A Food and drink forum. FoodBanter.com

Welcome to FoodBanter.com forums which provide access to the finest food and drink related newsgroups.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most newsgroup discussions and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics to the food related newsgroups, communicate privately with other FoodBanter.com members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact support.

Go Back   Home » FoodBanter.com forum » Drinking » Winemaking
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

Agglomerated Corks



 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14-12-2003, 01:21 PM
Joe Ae
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe


Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 14-12-2003, 02:24 PM
Brewser83
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

I'll bet you get a lot of differing opinions from members here, just like you
did at the supply shops. I have used mainly agglomerated and synthetic for
years with no troubles. I've heard about the agglomerated good for only short
time(?) but I have them in bottles several years old. I have had agglomerated
from different manufacturers, and some I wouldn't use at all.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 14-12-2003, 04:31 PM
Greg Cook
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

On 12/14/03 7:21 AM, in article ,
"Joe Ae" wrote:

I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe



The important thing is to not use cheap corks. I find the standard ones
available as the least expensive in the winemaking stores to be inferior and
tend to crumble apart.

Actually, I have tried a few different kinds of corks and have recently
settled on using the sandwich type corks. These have an agglomerated middle
and disks of natural cork on the ends. I have been using these for over a
year now and find them to seal great. I also find the ends of the corks are
smoother and more blemish free than typical natural corks.

I usually order them from Grape and Granery - not that I am specifically
endorsing their site over others, but here is a link to their web page with
a picture of the corks.

http://www.thegrape.net/browse.cfm/4,9679.html


--
Greg Cook
http://homepage.mac.com/gregcook/Wine

(remove spamblocker from my email)

  #4 (permalink)  
Old 14-12-2003, 07:38 PM
Tom S
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks


"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

The jury is still out on this issue, and confusion reigns supreme.

Natural cork is great - except for two things:
1) TCA (cork taint) problems. Even the most expensive corks, which can run
as high as 50 each, have the potential to ruin the wine they are supposed
to be protecting. There's no way to know in advance either. You find out
eventually when you open the bottle.
2) Co$t. Natural corks run at least double, and can be as much as 5x the
price of synthetics or agglomerates.

Synthetics are gaining popularity rapidly. The cork taint problem doesn't
exist with them, but they have other issues, such as being either too hard
to extract from the bottle and/or corkscrew or too easy, which can result in
"self-extraction". The most worrisome (to me) issue with full synthetics is
that they don't seem to protect the free SO2 in the wine very well. This is
being worked on by the manufacturers, but they aren't there yet, so in
general synthos are mostly used for wines that aren't intended for long term
aging.

Agglomerated corks are something of a mixed bag. Some of them seem to be
better than others, and the best of them are the so called 1+1 style, which
has a disk of natural cork glued to each end of an agglomerated cork. This
is a reasonable compromise in terms of cost and quality, but from what I've
heard they have the potential of having TCA problems because of that slice
of natural cork.

All in all, I'd say the best promise for the future lies in Stelvin
screwcaps - but these are obviously not for the home winemaker.

Tom S


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 14-12-2003, 11:21 PM
Robert Lee
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

The Australian Wine Research Institute has been doing a large closure trial
for a few years now, and, surprise, surprise, have really found that nothing
is perfect!

However, the best solution here I think is the 1+1 corks. My experience
with hand corking with these though is that they tend to crease a bit at the
bottom, thus exposing the agglomerate.

Professionally, I have found them really good to use.

Rob L
"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe




  #6 (permalink)  
Old 15-12-2003, 01:56 AM
arne thormodsen
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks


All in all, I'd say the best promise for the future lies in Stelvin
screwcaps - but these are obviously not for the home winemaker.


And what are these?

I heard part of an interview with a winemaker on the radio a few months ago.
He was talking about the poor quality of cork these days and said that if it
was up to him he'd use screw-on caps for all his white wines (he still
thought that corks mighe be contributing something to reds, maybe it was a
factor of how long the wine was expected to stay in the bottle). Problem is
that the public won't accept it, as (in the US anyway) screw caps are
associated with cheap fortified wines mostly drunk by smelly men living
under bridges.

--arne

Tom S




  #7 (permalink)  
Old 15-12-2003, 11:08 AM
Joe Sallustio
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

I like the 1 +1's also, but after a year or so they are sometimes hard
to extract. I think if you want to use them in other than a floor
corker you may want to lube the jaws with glycerin, they are stiff.

I tested Supremecorq and liked them, with the qualification you should
bump your SO2 at least 10 PPM. I lost that within 3 months, but it
stayed constant over 5 years.

