Author Topic: Corking Champagne bottles  (Read 3625 times)

Offline heisseweissen

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Corking Champagne bottles
« on: August 11, 2010, 03:16:27 PM »
I am trying to bottle into champagne bottles, and I'm wondering if there is a way to cork them with champagne corks and not with an expensive floor corker.  Also, maybe if there is an alternative besides champagne corks.  Looking for some knowledge and ideas.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 03:58:56 PM »
i have been told that a plain old bottle cap will work.  i haven't tried it myself yet.
Don AHA member

Offline brewmonk

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Norcia, Italy
    • View Profile
    • Birra Nursia
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 10:17:04 PM »
Here in Italy, all the fancy beers (microbrewed beers) come in 75cl champagne bottles, eg http://www.birracascinazza.it/scheda.asp.  They are usually capped with bottle caps, but just take note that champagne bottles have a slightly bigger opening, so a standard bottle cap probably won't work.  I think champagne bottles are about 3mm larger at the opening.  Usually regular bottles are about 26mm and champagne bottles are 29mm.  I'm not sure if it is the same in the States though.
I don't think you can cap them with a standard hand capper.  You will probably need the tabletop type.  I would think your LHBS would know and have the caps you need.
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2308
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 12:09:42 AM »
Domestic Champagne bottles use standard crown caps.

Imported Champagne Bottles use the Euro cap.

For corking, if you don't want to bust out the cork but still want the cage and the works - look at using the plastic hammer in corks.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 05:43:58 AM »
Domestic Champagne bottles use standard crown caps.

Imported Champagne Bottles use the Euro cap.

For corking, if you don't want to bust out the cork but still want the cage and the works - look at using the plastic hammer in corks.

+1 - the Euro caps can be found at www.northernbrewer.com. But you will need the larger bell housing to cap them. Still, its cheap. Less than 12 bucks IIRC and should screw onto your existing capper.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline enso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
  • Northeast Kingdom, VT
    • View Profile
    • Bristle Bros. Brewing Blog
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 05:13:36 AM »
Agreed, capping them works fine.  If you have some American size champagne bottles you can do it with regular 26 mm caps.  If not, just get the 29 mm caps and the 29 mm bell and switch it out on your capper.

If you want corks you will have to get a corker.  However, it does not have to be a champagne corker unless you want to use champagne corks.  You can use plain wine corks and one of those cheap $5 plungers.  Insert it all the way flush and then cap it.  Or, I have been experimenting with inserting it partially and then caging it.  Again using the cheapy plunger.  It seems to work fine.  You do not get the big mushroom, but it seems to seal well.  Time will tell if it seals well enough to protect long term.

The simplest would be to get the plastic champagne stoppers and some cages.  Not as classy looking but it works and you can stick them in by hand.  I have even used those with Belgian style bottles.  Te one caveat is that not all bottles work well and create a seal with those.  You will have to test fit them.  Ommegang bottles work well.

Speaking of Belgians, you can also cap champagne, as well as Belgian bottles, with the Belgian corks.  These will give you the mushroom though not as dramatic as the champagne corks.  They are wider than regular corks yet not as wide as the champagne.  You will have to buy an appropriate corker, however one can be had for far less than the Champagne floor corkers.  If you get one of the Colonna corker/cappers they are about $60.  They work great for using the Belgian corks with a tiny bit of finagling.  Plus it comes with a 26 and a 29 mm capper.
Dave Brush

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2315
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 02:07:58 PM »
The simplest would be to get the plastic champagne stoppers and some cages.  Not as classy looking but it works and you can stick them in by hand.  I have even used those with Belgian style bottles.  Te one caveat is that not all bottles work well and create a seal with those.  You will have to test fit them.  Ommegang bottles work well.

I agree completely with test-fitting the plastic corks.  I use them exclusively when I bottle my Belgians (although I am exclusively kegging these days).

I don't know if it's variance in the bottles or variance in the corks, but on average I find that the plastic corks tend to be slightly small for Belgian bottles and slightly large for Champagne bottles.

I use a block of wood to push them in and usually need a pliers to haul them out of the Champagne bottles.

Aside from the hillbilly nature of un-corking with pliers, they seal great, work perfectly and store long-term with no worries.

The plastic corks are also re-usable (you'll need new cages).
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline heisseweissen

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 03:17:01 PM »
Thanks for all of ya'lls help.  You gave me alot of ideas.