Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

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Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby flip » May 9th, 2013, 7:54 am

I'm planning on bottling my Tripel in Belgian bottles and cork and caging them.

My only concern is this might exclude me from entering them into competitions if some people are sticklers about strict rules on packaging. Typically regular 12 oz and 22 oz capped bottles are allowed. I've never seen any rule stated that corked bottles aren't allowed, but never stating that they are either. Anyone have experience with this?
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby beer4bill » May 9th, 2013, 8:05 am

I've sorted and checked in bottles for a couple of competition. IMHO you are better served bottling your competition entries in 12 oz. Large format bottles are troublesome to manage and you run the risk of being rejected or possibly not being judged.
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby johnf » May 9th, 2013, 8:59 am

Most competitions will accept them whether or not the rules say they will but if you know you want to enter it I would encourage you to bottle a few in 12 oz longneck (ISB) bottles or something similar as large format bottles are a PITA. Most competitions will not officially accept 22 oz bottles. Any competition that does is either very small so that stacking case boxes isn't an issue or they haven't run a competition before and don't realize how bad it sucks to not be able to stack your case boxes. I don't consider the corks an issue. The issue is can it fit in a standard 24 bottle case box. If the height is okay the occasional off width bottle (like stubbies) is not a problem.
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby flip » May 9th, 2013, 9:57 am

Thanks, guys! So I guess the size is more the issue than the corking vs capping debate.

johnf wrote:I would encourage you to bottle a few in 12 oz longneck (ISB) bottles or something similar as large format bottles are a PITA.


This brings up another somewhat related question. I thought about doing this too. Like maybe half a case of 12 oz bottles just for competition, and the rest in 750's like planned, but I've heard different numbers for priming sugar in corked bottles vs capped. Especially in the BYO recipe that I used for my Tripel, they list two different priming sugar rates. Any reason for that, or would I be ok just doing some capped and some corked with priming sugar appropriate to the CO2 volume I want?
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby johnf » May 9th, 2013, 11:24 am

flip wrote:Thanks, guys! So I guess the size is more the issue than the corking vs capping debate.

johnf wrote:I would encourage you to bottle a few in 12 oz longneck (ISB) bottles or something similar as large format bottles are a PITA.


This brings up another somewhat related question. I thought about doing this too. Like maybe half a case of 12 oz bottles just for competition, and the rest in 750's like planned, but I've heard different numbers for priming sugar in corked bottles vs capped. Especially in the BYO recipe that I used for my Tripel, they list two different priming sugar rates. Any reason for that, or would I be ok just doing some capped and some corked with priming sugar appropriate to the CO2 volume I want?


The assumption is that ISB bottles can't handle high carbonation. I am skeptical because I have bought some infected beer in ISB bottles that was easily 5 volumes of CO2 and yet the bottles weren't exploding all over the shelves. In either case, CO2 mass doesn't break bottles, pressure does. So a highly carbonated beer at a cool temperature might be less likely to cause a problem than a standard beer in the drunk of a car during the summer and clearly bottles can handle that.

There are bottles that are a very similar format to ISB bottles that carry commercial beer that is highly carbonated. The bottles used for Rochefort and St. Bernardus are on example, Boulevard Smokestack 12 oz bottles are another.
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby flip » May 9th, 2013, 2:15 pm

Yeah, that was my thought too. I know standard crown bottles can withstand more than 3 volumes CO2 at room temperature because I've had gushers before that were clearly more than that without shattering. Around 3 to 3.5 volumes, where my Tripel would be, shouldn't be a gusher either.

I thought maybe it had something to do with it losing some pressure when pushing out and compressing the cork and therefore more sugar was necessary to meet the same CO2 volume, but wasn't sure.
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby flip » May 9th, 2013, 2:19 pm

Anyway, I guess the takeaway message I'm getting from this is I should be perfectly fine calculating my sugar, then bottling some in 750s for corks, and some in 12 oz for caps, and everything should be ok?
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby johnf » May 9th, 2013, 5:30 pm

flip wrote:Anyway, I guess the takeaway message I'm getting from this is I should be perfectly fine calculating my sugar, then bottling some in 750s for corks, and some in 12 oz for caps, and everything should be ok?


Yes, as long as your targeted CO2 is sane, like 3.5 volumes or less. I've never had a problem.
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Re: Bottles Accepted in Homebrew Competitions

Postby flip » May 10th, 2013, 1:27 pm

Cool. Thanks for all the helpful advice, johnf. I really appreciate it!
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