Sparkling Wine with Straight Cork

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Greg Corey

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As a hobbyist, I like to not go too overboard with gear. I think my Aromella wine would be well suited to some carbonation via bottle conditioning. I could just use my crown cap beer bottles but I don't want to buy a champagne corker just yet and I'd prefer to use the stockpile of 750ml I have. I'm wondering if anyone has used straight corks with sparkling wine using some sort of home grown wire hood. I've also had seen some pet nats with a straight cork and crown cap on top but again I don't want to have to get new bottles or a special champagne corker. It seems feasible but I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with this or if there are other concerns with a straight cork and carbonation? Thanks!
 
PLEASE DON'T DO THIS! Putting sparkling wine in standard wine bottles is very dangerous, they aren't designed to hold the pressure. You need proper champagne bottles. Crown caps work fine, though you can also get plastic champagne 'corks' that don't require a corker to insert them. Bear in mind that champagne bottles come in different neck sizes, 26mm (common in the US) and 29mm (standard in Europe but also used by many US producers). You need to get the right size closures for your bottles...

ETA: Lots more information in this thread
 
I've made sparklers where I crown capped the bottles. Works just fine.

Note on beer bottles -- do NOT sparkle wine in beer bottles, as beer has roughly half the pressure of Champagne, and beer bottles are not designed for sparkling wine pressure.

In the past I had no luck sparkling wine, as I used the rule for beer (1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar per 5 US gallons). I surmise that beer has a lot more solids in it, which act as nucleation points for carbonation, so it takes less to get a fizz.
 
A beer bottle is designed for about one atmosphere pressure.
A champagne bottle is designed for about three atmospheres.
A straight cork will normally pop out before a typical bottle explodes. risky ,,, And crown caps are designed for pressure.
The solubility of CO2 / every gas is related to the temperature, low temp is more soluble therefore the pressure in the head space is lower.

What is your goal? At three atmospheres pressure you can create a gusher. At one atmosphere sodas and beer stay in the bottle pretty well.

Have you looked at the new PET corney keg? You could create a one gallon or a two gallon or buy the large one for five gallons of sparkling.
 
A straight cork will normally pop out before a typical bottle explodes. risky
Yup. As I have mentioned in other threads, glass bottles are either rated for a specific pressure, or are unrated. Unrated bottles are not safe at any pressure. If the pressure exceeds the strength of the weakest part of the bottle, it can fail at that point, e.g., grenade.

If a corked bottle builds pressure, it's most likely the cork will pop before the glass fails. However, that is not a guarantee, which is why it's recommended to use only bottles rated for the desired pressure.
 
A champagne bottle is designed for about three atmospheres.
More than that! Champagne is typically 4-6atm, and the champagne bottles that I purchased last year for my sparkling project are rated at 1.6MPa, which is >15atm 😳
What is your goal? At three atmospheres pressure you can create a gusher.
For sure... Sparkling wine producers take great pains to reduce potential sites of nucleation in the wine, most notably tartrate crystals (but also other microscopic solids - bentonite, yeast fragments etc.) Though Pet-nat style wines still have yeast in the bottle, and can definitely turn into fountains if they are too highly carbonated and/or not properly chilled...
Have you looked at the new PET corney keg? You could create a one gallon or a two gallon or buy the large one for five gallons of sparkling.
PET is a good call. I like to use small (10oz) PET bottles for any leftover sparkling wine, they can withstand quite high pressures and you can tell how secondary fermentation is progressing by squeezing the bottle and seeing how firm it is.
 
PLEASE DON'T DO THIS! Putting sparkling wine in standard wine bottles is very dangerous, they aren't designed to hold the pressure. You need proper champagne bottles. Crown caps work fine, though you can also get plastic champagne 'corks' that don't require a corker to insert them. Bear in mind that champagne bottles come in different neck sizes, 26mm (common in the US) and 29mm (standard in Europe but also used by many US producers). You need to get the right size closures for your bottles...

ETA: Lots more information in this thread
Yes it is
 
Note on beer bottles -- do NOT sparkle wine in beer bottles, as beer has roughly half the pressure of Champagne, and beer bottles are not designed for sparkling wine pressure.
It all depends on the carbonation level. If the level of carbonation in beer is suitable for your project, you can use beer bottles. But not for Champagne level carbonation. Beer generally has a carbonation level of 1 to 3 volumes CO2: https://www.asianbeernetwork.com/wp.../Beer-Style-and-Carbonation-Level-Chart-3.pdf As the chart shows, this level of carbonation can range from 5 to 30 psi, depending on the temperature. The pressure can go even higher if they are in a hot car or a hot room for an hour. That's why beer and cider makers usually measure carbonation level as volumes of CO2.

This site lists the pressure limit on beer bottles at around 40 psi, while Champagne bottles are rated at 70-90 psi. https://brewingway.com/how-much-pressure-can-each-glass-bottle-withstand/
 
I have not heard of PET corny kegs and will research them for sure. I’ve done sparkling dandelion wine in 12oz crown caps with the LD Carlson priming sugar drops, which worked really well. I’m not going for monster sparkle and will be more of a pet nat style. I’ll have to look at more options. As always, this is all excellent info.
 
Having blown up bottles myself, I can second the warnings given so far! Fortunately I have never been around when it happens.

Traditional sparkling takes practice, but is a lot of fun if you like messes! I would recommend digging in to youtube tutorials on it, then just giving it a go once you have the right equipment and dosages. I just takes practice.

If you don't like wasting wine, it is much safer and easier to spend some capital to get into pressurized fermentation with stainless. Modern things like safety blowoff valves and even carb stones can make a sparkling wine just right and with much less effort than disgorging. Bottling under pressure is also a bit of an investment.
 
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