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Hand Corker Question

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CabSauv

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In a lot of the videos on YouTube that I've been watching, I noticed that in many of them the wine maker is not getting the cork to seat flush with the opening of the bottle when using your standard kit hand corker. I am seeing about 1/4" to 1/2" of cork sticking out and they make no mention of it. It's annoying me, I have slight OCD and I'm not much of a half asser. I know the best solution is to buy a better corker, perhaps a floor corker, but I'll be using my hand corker - at least for now - and I don't want any corks sticking out like that. I plan to use PVC shrink as a final touch on my product but I was wondering if anyone had any tips to make sure this issue is prevented. Is it as simple as pushing down harder or in a faster motion?
 

dralarms

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Using a hand corker (double handle I presume), spray the cork down with just a tiny bit of kmeta and it will go in easier. If your using the plunger type that you hit the top with your hand I'd get a rubber mallet and spray them down a little as well
 

rustbucket

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I used a hand corker until last Christmas when I received a Portuguese floor corker as a present. What worked well for me with the hand corker was to use #8 corks, soak them in a Kmeta solution just prior to corking as dralarms recommends, and then give the cork an abrupt insertion push.

The abrupt insertion push is achieved by placing the cork in the corker, then putting the corker on the mouth of the bottle, take out the slack from the corker arms, then giving the handles a quick push down. I generally do this when sitting in a chair holding the bottle between my feet. My upper body weight adds to the leverage from the hand corker handles. Using this method, the corks were properly inserted about a 1/16 inch below the top of the bottle.
 

dralarms

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I used a hand corker until last Christmas when I received a Portuguese floor corker as a present. What worked well for me with the hand corker was to use #8 corks, soak them in a Kmeta solution just prior to corking as dralarms recommends, and then give the cork an abrupt insertion push.

The abrupt insertion push is achieved by placing the cork in the corker, then putting the corker on the mouth of the bottle, take out the slack from the corker arms, then giving the handles a quick push down. I generally do this when sitting in a chair holding the bottle between my feet. My upper body weight adds to the leverage from the hand corker handles. Using this method, the corks were properly inserted about a 1/16 inch below the top of the bottle.

With one exception, DON'T SOAK CORKS. Give them a spritz with kmeta solution and they will go in just fine. Soaking them will cause premature breakdown.
 

Boatboy24

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Would you believe that I think the solution is to use #8 corks, areas of #9. They are just a little bit smaller in diameter. I never could get the #9 to be flush before I got a floor corker.
I found #9's almost impossible to deal with when using the hand corker. I used 8's until I got a floor corker.
 

Johnd

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Invest in the floor corker sooner rather than later, it’ll insert any dry cork to whatever depth you set, worth every penny IMHO.

If not, you can always go back and tap them down with a short wooden dowel and a rubber mallet.
 

Sage

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I used a hand one for 2 years. I was always afraid of the bottle moving and slipping out for a mess to clean up. I made a bottle stand out of a piece of 2X12 wood with a PVC 4" pipe coupling glued into a groove cut in to it. I set the bottle well below me so I was leaning over it when pushing down on the levers. Worked good enough but I bought a floor corker and never looked back.
 

VillaVino

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If I’m reading your post correctly, you just want the cork top to be flush with the bottle top. My floor corker has an adjustable cork depth screw. My handheld corker grew wings and flew across the basement one afternoon. Never used it after that. Get the floor corker, you’ll be laughing the first few times you use it.
 

trolo

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villavino has it correct. Buying a floor corker was one of my best investments I made. But my hand corker also had adjustments to sink the cork in farther. I also dipped my corks in kmeta when corking.
 

bstnh1

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Before I bought a floor corker, I cut 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick slices from a cork and placed that on top of the cork I was inserting with the hand corker. This provided just enough more length so that the #9 corks would almost always go in flush with or just a bit below the top of the bottle. The slice could be reused several times before I needed a new one.
 

Rice_Guy

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9228DE03-33E8-423A-9107-0BF05793C4F5.jpeg I built a corking tool to do vacuum corking. The plunger is a hair longer and I am not compressing the ullage to 2 atmospheres of pressure, the corks always are flush or a hair low.
 
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cooknhogz

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Buy a floor corker, problem solved. Worth every penny hands down. I can cork 25-30 bottles in minutes and I mean minutes
 

salcoco

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Rice Guy can you describe your vacuum corking set up. how can I build one like it?
 

vacuumpumpman

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View attachment 53335 I built a corking tool to do vacuum corking. The plunger is a hair longer and I am not compressing the ullage to 2 atmospheres of pressure, the corks always are flush or a hair low.
Rice Guy - is your first name Dave BTW ?
I believe we might of talked about this at a club meeting ?
 

Rice_Guy

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Rice Guy can you describe your vacuum corking set up. how can I build one like it?
* A half page (pg11) edit should be published in April/May- -
* I have not seen if the editors have made changes but I have been told the full text will should show up at:
For more information on this build including a parts list
visit: winemakermag.com/article/vacuum-wine-corker

* next
- - Yes Steve You saw the original write up at the Jan meeting, hate to say it but I borrowed the neighbor's AC pump to stress test it at a higher negative atmosphere, added another paragraph plus and this month started collecting parts for a floor model, :slp too wordy I guess
 
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