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Old 12-14-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
jhanso
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Default New to corking wine bottles

I bought my first wine making kit, started my first batch of merlot and am currently in the process of saving wine bottles for the bottling stage. My question is - can I cork any type of wine bottle including twist off cap bottles?

Any other corking or first time tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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You can, but the twist off ones can break at the top if you're using a hand corker. The glass is thinner around the rim on twist offs, and the pressure from a handcorker can break them. I would just avoid twist offs, unless you have a floor corker than won't break them. (And even then I'd be inclined to avoid them, just in case).

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:26 AM   #3
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Also with twist offs the opening is slightly larger than a standard bottle so you would want to go with a # 9 cork.

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
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You can, but the twist off ones can break at the top if you're using a hand corker. The glass is thinner around the rim on twist offs, and the pressure from a handcorker can break them. I would just avoid twist offs, unless you have a floor corker than won't break them. (And even then I'd be inclined to avoid them, just in case).
Solid advice. Broken glass is never fun, and why risk that hard work to break a bottle and end it up on the floor.

Bottles are free so just toss the twists away.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:07 AM   #5
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FWIW, I used a couple of screw top wine bottles when I was running low and needed "one more bottle" to finish what I was bottling. I wanted to see what would happen with the screwtops anyway. It worked with my hand corker. That's not to say that Yooper's advice isn't sound - she is much more experienced than I, but FWIW, it worked for me.

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:20 AM   #6
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every bottle is different, and it isn't worth stitches

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:26 AM   #7
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Also with twist offs the opening is slightly larger than a standard bottle so you would want to go with a # 9 cork.
Yeah, check things out beforehand. I had several bottles all ready to go only to find one bottle (non-twist cap) was too small for corks I was using, had to scramble to find and clean another one.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:33 AM   #8
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Disclaimer: I'm not advising anyone with this discussion - just discussing what I've done and what it might mean.

With that disclosure, I'm not really sure where stitches might come in on this. I can see it possibly cracking or breaking the edges. However, the process I use with the hand corker seems like quite a gentle process. There is no jerking, and surprisingly (when I first used the corker) is that the constricting spring doesn't really need the lip to work. It's really just gentle pressure on the top, and I use a slow and gentle downward motion. When I first tried, I noticed that the plunger didn't center on the corks, but if I started with a little downward pressure, then let the pressure off just a bit, the cork would adjust and the plunger would center when I began the downward pressure again.

It goes in pretty smoothly. I suppose it is possible to break the upper edge of the lip with the downward pressure (since the constrictor spring doesn't really hold it in place, it must be the downward pressure I'm applying), but again, the pressure used is pretty gentle. There is also pressure on the lip when using the corkscrew to remove the cork.

There is no denying that the screw-tops are thinner at the very top than the other wine/champagne bottles, so there would be a greater hazard for breaking the lip than with the normal wine bottles. They don't seem to be any thinner after you get past the threads. Defining how great the hazard is a good discussion. There's little reason to actually do it as is pointed out, but how big is the actual hazard? hmm ... I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Repeating my disclaimer: I'm not advising anyone with this post, but just discussing what I did and what I think as doing it.

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Old 12-15-2011, 03:42 AM   #9
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I've never used a hand corker on wine bottles, so I don't know what that's like. I have a floor corker, and I always use #9 corks in all of my wine bottles. I have used the screw top bottles before in a pinch without problems, but I don't find them to be aesthetically pleasing so now that I have plenty of regular bottles, I just toss them.

The only time I've ever broken a wine bottle was when one slipped out of my hand as I was picking it off the bottle tree.

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Old 12-15-2011, 05:52 AM   #10
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With that disclosure, I'm not really sure where stitches might come in on this.
Some of those twist bottle necks are very weak, and you could easily cut yourself if you break a bottle unexpectedly. Just something to consider.
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