Can I bottle sparkling wine with my gear?

Discussion in 'Bottles, Labels & Corks' started by Intheswamp, Nov 1, 2019.

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  1. Nov 1, 2019 #1

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

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    Newbie Alert!!!

    Ok, I'm toying with the idea of getting some champagne bottles to bottle wine in. I'd like to eventually try bottle carbing. But, in reading it seems that the champagne bottles require different equipment than what I have. I have a Portuguese Red corker and a double-handed beer bottle capper...I'm pretty sure it's 26mm. I guess I should've went ahead and sprung for an Italian corker that could do champagne bottles, too....but I didn't.<sigh>

    Anyhow, from what I've read, with the taper of the champagne bottle's neck #9 corks tend not to seal as well as they do in a regular, straight-neck wine bottle due to the widening of the neck. I've also heard mention of #9's swelling on the wine side of the cork and pulling the rest of the cork inside the bottle.

    I could use a beer caps...but, I think I'd need another capper...a 29mm one.

    Then there are the plastic champagne corks. I'm wondering, can these be "hammered" in with a block of wood and a dead-blow hammer?

    I know I'll need wire cages for anything sparkling, but for now...what are some options for me?

    Thanks!
    Ed
     
  2. Nov 1, 2019 #2

    salcoco

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    the plastic champagne closer work great have been doing it for years. be careful if re-purposing bottles and using bottle caps European bottle tops are different then USA. the plastic corks work on both. if you have a beer capper the 29mm is just and addition that screws on where the present one is.
     
  3. Nov 1, 2019 #3

    Intheswamp

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    THanks for the reply @salcoco . Could the brute force wood block and hammer work to cork with the plastic corks? I'll have to check my capper and see if I can swap out the 26mm capper for a 29mm one...that'd work for me. :) I figure with the holidays coming up I might be able to stumble upon some recycled champagne bottles. Or, maybe find a deal on some new ones...I wonder, are the ones usually sold here in the USA European size bottle tops or are indeed USA size? I'd have to be sure and inquire from the vendor if I buy some...my semi-local homebrew store and a decent deal on some new ones so I might go that route.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2019 #4

    salcoco

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    I use a rubber mallet on the tough ones , hand insert with others. the bottles top is based on the producer not where it is sold. french champagne are European etc. buy USA champagne it is USA size, for recycled bottles try wedding venues.
     
  5. Nov 1, 2019 #5

    Intheswamp

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    So, if I used the plastic corks and cages, how long of an aging could the wine in the bottles take (provided they were stabilized well)? I like the idea of the hand-installed corks for them, just curious about the longevity of the wine itself corked with the plastic corks. ???
     
  6. Nov 2, 2019 #6

    salcoco

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    have some that are two-three years old still viable.
     
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  7. Nov 2, 2019 #7

    Intheswamp

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    Thanks, I'll just be sure to drink these within a few years. ;)
     
  8. Nov 4, 2019 #8

    Intheswamp

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    What about beer bottles. I understand that regular beer bottles can't withstand the pressure that sparkling wines are usually carbonated to but what about just a bit of fizz...or is it to difficult to carbonate to insure that you carbonate on to "a bit of a fizz"?
     
  9. Nov 4, 2019 #9

    Sailor323

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    I just opened a bottle of sparkly that I bottled in 1991--plastic cork. It still had plenty of fizz. Also, I have regularly used beer bottles for bottling smaller quantities of sparkly
     
  10. Nov 4, 2019 #10

    sdibley

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    if you add 22g/l (1/2 cup per gal) of sugar and all of it ferments you should be around a pressure of 6bar, which is the high end of pressure for champagne. im not sure what pressure beer is at but there is pressure there. so maybe if you use about 1/3 of that amount you might not blow up bottles. looks like some calculated risks are in order.
     
  11. Nov 4, 2019 #11

    Intheswamp

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    Thanks for the feedback. @Sailor323 that is a very long time. I understand that fizz was still there but how did it taste? Seems that the plastic corks do pretty good!

    @sdibley thanks for the info on the champagne pressure. I'm still a bit leery of "...might not blow up bottles" so I'll go much lighter that what you mentioned if I do use beer bottles. I'm just looking for a slight carbonation...no gushing fountains of champagne foam. ;)
     
  12. Nov 4, 2019 #12

    Sailor323

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    I would not recommend keeping the wine on the lees for a long time. It was pure accident that I had this wine from so long ago. Needless to say, it was yeast bitten. When I made it, I sweetened a refermentable wine at the rate of 3 ounces per gallon which resulted in a very fizzy drink. Most of it was bottled in champagne bottles using plastic corks. I bottled some of it in beer bottles. BTW, you can use crown caps on champagne bottles.
     

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