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jgmillr1

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, i.e. putting a crease in synthetic corks that causes the bottled to leak if you put them on their side.
I had EXACTLY this same problem with an Italian floor corker and synthetic corks. Solved it by going back to micro agglomerated corks.

It taught me that the synthetic corks are not as robust at bouncing back from compression and made me question their long term effectiveness.
 

mainshipfred

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Just went on Amazon to look for small count packs of Normacorcs but it doesn't tell you which ones you are getting. If you want to make sure you get Reserva, 900s or the Greens line you have to buy 1000.
 

winemaker81

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It taught me that the synthetic corks are not as robust at bouncing back from compression and made me question their long term effectiveness.
The photo I posted on the last page of this thread tends to confirm the lack of "springiness".

However -- so far the Nomacorcs are doing fine. The company has been producing corks since 1999 and is used by a lot of commercial wineries, so my concern is lessened.

Just went on Amazon to look for small count packs of Normacorcs but it doesn't tell you which ones you are getting. If you want to make sure you get Reserva, 900s or the Greens line you have to buy 1000.
I purchased 100 count bags of Nomacorcs from Midwest Supply via Amazon. In November 2020 I contacted Midwest, asking what grade the corks are, and received a quick reply that said they are Nomacorc Select 900s. This was discussed in November in this thread:


I checked the Nomacorc site and found the data sheet on the Select Green corks, which lists models 100, 300, and 500 which are good for 15, 10, and 8 years respectively.


As I reported in the previous thread, the Select 900 series is supposed to replace the Classic series, which is good up to 5 years.


Most vendors on Amazon appear to sell the #9 x 1.5" 900 series. I suspect that for most people, a 5+ year lifespan is sufficient. Most of the wine I make will be consumed by the 5 year mark. If I notice the corks or wine degrading, I'll recork whatever is left.

For legal reasons, Nomacorc probably under-reports the lifespan of their corks, so I expect the 900's will satisfy my needs.

BTW -- I never received a reply from Nomacorc when I contacted them in November. Not that I expected a reply.
 

winemaker81

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I just had to make one more search, which proved very fruitful. Cork Supply doesn't own Nomacorc, they're business partners, and Nomacorc is no longer a stand-alone company, it's part of VinVentions, and the Nomacorc product is one of many products they produce. My guess is the Cork Supply and Nomacorc sites are not supported or updated, but the VinVentions site is.View attachment 70467


Click the Try It button to get their configurator, which walks through the customer needs to identify what product fit those needs. Oddly enough, the Select 900 is in the Traditional line, NOT the Select line. The information presented during the selection of the cork matches the previously posted information -- the cork is rated for up to 5 years.

For fun, I uploaded my grape warrior avatar to see what it would look like. I actually like it!

The next step is to click Contact Us for prices .... which I'm sure will make my heart skip -- not the per-cork price, but the minimum quantity!

EDIT: I tried clicking Contact Us -- a form was displayed asking person name, winery name, # cases produced per year. I didn't continue as an answer of "30 cases" probably would not impress them .... 😋

But if the price wasn't too bad, I'd order 1,000. It would take a few years to use 'em, but that's ok!


grape warrior cork.png
 
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hounddawg

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I had EXACTLY this same problem with an Italian floor corker and synthetic corks. Solved it by going back to micro agglomerated corks.

It taught me that the synthetic corks are not as robust at bouncing back from compression and made me question their long term effectiveness.
what brand of synthetic corks did you use?
Dawg
 

Etxcav8

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I have been using a Portuguese floor corker for several years and I’m into my second 1000 batch of nomacorc corks and never had a bottle leak until recently. I had two leaking bottles, pulled the corks and found the crease in the side of the cork as you mentioned. I activated the lever several times without a bottle or cork and found that one of the cork compressors was not returning to it’s rest position. I took it apart, cleaned the rust and dried sodium metabisulpfate, put back together and works like new again. FWIW
Ed T.
 

Wine Lab

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Thanks for all the responses. I noticed when you go to buy the 1000 pack of Normacorc 900 Selects on Amazon.ca, the supplier, Midwest Supplies, notes that "Note: We recommend using the Gilda Single lever corker with these corks because while some Portuguese or Italian floor corkers may work without problems, there is also a chance that the cork will be scored as it is inserted into the bottle, causing leaks". That seems to be the consensus of this forum too, and that is most people have used their Portuguese or Italian or Ferrari floor corkers with brass, chrome or thermoplastic jaws using synthetic corks for years and have had no problems, but there were some that definitely had problems with creasing using synthetic corks and the reason why is not that clear.

Has anyone had any experience with these Chinese made stainless bench corkers available on Amazon, pic below, and if so, have you used synthetic corks with them? These do not have a compressible 4 jaw sliding iris system like most floor corkers but rather just a simple Stainless or POM guide in which you put the cork into and a handle with a plunger forces the cork through the guide into the bottle. On the surface, it would seem less likely to mark or damage the cork during compression, but I have no idea if they work well and work well with synthetic corks. Any thoughts on this corker would be appreciated.
 

