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Author Replies
02/18/06 04:45 PM  
Re: Corker
Thanks for the info, Cisco - I am definitely interested to find out more about other cork sizes and products. A wider cork that fits the Ommegang-type round-lipped bottles will be very welcome.

The broken bottle, however - to my surprise - was a commerical champagne bottle with the wider neck you describe. All of the bottles I used were collected from local bars or salvaged from corked beers I had purchased. Any bottle I had with a narrower neck (my check was to see if a regular crown cap would fit over them) I either capped or used an Altec #9 pushed down flush and then covered with a crown cap.

Cork-wise, I had good results with a number of wide-necked green glass bottles salvaged from Saison Dupont (both 375 ml and 750 ml). Despite the UV light risk, I also like to put at least one bottle of each batch into a clear container, for my own reference as to the color and clarity of the liquid as it matures.

Sean Paxton
02/21/06 10:58 AM  
Re: Corker
Thanks for the great news and info! Appreciate all the comments on this thread. My upcoming bonus will be partially spent on a new corker. I always wanted a Ferrari!

Now, Iíll also start saving all my Chimay and Unibroue bottles.

Jason VS
02/23/06 03:47 PM  
Re: Corker
Just getting into brewing beer and have been looking to use some of my excess champagne bottles.

Would like to confirm--is there anything WRONG with the 29mm caps? The corks are purely for a more upscale feel?

I have the Super Colonna capper and have been searching high and low for a champagne adapter. The box talks about there being a optional 28mm adapter (I think it is just a misprint, because in the 6 other languages on the box it's referred to as a 28.5mm adapter) but I can't find anything out there. Any hints? The stores selling them seem to be buying from a Distributor who doesn't/won't make these adapters available.

01/31/07 03:36 PM  
Re: Corker
ErikH, thanks for sharing your pictures, very helpful. Did your beers carbonate propperly and what has been the result to this point? Anyone else have experiences to share?

I couldn't find the Belgian Bottling package mentioned earlier at morebeer.com but this morning I ordered the Ferrari 17421, 30 Champagne corks and wire cages with metal caps. I'm excited about experimenting with cork finishing my belgians in the next couple months.

01/31/07 07:04 PM  
Re: Corker
Funny, just when I was thinking of buying the new Robert Fagles translation of Virgil, who should show up but Aeneas! Welcome - don't think I've seen you posting before.

And as for the corks they absolutely rock. Zero problems with carbonation, though I did have a couple that let a little liquid escape which congealed at the edge of the neck, because I didn't leave enough headspace. I recommend a minimum of 1/2" headspace below the bottom of the cork. Takes a while to get a feel for that based on cork size, don't be afraid to pull one out and dump a little liquid.

Anyhow, I absolutely love the corked finish. While I do name and label my beers, the cork and cage adds a level of elegance that everybody reacts to. I'm so happy with them that I just ordered a bunch of clear 187ml 'champagne split' type bottles from Northern Brewer to use on a 12.6% ABV oak-aged Belgian Abbey-style Dark Strong Ale, along with some silver foil shrink-covers.

Cork size, of course, is critical. You can see more detailed discussion in this thread and others, but I find champagne corks too big. They work, I use them, but often end up extracting them with a corkscrew and even once busted a bottle neck putting one in. I far prefer the 1" diameter blank 'belgian style' corks usually available from Morebeer and others. Be sure to get the appropriate size wire hood for the cork and be sure to get wire hoods with a metal 'cap' at the top, not just plain wire (as it sounds like you've done).

The 1" corks seem to work great in any bottle I've tried, including 12 oz Saison Duponts, rounded-lipped 'Belgian' 750s like Ommegang, Duvel, etc. and also champagne bottles. YMMV, natch - can't hurt to fill a bottle with water and do a water-tightness test (invert, shake) just in case if you are anxious.

So, best of luck with your new toy and keep us posted on the results!

