Quantcast

No One Knows the Answer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Gytaryst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
288
Reaction score
79
Location
Phoenix
I've been asking this question for 3 years. Not just on this forum, but other online resources. I've emailed home brew supply stores and asked in person at all of the LHBS here in town. I've received responses from one end of the spectrum to the other from just as many people who don't know the answer but felt anything was better than saying "I don't know."

Here it is:

I brew a lot of Belgian Quads and Tripels; Trappist beers are my obsession. I bottle condition all of my Belgian ales in 750ml Belgian bottles with cork and cage. Here are two Belgian corks:



The one on the left has "REF" stamped on it. The one on the right is sold by pretty much every home brew supply store online. The corks with "REF" stamped on them are used by every commercial brewery I've seen that bottles Belgian style ales. They usually have their company logo stamped on the corks, but the "REF" is always stamped in there as well. And if you check two different corks from the same beer, the "REF" is not stamped in the same place which indicates that the "REF" was not stamped on the cork at the same time as the company logo, (it was probably already stamped on the cork before hand.

I use the cheaper Portuguese floor corker which I modified to make it work. From what I understand the Italian floor corker doesn't have to be modified, but my wife found this Portuguese corker at a Goodwill for $20, so . . . .

For awhile one of the LHBS was selling small bags of 12 corks with 12 wire cages for $7.99, and they were the corks with the "REF" stamp. I used them exclusively for over a year without ANY issues whatsoever. I've tried the other corks, from a few different sources, and they're crap. They rip and tear going into the bottle and 9 times out 10 they get stuck and tear or break trying to get them out. I've NEVER had a cork with the "REF" stamped on it rip tear or break, going in or coming out of the bottle. Unfortunately, that LHBS still sells the bags of 12 for $7.99, but they switched to the crap (non-stamped) corks.

My question is (and has been), primarily, what is the difference between these corks? That there is a difference is not in question - there is. I've been trying to find out what the difference is, and more importantly, who manufactures the stamped corks and can I buy them direct? Part of the difference, (I think), is the rounded edges of the corks stamped with the "REF." But they also seem to be made of better quality material. Here are two pages from the WWW. I made a feeble attempt to hide the sources:





You can buy the crap corks all day for $22.99, (+ or -). The one source I found that sells the "REF" stamped corks sells the same quantity for more than double the price. They also make a specific point of mentioning that their corks are "REF stamped" which further indicates (to me) that there is a significant difference.

SOMEWHERE - somebody knows the answer and, eventually, I'll come in contact. Until then I'll just keep throwing it out there every now and then hoping that "someone" might see it.
 

bpgreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
744
Reaction score
183
Location
Utah
I did a little googling and found this:

"DIAM® REF BEER is a technological closure with a patented composition, manufactured from cork, treated by the exclusive REVTECH process by DIAM Bouchage. REF beer is a consistent closure that offers excellent mechanical performance over time and enables a consistent very low loss of pressure in the beer."

I found it here:

https://www.g3order.com/diam-ref-beer-cork-25-5x44mm/
 

AZCoolerBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
718
Location
Cave Creek
I've been asking this question for 3 years. Not just on this forum, but other online resources. I've emailed home brew supply stores and asked in person at all of the LHBS here in town. I've received responses from one end of the spectrum to the other from just as many people who don't know the answer but felt anything was better than saying "I don't know."

Here it is:

I brew a lot of Belgian Quads and Tripels; Trappist beers are my obsession. I bottle condition all of my Belgian ales in 750ml Belgian bottles with cork and cage. Here are two Belgian corks:



The one on the left has "REF" stamped on it. The one on the right is sold by pretty much every home brew supply store online. The corks with "REF" stamped on them are used by every commercial brewery I've seen that bottles Belgian style ales. They usually have their company logo stamped on the corks, but the "REF" is always stamped in there as well. And if you check two different corks from the same beer, the "REF" is not stamped in the same place which indicates that the "REF" was not stamped on the cork at the same time as the company logo, (it was probably already stamped on the cork before hand.

I use the cheaper Portuguese floor corker which I modified to make it work. From what I understand the Italian floor corker doesn't have to be modified, but my wife found this Portuguese corker at a Goodwill for $20, so . . . .

For awhile one of the LHBS was selling small bags of 12 corks with 12 wire cages for $7.99, and they were the corks with the "REF" stamp. I used them exclusively for over a year without ANY issues whatsoever. I've tried the other corks, from a few different sources, and they're crap. They rip and tear going into the bottle and 9 times out 10 they get stuck and tear or break trying to get them out. I've NEVER had a cork with the "REF" stamped on it rip tear or break, going in or coming out of the bottle. Unfortunately, that LHBS still sells the bags of 12 for $7.99, but they switched to the crap (non-stamped) corks.

My question is (and has been), primarily, what is the difference between these corks? That there is a difference is not in question - there is. I've been trying to find out what the difference is, and more importantly, who manufactures the stamped corks and can I buy them direct? Part of the difference, (I think), is the rounded edges of the corks stamped with the "REF." But they also seem to be made of better quality material. Here are two pages from the WWW. I made a feeble attempt to hide the sources:





You can buy the crap corks all day for $22.99, (+ or -). The one source I found that sells the "REF" stamped corks sells the same quantity for more than double the price. They also make a specific point of mentioning that their corks are "REF stamped" which further indicates (to me) that there is a significant difference.

