Corks not seating correctly

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mainshipfred

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Can't say that I have, what kind of corker are you using?
 

JTS84

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I had that issue when I was using a hand corker, switching to a floor corker solved my problems.
 

mainshipfred

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Yeah, they seem to work OK for #8 corks but if you are using #9's which is the preferred a floor corker is the way to go.
 

NorCal

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The floor corker has much greater leverage and an adjustable positive stop, which gives you much greater consistency. I got my Ferrari for under $50 on Craigslist, but it was pretty worn.
 

Rocky

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Anyone ever had this problem?
Is it defective corks, this happen 4 times in a roll.

See attached photo.
TIA
What kind of cork are you using and what size cork? I have had some issues lately with the "three piece" cork, i.e. natural cork ends with agglomerated cork center. I talked to the supplier, not the retailer, and they told me that they recently changed manufacturers. I had never had a problem with this type of cork in the past, using an Italian floor corker with #9 x 1.75" corks. I was having a miscue with about 10% of them so I returned the balance of 1000 corks to my retailer for a credit against the purchase of synthetic corks.

As far as technique is concerned, I find I have less problems if I load the cork into the corker, stand next to the corker for most leverage and then insert in one rather swift motion. I have not used the hand corker for many years but when I did I stood over the bottle with the bottle trapped between my feet, pushed down on the corker until I felt resistance and then, again in one swift motion with as much leverage as I could gather, pushed down on the two handles.
 

Franklin_Wines

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What kind of cork are you using and what size cork? I have had some issues lately with the "three piece" cork, i.e. natural cork ends with agglomerated cork center. I talked to the supplier, not the retailer, and they told me that they recently changed manufacturers. I had never had a problem with this type of cork in the past, using an Italian floor corker with #9 x 1.75" corks. I was having a miscue with about 10% of them so I returned the balance of 1000 corks to my retailer for a credit against the purchase of synthetic corks.

As far as technique is concerned, I find I have less problems if I load the cork into the corker, stand next to the corker for most leverage and then insert in one rather swift motion. I have not used the hand corker for many years but when I did I stood over the bottle with the bottle trapped between my feet, pushed down on the corker until I felt resistance and then, again in one swift motion with as much leverage as I could gather, pushed down on the two handles.
The corks are #8 Straight Corks from homebrewohio.com (MS-022217-005).
this is first time i have had a problem with these corks.
I will be bottling in another week or so, if same problem i will contact them.

Thanks everyone.
 

cmason1957

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I am going to offer perhaps another possibility and the reason for it. Some of the bottles are made for smaller corks.

Reasoning: Remember my wife and I make about 100 gallons of wine per year, well below what some other folks do, but a reasonable amount to notice a thing or three. We normally bottle two or three varietals on a given bottling day. That means somewhere between 4 and 6 carboys usually at a time. We have a fairly new, less than two years old, Italian floor corker. For the last bottling session, we did only two carboys, approximately 6 out of the 60 bottles had issues corking, somewhat similar to the ones shown above and I knew each of them was going to have an issue as soon as I pushed the handle down. They felt funny. So, pull cork out, try again. In all cases same thing. Move the contents of those bottles to a different bottle, corked just fine. I have to believe that the difference was the bottle they were going into. We use about 99% recycled bottles. We had noticed this previously with bottles of Michael David Winery Petite Petit, all of those had issues, so we have started tossing those bottles. I suppose I need to measure one of the corks from what I think are smaller bottles to verify, but I don't have the calipers at hand to be precise enough.
 

Rocky

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"I suppose I need to measure one of the corks from what I think are smaller bottles to verify, but I don't have the calipers at hand to be precise enough."

Measure the circumference with a piece of string and divide by pi (3.14159265).
 

mainshipfred

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"I suppose I need to measure one of the corks from what I think are smaller bottles to verify, but I don't have the calipers at hand to be precise enough."

Measure the circumference with a piece of string and divide by pi (3.14159265).
I do similar when making barrel cradles. I measure the circumference to determine the radius of the cradle.
 

mainshipfred

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I am going to offer perhaps another possibility and the reason for it. Some of the bottles are made for smaller corks.

Reasoning: Remember my wife and I make about 100 gallons of wine per year, well below what some other folks do, but a reasonable amount to notice a thing or three. We normally bottle two or three varietals on a given bottling day. That means somewhere between 4 and 6 carboys usually at a time. We have a fairly new, less than two years old, Italian floor corker. For the last bottling session, we did only two carboys, approximately 6 out of the 60 bottles had issues corking, somewhat similar to the ones shown above and I knew each of them was going to have an issue as soon as I pushed the handle down. They felt funny. So, pull cork out, try again. In all cases same thing. Move the contents of those bottles to a different bottle, corked just fine. I have to believe that the difference was the bottle they were going into. We use about 99% recycled bottles. We had noticed this previously with bottles of Michael David Winery Petite Petit, all of those had issues, so we have started tossing those bottles. I suppose I need to measure one of the corks from what I think are smaller bottles to verify, but I don't have the calipers at hand to be precise enough.
I use 90% new bottles and natural corks with an Italian corker and find some of the corks go in easier than others. My thought has been it was the density of the cork but just speculation.
 

stickman

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I did some measurements of bottle openings for a previous thread about glass closures, but the data is relevant here also. The diameter of the opening for standard US bottles is 18.5mm plus or minus .5mm, but in practice with random recycled bottles I found 17.5mm to be the smallest. My original comment is below.

Just for reference, I measured the opening of some bottles I have here. Three cases of brand new Bordeaux bottles from Waterloo Container made in USA, each case had 9 bottles that measured 18.40mm, 1 bottle 18.50mm, and two at 18.35mm. I also checked a case of the older random bottles I've collected over the years, obviously these were highly variable, they averaged close to 18.20mm, but there were two at 18.02, one at 17.50mm, and two at 18.50mm. The 17.5mm was a Bordeaux bottle and it was difficult to tell that it was any different by just looking.
 

Rocky

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Exactly, Fred and Stickman. In the absolute sense, no two corks have the same diameter or density nor do two bottles have the same diameter. There is a range of all three measures that work well when corking and when corks and bottles are within the range, corking is a breeze. Consistency within the ranges is the key.
 

cmason1957

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"I suppose I need to measure one of the corks from what I think are smaller bottles to verify, but I don't have the calipers at hand to be precise enough."

Measure the circumference with a piece of string and divide by pi (3.14159265).
I had that thought, but the margin of error between 17.5 mm and 18.5 mm piece of string is huge. (and I stole those two numbers from above). That's why I thought calipers were the correct measurement instrument.
 

Rocky

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I had that thought, but the margin of error between 17.5 mm and 18.5 mm piece of string is huge. (and I stole those two numbers from above). That's why I thought calipers were the correct measurement instrument.
I agree. I thought you were saying you did not have calipers and I was giving you a "field expediency," as we used to say in the Army.

I am not sure how much of any of this discussion makes a difference. After all, the iris in the corker squeezes the cork to about 5/8" (about 14.25 mm) and this "squeezation" (I know it is not a word but it should be!) should allow the cork to slide slide in easily. Something just occurred! Next time I bottle, I will squeeze the cork in the iris but not push it immediately into the bottle, perhaps delay 10-15 seconds or so, and see if the cork is slower to return to its original diameter. See how it helps to talk these things through.
 

wpt-me

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Also doesn't it also depend on weather how full the bottle is filled? Another thing
I found using that type of corker is the cork must be centered in barrel of the corker.

Bill
 

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