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Pretty corking with a hand corker

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Rappatuz

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Is there a way to accomplish "pretty" corking with a hand corker? The corker often breaks off small pieces of the top part of the cork (which looks terrible), or corks don't go in all the way (which also looks terrible). To some degree or another, all corks have the signature "hand corker dent" in the middle. They do what they're supposed to but the presentation ends up lacking.

I may get a floor corker some time in the future. Until then the hand corker gets the job.

PS: Corks used are good quality corks.
 

Rappatuz

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get some pvc caps that heat shrink onto the bottle give them a professional look and covers up the corks.
Bought my first pvc caps a couple of weeks ago but haven't tried them yet. Looks like the most popular method is to stick the neck fitted with a capsule in hot water. Is that how you do it?
 

kmk

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I trim off the cork with a serrated knife.
Use a blow dryer for shrink wrap, it's pretty cool.
 

winemaker81

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I dug out my double-lever corker -- there is a nut just below the joint at the top of the unit. This can be moved up and down to set depth. This is an ancient unit -- are newer ones adjustable?

BTW: My Italian floor corker doesn't drive the corks in straight, as it touches the cork on the far side away from the lever. My practice is to seat the cork, turn the bottle 180 degrees, then seat it again. This straightens the cork.
 

Rappatuz

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I dug out my double-lever corker -- there is a nut just below the joint at the top of the unit. This can be moved up and down to set depth. This is an ancient unit -- are newer ones adjustable?
My hand corker has two nuts which are used to adjust the depth of the rod. I think I've got it in a good position (just a hair past "flush").

My corker doesn’t do clean corks either so I cut. them flush with a knife. Shrink wrap makes it very professional.
That sounds like a good idea. At least with the worst looking ones.

I made a discovery last night when bottling my two year old rose hip "port". Halfway through the session, I started pushing the corks halfway through the compression cylinder before making the final push into the bottle. I found this gave me more control than pushing corks through the whole cylinder in one go. I was able to give the corks a more "even" push this way creating a better looking (less mangled) result.
 

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