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KevinJ
12-14-2009, 06:47 PM
Ok I am ready to cork my mead. What do I need to do to prepare the corks? Do I need to soak then in no rinse (if so how long)? Do I boil them? Do I do nothing to them?

Thanks
Kevin

wayneb
12-14-2009, 07:50 PM
There are several schools of thought regarding cork treatments. Many folks say that they are fine to use dry (with a floor or bench corker - with a hand corker they are too hard to compress when dry), while others say a long soak in a metabisulfite or no-rinse sanitizer is what they prefer. I tend these days to simply rinse my corks with a metabisulfite solution (about 5 mins total exposure time to the liquid), and go. I used to soak them longer, but I've found that they really don't benefit from absorption of much liquid - my floor corker can handle them with just a quick rinse.

Don't drop them in boiling water, since heat accelerates the breakdown of cork cell walls and will actually prematurely age them.

Medsen Fey
12-14-2009, 08:09 PM
And remember, SNL will make fun of you if you soak corks (http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/clips/cork-soakers/2629/). :D

wildoates
12-14-2009, 11:28 PM
In my vast (VAST I tell you*) corking experience, I just tossed the corks in a sulfite solution shortly before corking and went from there.

* two batches is vast, right?.

Kee
12-15-2009, 01:17 AM
two batches is vast, right?.

Were they one gallon batches or five? ;)

wayneb
12-15-2009, 11:45 AM
And remember, SNL will make fun of you if you soak corks (http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/clips/cork-soakers/2629/). :D

I resisted re-posting that link this time... I really did! I was good!!

See where it gets me?? ;D

wayneb
12-15-2009, 11:46 AM
* two batches is vast, right?.

Well, it's at least half-vast! ;)

icedmetal
12-15-2009, 01:02 PM
with a hand corker they are too hard to compress

Now I'm wondering just what sort of corker it is that I have. Two arms attached to a pin that rams the cork through a slightly smaller than cork-size opening in the device, into the bottle. It's not attached (nor is it capable of being attached) to the floor or a bench. I can only assume it's a hand corker.

I read the quoted statement to mean that I've been doing this the hard way...

/flex

Oh, hi! I've been lurking for a few weeks now, reading and learning. More about me later.

wayneb
12-15-2009, 01:26 PM
Hi, back! Welcome to the "Gotmead" community (now that you're more than a lurker)!!

And yes, if your corker is hand-held (rather than bench mounted or floor standing), then you are using a hand corker.

wildoates
12-15-2009, 02:26 PM
Were they one gallon batches or five? ;)

Three each. Chortle!

Kee
12-15-2009, 03:23 PM
Three each. Chortle!

I keep forgetting you like to be unique in all aspects. ;D (That's a good thing.)

wildoates
12-15-2009, 10:33 PM
More like my first two batches started out with 5 gallons, but only ended up with 3. I didn't take into consideration racking loss. :)

dogglebe
12-17-2009, 08:40 PM
If you are using all natural corks, I think you have to soak them in warm water (about 150 degrees) for a half hour. If you're using the partially synthetic, or fully synthetic corks, you just need to dip them in a mot meta solution.

Do not boil corks, as they can crack and split.


Phil

Medsen Fey
12-18-2009, 10:22 AM
If you are using all natural corks, I think you have to soak them in warm water (about 150 degrees) for a half hour.

The folks I have spoken with at cork manufacturers including Corktec say prolonged soaking in hot water is not recommended. Most of the corks have a thin coating of paraffin (or something similar) to help make the cork insertion easier. Hot soaking may remove that thin film and may possible lead to shorter cork life. If corks are stored properly, they should not need soaking. I usually do a quick rinse in a sulfite solution, though I don't think it is really necessary - it just makes me feel better. :)

Oskaar
12-18-2009, 06:41 PM
I just use a spray bottle with K-Meta and spray the corks before I cork the bottle.

dogglebe
12-18-2009, 09:19 PM
The folks I have spoken with at cork manufacturers including Corktec say prolonged soaking in hot water is not recommended. Most of the corks have a thin coating of paraffin (or something similar) to help make the cork insertion easier. Hot soaking may remove that thin film and may possible lead to shorter cork life. If corks are stored properly, they should not need soaking. I usually do a quick rinse in a sulfite solution, though I don't think it is really necessary - it just makes me feel better. :)

Don't you have to sanitize the inside of natural corks?

No soak corks are non-porous (or something like that), which is why you only have to dip them in the sanitizer.


Phil

Oskaar
12-19-2009, 03:45 AM
Don't you have to sanitize the inside of natural corks?

No soak corks are non-porous (or something like that), which is why you only have to dip them in the sanitizer.


Phil

Generally not. The corks when shipped from the manufacturer have been sanitized and coated with an inert parafin. They're fine to insert even without additional sanitization.

Cheers,

Oskaar