I am testing Guardian, they go in loose and kind of scare me because
of that. It seals though...

I am testing NomaCorc, so far so good. (But it's early.)

I would much rather use naturals that were decent, but they are over
$0.30 each in lots of 1000 here and I think that is ridiculous. (I'm
willing to pay $0.20 for a good number 9 at 1 3/4", but $300/1000 is
getting to be too much.)

I have tried a lot of naturals with some being gawd awful and some
being great. I squeeze them; if soft, they are decent, hard, I leave
them. The color should be very light tan, not dark.

Regards,
Joe






"Robert Lee" wrote in message ...
The Australian Wine Research Institute has been doing a large closure trial
for a few years now, and, surprise, surprise, have really found that nothing
is perfect!

However, the best solution here I think is the 1+1 corks. My experience
with hand corking with these though is that they tend to crease a bit at the
bottom, thus exposing the agglomerate.

Professionally, I have found them really good to use.

Rob L
"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe


  #8 (permalink)  
Old 15-12-2003, 01:44 PM
Tom S
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks


"Joe Sallustio" wrote in message
m...
I tested Supremecorq and liked them, with the qualification you should
bump your SO2 at least 10 PPM. I lost that within 3 months, but it
stayed constant over 5 years.


Joe -

Just so that I'm clear on what you said above, does that mean that the free
SO2 dropped 10 ppm initially and no farther after that, holding steady for 5
years? I'm considering using Supremecorqs on my wine this year.

One of the others I've looked at is NuCorq. The data I've seen on SO2
retention for them is good, but the strong wording of the disclaimer on
their website has me worried.

I agree that the price of natural corks is ridiculous, but 'taint my primary
motivation from moving away from them. ;^)

Tom S


  #9 (permalink)  
Old 15-12-2003, 02:06 PM
Tim McNally
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

Most of my cork problems were caused by the corker. The Portugese
corker with the synthetic iris doesn't squeeze the corks tight enough,
often either puncturing them or creasing the sides. I switched to the
Italian floor corker with the brass iris and have had no problems. I
insert the corks dry, but store in a sulfite humididor.

Tim






"Robert Lee" wrote in message ...
The Australian Wine Research Institute has been doing a large closure trial
for a few years now, and, surprise, surprise, have really found that nothing
is perfect!

However, the best solution here I think is the 1+1 corks. My experience
with hand corking with these though is that they tend to crease a bit at the
bottom, thus exposing the agglomerate.

Professionally, I have found them really good to use.

Rob L
"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe


  #10 (permalink)  
Old 15-12-2003, 02:06 PM
J Dixon
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

Tom,
I use Nomacorcs, and I have them on about 25 cases that I bottled three
years ago. I would say that the few that I have tested averaged about 10-15
ppm in SO2 loss in that time. I would attribute some of this to the bottling
process to, and I have been very happy with the product. Extraction is just
as good as the day I put them in, and the seal is quite good. The only
"problem" I have had are 2 things: If you dont compress the cork and drive
it rapidly (with a floor corker) you get a pronounce dimple. My work around
for this has been a quick dip in a sulphite solution as I place the cork in
the corker. This really makes the corks slide in like magic and they look
great. I think the small addition of sulphite cant hurt either. The other
issue I had was the jaws from my corker leaving lines in the side of the
corks that looked like a leak could develop. I sanded the sharp edges with
wet/dry sandpaper and it solved that issue although I have never had a
leaker. HTH
John Dixon
"Tom S" wrote in message
. com...

"Joe Sallustio" wrote in message
m...
I tested Supremecorq and liked them, with the qualification you should
bump your SO2 at least 10 PPM. I lost that within 3 months, but it
stayed constant over 5 years.


Joe -

Just so that I'm clear on what you said above, does that mean that the

free
SO2 dropped 10 ppm initially and no farther after that, holding steady for

5
years? I'm considering using Supremecorqs on my wine this year.

One of the others I've looked at is NuCorq. The data I've seen on SO2
retention for them is good, but the strong wording of the disclaimer on
their website has me worried.

I agree that the price of natural corks is ridiculous, but 'taint my

primary
motivation from moving away from them. ;^)

Tom S




  #11 (permalink)  
Old 16-12-2003, 11:49 AM
Joe Sallustio
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

Tom,
I used the 1 3/4" supremecorq and 1 3/4" naturals as controls; the
supremecorq lost on average, 12 PPM more than the natural controls,
worst case was 18 PPM. That number stayed constant over the 5 years,
I did not test the first one until 3 months. It was a Chenin Blanc,
all the same lot, 25 bottles. (I used titrettes, I know a lot of
people prefer aspiration techniques, but it was a white and the same
method was used on both...) Worst side effect was more browning,
(deeper tint of yellow), probably due to the lack of SO2. That was
noticable to me at around 3 years, more pronounced at 5. (I am no
expert...)

