Plastic corks - UK

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Pickle

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Aug 22, 2003, 12:34:49 PM8/22/03
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hi
Does anyone know where I can obtain plastic corks in the UK. I am sick
of having stuck and breaking cork corks despite paying out for "best
quality" from my local home brew supplier. They do not seem to know
where plastic corks can be obtained. I am not bothered about
aesthetics - just want a "cork" that can be easily removed and doesn't
drop bits into the bottle!
Thanks

Franklin P Patchey

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Aug 22, 2003, 3:44:52 PM8/22/03
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Pinky

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Aug 22, 2003, 8:11:37 PM8/22/03
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What you need is a "synthetic" corks which are about 2ce or 3ce the price of
cork "corks" and any good home brew shop will be able to supply.
BUT
if you use "Favorite" type ordinary corks which are current very good, and
use them without soaking, simmering or boiling (-- all quite potentially
fatal ) you will probably find an improvement. I have used ordinary cork
corks for the last 2 years without any treatment with no noticeable effect
on my bottled wines and a lot less problems in the actual corking
procedures -- all this having talked to a Portugese cork supplier at
length -- mind you he was seling cork corks.

But I have gone through all and every variation of pre bottling cork
procedure you can imagine over quite a few years and now I don't worry and
use them straight from the pack and have noticed no detrimental effect --
this being qualitative rather than quantative!

Hope that doesn't confuse you too much!

trevor

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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"Franklin P Patchey" <REMOVETH...@talk21.com> wrote in message
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Pickle

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Aug 23, 2003, 4:14:39 AM8/23/03
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">
> But I have gone through all and every variation of pre bottling cork
> procedure you can imagine over quite a few years and now I don't worry and
> use them straight from the pack and have noticed no detrimental effect --
> this being qualitative rather than quantative!
>
> Hope that doesn't confuse you too much!
>
> trevor

Do you just put them in dry then Trevor? My problem seems to be that
they go in reasonably OK but when I try to get them out they have
stuck to the sides of the bottle neck. The corkscrew then just pulls
out the centre of the cork.
My husband has just bought me a floor corker which I yet have to try
so perhaps putting them in more cleanly may help. Could I smear them
with vaseline or something first so they don't stick? A silicone
spray??

nehpets

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Aug 23, 2003, 4:57:20 AM8/23/03
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john....@youngshomebrew.co.uk
this company is for wholesale but by e-mailing them and
asking, what is the nearest outlet to were you live.


example:- the ones sent to me.

Torrs Brewing Supplies
: t/a Hadfields 48 Buxton Road
: 89B Churchill Way Stockport
: Macclesfield Tel.0161 480 4880
: Tel.01625 423259
:
: Beer & Winemaking Supplies Peak Pharmacy
: 181 Chatsworth Road 540 Sheffield Road
: Chesterfield Chesterfield
: Tel.01246 279382 Tel.01246 454763

not to say you should to the address
Best regards Stephen.

"Pickle" <garlic...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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Richard Kovach

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Aug 23, 2003, 9:17:37 AM8/23/03
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I think you're just getting poor quality corks. I'm lucky now and my
local shop offers corks that are overruns from the company that prints
the corks used by wineries. They work great, and it's fun to have
corks from a lot of recognizable wineries...

One warning about synthetics -- at least SupremeCorq, which I used to
use previously. They are typically NOT easy to get out of the bottle.
They come out in one piece, but you'd better have a strong corkscrew!
I've mangled a couple cheap corkscrews on bottles stoppered with
these, and my wife sometimes has to hand one over to me because it's
too tight for her. Plus, you need to have a really good floor corker
to make sure they'll go in reliably. Other than that, they have
seemed to work well for the 2.5 years they've been in the bottles.

Cheers,
Richard

garlic...@hotmail.com (Pickle) wrote in message news:<a22d35f.03082...@posting.google.com>...

