cork life

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Since natural corks dry out and leak if the bottle is upright, I doubt that it makes any difference to Nomacorcs.
I would suggest that is not a fair comparison. The materials are completely different.
Treatment of corks prior to insertion is not helpful. Commercial wineries cut the bag and empty it into the bottling line's hopper. The corks are clean-n-dry from the factory.

I cut a slit in the top of the bag, big enough to extract corks. The counter is wiped with K-meta solution prior to bottling, so it's both clean and sanitized. The corks are lined up on the counter and plucked off as each bottle goes into the corker.

After bottling is done, I roll the end of the bag up, pressing out as much air as possible, and secure it with a standard office binder clip.

Originally I boiled corks, as that is what I was told to do. Don't do this, it makes the corks brittle and chunks can flake off on insertion and extraction. Later I soaked in K-meta solution for 10 minutes.

This stopped (circa 1989) when I had a discussion with a winery owner. He literally laughed at me and told me I was wasting time-n-effort. I have bottled from the bag since then. I've had entire batches go bad, but have not had a problem bottle. YMMV
My process is a little different. I buy bags of 1000 and break them down into 100's in ZipLoc Freezer Bags. What I used to do and don't know why I went away from the process is dump the 100 into my "Corkerator." This was an old salad spinner that I robbed from my Bride's kitchen, with a bowl, basket and top. I used to pour K-meta into the bowl, put the corks in the basket and add the cover with the top. K-meta sanitizes both with direct contact and by the gas released from the liquid so I left the corks "stew" in the gasses for about two hours, while I racked and bottled the wine. When a carboy was emptied, I would cork the 26-30 bottles. There was no direct contact with the solution.

Corks should never be boiled as it breaks down the binder in agglomerates and weakens the structure of both natural corks and Nomacorcs.

BTW, I do recall why I changed the process. A couple years back, we were contemplating moving to Florida and I sold all of my wine making supplies and equipment. I am sure the Corkerator went during that time and I have not replaced it. I have been emptying the 100's into a bowl and spritzing them with K-meta, so that did involve direct contact.
 
I would suggest that is not a fair comparison. The materials are completely different.
That's actually my point -- the materials are totally different. Nomacorc doesn't need contact with liquid to avoid drying out, whereas natural cork does.

Of course, I'm making what I hope is educated guesses based upon what I know at this time.
 
FWIW, I drop my normacorcs into a bowl with kmeta solution and swirl them around for a few seconds and then start corking. Kmetas probably not needed but it makes me feel better. I'm literally at the finish line- why not just do this last step. Besides, I always have a bunch of kmeta still on hand because I just bottled.

I use a Portuguese floor corker with brass jaws and have stored hundreds of bottles on their sides with zero leaks. I shrink my wraps with simmering water on the stove. I find that it's actually faster than a heat gun and more consistent. I just hold the end of the wrap with my index finger as I lower it into the hot water. Once it touches the water, it starts to shrink and then I release my finger and dunk it until the wrap is fully submerged. It doesn't stay in the water for more than a couple seconds. There is no chance for the cork to get too hot. It's not exposed long enough. This process has worked well for me and I don't see any reason to deviate from it.
 
FWIW, I drop my normacorcs into a bowl with kmeta solution and swirl them around for a few seconds and then start corking. Kmetas probably not needed but it makes me feel better. I'm literally at the finish line- why not just do this last step. Besides, I always have a bunch of kmeta still on hand because I just bottled.

