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Pat Parks

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We have corked our first batch with a hand corker; some of the corks did not quite fit flush into the bottles, all are within an inch of the wine as was recommended, but leave up to 1/4" cork exposed at the top. Seemed worse with the new bottles; I told my husband that the old bottles had had their necks stretched in previous uses, but he didn't buy it... (wonder why?) Are the imperfect ones OK? The corks are micro-agglomerate; the wine is a chianti, RJS GrandCru kit. Tastes good so far, if a little weak; will bottle aging help with that? Can't wait to experiment with others over time.
 

Wade E

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The hand corker is usually troublesome. Did you use a filling wand or pour them manually by hand as an overfull bottle will not let the corks go in all the way due to compression of air and liquid. If you plan on staying with this hobby I advise you to get a fllor corker and the Portuguese is very good for the price of about $65, The Italian is the best but Ive had the Port. model for 3 years now and hhave bottles well over 1,000 with no sign of any wear at all and still works as good as the day I bought it and can not see myself still doing this with a hand corker. I hated that thing as even with the right level in the bottle I still had a few problems even when the corks were lightly soaked in k-meta solution.
 

Pat Parks

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Hand Corker

Filled them with the syphon and clamp, topped off or filled with a little from a two cup measure to keep it to about an inch of space once the cork was in all the way. I can see that a more stable setup that holds the bottle flat and steady would be helpful. Having two people was a big help, and more fun of course! We recorked any that didn't come within an inch (half-dozen or so) because the cork protruded too far. It sure is a rewarding sight to see rows of filled bottles of wine! Can't wait to start emptying a few.
 

Tom

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What size corks did you get? In hand corkers #8 works best. They are just a tad thinner as the hand corker cant squeeze the cork as much as a floor corker. Floor corkers use a #9 cork.
 

Pat Parks

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Cork size

These are a #9; I got them when I got the bottles, 759 ml., but I guess the person assisting me doesn't do any bottling because she thought they would be OK. Between us we got them all squeezed in though. My husband had been planting trees at work for the day, then hauling water to them; I'm sure he really was looking forward to a little more manual labor...
 

Tom

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Thought so. Next time get #8 and that will be so much easier. Or try moisting the cork in k-meta which will help "slide" the cork in easier. Like Wade said if you plan on making alot of wine a floor corker is a must.
 

Malkore

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Part of the problem too is that when you use a bottling wand, it displaces the right volume to give you the right headspace.

I used the same beer bottling wand this weekend on my wine bottles (750ml) and had the two finger widths of space between the wine and the cork, using a basic 2-lever corker.

Sounds like you just topped off too much, and the #9 corks are very tight as well.
 

catskill

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The hand corker is usually troublesome. Did you use a filling wand or pour them manually by hand as an overfull bottle will not let the corks go in all the way due to compression of air and liquid. If you plan on staying with this hobby I advise you to get a fllor corker and the Portuguese is very good for the price of about $65, The Italian is the best but Ive had the Port. model for 3 years now and hhave bottles well over 1,000 with no sign of any wear at all and still works as good as the day I bought it and can not see myself still doing this with a hand corker. I hated that thing as even with the right level in the bottle I still had a few problems even when the corks were lightly soaked in k-meta solution.
Wade, what do you mean by 'lightly soaked' and what dilution of k-meta do you use to soak your corks? Thanks
 

Wade E

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If you dont have a cork humidor to keep corks sanitized then taking your corks and putting them in a collander over a primary bucket and pouring a sanitizer strength solution(3 tbs to a gallon) over your corks and then put the lid over all that and let them sit there for about 10 minutes to let the sanitizer fumes do their work.
 

Madriver Wines

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Hey Wade do you still use the seperate bucket and a gallon of solution to keep your corks ready to go? What do you put the corks in ,a bag ?
 

Wade E

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I use a 6 gallon bucket with a 1 galon jug of sanitizer in there with the jug open. and all the corks just poured around them and whenyou open the sealed lid to the bucket it better be in a well ventilated area or it will knock you over with the fumes.
 

Madriver Wines

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How long before you have to change out the solution assuming that you wouldn't be opening it up too often?
 

Wade E

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I have had the same jug in there for about 5-6 months now and it still knocks me over.
 

Boozehag

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Hey speaking of those fumes anyone else suffer from a sore throat from it? I make the mistake of inhaling it every now and then as I forget how awful it is and now I have a horrible hacking cough....feel like a smoker which Im not!
 

CGI

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Hey speaking of those fumes anyone else suffer from a sore throat from it? I make the mistake of inhaling it every now and then as I forget how awful it is and now I have a horrible hacking cough....feel like a smoker which Im not!
Oh, yeah! Makes me cough all the time. It's almost unavoidable not to inhale when sterilizing my primary.
 

cpfan

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Boozehag & CGI:

That's why I started using iodophor as my sanitizer of preference. Some use hydrogen peroxide. Both a big more expensive but definitely easier on my throat and cough.

Steve
 

Boozehag

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sorry to get :ot: Ill shut up after this...just want to know if it is bad for you to inhale it. I got bad chemical poisoning a few years back from other stuff (Long story) and try to not risk too much exposure to such things now. Ill change to anything else regardless of cost if it is the case, i think health is more important.
 

Wade E

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It is not good for you especially if you have asthma!
 

Luc

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I use a hand corker all the time and I almost never have
problems with it.

From your original post I cite:
The bottles are all filled within an inch of the cork.

So when the cork now sticks out you have filled the boorles
way to much. I would have pulled the cork, poured a bit wine out
and recorked.

Luc
 

kiljoy

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I have a small galley kitchen. I set my sanitizing bucket under the stove vent hood and turn it on and then work on the counter across from it. I still get a good lungfull one in a while, but this certainly helps.
 
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