Corkers and corks

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A Wino and proud of it
Sep 8, 2009
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Ive got my bottles and have my wine but i need corks and corker. My question is which corks do i need for ageing two years or more and which corker do i need? I leaning towards a hand corker rather than a floor model because of price. and where can I get one online at?
Thanks Bryan
Bryan keep your eyes on Craigs list and you will get a floor corker for price of new hand corker. You will be glad you have one if you cork many bottles with a hand corker. Use #9 corks for 2 year storage. If you use a hand corker make sure not to over fill the bottles to full and put corks in hot water. They will go in easier if hot and wet. I hate putting in 9's with hand corker
A floor corker is well worth the additional cost. Especially if you plan to stay with winemaking for more than a few months. The Italian model is the best quality, but lots of people use the less expensive Portugese model. Either one will make inserting corks, especially #9 corks, so much easier. Save your money and spring for one of these.

As for where to buy them, there are a number of online sites such as I see you live in a suburb of Atlanta and I'm sure there must be a local wine supplies store in the Metro Atlanta area.

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Bryan, one of the first questions I ever asked in here was about corkers.

From what I have heard and learned, buy a good one!
Don't listen to these lazy bums above :D

I have been making wine for may years and still use a double lever hand corker like this one:

However my largest batches are 30 liter so about 36 - 40 bottles that have to be bottled in an evening.
If you are a healthy guy that should be no problem.

For a lady I would however indeed recommend a floor corker as it needs less force to be used.

Hell you want a hand corker, I will give you one of those. PM me your address. Bet you will be giving it away and getting a floor corker
grapestompers is offering the portuguese floor corker for $50 this month as their hidden special. at that price there really is no legitimate reason not to get a floor corker. subscribe to their newsletter to get the details.

as to corks, buy the best you can afford, only what you need right now, from a source that has high turnover.
Hell you want a hand corker, I will give you one of those. PM me your address. Bet you will be giving it away and getting a floor corker


i have a hand corker that i would part with for just shipping, which is ~$10.

italian floor corker ftw!!!
Thanks for all the advice, I decided to go with the handheld corker that Luc uses. I wont be bottleing more than 25 bottles at a time so if Luc can do it I think I can too. I picked one up today at a home brew shop thats about 30 min away for about 22 dollars and some number 9s. I think I will start getting my stuff online for now on because the hbs seem a bit high compared to the prices on the site that Wade and Luc told me about. Ill be leaving on a hunting trip tommorrow so I will bottle when I get back or wait till monday night after work.Thanks again for all the advice.
I keep mine just i case just like having a few hydrometers. My dble lever works OK but I have a bad back and also didnt like the big dimples it puts in my corks but I am a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like that!
You really should have bought #8's for a hand corker but if you have the Portuguese hand corker they will go in but wetting them lightly with a sulfite solution will help them slide in. Dont soak the cork! The best method is to get a collander and a bucket and put the corks in the collander and put that over the bucket and then pour a cup or 2 of sulfite solution over the corks and cover it with the lid to let the S02 gases do their job for about 5 mintutes. I use my Primary bucket to do this and then usually start another wine while my primary is nice and sanitized and that soltion is still good just so you now.
Once you get used to the double handed's no problem. I use the double-handed corker, and haven't had any mushroom corks since my 4th batch of wine.

The trick is you need to set the cork, at almost horizontal set on the arms of the corker. Then just push down...

If you just push down on the corker without setting, it'll mushroom. If you set it at the horizontal, then cork'll get a good cork. You might get a dimple., but it'lll still be a good cork. I hide the dimples with the shrinkwraps.

The trick is to make sure the #9 corks lay flush with the tip of the bottle.

I can do that with a double lever hand corker...consistantly...after just a couple months of practice.

It'll be easier with a floor corker.

Your choice.

Even though I am sure many do it, I have yet to ever see a bottle corked with a hand corker and #9 corks where the corks set right. I have traded a lot of wines and they are always sticking out or mushroomed. Most recommend #8 corks for a hand corker. I have personally never used a hand corker though so I can't recommend NOT getting one. Just watch what corks you use for ease of insertion.
I corked at least 300 bottles with a hand corker and I could get them in, but I have a scare on my chest from the time it slipped and cut me open. Didn't say you cant do it just you dont screw up as may corks,your arms dont hurt after bottling a 30 bottle run and the corks always look clean with floor corker, like Wade I am anal about making things right. Its the finish carpenter in me. That and being a carpenter I wouldn't use a sanding block to plane the side of a door
The hand corker will work just fine ...and offers great exercise if you are doing a lot of bottles!

However, if you decide to go with a floor corker in the future, make sure you get the Italian Floor corker. The cheaper Portugese floor corker has a plastic iris and is truly a cheaply constructed corker. It is fine at first, but starts to wear out after using it for hundreds of bottles of wine.

I finally purchased the Italian model and have been happy ever since. The Italian model is twice the price of the Portugese model, but has a brass iris and is better constructed.
Ive corked well over 2500 bottles with my Port floor corker an its still looks and works great. I dont use synthetic corks though and if you do then it will wear them out fats cause the synthetics are much harder to compress. I use perfect agglomerate which are specially coated with paraffin wax to go in and seal better so maybe thats why my corker is as good as day 1!
Hey Wade, just read your post with interest ( well all of them I do but) and you said using synthetic corks will wear the port corker out fast. I have been using the synthetic corks and reg corks for the last year (probably about 400 synthetic) with no problems. You think I should change? I saw in another post, I think you were using a all natural cork with Georges logo on it. It's a heck of a lot cheaper to I think. Is this what you recommend? I know the old Port corkers used to be problems with synthetic corks but I think they fixed that problem. I have not had any troubles. The way you can tell the differance between the old and the new is, the old ones had three screws on top and the new ones only have two.
Lots of people were having problems even with the new ones and maybe it was just a few types of synthetic corks but they were not sealing correctly due to the Port corker not compressng the corks evenly because the iris gave a little due to stiffness of the synthetic corks. I use Georges Perfect agglomorate corks and they work awesome, they are a mixture of natural cork and sythetic and are coated heavier then most with paraffin wax so they go in and come out easier. They dont really even stain much at all which tells me they are bteathing much less ten most other corks besides sythetics. Ive never used sythetics only because Ive heard this on 4 wine forums. Are you using #9 x 1.75.
The corks were 9 X 1.5 I am going to put in an order with george for a couple bags (100 ea). You've been doing this for a long time to know what does work and thats good enough for me.


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