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Botched corking job -- what to do?

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phermenter

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Bottled my first batch of wine today and managed to get exactly ONE cork in all the way. That leaves 26 bottles that have their corks half to three-quarters of the way in. This is with the Gilda hand corker. I know a lot of people swear by the floor corkers, and I guess I'll have to spend the money too, but there's just so darned much to spend money on in this hobby I thought I'd try to sneak by with the $22 job.

Anyhow, this is an early drinker (Vintner's Reserve Mezza Luna White) that I don't plan to age much, so I wonder do you folks think I can get by with them as they are for 6-8 months or would I be better off pulling and recorking after I break down and get one of the Italian or Portuguese jobs? I'm assuming oxidation shouldn't be a huge deal if I'm drinking it all within a year.
 

twissty

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you'll probably be ok for 6-8 months is it lasts that long. :D
Your problem was probably not enough headspace. Next time you bottle, experiment until you get it right.


I've been using a hand corker for years because it takes up less space than a floor one. I think the big difference is the amount of strength required to operate the corker.

I also like to soak my corks in a sulphite solution for a half hour or so before i bottle.
 

cpfan

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Phermenter: If you can take a digital pic of a typical bottle showing wine surface & cork, please post it here. What kind of corks (synthetic, agglomerated, ...)?

When using that corker you need to make sure that you continue to squeeze the cork while pushing it down. May be a two person job for some folks.

I think that the two-handed wing style corker is better than the Gilda, and of course, I much prefer floor corkers.

Steve
 

phermenter

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Phermenter: If you can take a digital pic of a typical bottle showing wine surface & cork, please post it here. What kind of corks (synthetic, agglomerated, ...)?

When using that corker you need to make sure that you continue to squeeze the cork while pushing it down. May be a two person job for some folks.

I think that the two-handed wing style corker is better than the Gilda, and of course, I much prefer floor corkers.

Steve
Steve, I wish I had the equipment (and know-how) but I'm not set up for pics. The corks are agglomerated, 8 x 1.75". They have probably two inches of air space under them on average. I know this is not good, but thought it might be better for short-term storage than reopening them to recork when I get a new corker.

I guess that's my main question, whether there's a bigger risk in having two inches of air space or re-exposing the wine to oxygen.

Jim
 

arcticsid

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Steve, could a person tap the corks in with a rubber mallet?
Troy
 

cpfan

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You can try, but I doubt it would work because the corks need to be compressed as they should be wider than the neck of the bottle.

Maybe someone with experience with this problem will answer you at Winepress.

Steve
 

Benjo's Mom

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I am very lucky our local brew supply store loans out their floor corker for free to customers. Perhaps you have a shop that would rent one, or you could connect with other local winemakers who might have one and arrange to borrow it. It has certainly made my life easier:)
 

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