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First time corking, looking for advice...

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TheTooth

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Hi all,

I have a mead and a port that I'm looking to bottle this weekend.

I have a bag of natural corks from my local homebrew supply shop, a Portuguese floor corker, and a bunch of wine bottles I've been saving (drinking wine is hard, but I do it for my hobby). :)

I did a search of the forum here and saw a lot of conflicting ideas of how to prepare corks, much of them having to do with agglomerated corks.

The two things I saw were:
1. Soak them in a sulfite solution for 10 - 15 minutes
2. Boil them

Which is right for whole natural corks? If it's the sulfite solution, how much potassium metabisulfite do I want to add for a gallon of water for soaking?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! :)
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
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No Boiling !!!!

Boiling will destroy the cork structure.
Whatever you do: do not boil !!!

Look at the packaging if there is any clue
on what the manufacturer says.

On my bags it says that no preparation
has to be done.
Nevertheless I always rinse my corks in a sulphite
solution.
I just make a strong sulphite solution. Drop the corks in
and start cleaning my bottles etc.
Then when I start the actual bottling I put the
corks on a paper towel so the excess sulphite solution
can drip off. And I use them as needed.

I like to think that the sulphite solution will help sanitsising
my corks a bit as I will touch them with my hands and
as they will be touched by parts of the corker etc.

Luc
 

TheTooth

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Thanks Luc!

I will be sure not to boil the corks. I'll double-check my cork packaging when I get home to see what they say for sure.

Would you say a strong sulphite solution would be a tsp/gallon, tbsp/gallon, something else?

Thanks again!
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
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Luc's advice is right on! That's exactly what I do.

The sulfite solution I use is 2 oz of sodium metabisulfite in 1 gallon water. As long as it's clear and stinks, it's good. I use it to rinse all my equipment and save it for future uses, although when soaking corks it gets badly discolored so I throw that out.
 

TheTooth

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Cool... thanks. Looks like I've got all the info I need for bottling up my wine/mead this weekend.

Wish me luck!
 

Noontime

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I do almost the same thing, but I soak them for a few minutes in the k-meta and then let them drain/dry in a colander/strainer.

Good luck with your mead!:)
 

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