Cork issues and hacks

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BigDaveK

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Tell your wife that some dude on the internet told you that you MUST have a floor corker!
You're a hoot!!

I'm using regular corks and nomacorcs only because I have them. Eventually just nomacorc.

I usually use a waiters corkscrew but I've had a couple SERIOUSLY stuck corks. Then I'll use the double lever - even downward force instead of angular.

Had an incident with a waiters corkscrew. Like my canning jars, I always check my bottles before using. The cork wasn't going nowhere no how. Did it expand too much? Dunno. When it happened I thought "Holy shit!" and considered myself very lucky.

cork.jpg
 

ChuckD

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Nomacorcs eliminate cork concerns. I've been using them exclusively for over 2 years and won't use any other cork, Perfect seals, flawless with no impact on wine flavour or smell i.e. what else do you want. I buy mine in bags of 500 because I make wines with a lot of serious winemakers. These corks are a no-brainer. Use up any corks that you have and then buy these.

Namaste
I’ll be switching, but I may keep some agglomerate corks on hand for the hard lemonade. It never lasts more than a couple months anyways
 

Dives35

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I tried using Nomacorcs for a while, but had the problem of the leading edge curling back when inserted with my Portuguese corker. Finally went back to good old reliable 1 3/4” agglomerates.
 

Rocky

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I have been using these with no issues. They have been great!
When you buy these corks, how are the packaged? Are they in a bag and is L. D. Carlson on the bag? Those appear to be what I call the 3-piece (i.e., top and bottom natural cork and an agglomerate center). I have used this type in the past with no issues. It is just a recent batch of 1000 that I bought and returned 700 of them to Label Peelers. It is difficult to judge from the picture, but they appear to be of good quality.

I am so pleased that I posted this thread. I have received some excellent advice and leads on lower priced Nomacorcs. Thanks to all that responded.
 
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One more comment on Nomacorcs -- I switched because I have mold problems. Due to less than ideal storage conditions, I get mold on the outside of the cork. That is no longer a problem with Nomacorcs.

You're a hoot!!
Wives and mothers generally consider me trouble.

Mothers especially are terrified what I'll teach their kids. To my twin 2 yo nephews, "hey guys, can you say trinitrotoluene?" There is zero chance I'll be asked to babysit .... 🤣
 

silverbullet07

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When you buy these corks, how are the packaged? Are they in a bag and is L. D. Carlson on the bag? Those appear to be what I call the 3-piece (i.e., top and bottom natural cork and an agglomerate center). I have used this type in the past with no issues. It is just a recent batch of 1000 that I bought and returned 700 of them to Label Peelers. It is difficult to judge from the picture, but they appear to be of good quality.

I am so pleased that I posted this thread. I have received some excellent advice and leads on lower priced Nomacorcs. Thanks to all that responded.

They do not have LD Carlson stamped on the bag. The bag has a sticker packaged by homebrewohio so I guess they buy a large batch and repackage. These are a little different then my last 100 pieces I got that were LD Carlson. But I ordered 100 pieces this week and they are the same as the last 200 I got last year from them.
 

silverbullet07

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distancerunner

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Nomacork.

Even with the Italian corker, there can be a little fold on insertion. Doesn't appear to be a problem as far as sealing goes.

Sometimes challenging to remove.
 

vinny

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Am I wrong in assuming Nomacorks would also eliminate the need to store horizontally to wet corks for those that like to use bottle boxes? I recently read of a box falling and bottles breaking with odd shaped bottles on their side inside.
 
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Am I wrong in assuming Nomacorks would also eliminate the need to store horizontally to wet corks for those that like to use bottle boxes? I recently read of a box falling and bottles breaking with odd shaped bottles on their side inside.
There is no need to lay the bottles on their sides. I do it simply because it's habit, although I have 2 cases of wine to deliver to a relative, standing upright for a few months.
 

silverbullet07

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Has anyone used the Superior Portuguese floor corker with the nomacorc 9x1 1/2 that LP sales or the select 900 that Carolina wine supple sale? I would like to use them on my Amarone and petite Sahara that will need to age for a few years. It will help me with storage in wine boxes upright. I’m running out of horizontal bottle storage area.


 

Rocky

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Has anyone used the Superior Portuguese floor corker with the nomacorc 9x1 1/2 that LP sales or the select 900 that Carolina wine supple sale? I would like to use them on my Amarone and petite Sahara that will need to age for a few years. It will help me with storage in wine boxes upright. I’m running out of horizontal bottle storage area.


I have a Portuguese floor corker (although I don't recognize the "Superior" qualifier) and the Nomacorc's from Label Peelers work fine. I just want to point out that the Nomacorc's from Carolina wine supply are #9 x 1.73" and those from Label Peelers are #9 x 1.5," if that makes a difference to you. Also, those from Carolina would be more economical, i.e., $17 per 100 vs. $20.35 per 100, if that matters to you.
 

silverbullet07

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Thanks rocky. the superior Portuguese corker is taller and uses round bar metal more like the Italian corker. They are a little harder to find. You can see it here. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002P0SF2I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Carolina charges 20 to ship to me for those 100 corks. LP charges 10.65 for shipping which made the LP cheaper. However I found on eBay the same corks as LP from Midwest and it was 21.95 with free prime shipping so I will go that route and give them a try on my next bottling.

LP says these 9x1.5 are good for 10+ years. Hope they are right not that many will last that long.
 
