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Old 06-28-2008, 11:07 PM   #1
Jimbob's Avatar
Oct 2007
Austin, Tx
Posts: 141

Does anyone have a good practice for preparing corks for bottling? I'm about to bottle a mead in wine bottles and just wanted to check and see what the best practice would be for preparing the corks prior to bottling. I've read to soak in warm water for 1 to 2 hours, rinse, and use. I've read to boil them. Anyone have any experience/recommendations?

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Old 06-28-2008, 11:18 PM   #2
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Rick_R's Avatar
Nov 2007
Southeastern US
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You'll probably get an answer here, but it might be better if this thread were in the wine forum. I have no answer for you, but I am interested; I'll be corking my 1st batch of wine in a couple of weeks; it's been aging since November.

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Old 06-28-2008, 11:23 PM   #3
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Oct 2007
Montreal, Canada
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As long as your corks are the right size (typically #9) for the bottles, and you have a decent corker (something like this) , then all you need to do is put them into luke warm water with metabisulfite (to sterelize them). I've corked over 200 bottles in the last 3 months and have never had a problem.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:39 PM   #4
MattMann's Avatar
May 2008
Roanoke, va
Posts: 228

I've always just boiled mine for 5-10 minutes. Never had a problem.


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Old 06-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #5
Jul 2007
Palmdale, CA
Posts: 119
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I've heard some people boil, others say not to boil.

I just mix some water and a crushed campden tab and drop a few corks at a time into that. Then before I use a cork I dip it in the campden tab water.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #6
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Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
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I've been putting mine into a pot with Star San and weighing them down with a plate for an overnight soak...
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:48 PM   #7
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Jul 2006
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+1 for soaking them in Star cork soaker...
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:08 PM   #8
Jun 2008
Damascus, MD
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I put mine in a ziplock bag, fill with water, make sure there is no air, and let sit while I get everything else ready (about an hour). This makes them 100% under water and very easy to cork the bottles.

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Old 06-29-2008, 04:16 PM   #9
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I never, ever, soak my corks. They are natural cork, and not to be soaked. I make up a k-meta solution, and put the solution in a small cup and the corks around it in a bowl. I put the lid on the bowl and let that "steam" while I rack into my bottling bucket. If the corks are coming out of an unopened bag, I don't even do that.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:32 PM   #10
Oct 2007
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If you're using a floor corker you shouldn't be doing any soaking, particularly in K-meta or the like. You'll ruin your corker. The solution gets squeezed out of the cork and collects in the corker and corrodes the jaw mechanism and other parts.

My LHBS is a winery first. The owner swears he's never treated his corks, just uses them straight out of the package, and he's never had a problem.

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