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making stoneware clay bottles for beer


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#21 johncappellini

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 12:36 PM

Your cast from a mold is clay specific as far as attaching hardware is concerned.  If you change your slip and it has different shrinkage your hardware may not fit.  It looks like the growler company in Oregon cuts there mold masters out of blocks of plaster on a lathe.  The slip hast to meet stringent quality control standards.

 

It you make a master bottle and then make molds from it.  rather than cut another master, you may want to change your clay to fit your mold.



#22 Ben

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 01:54 PM

Hey, diesel,
That wouldn't be Martin Tagseth would it?

#23 Diesel Clay

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 02:12 PM

It would be, as a matter of fact!!
Www.dieselclay.weebly.com

#24 Ben

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 02:40 PM

Small world. He and i had this same discussion once upon a time. He told stories of some dramatic failures in his early trials. The clay vitrification and glaze fit can make it or break it. Pun intended.
Do you remember how he was capping/sealing his? (It's been years)

#25 Diesel Clay

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

It's been a good many years for me as well. He was the sessional teacher at ACAD in '99-'00. I kind of want to say he was corking them, but please, no one quote me on that.

Edit: I remember the bit about corks now: Don't use them, or you'll have exploding beer all over your storage.
Www.dieselclay.weebly.com

#26 Angie Days

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 02:46 AM

Why don't you just make the flip top for the bottles. Then you won't need to worry about shrinkage o deformation of the bottle's neck.

I am making an Instructable for making the caps.

 

I'll upload a fast version of it so don't laugh, English is not my fist language.

 

 The forum won't let me to put a photo of the thing, it said that I'm not aloud...



#27 Mark C.

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:07 AM

Why don't you just make the flip top for the bottles. Then you won't need to worry about shrinkage o deformation of the bottle's neck.
I am making an Instructable for making the caps.
 
I'll upload a fast version of it so don't laugh, English is not my fist language.
 
 The forum won't let me to put a photo of the thing, it said that I'm not aloud...

Most likely your photo file size is to large scale it down then rey again.
Mark
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#28 Angie Days

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 06:32 AM

Thank you Mark.

I change my profile photo... That's the thing.

The Instructable is a fast version so please be kind.

Here it is the link:http://www.instructa...nd-strong-bott/



#29 ChenowethArts

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 07:26 AM

Mart,
I have just had a similar request for custom growlers and have been doing some homework/thinking about different approaches.

 

Standard swing-top systems look to be challenging since the opening size, bottle neck diameter, mounting inserts, and precise location for the mountings look to be critical.  I did find a product that is more dependent on the bottle neck diameter and simply snaps onto the neck of the bottle: Clip N' Clamp Swing Top  This still requires a little engineering to make sure everything is spaced properly and that the clamp doesn't slip up the neck when the bottle is fastened.  Have you considered this option?

 

I may venture into some testing with my current stoneware body to throw several necks (just the necks), record numerous critical dimensions, and then see how close I can come to something that will work with the Clip N' Clamp system once the test necks are bisque and glaze fired. Have you done anything like this?

 

Which brings me to my last thought (more thoughts will require additional coffee ;) )  I have made a number of bottles that are constructed/assembled from wheel-thrown and slab/hand-built parts.  If I can conquer the neck construction and come up with a workable jig/pattern, I could see doing limited edition growlers using the same neck/top assembly but with more flexibility in what happens to the bottle belly and base.  I fully understand the importance of consistent thickness, uniform glaze coverage inside, etc... Any thoughts on approach?

 

-Paul

 

Oh...and someone asked for stein examples.  Here is my latest, under-the-influence-of-Sandy-Blain, 12 oz. stein experiments:

https://www.dropbox....mp-mug.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox....mp-mug.jpg?dl=0

(and if the links to DropBox don't work, I will know better next time).
 


