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larry

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Hi all.I bottled the kit I did.I have a hand corker that came with the kit.All my corks stick out of the bottles about an 1/8 of an inch.Will this be ok?Is there any way to get them all the way in?I have seen on some sites the hand corker has a nut on top to adjust for this but mine does not.
 

smurfe

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It won't hurt, just don't look good. It won't get better till you get a better corker. I have never used a hand corker so I can't recommend a better brand.
 

arcticsid

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Smurfe, I asked this a while back> Please answer again. Couldn't you just tap it in the rest of the way with a ruber mallet? Not talking about "beating" it in, but wouldn't a mallet do it?
Thoughts?

Troy
 

smurfe

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I have heard of people doing that with success
 

arcticsid

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On the same thought Smurfe, and I asked this, and I hope noone tries this, but why couldn't I seat the cork and give it an controlled "whack" and seat my cork? Someone said the cork is compressed when you use a corker, but if you weren't beating the snot out of it, what would be the problem with inserting a cork with a rubber mallet?

Thoughts?

Troy

(ps, had -34F two nights ago, the Florida dream was sounding pretty good!!!)
 

rocket man

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Hi all.I bottled the kit I did.I have a hand corker that came with the kit.All my corks stick out of the bottles about an 1/8 of an inch.Will this be ok?Is there any way to get them all the way in?I have seen on some sites the hand corker has a nut on top to adjust for this but mine does not.
I had that problem with the first batch that I bottled. Some corks went all the way in, and some didn't. The problem with the hand corker is that it grips under the lip of the bottle. Not all bottles have the same lip. To solve this I made up some spacers about 1/4" thick and smaller around than the hole in the top of the bottle. My plan was to use this to push the cork further in. I never got to use it though because "Santa" saw this problem and got me a floor corker early for Christmas. Wow what a difference. It's nice having the adjustment for setting the cork, and a lot easier.
 

BobF

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Hi all.I bottled the kit I did.I have a hand corker that came with the kit.All my corks stick out of the bottles about an 1/8 of an inch.Will this be ok?Is there any way to get them all the way in?I have seen on some sites the hand corker has a nut on top to adjust for this but mine does not.
You didn't say which corker you have, but I have a double-lever hand corker. The trick is to drive the cork in one motion while keeping pressure down on the top of the bottle.

The finevine dude demonstrates by placing the bottle on the floor between his feet. I haven't done it this way, but it definitely helps having the bottles lower than standard counter height.

It also helps having a helper hold the bottles so you're not timid about the down pressure.

It's worth the price of a few corks to practice, so maybe redo a few ...
 

Tom

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Depending on the hand corker you have some have an adjustment. You can also use #8 corks or wet them down with some meta. I would not try with a hand corker inserting a DRY cork.
 

cpfan

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Larry:

One reason for this with all corkers is that the bottle is too full. You need enough room for the cork plus an inch or more, otherwise the cork won't go all the way in.

Steve
 

arcticsid

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Steve, please explain again why I could not use a rubber mallet to get the cork in there, provided of course it is the right size cork, and moistened, etc.
 

cbw

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My son in law

After watching me make wine, my son-in-law recently decided to start making wine.

When he finished his first kit, I offered to loan him my floor corker. He said he didn't need it because his wine making kit came with a hand corker.

And yes, most of his corks didn't go all the way into the bottle so he tried to pound them all the way in with a rubber mallet.

His first try worked.

But his second attempt caused the bottle to explode, sending wine and glass everywhere.

He swears he didn't hit the bottle. I suspect the bottle was too full ... and pounding the cork in caused the bottle to explode.

At any rate, he has already said he wants to borrow my floor corker next time he bottles.
 

arcticsid

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CB, did you explain why suddenly the rental fee for that corker increased?!LOL

I know there is a good reason for not using a mallet, but I have forgotten why! Guess your example is one of them.

Even if you cant afford to buy one most homebrew shops will rent you one. My LHBS(I get it for free, cause I am an old time customer) they only like charge $5 overnight.

There are alot of shortcuts a homebrewer can take, but there are somethings that just have to be done one wa. I am convinced corking is one of them.
 

cpfan

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Troy:

Some of the following numbers are from my faulty memory and imagination (cork diameters are correct). Consider the process, don't get hung up on the numbers.

Corks start out somewhere between 21 and 24mm in diameter (21mm is a #7, 22mm is a #8, and 23/24mm is a #9). A corker takes that cork and squeezes or compresses it to 15mm for insertion. The cork then expands back out to say 19mm (the diameter of the bottle). If part of the cork is out of the bottle, that part will expand further (say 21mm) than the part in the bottle. Using a mallet to force a 21mm piece of cork into a 19mm opening may not work. Now under the right circumstances (good bottle, damp cork and/or damp opening), this will probably work. Under the wrong circumstances (weak bottle, everything dry), it may not.

Now as cbw said, if there is insufficiuent space for the air that is being compressed under the cork, then the air pressure may cause the bottle to break.

Also, if there is a weak spot in the bottle, especially a small crack, then the forcing may cause the bottle to break (crack to expand), when normal insertion may not have caused a problem.

I don't have a lot of experience with using a mallet to insert a cork. I do have a lot of experience with customer-supplied used bottles and a compressed air corker. I have seen more broken bottles than I ever want to. The above suggestions are based on some investigation done 3-4 years ago, and some mutterings to myself often while cleaning up wine and broken glass.

Steve
 

cbw

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Even though he broke a bottle trying to pound the cork in ... my son-in-law was till concerned about the part of the cork still sticking up.

I told him to not worry about it. The corks would still work. If he was concerned about appearance, I told him to take a sharp knife and cut the top of the cork off at bottle-top-level. Put a shrink on it and nobody would ever know.
 

xanxer82

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I used the plastic plunger hand corker for my first batch too. It was not fun. A few of those bottles has corks that suck out. The best way I found to do it was to have the bottle on the floor between my feet and a strong downward pressure.
I highly reccomentd getting the floor corker if you have the money but if not the double levered portuguese corker is only about $20 and is well worth it.
 

ssramp

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Hello all, ive solved the same problem.

I use a hand corker that left the corks out about 1/4". I corrected it by forcing the spacer in the corker to recess and allow the plunger to go deeper into the bottle. I placed a socket over the plunger and onto the plastic spacer that usually sits on the bottle neck and hit the socket with a hammer. I had to hit it pretty hard but only a few times. I tested it on some empty bottles and it worked perfectly and I've been using the hand corker ever since.


hope this helps.
 

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