Author Topic: Input on corking a Belgian  (Read 921 times)

Offline yso191

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Input on corking a Belgian
« on: May 09, 2017, 10:49:07 PM »
Y'all are probably getting tired of me blabbing about the Belgian Dark Strong I just brewed, but here I go anyway, careening off yet another topic.

I am soliciting input on the purchase of a corking press, and what corks to use, and do I need the wire thingys over the corks...  You know, give me all ya got.

I am planning 3.2 vv. CO2 in belgian bottles of undetermined size.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 11:14:34 PM »
I've bottled a few Belgian styles with a cork and cage. I have a floor wine corker that I use to also bottle Belgians. I put a rubber stopper on the post that pushes in the cork. This helps limit how far the cork gets inserted into the bottle. If you make wine then this can be a great way to get more use out of a floor corker. I use Belgian corks, aka mushroom corks. The cages help prevent the corks from popping out due to the high pressure in the bottle. I use 750mL Belgian style bottles. I like the look and finish of the Belgian style bottles and they also prevent bottle bombs due to the higher carbonation.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 03:07:47 PM »
I have the plastic colonna corker/capper that is more of a PITA with those Belgian corks because it's not designed to cork in that manner. I wanted to be able to cork both Belgian/champagne style and like wine bottles while also capping with 29mm caps. This is the cheapest route to accomplish all of that. It's easier to adjust in a single bottling session than a floor corker if you need to reset the height for multiple types of bottles.

A floor corker is much easier to use with those Belgian bottles but costs more and needs a little more storage space. The colonna is a little easier to adjust across different bottle sizes in the same bottling session. If you only want a corker for Belgian bottles and will only bottle in one or two sizes then the Portuguese floor corker is cheaper than the colonna. If you also want to be able to cap with the corker (like 750ml bottles) then it's a little more expensive once you buy the 29mm bell attachment.

If this is going to be a rare activity for you then you might want to check your local shops to see if they rent out corkers or if somebody locally has one you can borrow.

I've always just bought the corks labeled as Belgian corks at homebrew shops. I'm not sure what size they are otherwise. You will need the cages to keep the corks from pushing out of the bottles.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 04:11:29 PM »
 Thanks! Great info
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline coolman26

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 04:47:33 PM »
I have the plastic colonna corker/capper that is more of a PITA with those Belgian corks because it's not designed to cork in that manner. I wanted to be able to cork both Belgian/champagne style and like wine bottles while also capping with 29mm caps. This is the cheapest route to accomplish all of that. It's easier to adjust in a single bottling session than a floor corker if you need to reset the height for multiple types of bottles.

A floor corker is much easier to use with those Belgian bottles but costs more and needs a little more storage space. The colonna is a little easier to adjust across different bottle sizes in the same bottling session. If you only want a corker for Belgian bottles and will only bottle in one or two sizes then the Portuguese floor corker is cheaper than the colonna. If you also want to be able to cap with the corker (like 750ml bottles) then it's a little more expensive once you buy the 29mm bell attachment.

If this is going to be a rare activity for you then you might want to check your local shops to see if they rent out corkers or if somebody locally has one you can borrow.

I've always just bought the corks labeled as Belgian corks at homebrew shops. I'm not sure what size they are otherwise. You will need the cages to keep the corks from pushing out of the bottles.
^^^this^^^
I have the same capper/corker. It works great and I have no issue with it at all. I cork quite a few Belgians. You do need the cage. I ran out and had 4 w/o the cage. 2 blew the cork @ 3.5 v. My last batch I didn't bottle any. I will say I'll never do that again. I like conditioned Belgians vs keg.


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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 08:42:21 PM »
Owning both a Colonna and a Ferrari floor corker, if you want to cork and cage beers get the Ferrari floor corker.

While the Colonna can be made to work, the corks won't mushroom properly even when inserted to the correct depth. This means you'll need a corkscrew to open them.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 10:44:43 PM »
Phil, with the Ferrari, do you need an attachment to do the Belgian corks, or just the straight post to get them to mushroom?

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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2017, 01:43:53 AM »
Just so we're sure we're talking about the same thing:

https://www.morebeer.com/products/ferrari-italian-floor-corker.html?site_id=5

It required a (small) modification, but I was able to get the plunger depth adjusted to the right height for the Belgian corks. All it took was wire brushing off enough powder coating to let it thread up to the right height.

Way better than using a drilled out stopper as a guide.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2017, 02:55:54 AM »
Gotcha, think we have different units (mine was $90 but looks essentially like yours) when I need to bottle some brews with those corks I'm sure I'll need to improvise somehow

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Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline majorvices

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Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 03:16:32 PM »
I have the Italian Floor corker like this one

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/italian-floor-corker?gdffi=aa92829c2cf847b6a646261bd5b23c06&gdfms=0B0FEDF510BF4F66A2FE43BDD7D9A04E&gclid=CjwKEAjw3drIBRCOwfC-_qqyjQ8SJADvoWQp2FLDxj6Y9SeBbQxKb1iODZ7tOJHEwBVNI-Dqgi-PtRoC4Jjw_wcB

I've had it for about 15 years. Works like a champ. Works well with the Belgian style magnum "mushroom" corks.