Still Born Trappist

Bottle Carbonation Barrel Project

I've pulled three bottles from the cellar to track carbonation. Given the yeast time to settle each bottle was chilled upright and poured without rousing. I pulled a Saison III bottle first after conditioning two weeks. Then waited another week on the Trappist bottle. The following day I popped open a Wine yeast-ed bottle upset by the unnerving Trappist still born. The remaining bottles will rest until they carbonate. I find the CO2 has less bite when naturally produced. Comparing to the pressurized competition entries the phenols are also lighter. Conditioned with fresh yeast the beer is more digestible. However, it still interprets the style with loads of hot-handed crystal malt, and toasted oak aroma. It paints out of style but remains quaffable.

Tips for corking Belgian style bottles:

American styled champagne bottles have a 16.5mm opening. The bottles can be corked and crown capped. These will accept 26mm caps with 23.5 mm cork.

Belgian styled bottles will a require 25.5 mm corks. The opening is 18.5 mm.

Don't trust hard corks, purchase high quality1  new stock to protect your creations. Purchase treated2 cork packed in SO2 sterile bags for immediate use. Do not soak or heat before use which will remove the surface treatment.

For good sealing the cork diameter should be 7 mm larger than the bottle opening. When carbonating for champagne pressure (+1.5 bar) use large format 30.5 mm diameter cork.

Insert the cork with 16-19 mm extending from the bottle then cage with wirehoods.

Fill the bottle leaving 15 mm of airspace under the cork.

Bottles should sit upright for 2 hours after corking allowing the compressed cork to expand3.

Bottle Neck ID OD Diameter

1st #9 Natural Bi-Disk Agglomerated Cork
Diameter = 23.5 mm
Length = 44 mm (1.75" in.)

Belgian Micro-Agglomerated Cork
Diameter = 25.5 mm
Length = 44 mm (1.75" in.)

Champagne Agglomerated Cork
Diameter = 30.5 mm
Length = 48 mm (1.9" in.)

corkscrew rescues cork   


1  Grades highest to lowest (Flor -Extra -Superior -1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th -Agglomerated -Colmated).
2a  Ozone, ethanol, and SO2 treatment processes to ensure against taint
2b  Peroxide washed for sterility. No chlorine
2c  Surface treatment (paraffin and silicone) for easy corking and better seal
3  A cork is compressed from to ~16 mm during corking and then expands to the diameter of the bottle opening. The bottle is sealed tightly as the cork relaxes. The relaxation does not happen instantly reach 95% expansion after 3 hours. If you lay a bottle down before the cork has fully expanded, liquid can fill the space between causing a poor seal.

Works Cited:
http://www.nomacorc.com/nomacorc-quality-bottle-bore.php
http://www.corksupply.com/products/sparkling-wine-closures.aspx
http://www.nomacorc.com/nomacorc-bottling-guide-details.php

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