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winemaker81

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I looked at the pictures of the Chinese corker on Amazon. It appears to work like a double-lever corker, using a compression cone that rests on the bottle. The plunger forces the cork through the cone, compressing it smaller than the inside diameter of the bottle neck.

Personally, I'd not buy one. First, my confidence in any hardware coming out of China is very low, due to experiences with very shoddy materials and workmanship. Beyond that, I don't expect it to work any better than a double-level corker and it's ~4 times the price. YMMV
 

mainshipfred

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As much as I want to use Normacorcs there is just too much conflict in information. I'll probably buy a small quantity but for my bulk purchase probably going to stick with natural.
 

Ted Brumleve

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After reading the history of Nomacork, I switched to agglomerated natural corks and have not had any issues, but I'm not a power user...
 

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After contacting one of the sellers on Amazon of the Chinese stainless steel bench corker, they told me there were not designed for use with synthetic corks, only wood corks, so that is end of that. I can see that trying to push a synthetic cork through a tapered metal guide or tube with a 12 inch handle just is not going to work. So the Chinese bench plunger corker is off the list of possibilities for Normacorcs.

Yes, I agree, Ted, it is not so much a matter of misinformation out there but conflicting information with Normacorcs and brass or chrome jawed floor corkers that can drive you crazy in trying to decide what to buy. Most of the corker reviews do not specify what type of cork they are using. Some of the reviews state they have no problem with the Normacorcs and others report that they do make a crease. They are talking about the identical floor corker in a brand new off the shelf state. How is that possible? May-be there is a difference in the kind or brand of synthetic cork they are using, may-be some are more prone to creasing than others, no idea.

Suppliers like Mid West and Northern Brewing seem to be consistent in warning about the Italian corkers with brass or chrome and the possibility of creasing, and appear to recommend using a Portuguese type with plastic jaws with Normacorcs. One supplier in Canada told me today to just use a food grade lubricant, like Petrol-Jel, on the brass jaws and you will never get a crease in the cork. Seems to make sense too. I guess.
 

stickman

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The Vinventions site indicates the Select 900 as hand corker friendly, maybe they have a more durable skin. I'm just speculating, but I think there is a fair amount of variation in the production of the hand corkers, it's not a high precision product, they generally work well for the intended purpose, but some of the units may need fine tuning, de-burring etc.
 

bstnh1

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After contacting one of the sellers on Amazon of the Chinese stainless steel bench corker, they told me there were not designed for use with synthetic corks, only wood corks, so that is end of that. I can see that trying to push a synthetic cork through a tapered metal guide or tube with a 12 inch handle just is not going to work. So the Chinese bench plunger corker is off the list of possibilities for Normacorcs.

Yes, I agree, Ted, it is not so much a matter of misinformation out there but conflicting information with Normacorcs and brass or chrome jawed floor corkers that can drive you crazy in trying to decide what to buy. Most of the corker reviews do not specify what type of cork they are using. Some of the reviews state they have no problem with the Normacorcs and others report that they do make a crease. They are talking about the identical floor corker in a brand new off the shelf state. How is that possible? May-be there is a difference in the kind or brand of synthetic cork they are using, may-be some are more prone to creasing than others, no idea.

Suppliers like Mid West and Northern Brewing seem to be consistent in warning about the Italian corkers with brass or chrome and the possibility of creasing, and appear to recommend using a Portuguese type with plastic jaws with Normacorcs. One supplier in Canada told me today to just use a food grade lubricant, like Petrol-Jel, on the brass jaws and you will never get a crease in the cork. Seems to make sense too. I guess.

Food grade silicone is available as a paste in a tube as well as as an aerosol. I use an aerosol on the jaws of my Portuguese floor corker and have not had any issues.
 

BMarNJ

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I have been using a Portuguese floor corker for several years and I’m into my second 1000 batch of nomacorc corks and never had a bottle leak until recently. I had two leaking bottles, pulled the corks and found the crease in the side of the cork as you mentioned. I activated the lever several times without a bottle or cork and found that one of the cork compressors was not returning to it’s rest position. I took it apart, cleaned the rust and dried sodium metabisulpfate, put back together and works like new again. FWIW
Ed T.
I was moving some bottles with synthetic corks around yesterday and found 2 that looked like they had a little bleed-through at the top of the cork. They had been on their side for almost 2 years. I pulled one and the crease was quite pronounced. My portugese corker looks OK, and many other bottles looked fine. I guess I will keep an eye out as I use up my current stock of corks and use any others like it as an early drinker. On the plus side, this wine had a lot of CO2 and this bottle did not have that problem.
 

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winemaker81

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The Vinventions site indicates the Select 900 as hand corker friendly, maybe they have a more durable skin.
IIRC, the diameter of the 900 series is a bit narrower than the ones rated for longer lifespan. If that is correct, it makes sense that the 900's are more hand corker friendly.
 

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