Author Topic: Belgian Bottling  (Read 2052 times)

Offline DW

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Belgian Bottling
« on: November 11, 2011, 10:51:17 AM »
Hey, just made a Belgian quad and I want to make it look nice and authentic.  I've got a bunch of belgian bottles and corks with the little metal twisties to go on top......Question: How do I get the corks in?  I don't want to go buy some expensive wine/champagne corker.  What dare the forum say? 

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 11:02:09 AM »
I would do it the same way that you put on bottle caps without a capper.  You don't. ;)

There are cheap versions available, but if you don't want to buy your own you can check with local clubs and see if anyone has one you could borrow.  A good corker will make a big difference in how much fun it is to package the beer.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 11:06:17 AM »
+1

You will need a bottle corker for this job. There are several diffent types at varying costs but you will need one to get the corks in the bottle. I use a floor corker which works like a charm, but they can be pricey ($150+).
Ron Price

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 11:30:23 AM »
A tad late, since you bought the corks, but you can also use plastic corks, which can be pushed in by hand.

One of the great disappointments of my brewing life is that some years ago, moving from apartment to apartment, I tossed or lost a floor corker which someone had given me.  At the time, I don't think I knew what it was.  Every now and then, I still look for that missing box that had the corker and some other long lost brewing equipment...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline eltharyon

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Barefoot Lion Brewing
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 11:39:42 AM »
Some local homebrew shop will lend out(or rent out) floor corkers.

Offline snowtiger87

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 12:34:38 PM »
My local homebrew shop rents thier corker for $10 / day. Get the champagne corker if you can. The wine corker tends to pull the cork back out because the orifice (hehe, I said "orifice" ;D) is too small.
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

Fermenting: McChouffe clone, Samiclaus clone
Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
On tap: CAP, Dortmunder Export, IIPA, Dubbel Chocolate Stout, Wee Heavy, Whiskey barrel aged Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter
Newly Bottled:

Offline jmcamerlengo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 12:35:50 PM »
Ive used those plastic corks on Chimay type belgian bottles and they dont work! I put the twist cap on it and everything.  Bottled a tripel and quad with those and lost both batches due to the things leaking.  I dont recommend the plastic ones with belgian beer bottles(they do work fine with champagne or wine bottles tho)
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2011, 12:56:42 PM »
You need to use some care in corking the bottles to be certain the corks fit as there is some degree of variance in the size of the bottle openings and in the size of the corks.  I've used them many times to cork 750ml Belgian bottles.  

Champagne bottles, on the other hand, are almost impossible to get the corks into and out of.  I believe it's the domestic "champagne" bottles that are the worst, but I could be wrong.  I keep a wood block handy for pushing the corks in and have needed pliers to get them out many times.

EDIT - This is related to the plastic corks, not real corks.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 01:57:16 PM by Joe Sr. »
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline chezteth

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 01:36:02 PM »
I use a floor corker that is meant for wine corking. I put a rubber stopper on the post that pushes in the cork so I get a consistent insertion. To reiterate others' suggestions... A local homebrew club or shop should have a floor corker to use or rent.

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
  • Kit B - Bottineau Prairie, MN
    • View Profile
Re: Belgian Bottling
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 08:26:02 AM »
If you can borrow or rent a Portuguese floor corker, someone on another forum posted a little "How-To":
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/corking-your-belgian-bottles-portuguese-corker-137529/
-    Head Cook & Bottle Washer    -
-      Bottineau Prairie Brewing      -

FBDU: Prairie & Northwoods Mobile Superintendant