles aren't designed with a consistent thickness; there will be weak points. In particular, the bottoms are often a weak spot, unless there's a significant punt. Working in a wine store, I've seen full bottles dropped from heights and not break, while other brands shatter into a million tiny shards. My point, some wine bottles will probably work without incident, but the only way to know is to experiment and the risk is significant. A bottle will work until it doesn't and then what?

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Even if they can hold the pressure, most would still be a pain to use. You'd need a cage to keep the corks from popping out, and unlike belgian/champagne bottles, most wine bottles don't have a good place to anchor the cage.

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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Agreed. Just seemed so impossible I had to ask the question.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:05 AM   #5
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Put still drinks like cider or mead in them!

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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I had a friend who took a warm bottle of champagne, put it in icewater, and the top of the neck blew off and hit them in the eye, sending them to the hospital. Turned out the bottle was from a bad batch, glass was thickness of a regular wine bottle, rather than thicker champagne glass. I have found that trading friends- one bottle of beer for six non-twisttop empties results in having plenty of bottle supply. I am in CO, so lots of bombers / belgian style bottles too.

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Very low carb beer might be okay even with out a cage. I know there are some beers made and bottled in this manner. There are also some low carb semi-sparkling wines bottled in standard wine bottles with regular corks. I suspect they are bulk carbonated like some breweries do and then bottled semi-sparkling. This makes the pressures different than bottle conditioning but I don't know the pressure figures associated with either but it can be done. Everyone that's on this board will talk about not doing it though. Just like they will swear up and down that you can't bottle condition in growlers. I'm a dissenter though. I have conditioned low carb beers in growlers PLENTY of times. I figure if it's not enough carb to push a cask bung out it won't make my growler blow up and send glass shards into my neck.

Anyhow I forget the beer but it was an Old Ale from the UK that was bottled in small 9oz standard wine cork bottles. This beer was from 1996 so by the time I got it there was little to no carbonation. After a quick search the beer was a Gale Prize Old Ale.

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