SOMEWHERE - somebody knows the answer and, eventually, I'll come in contact. Until then I'll just keep throwing it out there every now and then hoping that "someone" might see it.
IMG_1198.jpg


Got this by googling it. I think that Hauser Packaging partnered with DIAM makes these corks with the patented “ref” system. Hope that helps.
 
OP
Gytaryst

Gytaryst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
288
Reaction score
79
Location
Phoenix
I did a little googling and found this:

"DIAM® REF BEER is a technological closure with a patented composition, manufactured from cork, treated by the exclusive REVTECH process by DIAM Bouchage. REF beer is a consistent closure that offers excellent mechanical performance over time and enables a consistent very low loss of pressure in the beer."

I found it here:

https://www.g3order.com/diam-ref-beer-cork-25-5x44mm/
Got this by googling it. I think that Hauser Packaging partnered with DIAM makes these corks with the patented “ref” system. Hope that helps.
Holy Crap. I've been trying to get this answered since 2015. I've asked everyone I could think of who might, (or should) know. I've googled, and googles and googled. Clearly my google skills aren't as advanced as I would like to believe. I GREATLY appreciate the responses and the info. It's 100% more to go on. Thanks.
 
OP
Gytaryst

Gytaryst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
288
Reaction score
79
Location
Phoenix
Looks like great fermentations has the ref corks for about $10 per 30 count

http://shop.greatfermentations.com/...MIyMjHqL_M2wIVwSOBCh2hTwcWEAQYDCABEgKk8_D_BwE
I emailed before ordering - here's the response in case anyone else reads this and wants to order:
Wes here with Great Fermentations. Thank you for your question! Unfortunately, these corks for Belgian beer bottles do not have the "REF" stamp as currently pictured. They may have at one point, but since then we have either switched suppliers, or the supplier has changed the cork. The current corks for Belgian beer bottles that we have are plain, with no markings of any type. We will work to update the image on the website so as to not cause confusion.

I hope this helps! Thank you for your question, and thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we will be happy to help you as best we can!

Cheers,
Wes
Brewer and Customer Service Specialist
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,317
Reaction score
11,933
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
The first one looks like regular wine corks, being sold as corks for Belgian beers.

Since wine isn't carbed, regular corks work great for wine (especially 1.5" long #9 corks). They also allow micro-oxidation during aging of the wine.

But you probably need something better for Belgians which are highly carbed. The wire cage helps, no doubt. Maybe you could look into champagne corks, which may be better for Belgian beers.
 
OP
Gytaryst

Gytaryst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
288
Reaction score
79
Location
Phoenix
DIAM REF sells them 1,000 count for $219, (not sure if you have to be a business or not). But if they sell to the public that's only $22 per 100 count. Anyone in the Phoenix AZ area interested in a group purchase?

With 5 gallon batches I use roughly 25 corks per batch, (average), and I usually only brew two or three Belgian style ales a year that I bottle. Don't really need 20 years worth of corks.

Just a thought - tired of hassling with the crap corks all the Home Brew Suppliers sell, or being told by home brew supply employees that most people use champagne corks? The owner of one home brew supply store told me it was difficult to find those mushroom shaped Belgian corks so he just recommends wine corks to his customers. At first I almost laughed because I thought he was joking, but he wasn't.

Anyway, for the small amount of Belgian beers I bottle per year, (50 to 75 bottles), it's not a major issue and I'm just being way to OCD about it. But for me, farting around with those crappy corks that everyone sells for way too much money, and then not being able to share my beer because I it's embarrassing to explain to people they might have to use a knife, a cork screw and a pair of pliers to get the garbage cork out, and then strain the beer to get the bits and pieces of cork out. Knowing there's a better product available . . . it's just frustrating.
 

Shwagger

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
613
Reaction score
139
Location
Gulfport, Fl
I'd have just switched to bottle caps or swing tops at this point. Especially if not selling the beer.

Pop the top and pour it. Cap in the garbage. I'm not drinking the top...

But That's just me
 
OP
Gytaryst

Gytaryst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
288
Reaction score
79
Location
Phoenix
By the way, @Gytaryst, we could use someone like you in our homebrew trade that's going on. Such a unique style that I don't believe anyone on the current list is brewing. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/fothb-v-kno3-s8-c7h4o.651163/
Sounds like fun. I looked into trading awhile back, (here and on BA). There are only a handful of beers I would trade for but I got impression before I could even mention those beers I first had to trade for a bunch of stuff I didn't want and probably never heard of in order to prove myself worthy.

So to make a short story long - trading home brews sounds like a lot of fun, but I don't have any trader experience. Right now all I have is a Belgian quad, 9.7 abv - WLP500 yeast, I brewed 05/12/2018. I just racked it to secondary on 05/30/2018. Then I have a Belgian style Tripel I brewed a few days ago, (06/05/2018). I just added the 3rd pound of Simplicity Candi Syrup 2 days ago so I'm not even sure if fermentation is complete on that one yet.

Either way, I won't be bottling either one for quite some time - but I appreciate the heads up. It does sound like fun.
 
Top