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Old 08-27-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
deputyandy
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So i went for the whole presentation with my BDS and tried to bottle using Belgian bottles corked and caged. I had some leftover from my commercial beer drinking and use a mix of 750ml and 375ml to bottle the beer. I wound up short and had to use some standard cap bottles to finish the job.

What i'm noticing after about a month of bottle conditioning i'm noticing a stark difference in the two methods. The capped bottles hold more carbonation in both the initial opening and in the beer itself. I made sure to pitch more yeast into the secondary a day before bottling to ensure conditioning. Has anyone had this issue? i'm worried something led to the seal on my corks to not be as airtight as i needed them.

Thanks

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:22 AM   #2
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I've used fresh Belgian bottles, and beer corks, with great results when using them. Did you soak the corks before using them? How much did you leave outside the bottle, under the cage?
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:10 AM   #3
mattd2
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Are you storing them so the cork stays wet?

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:16 AM   #4
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I've not had any issue with the corks, carbonation levels, and such, with the bottles stored standing up. I do use a floor corker though, which could have something to do with it.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:51 AM   #5
deputyandy
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I didn't soak the corks, just popped them in dry with a portugese floor corker. There's scant how-to's on belgian corking on the interwebs and it dawned on me afterward that maybe some water soaking would have made it better. I stored the bottles upright and 2 weeks into it i tipped them to try and soak the corks. i'm not sure if that did the trick. Are corks to be soaked in water before corking?

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #6
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I've had solid results soaking mine in StarSan solution for about 30-60 minutes before I start bottling. Right before I start bottling, I drain the corks and cover them with a sanitized cloth (or plastic cover for the container). Once the bottles are filled, I setup the corking station and go to it. They slide in really easy when wet. *ahem* As do many things.

I've also set my stop on the corker (also the red floor corker) so that there's enough cork to cage, and catch the bottom wire of the cage under the bottom lip. Works out really well.

Some people use campden tablets to treat the corks. I figure StarSan will do a solid job of sanitizing them. I have yet to have any issue with this method.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:24 AM   #7
deputyandy
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Feb 2011
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it just makes sense to soak the corks in hindsight. one of those "dammit" moments. but the whole corking set up was a lot less work than i thought it would be so i'm eager to try it again.

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:27 AM   #8
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I hope you have one of the tools to wind up the wire on the cork cages. I used a screwdriver in my first batch and got a really good slice on a finger from the cage. Picked up the tool from the LHBS (the guy there didn't know what it was for) and it's been bandage free ever since...
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
deputyandy
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Feb 2011
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I actually used a pen. Not pretty but it worked. I know there are supposed to be something like six turns on the wire and I can honestly say I missed that on about every bottle. The corks come out with a wine opener which is kind of a downer. I think i'm going to try using the 29mm Bruery style bottles for my next bottling adventure.

Reason: phone cut out

 
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