Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bottling with an Italian Champagne Corker

In the spring after tax season I purchased an Italian Wine Corker. This is an amazing machine and the premium model with all the bells and whistles is worth the money. Why is it worth the price tag? almost all metal. Everywhere you want metal there is metal. The only plastic I have found is on the nonskid red base, and the red plastic grip. The cork reducer is all metal construction. Because of the persistence of souring bugs I thought this was important. Any place beer can touch and the bottle touches should be sanitized. This is easier with metal than plastic. Starsan and Idophore are great but all plastic sucks the same when it comes to scratching and bacteria.

(read more after the break.)

Champagne bottles are better than other bottles for holding high pressure liquids. Over the years these bottles have been designed and refined to to hold more PSI than a car tire. This is made possible by thicker glass and a well engineered shape. The corked and caged closure does amazingly well at keeping everything inside under pressure. In addition to being fabulous of their purpose they look so cool in comparison to regular brown bottles. Adding a cork and cage to your beer really takes the presentation to the next level.

Mechanically the corker works beautifully. In one motion as you lower the lever the cork is compressed from full size to bottle neck size.  This also locks the bottle in place so that the cork presses into the bottle. As the lever reaches the bottom it presses the cork to a specific depth set by a nut on the plunger.

The bottles are beautiful when they are finished. So far I have put my Belgian Triple and my Imperial Chocolate Porter into champagne bottles. When it comes time to bottle lambics and gueuzes I'll be able to choose any size champagne bottle or Belgian style beer bottle. There is also a capper attachment which I will post about when I get it.

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