I use a Portuguese floor corker with brass jaws and have stored hundreds of bottles on their sides with zero leaks. I shrink my wraps with simmering water on the stove. I find that it's actually faster than a heat gun and more consistent. I just hold the end of the wrap with my index finger as I lower it into the hot water. Once it touches the water, it starts to shrink and then I release my finger and dunk it until the wrap is fully submerged. It doesn't stay in the water for more than a couple seconds. There is no chance for the cork to get too hot. It's not exposed long enough. This process has worked well for me and I don't see any reason to deviate from it.
Interesting. I have two Portuguese corkers and both have plastic jaws. Did you add the brass jaws? I bought both of them used. I had an Italian floor corker with metal jaws and never had the problem with corks going too deeply into the bottle. (Not a depth adjustment problem, more one of force)

Have you seen this tool? https:

//labelpeelers.com/equipment/cappers/pvc-shrink-tool-bag-decapper-combo/

This is what I have to hold the capsule in place when dunking in boiling water. Also, something I learned from experience. I put the capsule on and then the label. Doing the label first sometimes results in water running from the capsule and messing the label.

Lastly, I "store" my wine in the upright position because I put the bottles back in a case and stack the cases upright.

I am not suggesting any changes and I recommend keep doing what you are if you are comfortable with it and it works for you.
 
Interesting. I have two Portuguese corkers and both have plastic jaws. Did you add the brass jaws? I bought both of them used. I had an Italian floor corker with metal jaws and never had the problem with corks going too deeply into the bottle. (Not a depth adjustment problem, more one of force)

Have you seen this tool? https:

//labelpeelers.com/equipment/cappers/pvc-shrink-tool-bag-decapper-combo/

This is what I have to hold the capsule in place when dunking in boiling water. Also, something I learned from experience. I put the capsule on and then the label. Doing the label first sometimes results in water running from the capsule and messing the label.

Lastly, I "store" my wine in the upright position because I put the bottles back in a case and stack the cases upright.

I am not suggesting any changes and I recommend keep doing what you are if you are comfortable with it and it works for you.

On the corker... maybe it's an Italian. It's a big metal SOB painted in a blue metallic enamel. I got it second hand from a neighbor/friend. It's probably 20 years old but very good quality.

I have a shrink wrap holder but it takes longer to use it than it does just doing it by hand. Maybe I'm just talented? 😆 The water is not a rolling boil, just a low simmer so I don't get burned. And I don't get any wrinkles in the wrap when I do it by hand because I can keep some tension on the wrap. The tool just holds it in place.

I also install labels last.

I also store upright. I have around 100 bottle horizontal capacity. My overflow goes into cases and stored upright.
 
On the corker... maybe it's an Italian. It's a big metal SOB painted in a blue metallic enamel. I got it second hand from a neighbor/friend. It's probably 20 years old but very good quality.
That's the Italian. Mine is 30+ years old and works great. One of my sons will eventually inherit it, and probably their children (well, when they screw up and become parents) after them. ;)
 
That's the Italian. Mine is 30+ years old and works great. One of my sons will eventually inherit it, and probably their children (well, when they screw up and become parents) after them. ;)
Off the cork subject for a second but related. If you ever need to replace or remove the brass jaws on the Italian, number the pieces and take a picture before removing. They are beast to get back together. My used corker rusted under the jaws; I think because I was using wet corks and spraying the jaws with sanitizer. I had to take the jaws out, sand the floor, paint it and reassemble. Reassembly was entertaining and exciting. Now I use the corks dry and don't worry about sanitizing the jaws. I figure rust is worse than no sanitizing. Also the Italian has a depth regulation on the insertion pin. I have to adjust the pin from time to time.
 
On the corker... maybe it's an Italian. It's a big metal SOB painted in a blue metallic enamel. I got it second hand from a neighbor/friend. It's probably 20 years old but very good quality.
That definitely sounds like an Italian corker. I had one and it was great. Unfortunately, in a moment of weakness when we thought we were moving to Florida, I sold it. I put 1000's bottles through it and the only problem I had with it was it began to wear at the arm pivot point. The pin was made of hardened steel and the body of the corker was soft steel. This caused the operating arm to wobble and strike the cork inconsistently.

Fortunately, we have a genius on the forum named NorCal who developed a fix:

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/fixing-my-ferrari.57447/
I installed the fix and that corker will last forever.
 
