Re-using Nomacorc's

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Rocky

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I want to throw out an idea for discussion and see what the forum thinks. I have switched to Nomacorc's for all of my wine and, as many of you know, they are probably the most expensive alternative. Even in purchasing in quantity (1000 count bags), they are $.217 each. That does not sound like a lot, but if one is making 200 gallons per year (1000 bottles), it amounts to $217. Not a trivial sum, at least to me.

I notice that when I open a bottle with a corkscrew, I do not need to run the screw all the way through the cork. Therefore, the integrity of the cork is maintained, i.e., there is only an "entry wound" on one end. I am wondering if these corks could be safely reused. I don't see any obvious reason why they cannot, and I was wondering what the forum thought. I would appreciate your responses.

Thank you.
 
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Sanitation is an obvious concern, which can be addressed.

I have concerns regarding repeated compressions of the cork. The cork starts larger than the bottle mouth, is compressed smaller, and then expands to fill the neck. When pulled, the cork doesn't expand much. You may not get a good seal upon reuse, and it may be weeks or months later before you realize you have leaking citrus.

An acquaintance pressure cooked natural corks to expand them, which makes them brittle. [He also made 3rd run wines, and couldn't understand why racking every month and throwing out the contents of the hydrometer just cost him so much volume.] He was not one of my mentors.
 

Rocky

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Sanitation is an obvious concern, which can be addressed.

I have concerns regarding repeated compressions of the cork. The cork starts larger than the bottle mouth, is compressed smaller, and then expands to fill the neck. Good point! When pulled, the cork doesn't expand much. You may not get a good seal upon reuse, and it may be weeks or months later before you realize you have leaking citrus.

An acquaintance pressure cooked natural corks to expand them, which makes them brittle. [He also made 3rd run wines, and couldn't understand why racking every month and throwing out the contents of the hydrometer just cost him so much volume.] He was not one of my mentors. I would not do this.

Thanks for the information.
 
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I thought you might enjoy the tale of my acquaintance. Really smart guy, probably genius level .... he was a font of ideas, a few of which worked. ;)

Reuse of corks is too big a risk for me. Corks are a cost of the process. The thought of losing wine to bad corks? Nope.

I've mentioned one of my mentors who bottled in gallon jugs, and decanted to 750's when he needed wine. He made 200+ gallons of wine each year, alternating red and white. That's a bit different from making gallon batches.
 

Brant

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IMO, I would lean towards using less expensive corks before I considered reusing corks.

If I was making 1000 bottles every year, $200 in corks would be insignificant when compared to the potential risk of losing even a fraction of the wine or the stress I would feel worrying about putting all that hard work, money and time at risk by trying to save a little $.

Assuming, you're not drinking 2.7 bottles a day, you're either giving a lot of this wine away to people who will drink it in the first year or two or you're storing up for the apocalypse. If the former, I would use cheaper corks; if the latter, I would spend the extra $ for the belt and suspender corks that will last through the end times.

Just my thoughts.
 

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I found this very interesting.
Mention of the apocalypse made me laugh
Due to medical issues I want to limit my intake. My wife likes to enjoy a glass or two but getting loaded or having a hangover isn't on the desire list.
I make alot of fruit wine kits at around 8% and they don't stay bottled for more than 6 months. I decided to use Nomacorc corks and a air pressure pump corkscrew. When I reuse I sanitize and drip wax on the needle puncure and have no problems after 4 uses. waiting for more results but can't consume enough to make conclusions have reused corks on 5 gallon batches 4 times. This is not about saving a lot if money but I live in the country and like to know what I can get away with (LOL) I wouldn't do this with anything for longer term storage but I guess decisions depend on curcumstances. By the way I have been coming here for awhile and read all new posts but this is actually my first post.
More of a listener.I have learned alot from this forum and the most important is there are no rules except keep notes so you don't repeat your mistakes. Ask questions and try something new if it sounds promising.
 
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