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#30 ChenowethArts

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 10:51 AM

I just found someone this morning who is already doing producing custom ceramic growlers: Tim Carlburg (you'll have to ignore the https security message, evidently his SSL certificate is out of date...but the site is safe).

 

-Paul


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#31 Ben

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:18 AM

Ahhh, but a growler is not used for bottling or carbonating nor long term storage. Usually a growler is only used to get beer from one place to another where it is consumed in short order like a party. Not sure if these would survive bottle carbonation.
I like the raised bump that anchors the flip top.

#32 GrowlerGuy

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:40 PM

Howdy Folks, 

Paul Chenoweth asked me to come onto the post to help answer some questions and after reading some of the posts regarding growlers I would be happy to answer questions.

 

To introduce myself, I have been making primarily nothing but growlers for over 6 years - both turned and cast. One offs and mass production. I have worked with huge breweries around the country (Widmer, Kona, etc) and have sent my growlers all over the world. You can see some of my stuff at

 

www.handmadegrowlers.com  

 

When I first began making growlers there was A HUGE learning curve to get the shrinkage, top fitment and function just right.

 

As I read through the previous posts,  a couple of things that jumped out at me are the following:

 

1. Growlers are not meant for bottle conditioning home-brews. Don't even attempt it as you cannot control the living portion of the process (sugars and yeast) you will end up with a huge mess!

 

2. Flip Tops DO NOT RELEASE CARBONATION, they are made in such a way as not to budge - unlike the screw on tops for the glass growlers. Those are actually made to release pressure and give much like when you pop open a jelly jar for the first time. 

 

3. Carbonation-CO2 is not your friend. As CO2 comes out of solution (as beer warms) carbonation will build up inside your vessel. If you do not have a strong enough clay body, or the type of top that releases pressure, something has to give.  I spent a lot of time with my local head brewer going over their carbonation/ temp charts, and did a lot of pressure testing on my growlers. I built a pressure tester and have blown up more growlers than you would ever imagine - recording the PSI, body wall thickness, temps, etc etc.. I would recommend doing the same type of testing before offering them for sale. I learned the hard way that people hate it when beer explodes all over the inside of their car!

 

4. Flip tops.  The small Grolsch style tops are too small for growlers and most filling stations or brewery hoses won't fit. The 34 mm size is the style I prefer. The wide mouth ones work really great too. Both styles are hard to source but if you are looking for them in bulk, I would try Saxco Pacific. If you want just a handful, call the guys Sound Homebrew (or go to them online) - i get orders from them within 3 days usually. 

 

5. The flip top bales I use can be slightly "adjusted". pull the two pieces apart and the bracket that holds the topper, those arms can be straightened and re -bent higher or lower depending on if you need a little more room or a little less to make it a tight seal.  If you can close the bail and still rock the stopper back and forth, it is too loose - tighten it up a bit. 

 

6. Growlers are a temporary storage device, meant to get beer home, or to a party and then used. I have however kept beer good, in my growlers for almost two weeks - IN the refrigerator - keeping that beer nice and cold and the carbonation down. I have at times popped the top to releases a little of the pressure just to be sure. 

 

7. Growlers are a blast to make and more fun to take to the local brewery - learn your states regulations (and those of any states where you might have customers) some places require by law the legalese Gov Warning label. Some states have totally crazy laws -others are way more lax.  It sucks bringing one and finding out you can't fill it.

 

8. Brewers make money by the ounce. You gotta have your shrinkage rate dialed in and the sizing just so. 

 

Hope that helps. If anyone has specific questions, please feel free to email me at carlburgpottery@gmail.com

 

Best of luck and happy turning!



#33 Diesel Clay

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 07:24 PM

http://instagram.com/p/atoGvBuBg8/

Just because a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a Martin Tagseth Beer bottle. He puts his own home brew in it, but I am unsure if he carbonates at all. In light of above conversation, I think he may not, but perhaps Ben can say for sure?
Www.dieselclay.weebly.com




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