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Author Replies
bowser
10/25/11 03:34 PM  
Morebeer Corks
For those that cork your homebrews, stay away from the 100 packs of Belgian corks at Morebeer.com. A year back I picked up a pack and corks were too stiff and wouldn't create a proper seal, when I emailed them they claimed it was just a bad batch. Well, I tried again a year later with the same result and now I'm stuck with about 40 bottles of nice sours that are doomed to never carbonate.

To be safe, always make sure the Belgian corks have the "REF" on the side, I've never had a problem with any of those.

Now I need to see about opening all these beers, repriming each bottle, and corking with good cork. Arrggg.

eeee
10/25/11 07:07 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
can anyone provide a place we can still order corks in bulk? ie 250-1000corks?
Smokinghole
10/25/11 07:29 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I ordered 1000 a while ago here in the 25mm size. The only appear to have 23mm size now.

http://www.stpats.com/index.htm

Scott J
10/26/11 02:32 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I have had good luck with the ones from Northern Brewer. I second the comment about "REF" on the side.
Cisco
10/27/11 05:14 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I complained to MoreBeer last fall about the fact that even though the corks were the exact same size as before that the hardness had changed dramatically and the corks were harder to fit into bottles and a few bottles lost their carbonation. They told me they called the supplier and were told that they were no different than before. End of story. Maybe if they saw this thread they might start questioning the supplier's honesty. I got around this issue buy buying a boat load of the remaining St Pats Belgian corks that they were blowing out. They work like they would.
bowser
10/27/11 06:51 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
Yah, they did refund my money for the corks, but wish they had listened to the prior complaints and fixed the issue.
Cisco
10/27/11 10:23 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I emailed them this thread and they gave me a gift certificate for the cost of the last order of corks and said they would now try to find a different vendor. I think and hope that they have our attention now.
eeee
10/28/11 09:40 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
has anyone tried 23mm corks in the brown bottles?
Cisco
10/28/11 11:38 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
The brown Belgian bottles require a 25.5mm size.
Smokinghle
10/28/11 01:53 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
One of the things I noticed with the corks from places like Austin Homebrew with the REF on the side is that my beer pushes past the cork. After I stopped using those corks and started using my St Pat's corks I no longer had dried syrup around my corks. It was strange and happened mostly on a batch of tripel I made. I had only ordered 12 or 24 of them and they all did it. Didn't matter whether in a brown "bullnose" bottle or a champagne bottle. The ones that Austin Homebrew sells I'm assuming is from a single supplier for many homebrew places, a place like LD Carlson or something. Those corks are super soft in comparison to the ones from St Pats. The St. Pats are plenty soft they're just not quite as soft which I think solved my leak by problem.
bowser
10/28/11 03:40 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
Did you leave the bottles upright for a day or two? I've always heard you need to give them a couple days upright for the cork to full expand before you lay them down or else the beer can seep around the cork. I've never had any beer get past the corks with the REF ones and many have been sitting on their sides for years.
Smokinghole
10/28/11 08:54 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I gave them time upright. I don't know why but it could have just been that lot or the higher carbonation as the cause. Since I started using the other corks I bought I have had zero seepage. The seepage did decrease over time but I had to keep rinsing the corks and bottle necks with hot water to prevent mold growth. I have my champagne corker dialed in now at a perfect depth for adding the cages. The softer corks I couldn't get it just right with but with these slightly firmer cork everything works like a dream.
Cisco
10/29/11 10:43 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
You will even get seepage around the cork if it is too hard also, which is the case with the current morebeer corks. Plus they are a bitch to get out. I end up using a wine cork screw. I sure hope they get in better corks. I did suggest to morebeer that they contact St Pats to find out who their supplier was.
tom sawyer
10/29/11 12:33 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
The last batch I got from NB were a super-tight fit, but they all sealed. FOr my sours I use champagne style bottles and plastic corks and cages. Very few problems with those.
smellysell
11/01/11 12:26 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
Do you have a link to the plastic corks? I don't think I've ever seen them?
mattschmidt
12/16/11 11:39 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
reading through this thread reminds me of a local HBS "debate" over proper corking technique.

Do you seat the cork flush (a la wine) or leave it exposed and wrap the wire tight? I've always corked with a 50/50 or 60/40 "insertion" and never had a problem with seal, leakage or anything else (knock wood.)

The flush seated method has me concerned that movement in the cork could allow for contamination and leakage.

thoughts please?!?!

Cisco
12/16/11 01:08 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
The flush seated method is only good when you also crimp a bottle cap on, but then you need to use a non standard Belgian beer bottle that can take a metal cap.
Ross
12/16/11 06:56 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
I really like the idea of adding a bottle cap over the cork for added insurance against sealing issues.

I took packaging lessons from Cisco and haven't experienced any cork sealing issues since.

smellysell
12/17/11 11:37 AM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
mattschmidt > Are you saying that you push the cork flush, and then as it carbonates it will push it out until the wire catches it?
Cisco
12/17/11 12:57 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
smellysell - No he is not saying that. Here's what morebeer says in their cork descriptions (from me):

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 floor 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!

WitSok
12/17/11 08:53 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
Late to this thread, but that explains why most of my last two batches had very little carbonation. Never had a problem untilt he last two batches. The corks were a bugger to remove too. I thought maybe they had dried out too much before I used them.
smellysell
12/17/11 10:39 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
That's how I've always done it Cisco, I don't understand what the other method would be that he talks about inserting it flush? Like Cantillon does with a cap?
Cisco
12/18/11 01:00 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
The method uses a high strength bottle that has a cap ridge rather than a wide wire wrap ridge at the top of the bottle. It also requires smaller diameter corks to fit in the neck. The cap acts just like a wire wrap - it prevents the cork from escaping. The bottles are a little harder to find that accept caps and can take high pressures.
Ross
12/18/11 01:09 PM  
Re: Morebeer Corks
The only thing that makes sense to me regarding the flush mount method is the way Fantome and Cantillon execute it. That is, insert the cork flush or just below flush in a champagne bottle then place a cap on. I like this idea to try and preserve some oxygen ingress but I've seen aged Saison De Pipaix beers bottle this way and the corks fell apart when trying to remove them.

I'd like to mention that corking does have it's drawbacks because the cork manufacturers intend the cork to be loaded directly from the package and into the corker with any remaining corks left over to be thrown away.

Additionally, the cork manufacturers intend for the cork to be inserted dry.

We as homebrewers must purchase corks from suppliers that have already broken the bag seal and renedered the cork unsanitary. Giving a quick dip in sanitizer does seem to help but now the cork is being inserted wet.

Still, this does not present much trouble if the proper cork / bottle combination is used.

I've been curious if anyone has tried the Newcork synthetic type?

Also, a proper fitting cap (you have to make sure the cap does not twist after installation) on a champagne bottle should hold the pressure without the use of a cork. Obviously, the only way to bottle the brown Belgian bottles is with a cork.

 
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