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Old 07-09-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
jkpq45
 
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Hi All,

Total noob to corking here. I have a bunch of what appear to be "standard" 750ml wine bottles and an italian floor corker with the brass iris. Here are my questions:

1. What type of cork should I use?
2. What size of cork should I use?
3. If the brass jaws have food-grade silicone lube on them, will it hurt the corks?
4. I don't plan on soaking/sanitizing the corks, just using them out of the bag. Correct me now or forever hold your peace.
5. How long do I store the bottles upright, then placed on their side, how long will they last?
6. Where do I buy the recommended corks for a good price?

Thanks! Any general advice would be appreciated as well.

Have a good one,
jkpq45
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:10 PM   #2
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Nothing? 10char
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpq45 View Post
Hi All,

Total noob to corking here. I have a bunch of what appear to be "standard" 750ml wine bottles and an italian floor corker with the brass iris. Here are my questions:

1. What type of cork should I use?
2. What size of cork should I use?
3. If the brass jaws have food-grade silicone lube on them, will it hurt the corks?
4. I don't plan on soaking/sanitizing the corks, just using them out of the bag. Correct me now or forever hold your peace.
5. How long do I store the bottles upright, then placed on their side, how long will they last?
6. Where do I buy the recommended corks for a good price?

Thanks! Any general advice would be appreciated as well.

Have a good one,
jkpq45
I've been using 1 3/4 in Agglomerated 1+1 corks from morebeer. No problems as of yet. You can't use synthetic corks with the Italian floor corker as it will put creases in the side of the cork and it will leak. But any other cork should be fine. I haven't had a need to lube the jaws on mine. I wouldn't want any lube between the cork and bottle though.

I also don't soak/sanitize the corks. Leave the bottles upright for at least 3 days to allow for the cork to expand in the bottle, then they can go on their sides. I usually leave mine upright for a week mainly because I forget. After putting the bottles on their side check them after a day or two for any seepage.

 
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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Is $0.25 each as cheap as decent corks get?
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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You can get cheaper corks. Morebeer has overruns that are $0.19 a piece. I've never used the overruns, but I've heard they are fine. You also might be able to find cheaper corks somewhere else. Check northernbrewer too. They have agglomerated for about $0.13 a piece.

 
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
beeraroundtown
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Yah, I use the morebeer "Belgian" corks also and they work great. Champagne and wine corks probably won't work, well wine corks might, but you would have to cap over them like Fantome does. Otherwise just leave part of the cork outside the bottle and drop the cage over it.

I drop the corks in star san for a few minutes, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. I'm not sure if the silicone will hurt or not, but I'd wipe it off so it doesn't get in your beer.

Also about storing the bottles. I've heard in the past all corked bottles should be aged upright. From what I've heard the corks shouldn't dry out because there is humidity on the inside or something, so unless the bottles are leaking the corks should hold up. I'm not 100% on this, so I'm experimenting with a few bottles each way.

I have a bench corker/capper not a floor corker, so not sure of any other tips.

 
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
sharpstick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpq45 View Post
Hi All,

Total noob to corking here. I have a bunch of what appear to be "standard" 750ml wine bottles and an italian floor corker with the brass iris. Here are my questions:

1. What type of cork should I use?
2. What size of cork should I use?
3. If the brass jaws have food-grade silicone lube on them, will it hurt the corks?
4. I don't plan on soaking/sanitizing the corks, just using them out of the bag.
5. How long do I store the bottles upright, then placed on their side, how long will they last?

jkpq45
i've been using the italian floor corker (with capper attachment) for a couple years now.
i get the #9 1.5" agglomerated corks from my local supplier. (#8 are smaller and are for hand corkers)
i don't use lube. i just clean it and wipe it down occasionally. i suppose you could wipe on lube and thoroughly wipe it off occasionally.
i don't soak. i've heard bad things about doing that. corks in sealed bulk bags may be sanitary, but the ones in the ziplocks have probably been handled in less than sanitary conditions.
i keep my corks in a "corkidor". a few days before bottling, i make sure there are enough corks in it. it is a gallon sized sealed food canister with a small (6 oz?) container with a couple tablespoons of NA meta and half full of water. it creates a very strong atmosphere of sulfite. be carefully breathing near the open canister, it will hurt!
general consensus is to store the bottles a few days or more, then store horizontal. the few days gives any pressure a chance to dissipate and for the corks to fully swell and seal. but i have also stored some upright with no problems. i think they might dry out in several years time.

 
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #8
beeraroundtown
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What did you hear bad about soaking? I hope I'm not ruining the bottles I've been doing.

 
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:51 PM   #9
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What did you hear bad about soaking? I hope I'm not ruining the bottles I've been doing.
Do you really want to be a cork soaker?

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
sharpstick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeraroundtown View Post
What did you hear bad about soaking? I hope I'm not ruining the bottles I've been doing.
it was a long time ago. i don't recall. the discussion was on the winepress forum a while back. general consensus of the more experienced winemakers leaned toward corkidors. less messy imo.

 
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