01/31/07 07:11 PM  
Re: Corker
Umm . . just to clarify, Aeneas, regarding the wire hoods with metal cap, what I meant was it looks like you did the right thing and got the hoods with metal caps. Somehow that didn't get written quite right in my post!
02/01/07 10:16 AM  
Re: Corker
For those who can't seem to navigate through morebeers extensive web site:





Hooded wire wraps




Ferrari Italian Floor corker


Belgian brown bottles


Like I said before, I worked for a couple months helping morebeer acquire the proper equipment for bottling in true Belgian fashion. Enjoy!!!

02/01/07 06:50 PM  
Re: Corker
I bought one of these corkers about two years ago and it was complete mess the first time I bottled. I brewed a nice framboise, bottled it an corked it with the champagne corks available at the time (this may have changed).

The mushroom never took shape and I had to use a corkscrew everytime to open these. A few smashed in my hands (see photos above) and I said F**k it and sold it, got a keg stup for the same price.

Now I bottle in 750's, but use plastic corks and wire cages - cost about .10 a bottle and I have aged beers over three years with no loss of carbonation. check this - www.shoremanorganicales.com/?p=47

I'd think very hard before dropping the cash on one of these if you don't already have a keg setup.

Peter S ibley
02/01/07 08:16 PM  
Re: Corker
A little bit off-topic, but what would the rationale be for disqualifying from competition beers that come in Grolsch-type swing tops?
02/02/07 10:36 AM  
Re: Corker
Shoreman - your problem was using the wrong size corks. When you did that bottling I'm sure that the proper sized corks were not available. They are now and the properly sized cork makes a huge difference. Several years ago I tried the plastic corks but had too many that would not seal properly in Belgian bottles which have a larger diameter opening than US 750s.
02/02/07 06:18 PM  
Re: Corker
Cisco - ya I bet that was the problem.

As for the plastic corks, they fit perfect in ommegang bottles (of which I recycle many). Give a shot again.

Ross Lunato
02/02/07 06:39 PM  
Re: Corker
<<Now I bottle in 750's, but use plastic corks and wire cages - cost about .10 a bottle and I have aged beers over three years with no loss of carbonation. check this - www.shoremanorganicales.com/?p=47>>

Shoreman, could you please let me know where you get your plastic corks? I have a bunch of these bottles and the plastic corks I have tried just slip in too easily. Maybe there are larger diameter plastic corks?

By the way, nice web site and the beers look great too! That Organic Saison sounds very interesting.

Brian Richards
02/02/07 08:26 PM  
Re: Corker
I've been wanting to cork my beers now for a long time but I too don't want to spend the money on something that is more of a luxury. The wife would murder me. It would definately be awesome to be able to hand someone a corked bottle and knock there socks off. Presentation my man......Presentation.
Ross Lunato
02/02/07 08:55 PM  
Re: Corker
<<Presentation my man......Presentation.>>

I agree! Somehow it makes the beers taste just a bit better doesn't it!! :-)

02/12/07 04:56 PM  
Ferrari manual
Thanks for all the great posts on the Ferrari. I just got one from an ebay seller. Altho it's "new" there were no instructions. Could someone scan them in? I know it's not rocket science but I like to read manuals...


02/12/07 05:31 PM  
Re: Corker
Sorry to inform you that there is no manual. But here's a short description (actually from me)from the morebeer site:

"Cork your homebrewed Belgian beers with these corks made specifically for use with Belgian beer bottles. Our brewery-grade (meaning these are the same quality corks that commercial breweries use) corks work well with our Floor Corker (W410). A long-time customer - John Francisco - told us a tip that he uses when corking his Belgian beers - put a #7 stopper (FE440) over the plunger rod of the corker so that only 1 3/4" of the rod is exposed. This will stop the cork from going into the bottle too far. A wire hood can then be fastened over the remaining 6/8" - 7/8" of cork sticking out of the bottle. We have tried this and it works great!"

08/11/09 11:59 AM  
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