How to cap old (really old) ceramic bottles

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loneoak

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So I came across a garage sale selling some sweet 19th Century ceramic beer bottles but I cannot figure out how to cap them. The mouths are not all precisely the same size (thus the charm), but with the entire lip diameter included, they are too big for a regular bottle cap. But the mouths are too small (by only a couple millimeters) for the plastic champagne corks at my LHBS. Also, even if the plastic corks fit right, it isn't obvious that a standard cage would fit over them.

Any bright ideas? Does anyone know if a natural cork has a little more give and would likely fit better? Does anyone care to confirm or disconfirm the LHBS employee's claim that you can't use a regular wine cork in a carbonated beverage bottle b/c it won't stay put without the cage?
 

Yooper

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I have no idea how to cap them- but you're right about the corks. Corks will blow as soon as pressure starts to build. That's why wines should be still, not carbonated, unless you are making champagne and then you use champagne corks and cages.

But what about a larger cap? Would you be able to find them and make them work with a bench capper?
 
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I've seen beer capped with a cork and cage...seems like that might work. I've also seen beer corked with a single steel strap that holds the cork in.
I've heard that there is a larger bottle cap that they use over seas. There are a few Europeans on this forum, Maybe they have some 1st hand knowledge.
 

Donasay

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you may be able to convert them to swing tops depending on how the cap is shaped, post a pic and we can take a look.
 

mmb

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"19th Century ceramic beer bottles"

So these were made in the 1800s? WTF are you bottling with them for then? If they really are 1800s bottles, then you're looking at anywhere from $10 a piece, to upwards of $300 a piece, depending on condition, age, and make.

Store them away or display them, but why chance breaking one when modern bottles as cheap as they are?
 

SomedumbJerk

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the euro caps are 29mm. some cappers you can use a different bell so you can use them. i've seen the bell at northern brewer and i believe midwest. you can also use these on la choufe bottles i think, as well as a few champagne bottles.
 

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