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wineh

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My usual supplier is having difficulty in acquiring Long Natural corks, and offered me synthetics instead. Good bad or no opinion?
 

cmason1957

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My usual supplier is having difficulty in acquiring Long Natural corks, and offered me synthetics instead. Good bad or no opinion?
Probably good, if you have something other than a hand corker to insert them with. From what I understand it is nearly impossible to insert them with a hand corker.
 

GaDawg

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I would think your choice of corks depends on whether you are going to drink the wine in a number of months or a number of years.
 

wineh

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I would think your choice of corks depends on whether you are going to drink the wine in a number of months or a number of years.
Both. From 3 months to 3 years. I mostly make eclipse kits with a few RJS for good measure.
 

dummkopf21

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Probably good, if you have something other than a hand corker to insert them with. From what I understand it is nearly impossible to insert them with a hand corker.
Aside from Mist kits or any early drinkers, I've always used the Nomacorc 9 x 1 1/2 synthetic corks for longer storage, and if for nothing else than I don't always have room to lay the bottles on their sides without them rolling all over the place. It's definitely doable with the double lever-type hand corkers, but I'm not sure about the plastic plunger hand corkers.
If you have something to stabilize the bottles and can get a little bit extra downward force, it works all the better. I usually put the full bottles into empty wine boxes, and once I've run out of juice to bottle, I'll go back and cork everything. That way the bottles are nice and stable with more than enough weight to prevent tipping.
 

Rice_Guy

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The local store sells Nomacork, it has become my go to. In comparison testing with a vacuum corking tool, the synthetic always holds the vacuum and natural never does. Since I pull a vacuum a tight seal is a positive trait. If you don’t vacuum, be aware that natural breathes releasing pressure. Prior to the current tool I acquired a double lever which works, and a piston style push through a cone which is OK, and to cut the work I started to tap with a rubber hammer.
One of my hats is industry, we like synthetics since they are more reliable, and as @wineh said how long do you want the bottle to last? ,,,,,, that said I reuse screw cap for anything intended to go to the local vinters club,,, and Nomacork for everything else.
 

Rice_Guy

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Interesting, I started using them about ten years ago, I guess I will have to watch out for that problem

Synthetic corks will give you trouble with extended aging. They really like to bond to the bottle. As me how I know.
 

Brian55

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I've used all sorts of corks, none of them have ever caused an issue. Keep in mind I've only made kits, and haven't aged anything too far beyond 5 years.
 
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I thought the benefit of natural cork is that it gives micro oxygenation that improves the wine when aging. What about syntetic corks in this? If it breath at all, do we really know that they not give off something not healthy to the wine? Do we know everything about what they are made of? Many things we thought was fully safe just a few years ago, we know now are poisonous. Just a thought.
 

wineh

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I thought the benefit of natural cork is that it gives micro oxygenation that improves the wine when aging. What about syntetic corks in this? If it breath at all, do we really know that they not give off something not healthy to the wine? Do we know everything about what they are made of? Many things we thought was fully safe just a few years ago, we know now are poisonous. Just a thought.
I'm not concerned about the construction as it is :
"low-density polyethylene, a pliable type of plastic. Plastic pellets are melted down, and then turned into a foam consistency so they’ll mimic natural cork’s spongy texture, typically then covered with a smooth outer skin.

The plant-based plastic corks are similar in production, except that they are made from biopolyethylene, a type of renewable polyethylene " (credit Wine Spectator)

Like you, I'd like to know if they breathe like cork, and my online research has produced mixed results. I'm not a fan of doing my own 3 year science projects but it's on I guess.
 

CDrew

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The Normacorc "green" corks (green in the environmental sense-biosource for the polyethylene) are made with predictable Oxygen ingress rates in mind, and Vinventions (the makers of Normacorc ) publish the oxygen permeability on their website.

My take is that Normacorcs are the real deal, and as good, if not better than, natural corks. I bottled all the 2018 with these and plan to do the same with 2019 when it needs to be bottled. There are different grades in their line and the Select Green 300 seems to be the sweet spot for me. Rated for 15 years or so. Classic green is available on Amazon in small quantities and works great in my experience. I'm thinking as a home wine maker that all these wine will be consumed in 5-10 years, and anything more is overkill.

 

hounddawg

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My usual supplier is having difficulty in acquiring Long Natural corks, and offered me synthetics instead. Good bad or no opinion?
NOMACORC corks both breath and will do long storage, for several years i used only Flor corks, none better for natural corks, then i tried them nomacorc can be stored both standing or laying down, with no problems at all, now 1 & 1/2 are not for long storage, by long i mean better than 10 years, and EBAY is the only place i can find them in 1 & 3/4, that's 100 for just under $30,,, their center is made to ever so slightly breath, and yep you'll really, really need a floor corker,,,
Dawg
 

bstnh1

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Does anyone know what grade of Nomacorc are sold by LD Carlson??? A lot of online brew shops sell them, but I can't find any mention of grade.

Disregard that question. :slp On the LD Carlson site they say the Nomacorc they sell are the Select 900 series.
 
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Rocky

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I found this on the internet. Interesting process for sure. I would not have thought this is how it is done. From the video, showing how the corks are cut to size, it would seem that the ends of the cork are mostly the "foam core" material and would allow a degree of micro-oxygenation.
 
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Thought maybe there could be some kind of phthalates as softener in synthetic corks but it sounds like that maybe is not the case. Thats good to know.
 

GaDawg

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I found this on the internet. Interesting process for sure. I would not have thought this is how it is done. From the video, showing how the corks are cut to size, it would seem that the ends of the cork are mostly the "foam core" material and would allow a degree of micro-oxygenation.
Thinks Rocky! At one time I was an extruder operator for Western Electric
 
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