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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Corks
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
RDavidson
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Default Corks

I picked up a bunch of corks from Goodwill the other day for 99c. All of them have been used. Is it safe to reuse them? Even if they don't show signs of red wine, or crystalized sugars on the bottom?

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Old 08-24-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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NO! Reusing corks is a BAD idea, ALWAYS use new corks.
Regards, GF.

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Old 08-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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I wouldn't use them. If you've spent the money and time to make a good mead don't take a chance on letting it spoil so you could save a few bucks.

Even if they don't contaminate your mead they might provide poor air seals and let O2 into your bottles while aging.

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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If they are used, they have been punctured by a corkscrew and are therefore no longer watertight.

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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No way man! Go get 30 1st quality corks for like $6.00 at your LHBS, whats 5 bucks on the many gallons of mead?

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Old 08-25-2012, 05:28 AM   #6
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Maybe this is a good place to hear about the proper corks to use. I went to my LHBS and saw several different grades of cork and I've read here that different corks are better for long term aging. I did a little research on First Quality corks and it looks like they're only recommended for short term storage 1-1.5 years, and #9 Premium corks are advertised to be good for 2 or more years.

What are the appropriate corks to use while bottle aging mead ?

What is the age limit for synthetic style corks or those Zork closures I see at Midwesternsupply ?

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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If you're lucky enough to have a HBS that stocks a range of different quality cork, then I'd still use the best quality ones I could afford.

It seems there's little definitive research as to why that might be the ideal, but there's plenty of documentation that explains exactly how a cork stopper works, what to look for in the structure, aglomerated or solid cut or plastic/artificial etc etc.

Just like there's plenty of advertising blurb to explain why newer (patented and often not so cheap) type stoppers might "seem" like a magic bullet.

All I know, is that I've read some stuff that said about zorks cracking after a year or two. Whether that's a high percentage, or because of the size of the outer neck causing stress, when the plastic becomes brittle (in certain conditions), or that they've been applied with the wrong device ? I don't know.

They may be excellent, but they're still relatively new and mainly aimed at commercial producers, for presentation/ease of use. Plus there doesn't seem to be much data about long term use......

Hence I'd have thought it best to stick with tried and tested materials and methods.......

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:22 AM   #8
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There is an old saying about being penny-wise and pound foolish. While you might save a few cents using dollar store corks, you may lose your entire stock of mead. Like others have said, go get some quality corks and save yourself worry and any unknown variables.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:33 AM   #9
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Would you use previously used condoms, even if they looked clean? Same thing for corks. Spend the money to get virgin corks (grade you want/need) and don't worry about it.

You can use those previously used corks for other things. Just don't use them to seal mead.

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