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Old 12-04-2007, 02:34 AM   #1
ChuckVelvet
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Probably a topic thats already been covered, but I can't find the thread. I'm about to bottle my annual Christmas beer, and thought I might ratchet it up a notch by putting it into corked champagne bottles. Since I don't see it alot, I'm guessing its pricey and a pain in the a$$.

That said, I'm gonna give it a go. Any thoughts/tips/etc? I figure theres gotta be a bunch of stuff I'm missing out on.

 
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:25 AM   #3

You'll need to get a Champagne corker to handle the larger Belgian style corks. Also get either Belgian beer bottles or Champagne bottles that can accept a cork and wire cage. Another option is cappable Champagne bottles. Cork and cap over the cork. I've used both.

I have the Ferrari bench capper and it works great. A #7 stopper inserted on the plunger will help to insert the cork at the right depth in the bottle.
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The Belgian bottles make for a nice presentation
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:58 AM   #4
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I hate to advocate processes I don't see many others doing, but I have had good results just using normal wine corks pressed into 750mL bottles. Some rootbeer bottled in this way became overcarbonated, when I removed the cork the rootbeer actually gushed a foot in the air. The point is that the normal corks pressed all the way in worked fine. I got the idea after trying some beer bottled this way by an old-timer at a recent homebrew meeting. Also, I work at a research vineyard/winery and we have had two small batches of wine carbonate in bottles that were not supposed to be carbonated. They were bottled normally, went through some malolactic or other secondary fermentation and carbonated. Both were very nice as sparkiling wines BTW.

These bottles: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43481
are carbing just fine, they have wax over the top, but it has a small hole in it and the corks are not pushing out/up( in other words the wax is just for show).

I don't want anything bad happening from my advice(just because it works for me it might not for others), maybe just try one bottle this way next time you've got a batch with a normal level of carbonation(not high in other words). I'd be interested to see if others results are similar to mine.

Anyone trying this, please be careful - pressure and glass should be taken very seriously!
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:08 AM   #5
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Also, Brewtopia my corker looks the same as yours, from the side at least. If I understand you PM correctly you push the cork halfway in, lift the lever/handle(so the bottle support can move), and then pull the cork/bottle(cork is halfway in the bottle now) through the small opening at the bottom of the compression chamber(iris?)? Is that correct? Isn't the expanded top half of the cork to big to fit through the small hole?
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:16 AM   #6

Quote:
Originally posted by landhoney
If I understand you PM correctly you push the cork halfway in, lift the lever/handle(so the bottle support can move), and then pull the cork/bottle(cork is halfway in the bottle now) through the small opening at the bottom of the compression chamber(iris?)? Is that correct? Isn't the expanded top half of the cork to big to fit through the small hole?
This is correct. The expanded portion of the cork (sticking out of the bottle) fits fine through the hole in my corker. I believe the Champagne corker does have a larger hole than the regular floor or bench corker.

 
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewtopia
This is correct. The expanded portion of the cork (sticking out of the bottle) fits fine through the hole in my corker. I believe the Champagne corker does have a larger hole than the regular floor or bench corker.
That's gotta be it, mine does have a hole designed for 'normal' corks. Looks like I'm going to have to improvize!
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:34 AM   #8
ChuckVelvet
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Wow...well done, guys. This definitely gives me something to work with, although it might be a pricey investment just before the holidays. Roughly, what would a setup like yours run, NakedCity? Also, lets say I'm short on cash and time (which I am). Any budget options? I'd rather do it right than cheap, but when push comes to shove...

Thanks again for the help. Let me know what you think.


 
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckVelvet
Wow...well done, guys. This definitely gives me something to work with, although it might be a pricey investment just before the holidays. Roughly, what would a setup like yours run, NakedCity? Also, lets say I'm short on cash and time (which I am). Any budget options? I'd rather do it right than cheap, but when push comes to shove...

Thanks again for the help. Let me know what you think.
Sometimes a LHBS will loan or rent out a corker. Just ask.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewtopia
Another option is cappable Champagne bottles. Cork and cap over the cork. I've used both.
Why the cork, if you're going to cap anyway? Flavor from the cork?
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