There are several types of corkers available. We highly recommend a floor corker with jaws that compress the cork prior to plunging it into the neck of the bottle. Other corkers (twin lever, single lever, and compression corkers) rely on human muscles to compress the cork and push it into the bottles.
Floor corkers, while more expensive, use simple levers and mechanical advantage to carefully compress the corks and insert them precisely into the bottles without damaging the cork Also, they hold the bottles steady in a spring-loaded base. They are really worth the extra money.
CORKING HINTS & TIPS :
IMPORTANT - Never over soak or boil your corks. This may have been recommended in the past, but when using modern corks to do so will compromise its composition and limit its function. In short, this could ruin your wine.
When using a straight cork, the device should squeeze the cork to a minimum tightness of 15.5mm (0.6”) Insertion should be swift to avoid damaging the bottom of the cork and the bottle neck should be dry to avoid contamination. There must be a minimum of 20mm (0.8”) between the stopper and the wine, to allow room for the wine to expand with an increase in temperature. The corking device should be checked regularly and maintained.
The corked bottle should be left standing for at least 5 days to allow residual gas to escape and the cork to return to a natural position.
HOW TO USE A FLOOR CORKER
- Clean and dry your floor corker at the end of every bottling day. Water can pool up on the bottle resting plate & the mechanism, resulting in corrosion, especially if the water has sulfites in it.
- There is no need to soak your corks - they can be applied direct from a sealed pack. However, if a pack has been left open for an extended period (a week or more) it’s best to soften them by soaking for a few minutes in warm water.
- Adjust the cork depth with the threaded nut on the corking plunger. Corks should be just below flush with the lip of the bottle. Lubricate the jaws with a small amount of Petrol-Gel.
- Do not use vegetable or olive oils as these attract dirt and gum up the jaws. Do not use WD-40 as it is unsafe for human consumption and the solvents and propellants would affect the end result of the wine. However, you can use WD-40 to occasionally lubricate any moving parts which do not come into contact with the corks.
- Occasionally lubricate other moving parts (those that do not come into contact with the cork) with WD 40 to prevent sticking.
- If the shaft that holds up the bottle platform sticks or won’t spring back up when the corking arm is released, tighten the two small nuts on the bottom of the platform tensioning arm.
- If your corker malfunctions or sticks, be extremely cautious about taking it apart. The jaw mechanisms are held in place by powerful springs and can leap out when the cover is removed.