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Crown Caps For Champagne Bottles


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#1 Hammered

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

What size crown cap should I get for Champagne bottles? Any reliable sources? Does the capper have to be sized for the cap or will one size work for all?

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#2 dhudson

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:13 AM

There are two common sizes in use. The capper "bell" unit must be sized to fit the crown cap, so there are two of those as well.
Most domestic bottles use the same crown cap as beer bottles. This is something like 26mm or 27mm in diameter. Anyway, that's the most commonly used size.

There is also a "European" size, I believe it is 29mm diameter, which is used more often in Europe but can sometimes be found on domestic Champagne bottles. (I've never heard of the larger size being used for beer.) This requires the larger-sized cap, and a corresponding larger "bell" housing on the capper. The bell units are generally replaceable, though, so you probably only need one capper.

If you are buying the bottles new, I'd guess they would be the standard (smaller) size. If you are recycling used bottles, it could go either way.

The better LHBS will carry both -- I'm pretty sure Midwest Supplies does, anyway.



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#3 Howie

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:32 PM

What Doug said! However, there are a few CA producers who use proprietary bottles that are in-between, so neither cap will work. I've successfully used these with with plastic champagne corks during the bottle fermentation. In a way, it's not too bad, as after you riddle the bottles, all the sediment is contained inside the plastic cork.
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#4 Hammered

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

I struggled last year to get some beer caps to fit most of my bottles and finally gave up and got the plastic champagne corks, hence the question. Almost all of my bottles were domestic-- got them from a restaurant just after Easter and Mother's Day brunches. I guess I could measure them with some calipers to know which size they are. I could still use the plastic corks for secondary fermentation, but I'm thinking about wanting to use the caps as my final cap, for presentation purposes.

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#5 dhudson

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 02:58 PM

I guess I'm lucky I haven't encountered the third size. So far, everything I've found is either the standard beer bottle size, or the 29mm "European" size.

The standard size cap won't seat properly on the larger bottles - it won't sit flat. The larger cap will sit flat on a standard-size bottle, but it will have significant "play" from side to side. Neither will seal properly.

For doing "degorgement" in Methode Champenoise (removing the dead yeast cells), I think the crown caps make more sense. They are much easier to pop off quickly than the plastic stoppers, IMHO. For presentation, I prefer the plastic stopper and wire hood, but that's purely a personal preference.

For a few dollars you can get some of the larger caps and a matching "bell" -- then you should be equipped for just about anything.
Anyway, good luck. Making sparkling wines is a bit more labor-intensive than still wines, but the result is something special.


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#6 Hammered

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 03:31 PM

QUOTE (dhudson @ Mar 18 2009, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Making sparkling wines is a bit more labor-intensive than still wines, but the result is something special.


Doug

Thanks Doug (and you too Howie)!

I enjoy the extra labor of making the methode Champenois. My Dad used to make sparkling wine and did it that way when we were kids, so it has a little special extra something for me. And my wife really likes it too.

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#7 KimtheWino

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:13 PM

QUOTE (Hammered @ Mar 18 2009, 08:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What size crown cap should I get for Champagne bottles? Any reliable sources? Does the capper have to be sized for the cap or will one size work for all?

I use 29mm bidules and crown caps. We've used a standard capper for the first bottling and got really lucky--no leakers. We have since purchased a table top capper from Presque Isle. They also have bidules, caps, wire hoods, etc. Still looking for a disgorging key...

#8 A_perfect_ashler

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:54 PM

QUOTE (KimtheWino @ Mar 18 2009, 07:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use 29mm bidules and crown caps. We've used a standard capper for the first bottling and got really lucky--no leakers. We have since purchased a table top capper from Presque Isle. They also have bidules, caps, wire hoods, etc. Still looking for a disgorging key...


Disgorging key? Is that the same thing as a "bottle opener"? If so, go to a lot of garage sales and ask friends etc.
Or get one here, http://www.snooth.co...disgorging-key/, but I think an old fashon soda bottle opener would work just as well. The kind made from a piece of wire in the shape if a square extending back into the form of a handle would work great. You just push down with the opener in the palm of your hand and the cap comes off in your hand.

