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Corking 101

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kiljoy

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Up until this point, I’ve been using screw caps for my wine. I’ve stalled out a bit on the wine making. I plan on starting up again soon and would like to try corking instead. I’ve searched the forum, but still have a few lingering questions. I was a bit overwhelmed with the options available from my wine supplier’s website.

Are #9 corks pretty much standard for all wine bottles? People have been giving me discarded wine bottles of varying styles. Can I assume if the opening looks standard, a #9 will work?

There are varying lengths of corks available. 1-1/2”, 1/3/4”??? Does it make a difference?

Material: I know there are a lot of varying opinions, but I’m finding synthetic, micro particle, natural, composite, agglomerated, agglomerated with natural ends, etc. So, I think I’d like to use synthetic. Do I have to leave the bottles upright for a few days with these? What’s agglomerated?

I’d like to get the Portuguese floor corker. Can this be used with any type & size of cork?

Any other wisdom would be appreciated.
 

Tom

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Up until this point, I’ve been using screw caps for my wine. I’ve stalled out a bit on the wine making. I plan on starting up again soon and would like to try corking instead. I’ve searched the forum, but still have a few lingering questions. I was a bit overwhelmed with the options available from my wine supplier’s website.

Are #9 corks pretty much standard for all wine bottles? People have been giving me discarded wine bottles of varying styles. Can I assume if the opening looks standard, a #9 will work?

There are varying lengths of corks available. 1-1/2”, 1/3/4”??? Does it make a difference?

Material: I know there are a lot of varying opinions, but I’m finding synthetic, micro particle, natural, composite, agglomerated, agglomerated with natural ends, etc. So, I think I’d like to use synthetic. Do I have to leave the bottles upright for a few days with these? What’s agglomerated?

I’d like to get the Portuguese floor corker. Can this be used with any type & size of cork?

Any other wisdom would be appreciated.
#9 will work on any bottle EXCEPT bottles that have a screw top ( wall to thin and may break)
A floor will work on any size bottle and cork.
If U are gonna use a synthetic get the Italian floor corker. The port one creases the synthetic cork. otherwise it works great.
 

Malkore

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my LHBS has me using 8's not 9's.

I've not had any problems so far (3 months in the bottle, stored on the side)
 

Bazin

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From what I've read, the length might matter. If you're looking to cellar your wine for a fairly long time, longer corks are recommended.

But I don't really have any experience to back that up.
 

smurfe

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If you have a floor corker 9's for everything. If you use a hand corker, use 8's. I use the 1.75 for everything as I like the look. The standard wine cork in all commercial bottle is the 1.75" cork. They are supposed to give longer protection to the wine.

If you go with full synthetics you leave them standing upright like any other cork for a couple days or so to seal. After that you can leave them standing forever if you wish. You lay bottles on the side to keep the cork moist and not dry out and crumble, nothing else. I use all synthetics now as I store my wine back in the empty bottle case and keep it in a cabinet.

Agglomerate corks are the kind you see most using. It is actual cork ground up and them formed into a cork shape with a plastic type binder/glue. You treat them like a regular cork except you don't need to soak them prior to inserting. Just a quick rinse and a dip in a sanitizer.

In regard to the Portuguese corker crimping the synthetic corks, I can't comment on that as I have the Italian corker. I have used the Portuguese corker before but with agglomerate corks. It is a fine corker. The Italian is a very fine corker.
 

Wade E

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If using a hand corker get the #8 corks as the #9 will give you a hard time and may not seat properly due to the thickness. 1.75" x #9 are what I use with my Port Floor corker and they are perfect aggloromate.
 

kiljoy

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Thanks guys! Now to convince the wife to let me increase the winemaking inventory.::
 

St Allie

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Or..

stick to the screw caps.... they work really well.

Allie
 

Madriver Wines

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Floor corker use #9 by 1 3/4. Hand corker use #8 by 1 3/4 for ease of use. I use the #1 premium type that is good for 7 years. None of my wine will last that long.
 

kiljoy

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You know St. Allie, I might just do that. I can get a case (12) of screw top claret fifths for $16.99 and Saranex lined screw caps for 0.49 each.

I recently went to a recycling center in Canada (for work) where they were throwing away a 6 gallon carboy. I brought it home and cleaned it up. Looks great! However, I haven’t decided if I’m ambitious enough to try that kind of volume. If I do, I’m estimating around 26 bottles. 1-3 gallon batches haven’t been too bad with the screw tops.
 

smurfe

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A 6 US gallon carboy is 30 750 ml bottles of wine if you are good at racking.
 

kiljoy

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I did a 3 gallon batch and got 13 1/2 bottles. I just guestimated double. Still, a lot of corking eh?
 

monvinny

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Oh oh! I think I made a mistake!!

Hi there,

I'm new at wine making and just bottled my first batch last Sunday. I did not soak my corks prior to bottling as I was not aware of this step. Will it damage my wine? I also have my bottles in our cellar standing up. Should I lay them on their side?

I appreciate your help! :n

Rachel[/B]
 

Tom

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2 things
Lay them down or turn them upside down in their box's.
2nd drink it faster LOL !
 

Tom

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BTW I don't "soak" my corks. I use a k-mets "humidor"
K-mets in a pot and corks in a strainer and lid on top. The fumes will take care of the nasties.
 

ffemtreed

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I use a port floor corker with my synthetic corks without any problems.
 

mxsteve625

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I just corked 30 bottles this past month with a hand corker with no problem. I soaked the corks in zip lock bag of sanitizing solution for 1.5 hours. (corks were #8 x 1.75") They installed fairly easily by setting them on the floor between the feet. They are currently on their sides with now problems.
 
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