Mark Willstatter

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Aug 23, 2003, 3:35:38 PM8/23/03
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"Pinky" <ta...@SPAMLESSblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<Ziy1b.2042$O62.16...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> What you need is a "synthetic" corks which are about 2ce or 3ce the price of
> cork "corks" and any good home brew shop will be able to supply.
> BUT
> if you use "Favorite" type ordinary corks which are current very good, and
> use them without soaking, simmering or boiling (-- all quite potentially
> fatal ) you will probably find an improvement. I have used ordinary cork
> corks for the last 2 years without any treatment with no noticeable effect
> on my bottled wines and a lot less problems in the actual corking
> procedures -- all this having talked to a Portugese cork supplier at
> length -- mind you he was seling cork corks.
>
> But I have gone through all and every variation of pre bottling cork
> procedure you can imagine over quite a few years and now I don't worry and
> use them straight from the pack and have noticed no detrimental effect --
> this being qualitative rather than quantative!
>
> Hope that doesn't confuse you too much!
>
> trevor
>
Is "2ce or 3ce" British English for twice or thrice? If so and you're
paying two or three times more for synthetic than natural cork in the
UK, you're getting ripped off. Synthetic should be *cheaper* than a
decent natural cork.

- Mark W.

Pinky

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Aug 23, 2003, 5:25:03 PM8/23/03
to
mark
Sadly my experience in the UK is that synthetic corks are much more
expensive than the real corks generally available in UK brew shops -- so we
are probably being ripped off!
And I dont believe that 2ce and 3ce are an unusual abbreviation for twice
and thrice!!!!!!! -- not in british english but in general mathematics
parlance. But I did apologise for any confusion in my original post!

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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<snip> <snip>

Pinky

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Aug 23, 2003, 5:39:19 PM8/23/03
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Hi,
yes I just put them in dry -- but with my Porrtuguese floor corker which I
have been using now for nearly 3 years. It is the best buy I have ever made
and totally excellent and also very safe!You will see that the response on
this NG is very positive on floor corkers and I cannot stress too much (
even if you are a small volume producer of whatever wines you make) what an
essential item it is!
Do not smear any grease at all on the corker or cork and when finished make
sure that you put a couple of plugs of paper kitchen towel through the
corker to clean and dry it of any spilt wine.
All corks are treated with silicone anyway ( according to my friendly
portuguese cork salesman).
I really have worried, over too many years, about corking bottles and have
suffered inferior corks and I have ruined a fair few batches of corks as
well.
I am also aware of some bad press with certain types of synthetic corks.

And I suppose now that the "upmarket screwcap bottle" is making inroads in
th ewine retail market then next step for home winemakes is to habe a
"screwcap former maker" to become available

Sorry for the long diatribe! but that is me!

Apologies for typos etc

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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> ">

nehpets

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Aug 23, 2003, 8:12:12 PM8/23/03
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Hello there am i right in understanding that when you fit corks into the bottles
that you force them
in dry. Think of all that friction, i find that its fare better to soak the cork
in boiling water
first. The enables the cork to become supple and makes the cork fit
correctly within the neck of the bottle.

Stephen

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Joe Sallustio

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Aug 24, 2003, 6:55:13 AM8/24/03
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Supremecorq says the reason they can be hard to get out of the bottle
is some people wash the silicone off before inserting, they have to go
in dry. If they had laser printing on them, that was a huge iusse
too; it seems the print sucked up all the silicone and the rest of the
corq was dry; Bully Hill had that issue and was not too thrilled about
it. All that said, I only used about 50, they do lose about 10 PPM of
free SO2 pretty quickly, so you may want to consider that too. I'm
not saying they are an issue, just that they require have a little
different processing in use.

I'm comparing Guardian and Nomacork to the agglomerated naturals with
a disk of natural at each end this year. At this point they all look
good but it's way to early to say I like one above another. All cost
roughly the same (too much)...

When buying natural corks, squeeze them between your fingers, if they
give a little they are decent corks. If they feel like a hunk of
wood, there is a problem and they probably are not worth anything as
far as I am concerned. The one exception is the agglomerated, they
are pretty stiff to begin with but so far I have had zero issues with
them.

