hollowing out a cork

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winemaker81

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My son & I helped my niece and her husband bottle a FWK Sauvignon Blanc on Friday, using LD Carlson corks that look like the Select 900 Nomacorcs. They have a double-lever corker and we used that. This is a basic corker and has no depth setting.

The corker punched a deep dimple in the corks, and would not seat them fully. We used a sharp knife to cut off the ridge flush with the bottle top.

I thought it was the cork, so we opened a second 30 count bag, but achieved the same result. I'm not sure if it's the corks or if it's the corker. Has anyone seen this?

cork.jpg
 
I occasionally find the oddball bottle that seems undersized. Perhaps some wineries use their own for some odd reason. The LHBS sells both #8 and #9. If you have case(s) of the smaller bottles maybe try the smaller size.

Also I’ve had a hard time inserting corks when I overfill the bottle, leaving little headspace.
 
@Ohio Bob, good points, but this was a wide variety of bottles, and all were filled properly. All 30 bottles had the same problem, so I figure it's the corks or the corker.

My son, my nephew, and I all corked bottles, so operator error isn't likely, either. Not that I can figure out how to use a double-lever corker the wrong way .... ;)
 
My son & I helped my niece and her husband bottle a FWK Sauvignon Blanc on Friday, using LD Carlson corks that look like the Select 900 Nomacorcs. They have a double-lever corker and we used that. This is a basic corker and has no depth setting.

The corker punched a deep dimple in the corks, and would not seat them fully. We used a sharp knife to cut off the ridge flush with the bottle top.

I thought it was the cork, so we opened a second 30 count bag, but achieved the same result. I'm not sure if it's the corks or if it's the corker. Has anyone seen this?
image.jpg
probably the corker. My Nomacorc s do that. A bit. I’ve only had one that didn’t really go all the way in like in your picture and ithink the bottle was a bit different.
when i cork I keep a little pressure on at the end hoping it’s not just a little bounce back from air pressure in the bottle

what Ohio Bob said.

i actuallu thought about gluing a little bigger disc (washer) on the bottom of the corker plunger it seems it could have been just a fraction bigger to avoid this happening and still not hit the bottle.
 
The plunger on my Italian floor corker is smaller in diameter than the double-lever corker's, and in 700+ Nomacorcs I've not seen this. It makes a visible impression which smooths out with time, but doesn't scallop out the cork.

It may be the mechanics of the DL corker, but the floor corker compresses the cork a lot.
 
One of the reasons I bought my floor corker was ease of use, of course, but I remember reading the double-lever saying it "works best" with #8 but "will work" with #9. Sounded iffy to me and I wanted to use all corks.

For a depression that deep it seems the cork doesn't want to go into the bottle or through the taper of the corker.
 
My son & I helped my niece and her husband bottle a FWK Sauvignon Blanc on Friday, using LD Carlson corks that look like the Select 900 Nomacorcs. They have a double-lever corker and we used that. This is a basic corker and has no depth setting.

The corker punched a deep dimple in the corks, and would not seat them fully. We used a sharp knife to cut off the ridge flush with the bottle top.

I thought it was the cork, so we opened a second 30 count bag, but achieved the same result. I'm not sure if it's the corks or if it's the corker. Has anyone seen this?

View attachment 91189
I had the exact same issues with #9 synthetic corks and a double lever corker. I think they are too soft and the corker rod dimples it on the way in. Once it flares out it will not push any further into the bottle. Definitely seems like a super tight seal but obviously less than optimal for quality and looks. Thankfully I have a nice 20 year old but lightly used Portuguese floor corker a friend gave me. IMO, I would just use real corks with the double lever and buy a Portuguese floor if I was hell bent on synthetic corks.
 
All the bottles did that ? I was thinking maybe a defective cork but if it happened multiple times…
All 30 corks, some worse than others. They had two 30 count bags, and we used corks from both.

I may have them mail me a few corks and I'll try 'em in my Italian corker to see what happens.

On the plus side, the corks went in deep enough to seal well. The wine is Sauvignon Blanc, so it will be gone in a couple of years. If it was a heavy red with a longer life span, I'd be concerned.
 
I know for a fact it's the synthetic corks being pushed in. They are grippy and dont slide down the neck as easy as real cork. A floor corker that compresses around the circumference to shrink the cork diameter before insertion doesn't have the same issues. I also didn't have any issue using real corks with the double lever corker.
 
A LHBS suggested a thin coat of olive oil on the cork to help it slide in. I have some number 8s that are a beast to remove. I’m thinking of trying the oil with them to see if they slide out better.
 
I know for a fact it's the synthetic corks being pushed in. They are grippy and dont slide down the neck as easy as real cork. A floor corker that compresses around the circumference to shrink the cork diameter before insertion doesn't have the same issues. I also didn't have any issue using real corks with the double lever corker.
I found the opposite. My normacorcs seem to glide in a lot better than the real cork. I’m very happy with how they go in.
 
I found the opposite. My normacorcs seem to glide in a lot better than the real cork. I’m very happy with how they go in.
You're probably correct. I was assuming this was the case but it might be that the synthetic ones deform more than real corks and this is what's causing the issue. The corks I've installed with the double lever pushed in flush without issue, not the case with the synthetic ones.
 
A floor corker that compresses around the circumference to shrink the cork diameter before insertion doesn't have the same issues.
This seems like the most likely cause -- my Italian floor corker really compresses the corks, so it probably goes in easier. The DL corker has a forcing throat that does not compress the cork as much.
 
My son & I helped my niece and her husband bottle a FWK Sauvignon Blanc on Friday, using LD Carlson corks that look like the Select 900 Nomacorcs. They have a double-lever corker and we used that. This is a basic corker and has no depth setting.

The corker punched a deep dimple in the corks, and would not seat them fully. We used a sharp knife to cut off the ridge flush with the bottle top.

I thought it was the cork, so we opened a second 30 count bag, but achieved the same result. I'm not sure if it's the corks or if it's the corker. Has anyone seen this?

View attachment 91189
Can you show a side view (maybe with back-lighting) to show the ullage? I know if my corker pushes the cork against the wine, I would either get some seepage (which I would prefer) or a hydraulic bottle bomb to clean up.
 
Can you show a side view (maybe with back-lighting) to show the ullage? I know if my corker pushes the cork against the wine, I would either get some seepage (which I would prefer) or a hydraulic bottle bomb to clean up.
The wine is 700+ miles away, so further pictures are not likely.

The ullage is not the problem, as it's proper level. We fill to the brim and when the filler tube is pulled out, the wine level drops even with the bottom of the neck in Bordeaux bottles.
 
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