Not me, maybe it was @Nebbiolo020? though I would be interested to try them based on your report
You are right @BarrelMonkey. It was @Nebbiolo020 that recommended the Diam corks last time around when we had this discussion about Nomacorc.
I do not like synthetic corks have had them get stuck in bottles, leak and even had some that left a off flavor in wines with aging and they don’t let in equal oxygen over time to natural corks we use Diam corks at the winery and have at every winery I have worked at as Diam corks have stricter quality control and a massively lower risk of TCA than other natural corks.


I went back and re-read the entire thread from last year. It looks like our opinions didn't change much since then.

synthetic corks
 
MiBor, can you clarify where you saw the caution not to use the Nomacorcs if they are greater than 12 months old, please? Are you sure it was the manufacturer and not the retailer? I have been to the Nomacorc website and I could not find any reference to shelf life.
I can't find the PDF from Vinventions that stated that right now, but I'll keep looking for it. It's probably on my old desktop, but I'm too lazy to go in the basement and boot it up tonight. I found some warning along that line from the Cary Company, on their product page for the Select 900 line, as well as all the other Nomacorc offerings:

Nomacorc® Select 900 Synthetic Wine Corks, 38 x 22 mm, (5 years), 1,000/bag
 
You are right @BarrelMonkey. It was @Nebbiolo020 that recommended the Diam corks last time around when we had this discussion about Nomacorc.



I went back and re-read the entire thread from last year. It looks like our opinions didn't change much since then.

synthetic corks
I still prefer DIAM corks, I have never had one fail and they have been super reliable and the wines age nice and slowly. And in a predictable manner. The only difference between Diam corks is that each cork is guaranteed to last as long as the number after the name so Diam 5 corks are certified for minimum of 5 years but last much longer and they let in a little more oxygen if you have a wine that won’t age long use them. They have them up to like Diam 45 which is for ultra premium wines that will last 45+ years.
 
I still prefer DIAM corks, I have never had one fail and they have been super reliable and the wines age nice and slowly. And in a predictable manner.
So far, this is my experience as well. I also like the feel of the corks (weird, I know), the way they keep their elasticity after being compressed in a bottle for an extended period of time. I'm not easily impressed with things, but the Diam corks really impressed me.
I just want to say THANK YOU to @Nebbiolo020 for his recommendation.
 
So far, this is my experience as well. I also like the feel of the corks (weird, I know), the way they keep their elasticity after being compressed in a bottle for an extended period of time. I'm not easily impressed with things, but the Diam corks really impressed me.
I just want to say THANK YOU to @Nebbiolo020 for his recommendation.
I have had a lot of subpar corks from other wineries recently one case of wine I bought had 3 bad corks full of defects and 1 split in half and was a nightmare to get out(natural cork) like super low quality. A good cork counts for something I don’t like natural cork that isn’t top in quality because it usually has defects is prone to becoming brittle and I have had some of them go mushy and leak one winery I worked at years ago had a general manager who cheaped out on corks and the entire vintage has like a 8% cork taint rate a bunch of good wine is corked. Even the $120 a bottle cab.
 
I still prefer DIAM corks, I have never had one fail and they have been super reliable and the wines age nice and slowly. And in a predictable manner. The only difference between Diam corks is that each cork is guaranteed to last as long as the number after the name so Diam 5 corks are certified for minimum of 5 years but last much longer and they let in a little more oxygen if you have a wine that won’t age long use them. They have them up to like Diam 45 which is for ultra premium wines that will last 45+ years.
Where are you buying the DIAM corks? I've only been able to find them in 1000 count. I'd prefer in bags of 100.
 
Where are you buying the DIAM corks? I've only been able to find them in 1000 count. I'd prefer in bags of 100.
I have only purchased in 1000 count or larger I make enough wine to use them up. I do know some small shops will repackage them in smaller bundles. I have to do some research and let you know if I find a retailer with a smaller bundle of corks.
 

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