Boiling natural corks used to be recommended, but it's not considered
good practice anymore; if you are concerned about sanitizing them an
alternative that is kinder to the cork is a quick rinse and spray of
1% SO2 solution; if I do that it's in a funnel which lets them drip
mostly dry.

Regards,
Joe


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Pinky

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Aug 24, 2003, 8:55:29 AM8/24/03
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There is no forcing at all with the foor corker. I find insertion is smooth
and very nearly effortless. And my corks are correctly seated in the neck of
the bottle every time
I would never, never, boil corks -- it is a sure way to destroy its
integrety and make it a useless seal. There is also the matter of the corks
adding the fluid in them after boiling, to the wine in your bottle!

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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"nehpets" <ste...@godfrey7107.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
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> Hello there am i right in understanding that when you fit corks into the
bottles
> that you force them
> in dry. Think of all that friction, i find that its fare better to soak
the cork
> in boiling water
> first. The enables the cork to become supple and makes the cork fit
> correctly within the neck of the bottle.
>
> Stephen
>
>

<snip><snip>


nehpets

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Aug 24, 2003, 7:19:59 PM8/24/03
to
No not boil, but soak there is a difference, and as for adding fluid
there is none.
If you have never tried it don't knock it.
Have you sourced a new supply.
Stephen.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Pinky" <ta...@SPAMLESSblueyonder.co.uk>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.winemaking
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2003 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: Plastic corks - UK


There is no forcing at all with the foor corker. I find insertion is smooth
and very nearly effortless. And my corks are correctly seated in the neck of
the bottle every time
I would never, never, boil corks -- it is a sure way to destroy its

integrity and make it a useless seal. There is also the matter of the corks

Pickle

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Aug 25, 2003, 3:43:16 AM8/25/03
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"nehpets" <ste...@godfrey7107.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<bibh79$qjd$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>...

> No not boil, but soak there is a difference, and as for adding fluid
> there is none.
> If you have never tried it don't knock it.
> Have you sourced a new supply.
> Stephen.
>
I've ordered some polythene corks from www.brewathome.com, suggested
by someone else in this thread. Hopefully they will arrive soon and I
will post the results in case anyone else is thinking of trying them.

Thanks everyone for your help, Lisa

Mark Willstatter

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Aug 25, 2003, 8:13:27 PM8/25/03
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"Pinky" <ta...@SPAMLESSblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<PYQ1b.2722$Vz3.24...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> mark
> Sadly my experience in the UK is that synthetic corks are much more
> expensive than the real corks generally available in UK brew shops -- so we
> are probably being ripped off!
> And I dont believe that 2ce and 3ce are an unusual abbreviation for twice
> and thrice!!!!!!! -- not in british english but in general mathematics
> parlance. But I did apologise for any confusion in my original post!
>
> --
> Trevor A Panther
> In South Yorkshire, England
> Remove "SPAMLESS" to reply.

Thanks for the explanation. I went through a lot of mathematics in my
life, including at university; I also lived in the UK for a few years.
This is the first time in my life I've ever seen those abbreviations
used. It's possible I've just led an exceptionally sheltered
existence ;^) but my guess is they *are* British; if they're not, I
can't imagine how I would have avoided them for this long. Anyway, I
figured out what you meant. In my time in England I solidified my
grasp of "boot", "bonnet" (in the automotive sense), "torch" and
"lift", even became familiar with phrases like "oi!" and "dirty
weekend"; I'm permanently confused on the pronunciation of "basil" and
"pasta". I started calling eggplant "aubergine". But never did I run
into "2ce" and "3ce", here or there!

Just to give you an idea of stopper prices, my local supplier charges
about $0.19 (12p) for his best grade of cork, $0.17 (11p) for
synthetic - in very small quantities. But really good cork seldom
makes it into home winemaking supply stores, at least in this area. A
local winery where I work pays between $0.25 and $0.30 (16 and 19p)
for very good cork in quantities of thousands. But I understand that
for a very long, tip-top quality cork, some small wineries pay as much
as $0.50 (32p) or so. I have no idea how that compares to your
prices; I'm only saying that here, synthetic goes for about the price
of a half-decent homewinemakers grade cork and for well less than a
really good one.

