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Old 12-30-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
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Default Antique Cork-Lined Bottle Caps

I've been amusing myself by looking on eBay for homebrew-related stuff, though any actual purchases will be made at - and to support - the LHBS. So, I was looking at antique bottle cappers and noticed that lots of them come with fifty-year-old boxes of cork-lined bottle caps as part of the deal.

DQ: Can you use them? Well of course you CAN, but would you ever want to? Gotta admit, there is a ton of nostalgia about 'em. Yes, I know I've just dated myself bigtime, but that's okay. Youth is way overrated.

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Old 12-30-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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I have used many a box of those way back when and can't see myself ever using any again, even for nostalgia sake.

How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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I used some of these for my last brew.. just to try them out.. I credit them to skunking half of the batch, as they were the only thing different that I used.. and some bottles tasted fine, where others tasted off.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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Yeah, I'd be kind of leery of 50-year-old cork, even if it was waxed. I suppose you could seal the top of the bottle with plastic wrap and cap over that, but I guess that kind of kills the "cool factor".
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DoctorMemory View Post
Yeah, I'd be kind of leery of 50-year-old cork
We'll see. I just got a box of cork-lined caps for free. By the style of printing on the box, they've gotta be from the 1930s-40s. So what is that, 70-80 years old?

I tried to use my plastic Red Baron capper on them and realized the steel was thick enough to snap the handles. I suddenly had a flash of memory that my mom had given me some kind of bottling thing in a box of stuff to put in a tag sale I never had. Best thing was, it was such an awkward sized/shaped thing I just never really put it away; it was right on the corner of my garage work bench. Sure enough, it was a cast-iron base bottle capper with a tube steel handle... exactly the right kind to use with these caps!

I had to put so much force into crimping them I thought the bottle would fracture, but the glass is much stronger than I estimated. I did a 6-pack test batch with cork caps vs. the rest of the batch plus one partial bottle from the end of the batch.

After cleanup, I cracked the bottle open, again marveling at its strength while prying the thick cap off. The cork showed a lasting impression of the bottle top and no evident cracking of the cork, even in the crease. So they appear to be resilient and usable. Hopefully, they will react well with the lager (or not at all?). I will post a report in a few weeks and update in a few months.

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