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vinny

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You're a hoot!!

I'm using regular corks and nomacorcs only because I have them. Eventually just nomacorc.

I usually use a waiters corkscrew but I've had a couple SERIOUSLY stuck corks. Then I'll use the double lever - even downward force instead of angular.

Had an incident with a waiters corkscrew. Like my canning jars, I always check my bottles before using. The cork wasn't going nowhere no how. Did it expand too much? Dunno. When it happened I thought "Holy shit!" and considered myself very lucky.

View attachment 90299
The important thing is that you got to the wine. 😄

I'm starting to wonder if there shouldn't be more emphasis in your name. BIGDaveK. I'm getting mental images a 6'5 300 lb gentle giant walking around picking day lillies and petting his kitties before sitting down to break the top off a bottle of wine.
 

BigDaveK

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The important thing is that you got to the wine. 😄

I'm starting to wonder if there shouldn't be more emphasis in your name. BIGDaveK. I'm getting mental images a 6'5 300 lb gentle giant walking around picking day lillies and petting his kitties before sitting down to break the top off a bottle of wine.
No, had to pitch the wine. Couldn't take the chance of glass splinters wreaking havoc in my alimentary canal or - even worse - urethra.
😄
Actually, 6'2", at least 320 lbs at one time - the scale only went to 320.
And then I discovered lo-carb...Bacon? Sausage? Cheese? Meat? As much as I want? Great diet!
 
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LP says these 9x1.5 are good for 10+ years. Hope they are right not that many will last that long.
Vendor information says the Select 900 are good for 5 years, while my (hopefully) educated guess is 7 years when considering manufacturer's liability. If LP is saying 10 years? I'll believe it, not that I'll have that many bottles from a batch left after 10 years.

Something to keep in mind in longevity discussions is realistic expectations.

Various sources state that 90% of the world's wine production is intended for consumption within 3 years. While members of this forum are more likely to be in the group that produces longer lived wines, the reality is that most of us cannot get the quality fruit necessary for the truly long lived wines, although we can up the ABV, tannin, acid, and/or sugar levels that help wines last longer.

I've had wines age out, e.g., kept them past their "best by date". There are few things more disappointing than having several cases of wine exceed their lifespan. IME keeping a wine for even 1 year without tasting it is not a wise choice, and I taste every wine at least every 6 months. Better to drink it too young than too old.

When buying corks rated for 25 years, ask yourself if that is a realistic goal?
 

silverbullet07

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@winemaker81
I have about a dozen bottles of miscellaneous wines i bottled in Jan 2021. A few bottles each of apple, pear, blueberry, raspberry that I need to drink up then. The corks are still good and still taste great. How long should you plan for these type lasting in the bottle? Is 3 years too long?
 
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I have about a dozen bottles of miscellaneous wines i bottled in Jan 2021. A few bottles each of apple, pear, blueberry, raspberry that I need to drink up then. The corks are still good and still taste great. How long should you plan for these type lasting in the bottle? Is 3 years too long?
Longevity is hard to gauge, as it's affected by (at least) the fruit, ABV, tannin, acid, and sugar.

Many moons ago I had several batches of white French-American hybrids start to decline at the 3 year mark, and conversely I had a chaptalized "fun wine" kit last 7 years. The F-A hybrids were white grapes [low tannin], were low brix (17-19) [low ABV], I cold stabilized [low acid], and I didn't backsweeten [no sugar]. In hindsight, the lack of longevity was no surprise.

The "fun wine" was an Apple-Riesling kit that I chaptalized to produce 11.7% ABV, the residual sugar was 3.1%, and it had enough acid to balance the sugar. The only thing low was tannin. However, the longevity was a surprise, as these kits are far from high end and the fruit isn't necessarily high quality. Apparently I bumped it enough to extend the life span.

I suspect that wines made by the frequent posters on this forum are on the high edge of the longevity curve. As a general rule, we seem to exert more care and effort in comparison to bulk wine manufacturers, so we are more likely (as a whole) to get better longevity. In the same light, we also cannot get the high quality fruit the high end wineries get.

Clive Coates, British Master of Wine, has a Law of Maturity named after him: a wine will remain at its peak (or optimal) drinking quality for a duration of time that is equal to the time of maturation required to reach its optimal quality. My guess is that his rule applies to Vinifera reds and whites, so I take it as an approximation, not anything firm.

In your situation? I'd generally expect to get 3 to 5 years from a lighter fruit wine. Depending on the wines' qualities, 1 to 3 years to reach their best, and a roughly equal time before declining. The wines are roughly 1.5 years old? My best, sight-unseen advice is to enjoy them. Pay attention to each bottle you open, and record your impressions. Later on you can review the notes to see how the wines age. If the notes indicate the wine is holding a steady state, assume it's at its peak and plan to consume the batch before the wine's age doubles, e.g., if it peaks at 2 years, plan to drink it all by age 4.

My 2019 second run (Merlot, Malbec, Zinfandel) is starting to decline. The oak is actually getting harsher, not a lot, but I'm noticing it. I also note it's a second run wine and not intended for long aging, so I got more from it than I expected. I have 4 bottles left, so the problem will be eliminated shortly. The 2019 Zinfandel is at its peak now, and I expect it will be good for another 2 to 3 years. In contrast, the 2019 Merlot has not yet peaked -- I'm guessing it needs another year or so, then it will be good for 3 to 4 more. These are (hopefully) educated guesses on my part.
 

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