- Mark W.

Ray

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Aug 26, 2003, 11:18:53 AM8/26/03
to
I followed a recommendation in a well respected book and dunked my corks
into boiling water for a couple of years. ALL of those corks failed within
a year or two. The boiling breaks down the structure of the cork and it
will disintegrate. I rarely ever come down this strong on anything but in
this case ... NEVER boil corks.

Ray

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Ray

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Aug 26, 2003, 11:27:51 AM8/26/03
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> And I dont believe that 2ce and 3ce are an unusual abbreviation for twice
> and thrice!!!!!!! -- not in british english but in general mathematics
> parlance. But I did apologise for any confusion in my original post!
>
>

I have been in applied mathematics for 30 years and have never seen these
abreviations. Of course you would not see them in math texts as they are
mathmaics coloquialisms. I will say they are logical and obvious once
explained. I like them, Trevor. They would be more obvious if our
messaging programs handled superscript.

Ray

nehpets

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Aug 26, 2003, 4:49:48 PM8/26/03
to
I've never had any problems, how long did you say you have been making wine,

however perhaps we should get back to the issue, being plastic in place of cork.

Firstly you say that you have paid good cash for poor quality corks, what type
were they,

Composite cork, or which grade are they,

A, These are corks with top quality visual appearance - excellent surfaces, with
no major visual flaws and few small ones.

No holes or pores which exceed 2mm.

No cracks originating at the ends which exceed 11% of cork length.

No cracks in the body of the cork to exceed 18% of cork length.

All cracks must be tight and not open.

No horizontal cracks.

No worm holes, hardwood, belly spots, or greenwood.

Several narrow and shallow lenticels are acceptable if they are free of dust and
particles.

B, These are corks of good visual appearance with no major visual flaws and with
surface visual flaws of no depth or substance.

No holes or pores which exceed 5mm.

No cracks originating at the ends which exceed 18% of cork length.

No cracks in the body of the cork to exceed 25% of cork length.

All cracks must be tight and not open.

Lenticels and horizontal cracks must not open up when ends of the corks are
bent.

No Greenwood. No angled or deformed corks.

Very small chips and lateral worm activity in the middle of the body of the cork
may be acceptable.

Lenticels at ends must not be wide or deep and should be free of dust and
particles

C. These are corks of average visual appearance with one or more major visual
flaws which will be of cosmetic nature only. Thus they may be aesthetically
unappealing, but functional.

No cracks, channels, hardwood or belly spots which exceed 55% of cork length.

Lenticels and horizontal cracks on body may open up when ends of the corks are
bent.

Greenwood to 55% of cork length is acceptable unless severe depth or width.

Large chips are acceptable.

No worm activity from end to side which exceed 55% of cork length.

No dry years which exceed 55% of cork length.

There may be heavy, but not continuous porosity.

adding fluid

Secondly you say that your fed up cork, and want a supplier for plastic. Well
try the cork supplier.

Seeing we don't know which neck of the woods your from, it may be helpful to the
rest of the group

so that they may help you in this time of need.

nehpets


nehpets" <ste...@godfrey7107.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message

news:<bibh79$qjd$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>...
> No not boil, but soak there is a difference, and as for adding fluid
> there is none.
> If you have never tried it don't knock it.
> Have you sourced a new supply.
> Stephen

"Ray" <ray...@geminisi.com> wrote in message
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Pinky

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Aug 26, 2003, 5:10:20 PM8/26/03
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ray,
truly said again,
I am a retired telcomms design engineer, and I don't know how long I have
been using the "colloquialism" --- for longer than I can recall ( in
military engineering circles ). I know it isn't used in "pure and applied
mathematics" and as usual, my statement was incorrect. But I have worked all
over the world ( especially in eastern countries ) and most engineers I have
communicated with would understand the abbreviation -- my old apple II
could do 2 squared!!!!!!!!!!! ( and that shows I go back a long way!) but
can't remember how to do it on winXP -- but then I rarely need it these
days -- except today!
lol :-)

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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Pinky

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Aug 26, 2003, 5:37:17 PM8/26/03
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hi nehpets
or even a backward stephen

I do detect a slight symptom of which I often suffer myself -- as others
who know me on here will affirm ----- that of riding my high horse. Your
attempt at belittling the previous poster is trending towards the
ridiculous. I know --- I have done it myself on occassion

Let me say that I have been making wine by all sort of methods for over 35
years and I have also tried every conceivable method a dealing with the way
in which I cork my bottles. I will not try and list them here, but I could
almost guarantee that I have run the total gamut of corking methods.

