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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Soaking corks and cleaning bottles before filling question
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:16 PM   #11
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I was told to soak my corks to get them to ~5% moisture, which is just barely compressible by hand. Why do you say not to soak them Yooper?
Because the corks will absorb the moisture, and/or break them down and ruin them. http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/...or-to-bottling


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Old 02-06-2013, 11:39 PM   #12
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You don't have to sanitize corks that are brand new and still packaged do you? Also? Do you guys re use corks?


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Old 02-06-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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No, you can't reuse them. The have a hole in them when you remove them with a corkscrew.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:53 PM   #14
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You don't have to sanitize corks that are brand new and still packaged do you? Also? Do you guys re use corks?
Depends on how they are handled...if you are buying them in a sealed pack I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:13 AM   #15
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My understanding was to soak them, they go in the bottle easier, then you stand your bottles upright for 3 - 4 days, they start to dry and expand, and seal the bottle. Then lay them on their side for storage.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:25 AM   #16
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My understanding was to soak them, they go in the bottle easier, then you stand your bottles upright for 3 - 4 days, they start to dry and expand, and seal the bottle. Then lay them on their side for storage.
If you're using a hand corker, it's far easier to use #8 corks. With a floor corker, use #9 corks. Either way, don't soak them unless you don't mind maybe ruining some of the corks (and hence some of the wine).
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #17
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Ok, so I must say that what I do (just as I described it in my first post) is exactly what is reccomended in the Wizards article.

It makes perfect sense to me not to soak corks in plain water, the thought of that makes me cringe.

Nor do I soak them for 'hours'. Who has time for that?

Just enough to give me piece of mind that the cork is as sterile as the bottle.

I feel my methods are sound, and stand by them as a reccomendation to others.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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This is what I read from that Wine Wizard. If you find you need to soften them, or to use a little water for lubrication, make a strong (60 ppm free) sulfite solution and soak them for 15–20 minutes.

The 30 count bag I have of Wine Corks are in a bag from More Beer site, and tied with a bag tie, not vacuum sealed. So that's why i'm thinking of just rolling them in sanitizer for a minute. Not sure I trust that these are germ free.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #19
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Well, what is done, is done.

I went ahead today, and corked the bottles, ended up 28 750ml, and 1 1.5L bottles. I have put one in the fridge already, and we'll try it out this weekend.

I threw the corks in a pitcher of sanitizer, then filled a bowl with sanitizer, and would transfer over about 10 corks at a time into the bowl while i was filling. None of them really were fully soaked, more just the outsides top and bottom, so I doubt it absorbed very much. It all went smoothly. All the bottles are sitting upright in my basement closet right now. On Monday, i'll lay them on their sides for longer storage.

Next month I need to start a Red batch, and if my wife really likes this White, then maybe start another White soon.


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