The process of corking wine may sound simple but nothing else is farther from the truth. There is much more to corking wine than simply stuffing a cork into a bottle in your basement or garage and then allowing it to age.
Everything is important, from the corks you choose, the tools you need and the way that you carry out the process. All of these are essential things which should be learnt before you attempt to cork your own homemade wine. You should speak to other winemakers and ask those people who sell equipment at the supply stores. You can also read books at your local library or search the Internet for the necessary information. Whatever means you choose, you should ensure that it covers the topic thoroughly so that you don’t make any mistakes.
The two main types of corkers are the floor corkers and the hand corkers. Which one of the two you use isn’t important, so far you understand that you have to first soak your corks in hot water. When we say hot, we’re talking about very hot in this case and not just warm. This is essential so that your wine is corked properly.
The floor corker allows the bottle to be held into place while the cork is shoved into the neck of the bottle. The hand corkers are a little more difficult to cope with and certain experts recommend that you hold the bottle between your feet so it remains fixed while you cork the bottle. If you aren’t using the hand corkers or floor corkers, you should be using the smaller, less popular ones and in order to make the corks easier to be used, remember that they need to be soaked overnight.
Regardless of the method which you use to cork your wine, you must ensure that you remember to leave at least half an inch of the cork in the neck of the bottle with no wine in between. If you’re using one of those bottle fillers, it can be done easily because when they are removed they tend to leave the appropriate amount of space.
If you don’t have any such tools, you’ll need to use your eyes alone in order to accomplish this task. You should ensure that you only soak the number of corks that you require since once they are soaked they cannot be dried and used again.
When you cork you should also ensure that you allow at least a week to elapse before you lay the bottles down. If you fail to do this, the corks may easily become stuck to the glass and this will mean that when you want to open the bottles to drink your wine, it is bound to be difficult. The corks will usually fall apart while you’re trying to open them.
If you make the mistake of soaking your corks for too long, the corks will get damaged and your bottles will end up leaking. You should remember that no alternate process is needed to sterilize the corks as they are already sterile. You also shouldn’t use anything which is used in the sealing process. If you use breakaway screw caps from wine that you have already drunk, it may affect the quality of your wine.
These things may seem rather obvious but the reality of the situation is that a lot of mistakes tend to be made during the process of corking and you should eliminate these mistakes. Every step in winemaking is an important one and it should be carried out carefully.