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Old 10-17-2012, 03:57 AM   #1
akardcd
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Default How to prepare corks for bottling?

I have a new package of #9 corks and a double lever corker. How do I prepare them?

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:48 AM   #2
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Rinse the lot with water then they just need to be sanitized a soak in campden solution does the trick.

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:51 AM   #3
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Rinse the lot with water then they just need to be sanitized a soak in campden solution does the trick.

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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I put about 10 at a time in a small bowl with a half inch of campden solution. Just let them sit for a few minutes max, no soaking! The campden cleans them up and helps them to slide in easier. I don't rinse, but my campden gets pretty brown after 30 corks.

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Hmmm. Camp den seems the answer, have to try it. I rinse mine through idofor solution.

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....just add water.....

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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I have a sort of weird, but simple way to handle corks.

They really shouldn't be soaked, but I make up a cork humidor. What I do is get however many campden tablets I'm using for the wine (usually 6, since I tend to bottle 6 gallons at a time), and add that to 1 cup of water in the microwave. Bring that to a boil (about a minute), and stir very well. Do NOT breathe this! Put that container in a large boil, and then put the corks around the container in the bowl. Put the lid on the boil, and let that "steam" while you get your bottles and stuff sanitized.

Then I pour the campden solution into the bottling bucket, put the lid back on the bowl with the corks in it, and rack the wine into the campden solution and start my bottling procedure.

I've been doing this for at least 400-500 bottles of wine now, and I'm very pleased with it! I have only had about 3 corks fail in the last 8 years! Boiling/wetting/soaking the corks hurts the integrity of the corks but this "sulfite steam bath" doesn't seem to hurt a thing.

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Old 10-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Soaking or wetting the corks is not the recommended method any longer. The k-meta steam is fine, but if the corks are coming from a sealed package no need to do a thing to the cork other than minimal handling, preferably only the end of cork that is facing up/out of bottle. Clean and sanitize hands, clean and sanitize corker, then hands again before bottling.

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Old 10-17-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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I put mine in a steaming basket over about 1/2 cup of K-meta solution in a pot. Put the lid on and let them bathe in fumes only for about 1/2 hour. No heat. So far so good!

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc
Soaking or wetting the corks is not the recommended method any longer. The k-meta steam is fine, but if the corks are coming from a sealed package no need to do a thing to the cork other than minimal handling, preferably only the end of cork that is facing up/out of bottle. Clean and sanitize hands, clean and sanitize corker, then hands again before bottling.
Thanks..that is what I wanted to hear!
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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I put my corks in a collandar and set that over a pot of boiling water with the pot lid over the collandar, add some salt to the boiling water to make it produce more steam, and I steam the corks for about 5 min, then just turn off the heat under the water. Then I'll just pull the corks out of the "steamer" as I need them, the steam softens them a bit so they go in easier and sterylizes them. That's worked fine for me for the past few years, no chemicals needed, haven't had a bottle go bad yet. If you have a rice steamer you could just dump the bag in that and it would do the same thing. I would reccomend sanatizing the corker too, either by dipping it in idophor solution or dipping it in the boiling water for a few min.

Yooper's method sounds like it works pretty much the same way, only sanatizes with campden fumes rather than the application of heat. I'm sure misting them with an idophor solution could work, but I'd be inclined not to just so I don't have to worry about adding any iodine flavor...of course the surface area of cork actually contacting the wine is reletively neglegable, but steam, campden fumes, or k-metta fumes wont impart any flavors.

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