I have always been dissatisfied with a most important stage in the
preservation of my wines and it is only in the last 2 years that I have used
my corks fresh from the supplier, without any treatment, sterilisation,
heating, boiling. This was on the recommendation ( as I have said in an
earlier post ) of a cork manufacturer.

I can only say that for the first time, in long years of various methods, I
am much happier with the end result of bottle aging than I have ever been.

And I say again " I would never ever boil corks".

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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Ray

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Aug 27, 2003, 11:20:05 AM8/27/03
to

"nehpets" <ste...@godfrey7107.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bigh5q$6ut$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...

> I've never had any problems, how long did you say you have been making
wine,
>
I am not sure what relevance it has to your comments but since you ask -- I
have been making wine for about 30 years.

Ray


nehpets

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Aug 27, 2003, 4:04:44 PM8/27/03
to
Well Ray and Trevor you both seem to have the experience, nothing personal but
having a
similar amount of time served it was necessary to establish to whom i was
communicating with.

No not boil, but soak there is a difference, and as for adding fluid there is
none.
Yes you are right they do break up when you boil them. but by soaking them in
pre-boiled water
for 5 mins this makes them supple on the outer part of the cork but solid on the
inside.
Over the years that you have been making and bottling your wine, you will have
come across
various types and qualities of cork. The most venerable being composite cork.
Then again if your using the wrong size this could have something to do with the
problem your experiencing.
24mm x 44mm recommended for most types of bottle, the cork being sanitized with
sulphur dioxide
gas before hermetically sealed in plastic bags.
Stephen.
======================================================

I do detect a slight symptom of which I often suffer myself -- as others
who know me on here will affirm ----- that of riding my high horse. Your
attempt at belittling the previous poster is trending towards the
ridiculous. I know --- I have done it myself on occasion

Let me say that I have been making wine by all sort of methods for over 35
years and I have also tried every conceivable method a dealing with the way
in which I cork my bottles. I will not try and list them here, but I could
almost guarantee that I have run the total gamut of corking methods.

I have always been dissatisfied with a most important stage in the
preservation of my wines and it is only in the last 2 years that I have used
my corks fresh from the supplier, without any treatment, sterilisation,
heating, boiling. This was on the recommendation ( as I have said in an
earlier post ) of a cork manufacturer.

I can only say that for the first time, in long years of various methods, I
am much happier with the end result of bottle aging than I have ever been.

And I say again " I would never ever boil corks".

--


Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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Pickle

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Aug 31, 2003, 2:16:52 AM8/31/03
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"Pinky" <ta...@SPAMLESSblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<baR1b.2732$IH3.24...@news-text.cableinet.net>...
> Hi,
> yes I just put them in dry -- but with my Porrtuguese floor corker which I
> have been using now for nearly 3 years. It is the best buy I have ever made
> and totally excellent and also very safe!You will see that the response on
> this NG is very positive on floor corkers and I cannot stress too much (
> even if you are a small volume producer of whatever wines you make) what an
> essential item it is!

Hi everyone and thanks for your advice on this subject. Just for the
record, i ordered 100 plastic corks (made by Eurocork and identical to
Supremecorq) from Brewathome
Had a bottling day yesterday with said corks (put in dry) and my new
floor corker. No problems at all. That's definitely the way I shall
go from now on.

Dan Butcher

unread,
Sep 1, 2003, 1:33:04 AM9/1/03
to
pickle,

hi do this company brew at home in california deliver to the uk, is
this where your floor corker came from?

dan(uk)

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