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Problem with corking

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Hi. I have started winemaking and am enjoying it. My problem is that because of arthritic hands I cannot use proper corks. I can only use the type with a plastic top. I am aware that these are not normally used for long-term storage or aging but was wondering if that would be possible if I taped around the bottle and cork? Using cellotape or something similar. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I would love to be able to keep at least I bottle from each batch and store it. Thank you.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Kangeroojackie - and welcome. Sorry to know that you have arthritis. Is the problem with the corks being able to insert them or is it being able to remove them? If the problem is insertion then you may be able to find a floor corker that may enable you to cork a bottle using leverage in a way that hand corkers don't.
If the problem is removing corks to crack open a bottle what about using crown caps as used with beer. There are two kinds - one that uses a church key to pop open the cap and the second uses a screw cap. The down side of screw caps is that I am not certain that the bottles they come with can be effectively used a second time: the seal is in fact destroyed when you open the bottle.

Note , that with screw caps there are devices designed to grip the cap and allow people with disabilities of their hands and comfortably unscrew the cap.

The kind of corks I think you are referring to are T -corks and the T stands not only for the profile of the cork but the fact that they are designed for tasting and not for storage.
 

salcoco

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I would suggest purchasing screw top bottles that take screw caps and then use decorative caps that are heat shrink onto the bottle. visit you local wine supply shop to help in selecting the right items. the heat shrink tops will seal the wine similar to tape and provide a long term fit.
 

salcoco

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I donot believe Zorks are still being manufactured. reference states not presently available. I used Zorks extensively. sorry to see them go.
 

sour_grapes

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Oops,
I donot believe Zorks are still being manufactured. reference states not presently available. I used Zorks extensively. sorry to see them go.
Oops, sorry about that everyone. I did not realize they were no longer available.
 

Vinobeau

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I have been using T Corks for 15 years and used screw tops for about 10-12 years. I have had NO problems - no leakage and no spoilage. The screw tops would be the easiest for you to open.
 

kmk

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Hi. I have started winemaking and am enjoying it. My problem is that because of arthritic hands I cannot use proper corks. I can only use the type with a plastic top. I am aware that these are not normally used for long-term storage or aging but was wondering if that would be possible if I taped around the bottle and cork? Using cellotape or something similar. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I would love to be able to keep at least I bottle from each batch and store it. Thank you.
Beware, I'm a newbie. I wonder if you could use wax around the top like in the old days.
 
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I just bottled my first batch of wine and used the t-corks for all 26 bottles. I get they are created for tasting, but my brain fails to understand why one would not be able to store/age them with these corks. I guess I will be my own guinea pig.

Why would these be any different than aging with a Vinolok or a screw cap, or even a regular cork for that matter? They seal tight, as long as you push them down properly. I do not see why a wine using this type of cork could not be stored in the proper humidity and temperature for multiple years.
 

BernardSmith

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I don't think T-corks seal just as well as corks that needs a corkscrew to remove. It may FEEL like a tight fit and sure it is not "loose" but the space between the T-cork and the glass is wide enough to allow air molecules to flow as unhindered as cars might travel on the autobahn in Europe. Regular corks are not "airtight" compared to vehicles sent into orbit... but the amount of air that can pass the cork is tiny.
 

franc1969

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In addition, the corks may move more than a compressed #9 cork when the barometric pressure changes. More air in/out. For short term, storing upright, or where oxidation isn't a concern, not an issue. I would be concerned about leakage stored with the bottle sideways. I have used tasting corks for small batches I would be drinking quickly.
 

hounddawg

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sett you back 5 of them in your closet laying on their side,,, each year. taste and note what you think, that way you'll never wonder again, you'll know for a fact, make really sure they are 100% degassed, or if you're really brave put them in your better half's closet,,,
,Dawg
 
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@BernardSmith thank you. My brain was able to make sense of your description.

Maybe I will take my father in law up on the corker he offered me. Here I was thinking I was making it easier on myself. The good thing is the amount of wine that my household drinks I doubt these 26 bottles will be around a couple years from now so I do not think spoilage will be an issue. I bulk aged the batch for 10 months before bottling and plan to pop open the first bottle for myself come Feb/March. I will be giving some out as gifts for the holidays and will get some feedback from those. Tasted it while bottling and was happy with where it was at for being about a year old.
 

winemaker81

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The good thing is the amount of wine that my household drinks I doubt these 26 bottles will be around a couple years from now so I do not think spoilage will be an issue.
We all understand that!

The bigger danger is air pressure changes which may cause the corks to push out. This is likely a trivial danger now, but as you re-use the T corks, they get compressed and do not fit as well as they do now. For this batch, you're probably fine. However, I'd keep an eye on the wines and watch for leakage -- if you see one leaking, you can't trust the remainder.

Using regular corks -- either natural or synthetic -- eliminates the problem.
 

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