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Sparkling cider as sparkling wine bottles

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Splurp

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I was looking for a cheap and easy way to obtain sparkling wine bottles since I bottle in about a week. Can I just buy a buch of sparkling cider from the dollar store and use those bottles?
 

jgmillr1

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I'd also say it depends on how you intend to bottle it. Many of the sparkling wine bottles use screw tops, which I'm not sure will re-seal well enough. If you plan to use crown caps, you could pick up some 25oz beer bottles from your LHBS. They also sell sparkling wine bottles that take a crown cap.
 

RPh_Guy

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My understanding is that carbonated beverages need either a crown cap or cork & cage. The cage prevents the cork from being pushed out and makes it so you can remove the cork by hand. Turning a corkscrew into a potential projectile probably isn't the brightest idea imho.

I'm not sure if twist off bottles can be caged, or whether they are rated to appropriate pressures for whatever carbonation level the OP is expecting.
 

homebrewer_99

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My understanding is that carbonated beverages need either a crown cap or cork & cage. The cage prevents the cork from being pushed out and makes it so you can remove the cork by hand. Turning a corkscrew into a potential projectile probably isn't the brightest idea imho.

I'm not sure if twist off bottles can be caged, or whether they are rated to appropriate pressures for whatever carbonation level the OP is expecting.
I'm sure the cage wire will hold IF twisted into the threads.
 

S-Met

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Threaded bottles are not safe to cork and cage unless he have a wide glass lip that the cage completely covers. The glass threads are spiral and too shallow.

Buy more champagne/prosecco/cava and reuse the bottles. Bonus, you get to drink a bunch of sparkling wine.

Alternatively, check with a restaurant or local event center after a wedding. Im not sure about the cider bottles. They should have some marks on the bottom that you might be able to look up ratings. Their punt is usually less than typical sparkling wine bottles. Not certain, but not sure that they can handle the same pressure as a champagne. If you are keeping to 2-2.5 vol CO2 you should be ok. Id get nervous with more than 3 vol.

Their crown cap is usually different size than champagne bottles.
 

RPh_Guy

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Ah, of course... Then by all means dust off your mushroom corker, bring out your bag of new mushroom corks and the wire cages you have laying around and go to town!
Regular/Belgian corks are fine, just not fully inserted. Supposedly the insertion depth of the corker can be adjusted.

Commonly mixed culture sour beer is corked and caged.
http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Corking
 

homebrewer_99

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Ah, of course... Then by all means dust off your mushroom corker, bring out your bag of new mushroom corks and the wire cages you have laying around and go to town!
Mushroom corks aren't necessary, just easier to remove for carbonated bottles since the carbonation helps push the cork out.

To add...the bottles should also have a "punt" (deep indentation) on the bottom if they will be carbonated.
 

ten80

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To clarify, there's no such thing as a "mushroom corker." There's wine corkers and champagne corkers and a cork can be "mushroomed" (i.e., flared at the top) using a crown-capper prior to installing the wire cage. CO2 will not push hard enough against a cork to mushroom it against the cage, even for 6-7 vol carbonated champagne or cider. I speak from experience.
 

jgmillr1

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Good information on champagne bottle corking.

My sarcastic response earlier was in the context the op wanting a "cheap and easy way" to bottle sparkling cider, for which the use of cork was suggested and I felt it was unlikely the op had the equipment to safely insert the champagne corks & securely cage them.
 

ten80

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Yeah, the "cheap and easy" way would be to force-carb the cider in a keg, then bottle in beer bottles. One could source champagne bottles from a recycling center (I do this) for use with corks. Standard "wine" bottles are not rated for pressure and shouldn't be used for cider with over 1 volume of CO2. As others have said, a pressure-rated corkable bottle will have a raised punt in the bottom. These bottles generally weigh 600-700g for "light" carbonation and 800-950g for "champagne" level carbonation. A standard wine bottle is much thinner and lighter.
 

