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corking question

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Bossbaby

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I just purchased a portugese floor corker and I'm wondering if the bag of #8 corks I have on hand for my hand corker will be ok to use up, or should I only be using #9 . any info would be appreciated..
 

Steve Wargo

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I just purchased a portugese floor corker and I'm wondering if the bag of #8 corks I have on hand for my hand corker will be ok to use up, or should I only be using #9 . any info would be appreciated..
I use #8 corks for wines that I will drink within 2 years. I use #9 for wine I plan to age for 3+years. Sometimes I use both, knowing I'll drink some of it now and some later. I mark them differently to know what's what. Easy as a sharpie mark on the top of the cork after it's in the bottle
 

franc1969

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I just purchased a portugese floor corker and I'm wondering if the bag of #8 corks I have on hand for my hand corker will be ok to use up, or should I only be using #9 . any info would be appreciated..
I keep the #8 corks for 375ml bottles and a few others that I have that do not like larger corks. They won’t cause an issue if you want to use them up, though.
The Portuguese floor corker is a life saver. I don't know how anyone uses the hand corkers, too hard to get anything seated and secure. I would need to go for screw caps if not using the floor corker.
 

winemaker81

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I use all the same size cork, so I don't have to worry about which cork I'm putting which bottle. It's easier for me to simply purchase more corks when I'm running low. Currently I use 1-1/2" Nomacorcs, which eliminates problems I had with leakage and mold growing on the outside of the cork (harmless, but a truly ugly visual).

Anyone bottling a lot of wine at one time will benefit from a better corker. I have an Italian (bigger than the Portuguese) that will put any cork into any bottle. Bottling goes a lot faster and with less fuss.
 

Handy Andy

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I just racked a barrel of 30 litres of wine into 5 litre bottles, which had been cleaned and disinfected about a month earlier. I put corks in the empty bottles to keep the bugs out. When I removed the corks, to fill the bottles, the corks were moldy. Also the new corks I had on the shelf were showing signs of mold.

My questions are >
Should corks be treated with anything before use ?
Why use different size corks when aging wine for longer periods, shrinkage?
If shrinkage is a problem, are plastic corks any better than cork ?
 

winemaker81

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Mold on the inside or outside? If it's the outside of the corks, it's potentially ok. If it's on the inside of the bottle? IMO that's a problem.

What is the humidity in the storage area? I'd guess it's high. If so, store the corks elsewhere.

I clean wine bottles and sanitize, then store upside down in clean cases. The mouth is on the cardboard, so nothing can get in, and I do not sanitize at bottling. I inspect all bottles at bottling time, and if I find one that isn't sparkling clean, it goes back through the process. For 4 liter jugs, I use plastic screw caps to keep them clean once cleaned and dried.

I do not treat corks before using. Corks remain in the original bag until used, and I fold the bag over twice and secure with a binder clip between bottlings. I started using Nomacorcs a few years ago, as I often got mold on the outside of the cork, and ~5% leaked during storage. [My storage conditions are not ideal.]

Some folks spritz their corks with K-meta or even soak them. However, if the unused corks are moldy, trash them. I do no believe you can fully clean and sanitize them.

I have had #9 corks in the bottle for up to 10 years with no problems. I have not experienced the shrinkage others report, possibly due to different storage conditions. The narrower corks have a greater likelihood to leak over longer periods of time. As I said above, I use all the same cork so I'll never mistakenly use the wrong size.
 
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