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Old 10-25-2008, 06:56 PM   #1
42195m
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Oct 2008
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I've brewed batches before and bottles with traditional pint/cap. I'm using 750ml bottles for the first time for a wedding gift and want to make sure that my beer stays healthy. Does anyone have any advice for how to properly sterilize the corks I am going to be bottling with?

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42195m

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
mnadamn
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I just throw them in sanitizer like caps, I may be wrong but it hasnt ever failed me

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
42195m
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I have in the past boiled my caps, but read that doing so with corks would damage their integrity. Would a bleach solution fine for a basic sanitizer?

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:27 PM   #4
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What else are you using to hold the corks in? Wire cages? I wouldn't use wine bottles- champagne bottles are ok, though. I sanitize corks with just a no-rinse sanitizer. DON'T ever boil corks.

Wine bottled with corks isn't carbonated, so it's not an issue with wine, but wine bottles are NOT designed to hold pressure and the glass isn't meant for pressure inside.

Carbonation + wine bottle+ corks = exploded corks, or worse, exploded bottles. I'd suggest beer bottles with caps for beer, or champagne bottles with champagne corks and wire cages.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #5
42195m
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I have champagne corks, with specific 750ml bottles in belgian style (mostly old ommegang bottles). I also have the cages necessary to prevent blast off.
I've got the correct supplies as far as the bottles are concerned.

I have never used a no rinse sterilizer however, and I'm uncertain of whether this would be something I could pick up in a typical grocery store, or whether I would need to purchase it at a beer supplies distributer.

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:38 PM   #6
mnadamn
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beer will shoot the cork out unless you dont want to carb your beer. I have done this with barleywine but wouldnt try with a normally carbed beer

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42195m View Post
I have champagne corks, with specific 750ml bottles in belgian style (mostly old ommegang bottles). I also have the cages necessary to prevent blast off.
I've got the correct supplies as far as the bottles are concerned.

I have never used a no rinse sterilizer however, and I'm uncertain of whether this would be something I could pick up in a typical grocery store, or whether I would need to purchase it at a beer supplies distributer.
You'd probably need to get it from a brew store, but if you have campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite), you could use that.

What are you currently using for sanitizer? Maybe that would work.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:53 AM   #8
42195m
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I have so far used a solution of clorox bleach and water.

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:20 AM   #9
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I steam corks.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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I generally bottle with champagne bottles, cork and wire. Commercial suppliers of corks package them in sealed bags with SO2 to sterilize them. If you want to get creative, you could possibly do the same thing with a zip-lock freezer bag but I'm not sure its worth the time. Don't soak them and if you steam them don't do it for too long as they may absorb moisture and swell and getting them into the neck of the bottle will be a PITA. I also wouldn't use bleach on them.

Despite the fact that they're basically tree bark and don't look too sanitary, they're usually not a problem. Giving them a quick dip in Star-San before corking is probably the most you need. The biggest issue with corks is TCA, which really shouldn't much of a problem for beer anyway. In the meantime, make sure your cork diameter is matched to your bottles or you can have some serious issues and broken bottles. Champagne corks typically are 30mm which may be too big for your belgian bottles.


 
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