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making stoneware clay bottles for beer


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#1 Mart

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 07:10 AM

Friend of mine asked me to make few bottles for his home made beer and I thought why not. The idea is to use stoneware clay and fire those around 1257-60C in electric kiln. For cap, we like to use swing top bottle closures like Grolsch has.
If he wants about 50 bottles, it makes sense to make a mold and pour the bottles.
Have you done this? Poured stoneware clay? What are the problems you run in to? All tips and recommendations are welcome :)

Cheers!

#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:26 AM

Cannot help you with the bottles ... but have been in a basement with exploding home made beer! Posted Image
Good luck with the project, sounds challenging and interesting.

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#3 goodie2shus

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:33 AM

Friend of mine asked me to make few bottles for his home made beer and I thought why not. The idea is to use stoneware clay and fire those around 1257-60C in electric kiln. For cap, we like to use swing top bottle closures like Grolsch has.
If he wants about 50 bottles, it makes sense to make a mold and pour the bottles.
Have you done this? Poured stoneware clay? What are the problems you run in to? All tips and recommendations are welcome :)/>

Cheers!



#4 Mart

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:23 AM

Friend of mine asked me to make few bottles for his home made beer and I thought why not. The idea is to use stoneware clay and fire those around 1257-60C in electric kiln. For cap, we like to use swing top bottle closures like Grolsch has.
If he wants about 50 bottles, it makes sense to make a mold and pour the bottles.
Have you done this? Poured stoneware clay? What are the problems you run in to? All tips and recommendations are welcome Posted Image

Cheers!


Of course bottles explode if fermentation is still going strong and gases are produced by yeast. That's what barrels are for :)








#5 Brian Stein

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:50 AM

The flip tops should prevent explosions, they will release gasses. If the brewer has carbonated in bottles before, will know how much to prime each bottle for best taste which is below explosion pressures.

I've been working on throwing 1/2 gal stoneware growlers, getting the clay to fit the large flip-tops with shrinkage has been a challenge. I designed the bottle in Illustrator, enlarged 115% and printed it out. I take my dimensions off the printout when I throw. I have successfully thrown one but have not bisque fired it yet. The top looks like it will fit but I don't want to try it on green ware fearing I may break or chip it.

If you go for bottles, I would throw 22 oz. It's a good size for drinking and is standard for filling at brew pubs. The smaller flip tops would probably be a little easier to fit, they just have lugs on the side with a small hole in each for the flip-top to pull against. I would think getting the shrinkage factor into your mold design will be the primary hurdle.

-Brin

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#6 trina

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:25 PM

I have not done bottles before, but I would just make a bunch of necks so you can test your shrinkage, then you would know if your stopper fits without having to fire loads of bottles. Just a thought... T

#7 trina

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:33 PM

The flip tops should prevent explosions, they will release gasses. If the brewer has carbonated in bottles before, will know how much to prime each bottle for best taste which is below explosion pressures.

I've been working on throwing 1/2 gal stoneware growlers, getting the clay to fit the large flip-tops with shrinkage has been a challenge. I designed the bottle in Illustrator, enlarged 115% and printed it out. I take my dimensions off the printout when I throw. I have successfully thrown one but have not bisque fired it yet. The top looks like it will fit but I don't want to try it on green ware fearing I may break or chip it.

If you go for bottles, I would throw 22 oz. It's a good size for drinking and is standard for filling at brew pubs. The smaller flip tops would probably be a little easier to fit, they just have lugs on the side with a small hole in each for the flip-top to pull against. I would think getting the shrinkage factor into your mold design will be the primary hurdle.

-Brin


nice frit. T

#8 Biglou13

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:53 PM

The flip tops should prevent explosions, they will release gasses. If the brewer has carbonated in bottles before, will know how much to prime each bottle for best taste which is below explosion pressures.

I've been working on throwing 1/2 gal stoneware growlers, getting the clay to fit the large flip-tops with shrinkage has been a challenge. I designed the bottle in Illustrator, enlarged 115% and printed it out. I take my dimensions off the printout when I throw. I have successfully thrown one but have not bisque fired it yet. The top looks like it will fit but I don't want to try it on green ware fearing I may break or chip it.

