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Boozehag

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Ive done a search but hvent found what Im looking for.

My main question is about lying bottles down. The wine kit I did said to stand the bottles for 3 days and then lie down to store, but no other book, thread receipe or anything mentions this, what are others thoughts?

Now in my search I have come across the soaking, boiling or not either debate and want to know what others do? Id add a poll if i could.

Do you soak your corks?
Do you boil them?
Or do you think you should do neither?


I have soaked mine in metabisulphite solution so far but would like to be sure thats the right thing to do
 

gonzo46307

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I just bottled my first batch last Thursday, I shrink wrapped them on Sunday and laid them on their side. I just used the #8 corks that came with my equipment kit, no leakage so far...no problems. I just soaked the corks in a pot-meta solution for aprox 15 min before I bottled.

Of course...I'm just a newb.

If I'm not getting any leakage with the #8's...I can't imagine getting any with #9's.

I'll find out my next batch.

Peace,
Bob
 

Wade E

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OK, boiling corks is really a no-no as it introduces H20 to far into the cork which can actually promote a bacteria to form or colonize. corks can be soaked lightly in sulfite solution if using a hand corker cause otherwise these corkers really dont work well otherwise. There really are 2 better ways though, the best way is to make a cork humidor in which you take a sealed bucket and put a bottle of sulfite solution in there and pour all your corks around there and seal the lid. The gases trapped in there work much better then the solution itself in sanitizing anything. The next best method for sanitizing a cork is to take the primary bucket and a colander, fill the colander with the corks and place the colander over the bucket. then pour the sulfite solution over the corks and let the colander sit over this solution for 10 minutes. This will also sanitize your primary and any tools in there! Boiling the corks will also soften the glue used in the corks and they may fall apart when extracted.
 

Tom

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I get a pot with a strainer (steamer pot) make a k=meta soulotion and pour in the bottom add the corks in the stariner. The fumes will sanitize the corks. no need to submerge the corks.
DO NOT BOIL the corks
 

fuzzmeister

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I purchased mine from a wine supply store, and the lady that owns the store told me, that I did not have to sanitize them, just put them in the bottle as is, they were a little more money then the other corks, and I have not had any problems with them other then they just dont last.
 

Wade E

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Were they in a sealed bag with gases in there as some and those are good but once you open that bag and dont finish them at that bottling then i advise you to do the sanitizing.
 

Tom

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I agree with Wade. Unless you get them packaged in 30 packs w/ gas then you need to sanitize.
 

fuzzmeister

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Wade on the package it states they are silicone treated, made in portugal they come in a plastic bag of 100. I have opened the bag and used 30 at a time, folded the bag and used them 2 weeks later with no problems with the wine.
 

Wade E

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Is this a coating that sometimes leaves a residue on the edges of tye bottle when coarking as i believe the corks i use have this coating. I would still do the humidor thing though as any coating can be rubbed off. Its not the time usually that it sits out waiting to be used but after its been installed for some time is when a corks flaws are noticed. The way I see it, with all the time and money we spend on wine why take the chance, I have the humidor and almost always have at least 200 corks in there.
 

Tom

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OK you got 100 in a seal bag. You open the bag and use 30. You wrap them up and they (70) are now contaminated. I am sure that the mfg do not wrap 100 a time to sell retail shipped from Portugal. I buy a bag of 1,000 at a time and those are shipped from the mfg.with gas.
Bottom line; sanitize a few extra steps is worth not ruining your wine.
 

fuzzmeister

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Thanks for the info Wade. I will take your advice and sanitize the corks from now on, and I do agree it is cheap insurance for a lot of time spent to make wine.
 

cpfan

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Right before bottling, I give my corks a quick rinse in sanitizer and then drain in a little colander.

The corked bottles should be stood upright for a day or two (exact time not too important, but at least 24 hours according to my favourite wine chemist [BTW I've only met one]) This allows the cork to expand out to seal the bottle neck. I understand this is not as critiacal with synthetic corks as they are more elastic and expand back out very quickly. Also, the air pressure differential caused by the cork compressing the air in the bottle neck is equalized.

Then lay on their side (or upside down) to keep the corks wet.

Steve
 

Boozehag

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Fabuluos just what I thought.

I was told to boil the corsk for 10 mins but even a blonde like me knows thats stupid to do...knowing what corks are made of!

I guess the soaking is to make them easier to squeeze with the handcorker and using the meta solution is for the sterilisation.

I have no idea what size corks they are as they came with the initial kit. Im bottling some in the screwcap to see what works as well.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Luc

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Most questions already have been answered but I will throw in my 2 cents as well.

By boiling natural corks you might damage cell structure. The cork is then damaged and may start leaking in due time. So do not boil.

Most corks are treated when sold. So the first batch you use out of the bag can be used as is without treatment.
It even mentions on the bags that I buy (100 pieces at a time) that you should use them dry as is.

Nevertheless I put them in a sulphite solution. Then I start sanitising my bottles and then I take the corks out of the sulphite solution and let them drain.
When they have soaked to long pressing the corks into the bottle might leak some of the sulphite solution into the wine....

I like to think that soaking them in a sulphite solution might help prevent contamination from my hands when I pick them up to put them into the bottle.

Luc
 

Boozehag

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hmmm didnt think about that aspect as in the leakage of sulphite into the wine. Thanks for that.
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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It was also suggested that I submerge in solution but since I have a floor corker I really didn't need to soak them at all. I uses 9# corks and I really can't tell the difference between 8# or 9#, though the guy at Midwest said for longer aging the 9# he liked using the 9#'s. Anyone else have a preference? Do any of you use synthetic corks?
 

Tom

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No need to submerge. do what Wade and I suggested (see above response) by making a k-meta solution.
I have the Italian floor corker and ust #9 corks #8 is 1mm smaller and used ti the hand corkers.
If you want to use synthetic corks then you should use the Itailian corker as it will not crease the cork.
 

smurfe

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I use the synthetic corks. What I do with these corks and any cork for that matter is just pour some Na-Meta solution in a bowl over the corks. I just leave them in there floating while I cork. They aren't in there that long. Most people use the agglomerate corks which is ground cork material basically glued together. I couldn't see boiling these to be good. Also, if the corks come in a nitrogen sealed bag, just open them up and inset them. They are fine as is.

My advise is for winemakers not to freak out about sanitation but rather freak out about cleaning. If you keep your stuff clean, you will have little problems with sanitizing which BTW is two different processes. Wine is very very forgiving and you really have to work to get an infection. Clean your equipment after use. Not just rinse it off. Clean it again before you use it and then sanitize it.
 

Manimal

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Great advice from Wade and Smurfe... the cork humidor is what I'll be using from now on... I never liked the idea of soaking corks in sulfite (I've heard some reports that it can cause corks to become crumbly over time??) but at the same time I don't like the idea of not sanitizing something that is going to be in constant contact with my wine for the length of its life. I do have to agree with Smurfe, though, that you probably don't have to drive yourself crazy about sanitation... just be clean, and conscientious and you're probably OK.
 
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