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Old 06-07-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default Bottling help!

I just tried to bottle my first batch of mead so cleaned and sanitised 6 screw-cap used wine bottles that i've been collecting.

My plan was to cork them, so bought these corks:
http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=418

And this little corker:
http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=270

I figured that for only 6 bottles at a time the effort would be ok. Now the problem I have is that no matter how hard I try I cannot get these corks to fit through this corker, and even if I leave the bottom part out and try to squeeze it directly into the bottle I can only get it about half way.

Now, I'm going to assume at some point that these corks require some mechanical corker that actually squashes the cork, which I don't have.

What should I do? For now I have one bottle with a cork half in and 5 with the original screw caps put on fairly tight. I also have a bag of these corks:
http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=147
But I think they are probably worce than the screw caps.

As far as I can tell my options are:
1) Stick with the old screw caps.
2) Get a better corker, maybe this one? http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=367
3) Get different corks, one of these maybe:
http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=52
or http://www.dorsethomebrew.co.uk/shop/product.php?id_product=51
4) Something else I've missed.

Any help or advice appreciated!



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Old 06-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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If you plan to make any quantity of wine or mead, you will be well served to purchase a floor corker. The hand-held corkers are a pain in the neck, and the only thing they are good for in my opinion is making artificial reefs.

You homebrew shop does not appear to carry floor corkers, so I would look to find someone who does.



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Old 06-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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I only have space to ferment 3 1 gallon batches at a time which I wouldn't concider to be a huge amount, I just want something that will work! How big is a floor corker? Not sure I have enough space to put one either...

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Old 06-07-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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For just a few bottles, you could try this-- I chuck a flat-headed bolt in my drill press, set the bottle on the wooden worktable, padded with a towel, and easily push the cork in with the press. No, I do not turn the drill on

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Old 06-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #5
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I had trouble opening those links, so I can't "see" what you're talking about exactly.

A couple of hints, though- a floor corker IS pretty big. I've bought FOUR corkers total, and the floor corker is worth it. But if you have limited space, a "double handled corker" or "double lever handled corker" will work moderately well. Do NOT get a gilda corker, or a mallet style corker (wastes of money, both).

Another thing- for a hand corker, you'll want a certain sized cork. A #8 sized cork is much easier to use with a hand corker.

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thanks yoop! The corker I linked is the double handed corker, I think I will grab one of those for now and see how tht goes, might see if i can find some #8 corks as well just in case!

Thanks all!

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Old 06-08-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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i understand the problem with some screw cap wine bottles is they can be odd sized and may need smaller corks.
if your going to cork use full sized corks not "tasting corks" as tasting corks do not seal very well.

if the old screw caps are in good condition just use them, thats mostly what i use.
otherwise go get some beer bottles and a crown capper.

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Old 06-08-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Cheers for the heads up! I've kept the screw lids in good condition so hopefully they will do the job for now, at least until my new corker arrives. I've ordered what look like slightly smaller corks, though for some reason none of the shops I can find actually show a size so having to go by eye! :-( A friend of mine managed to get corks into the same bottles so they can't be too much smaller than normal!

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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I have that same 2 handed corker and it works great

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Old 06-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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I just managed to get these corks in with the hand corker, took a hell of a lot of effort to get them in though, bruised both hands in the process! Have ordered the 2 levered corker so I don't have to go through this again on the next batch!



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