If you go for bottles, I would throw 22 oz. It's a good size for drinking and is standard for filling at brew pubs. The smaller flip tops would probably be a little easier to fit, they just have lugs on the side with a small hole in each for the flip-top to pull against. I would think getting the shrinkage factor into your mold design will be the primary hurdle.

-Brin


I guess with your last name you be an expert. (Lol)

But while,your at it can you guys post some images beer related glasses, mugs or "steins". That you've made. I'm looking for inspiration for a rugged ceramic beer vessel.

(While I enjoy a big hoppy IPA don't bring it to me in a delicate snifter.). (Or any beer for that matter)
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#9 Brian Stein

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

I guess with your last name you be an expert. (Lol)

But while,your at it can you guys post some images beer related glasses, mugs or "steins". That you've made. I'm looking for inspiration for a rugged ceramic beer vessel.


Maybe you have heard of my Uncle Stein? He would have been a great potter if he had put his mind to it. (Lol)

For ideas, I found an old Schlitz printing press die probably from a newspaper. I thought it would make a great sprig mold for some 16oz thrown glasses.

-Brian

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#10 Pres

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:10 PM

The flip tops should prevent explosions, they will release gasses. If the brewer has carbonated in bottles before, will know how much to prime each bottle for best taste which is below explosion pressures.

I've been working on throwing 1/2 gal stoneware growlers, getting the clay to fit the large flip-tops with shrinkage has been a challenge. I designed the bottle in Illustrator, enlarged 115% and printed it out. I take my dimensions off the printout when I throw. I have successfully thrown one but have not bisque fired it yet. The top looks like it will fit but I don't want to try it on green ware fearing I may break or chip it.

If you go for bottles, I would throw 22 oz. It's a good size for drinking and is standard for filling at brew pubs. The smaller flip tops would probably be a little easier to fit, they just have lugs on the side with a small hole in each for the flip-top to pull against. I would think getting the shrinkage factor into your mold design will be the primary hurdle.

-Brin


Glad to see someone else uses a drawing program for planning. Personally, I prefer Corel Draw for this even though I taught adult night classes in Illustrator. Adobe products were too expensive for me in the long run, and I like the measuring and scaling tools in Corel Draw that Illustrator did not have at the time. I find the working with a draw program or even a 3D program allows me to plan things out better than by paper pencil-so easy to play what if.

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#11 Diesel Clay

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 02:13 PM

I had an instructor once who made his own beer and cone 10 stoneware bottles. If your friend is carbonating in the bottle,you need to be very conscious of uniform wall thickness, make sure there's no areas that are too thin, and compress your clay well. Ie throw with at least one, if not two ribs. Carbonation build up can cause too thin, under-compressed bottle to give out, even with a grolsh style closure. Also, make sure your glaze fits like a glove, and your clay as vitreous as possible. Martin told us to avoid shino type glazes on the inside, he said he noticed a difference in flavour and how it fizzes.
50 bottles is definitely a project, but I'd be inclined to throw them, to get the compression.

And BigLou, I'm posting some of my beer steins to my gallery. They're still green, but I'll update in about 2 weeks when they're glazed.
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#12 Mark C.

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 07:19 PM

Getting the shrinkage right is the hardest part. This form will works best I think as slip cast as it will have even wall thickness. which is good for pressure.You may as well put a logo on the mold to add some style-very easy to do.
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#13 Wind n Wing

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 01:46 AM

I have many years of slip casting under my belt and will tell you that it isnt a hard thing to do as long as the viscosity is right for your clay body. The trickiest part is the timing for the preferred thickness of your bottles body and making sure the insides are completely covered with food safe glaze.  Any air bubbles or pinholes in the glaze body will not turn out well for storing the beer.

Something you might find handy before you finish desigining your mold would be to look at a site {like Bing.com} and check out images for ceramic beer bottles and mold manufacturers.  Could be inspiring and maybe save you some work.  I'm not into slip casting much these days prefer slab work. Hope this gives you another avenue to explore


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#14 Mug

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 09:05 AM

Ebay may be another good source for inspiration. Ceramic beer bottles are a big collectors item. Most of them were made for local brewery's.

If I were to make 50 I would buy a couple of different bottles and see hands on how they were made.



#15 tchord

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:23 AM

Where do you find the larger flip tops?






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