I have two table top cappers I found at flea markets. Another good place to look for "bottle openers".

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#9 Hammered

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 05:25 PM

Does anyone have one of these adapters for a floor corker?

They say is works for a Ferrari floor corker, and I wonder if it would work with a Portuguese one like the one I have...

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#10 Erik Hilmy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:48 PM

QUOTE (Hammered @ Mar 20 2009, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone have one of these adapters for a floor corker?

They say is works for a Ferrari floor corker, and I wonder if it would work with a Portuguese one like the one I have...



I do. But I believe mine is the aforementioned Ferrari. Do you know what the difference is between Ferrari and Portuguese?

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Oh, and I have yet to get a leak using standard 27 SS caps on my bottles.

As far as presentation goes, I MUCH prefer a crown cap to a plastic cork. It's Champagne cork or SS for me. Can't stand the plastic ones.

I've used them when I had to, but have moved on... Who do they think they're fooling?!?

-E

#11 Hammered

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:15 PM

QUOTE (Erik Hilmy @ Mar 20 2009, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do. But I believe mine is the aforementioned Ferrari. Do you know what the difference is between Ferrari and Portuguese?

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Oh, and I have yet to get a leak using standard 27 SS caps on my bottles.

As far as presentation goes, I MUCH prefer a crown cap to a plastic cork. It's Champagne cork or SS for me. Can't stand the plastic ones.

I've used them when I had to, but have moved on... Who do they think they're fooling?!?

-E

Erik,

I guess, the real question is, in the photo I posted it shows the unit has some little clamps on the sheet metal flanges. Did they give you a matching piece you had to attach to each side of your corker head or did they just clamp onto some protrusion on your corker?

It's so inexpensive, I'm tempted to give it a go and if it doesn't work, send it back.

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#12 Hammered

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE (Erik Hilmy @ Mar 20 2009, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do. But I believe mine is the aforementioned Ferrari. Do you know what the difference is between Ferrari and Portuguese?

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Oh, and I have yet to get a leak using standard 27 SS caps on my bottles.

As far as presentation goes, I MUCH prefer a crown cap to a plastic cork. It's Champagne cork or SS for me. Can't stand the plastic ones.

I've used them when I had to, but have moved on... Who do they think they're fooling?!?

-E

And you're right about the presentation factor. Do you still get the "pop" with the caps (what's SS?) Any cool openers that you've used to make the opening more elegant than the bottle opener that plays your old college fight song?

Steve, Garagiste

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#13 Erik Hilmy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:34 PM

QUOTE (Hammered @ Mar 20 2009, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Erik,

I guess, the real question is, in the photo I posted it shows the unit has some little clamps on the sheet metal flanges. Did they give you a matching piece you had to attach to each side of your corker head or did they just clamp onto some protrusion on your corker?

It's so inexpensive, I'm tempted to give it a go and if it doesn't work, send it back.



It clamps onto the top of my Ferrari (?) unit. No special piece. Works like a frickin' charm.

-E

#14 Erik Hilmy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

QUOTE (Hammered @ Mar 20 2009, 08:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And you're right about the presentation factor. Do you still get the "pop" with the caps (what's SS?) Any cool openers that you've used to make the opening more elegant than the bottle opener that plays your old college fight song?



Haha! I wish. You'll find, if you spend enough time with me, that I'm not that terribly classy of a guy. I use a 50-cent bar blade when no one is looking. Or I hide in a closet during busy events and "magically" reappear with "Champagne" bottles at the ready! Not quite like a classical "pop" when opening, but certainly more exciting and noisy than your regular "beer-style 'pschfffft'!" It's somewhat difficult to describe, and I've found that the noise it makes upon opening varies according to the wine inside. Interesting.

SS= Stainless Steel.

My goodness, I love making sparkling wine.

-E

#15 Hammered

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:23 PM

QUOTE (Erik Hilmy @ Mar 20 2009, 07:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SS= Stainless Steel.


-E

What SS closure is there? I haven't heard of them?

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