RPh_Guy

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I'm guessing the OP is looking to bottle a sparkling wine, not cider (he didn't say). Do wine makers normally have kegging equipment?

Is the punt a requirement for sparkling wine bottles? My high-pressure beer bottles aren't punted.
 

jgmillr1

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Do wine makers normally have kegging equipment?
I bet a good many wine makers have corny kegs sitting around from when they used to dabble in beer. I've got a half dozen that I use for carbonating and bottling sparkling wine & cider. For my sparkling wine, I use new sparkling wine bottles, force carbonate to about 5 volumes CO2 and crown cap them.
 

z-bob

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Buy French-style lemonade at Aldi. It tastes pretty good, and it's $2 for a 750 ml swingtop bottle that looks like a wine bottle. If you ask on Freecycle, people might save them for you.

(you know you can put cider in beer bottles, right? It's a good use for your green bottles)
 
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ten80

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Is the punt a requirement for sparkling wine bottles? My high-pressure beer bottles aren't punted.
I'm not certain what you mean by "high pressure beer bottles" and "requirement" may not be the correct word, but generally, the depth of the punt and thickness of the bottle increase with carbonation levels of the wine. True Méthode Champenoise champagne will have the thickest glass, followed by cheaper force-carbed champagne (e.g., Cook's) and Italian Prosecco, then sparkling wines like rosé and common beverages like Martinelli's cider.

I'm guessing that the punt is both functional and a historical remnant of old bottle manufacturing methods. Beer is generally not subject to nearly as high of pressures and is also in typically bottled in smaller bottles so a punt is not necessary for most beers. Some highly-carbed, and/or and wild-fermented, bottle-conditioned beers such as Lambics and Saisons are sometimes served in heavy punted 750mL bottles for safety.
 

z-bob

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The punt also makes it easier to catch the sediment. A lot of red wine bottles are punted.

And I forgot to mention earlier, 1L screw-top plastic pop bottles work great for bottling beer, sparkling wine, etc. You just reuse the original caps. 2L bottles work too, but I don't like having that much cider or strong beer in a single container -- one container tends to be one serving ;)
 

RPh_Guy

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Thanks guys! I was just curious.
I'm not certain what you mean by "high pressure beer bottles"
Regular beer bottles can tolerate up to 4 vol but under 3-3.5 is considered safe.

Sour beers can be carbed to 4-4.5 vol and weizen up to 5 vol...
Thicker beer bottles can tolerate these higher pressures and aren't necessarily punted:
https://www.morebeer.com/products/beer-bottles-750-ml-belgian-style-case-12.html
Those are 750mL flat bottom. I'm not sure punting is related to bottle size because I have a 500mL punted beer bottle.

The punt also makes it easier to catch the sediment. A lot of red wine bottles are punted.
This makes a lot of sense.

How do you get the pop flavor out of your bottles? Or is it not an issue?
 

z-bob

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Thanks guys! I was just curious.

How do you get the pop flavor out of your bottles? Or is it not an issue?
It's not an issue -- but I haven't tried it with rootbeer or grape, etc. Most of my pop bottles are tonic, ginger ale, seltzer, and flavored sparkling water.
 

z-bob

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I've started saving Stella Artois bottles. (I should ask on Freecycle for bottles, because I like Stella but she's way overpriced) The green bottles look pretty with cider, especially with crown caps with a little apple print design on them.
 

ten80

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jtratcliff

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Martinelli sparkling cider bottles take a regular sized crown cap. Have your friends start saving them for you, or find a restaurant or bar... Or pay a homeless dude to hold them back from his recycle bin raids.

Trader Joe's sometimes carries a Triple Ginger Brew that comes in a 750ml swingtop. I have friends save those for me.
 

ten80

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Martinelli sparkling cider bottles take a regular sized crown cap.
Good idea, they sure are plentiful at my local recycling center and the labels come off pretty easily. I have used Martinellis for up to 3.5-4 volumes of CO2. They are not heavy enough to go to 7 volumes or so like thick, deeply-punted european champagne bottles.
 

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