How-To: Portugese Floor Corker

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Senior Member
Jul 4, 2004
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Hi! I recently bottled and corked my rose-hip wine, and thought I'd take a few pics while doing so.


First, I made sure I degassed properly and took a last-minute pH reading:


Then I got my bottles ready: 1 case was already in the bin, one-step in there as well (mixed with 3 gallons of warm water):


And the other case waiting to go:


I also sanitized the racking tube etc, etc.

Please refer to the bottling how-to for more info: 202&PN=1

So, I bottled, and the bottles were ready to go.... Now, just a quick overview of the portugese floor corker I purchased from George:


There is some assembly required when getting your floor corker, but it's not a lot. Just the arrow pointing to the "assembly" part is all that you need. (Nut/bolt -- that's all.) The spring is to adjust to the height of the bottle you plan to cork, and the lever is what drives the cork "home."


Here you see the iris: this compresses the cork into a micron size which makes it easy to insert. Here's the difference to the italian corker: This one (portugese) is made of plastic (correct me if I'm wrong), and the italian is made of (??) brass. I've heard different views on the stability of the plastic, but most are very happy with it.


Here's a bottom view of the corker. The "lip" is shown (at least what I call it - please correct my terminology if it is wrong). This ensures that the bottle is in its correct place when bottling. Makes for "a sure thing" every time (almost -- read on!)!!!


While I was taking pictures of the corker, I was soaking the corks. 2-5 minutes at most. I used a mix of FineVineWines corks as well as LD Carlson corks. (I wanted to use them up because I don't like the LD Carlson corks - read on!!!!).

Okay, let's get ready to cork!!!
I don't have a picture, but it's wise to organize your bottles by type (lots of same bottles) and by height. This way, you don't have to adjust the "adjustment knob" so much (read on!)....


Here you see me pushing the spring down, and placing the bottle. There is a groove-contraption (for lack of a better description) that makes sure the bottle is secure. Especially good for punted bottles, no matter how "punted." I made sure the neck/opening of the bottle laid firmly against the lip.


Drop the cork into the iris. (Note the cork I'm using: FVW!)


Everything in place.


Okay, this is a just a personal note: I need to rest my right foot on the "T-bar," as I call it, to prevent slipping of the corker. I also have felt-pads underneath the legs which might promote the slipping. This works just fine, though. I look like I'm gripping the corker with my life, but it's really not the case.


Half-way there!


Bring 'er 'ome!!!
(Slam dunk?)


Okay, here's the difference between FVW corks and LD Carlson ones. No offense to the LD ones, but just look at the difference. The LD ones are more ornary to cork. They need longer soaking, and somehow this one just was a B*^ch. I thought it was a funny, yet very informative, comparison. Lots of people say, "yeah right. 'FVW corks are wonderful' but are they really?" I say, a picture tells more than a thousand words. (This wasn't the only non-fvw cork that looked like that)


Now if you have a cork that doesn't "sit" correctly, you can adjust the depth.


By turning this "adjustment knob", you can adjust the depth pretty well. I suggest you drive the corks somewhat underneat the "lip" of the bottle, so if it (the cork) puffs back up, you are pretty flush.


As always, the un-fun stuff.... Wipe down your corker (and iris as well) with a soft cloth (old cotton t-shirt here) dunked in the sanitizing solution of your corks. Just do it.

The end.

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