I don't have a vacuum corker, that's what supremecorq suggests to get
around this. My headspace was between 1/2" and 3/4", I drove the air
in just like I do with a natural. Sparging with inert gas may help
this too. To be honest, if I used these I would use the 1 1/2"'s;
there is no good reason to waste the plastic and the longer ones look
a little goofy in a burgundy bottle, they do not expand enough at the
base...

I know Bully Hill quit using them a few years back, but they were
upset with the extraction force. Supremecorq had changed from using a
screen printing ink to a laser applied toner and the toner absorbed
all of the lube; Bully Hill was stuck with 2 million corq's that were
nothing but aggravation and fighting with Sumpremcorq at the time. (I
forget whether they made it right or not, to be honest.) Supremecorq
wants them used as shipped; no washing or wetting, they want that lube
to stay in place.

Who is NuCorq? I'll look them up. I like the look of these
Nomacorq'a I'm playing around at now. I have some in bottle close to a
year so I guess it's time to look them over soon.

Hope that helps.
Best regards,
Joe



"Tom S" wrote in message .com...
"Joe Sallustio" wrote in message
m...
I tested Supremecorq and liked them, with the qualification you should
bump your SO2 at least 10 PPM. I lost that within 3 months, but it
stayed constant over 5 years.


Joe -

Just so that I'm clear on what you said above, does that mean that the free
SO2 dropped 10 ppm initially and no farther after that, holding steady for 5
years? I'm considering using Supremecorqs on my wine this year.

One of the others I've looked at is NuCorq. The data I've seen on SO2
retention for them is good, but the strong wording of the disclaimer on
their website has me worried.

I agree that the price of natural corks is ridiculous, but 'taint my primary
motivation from moving away from them. ;^)

Tom S

  #12 (permalink)  
Old 16-12-2003, 01:52 PM
Tom S
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks


"Joe Sallustio" wrote in message
om...
Tom,
I used the 1 3/4" supremecorq and 1 3/4" naturals as controls; the
supremecorq lost on average, 12 PPM more than the natural controls,
worst case was 18 PPM. That number stayed constant over the 5 years,
I did not test the first one until 3 months. It was a Chenin Blanc,
all the same lot, 25 bottles. (I used titrettes, I know a lot of
people prefer aspiration techniques, but it was a white and the same
method was used on both...) Worst side effect was more browning,
(deeper tint of yellow), probably due to the lack of SO2. That was
noticable to me at around 3 years, more pronounced at 5. (I am no
expert...)

I don't have a vacuum corker, that's what supremecorq suggests to get
around this. My headspace was between 1/2" and 3/4", I drove the air
in just like I do with a natural. Sparging with inert gas may help
this too. To be honest, if I used these I would use the 1 1/2"'s;
there is no good reason to waste the plastic and the longer ones look
a little goofy in a burgundy bottle, they do not expand enough at the
base...

I know Bully Hill quit using them a few years back, but they were
upset with the extraction force. Supremecorq had changed from using a
screen printing ink to a laser applied toner and the toner absorbed
all of the lube; Bully Hill was stuck with 2 million corq's that were
nothing but aggravation and fighting with Sumpremcorq at the time. (I
forget whether they made it right or not, to be honest.) Supremecorq
wants them used as shipped; no washing or wetting, they want that lube
to stay in place.

Who is NuCorq? I'll look them up. I like the look of these
Nomacorq'a I'm playing around at now. I have some in bottle close to a
year so I guess it's time to look them over soon.

Hope that helps.


Thanks for the info, Joe.

I think I misspelled that name. It's "NuKorc". They're in Australia, but
they have reps all over the world.

Did you have any extraction issues with SupremeCorqs?

As far as my application goes, the bottling line has a vacuum corking head,
and I know they're savvy enough not to wash the corqs prior to use. I'm
going to continue to lobby for a screw capper though, as I'm sure that's the
wave of the future.

Tom S


  #13 (permalink)  
Old 16-12-2003, 03:30 PM
Ray
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

Until recently I insisted on the traditional, natural corks. I felt it not
only added to the esthetics but since cork is a type of oak it probably adds
something to the wine.

For the first 20 plus years of my winemaking I had no trouble. But in
recent years I have had trouble with what I am attributing to cork taint in
any of my wines that get over 2 or 3 years in bottle.

They now have a test for cork taint and the big wineries can by corks
guaranteed to be taint free. Unfortunately these are not offered for
general consumption and no one admits what is done with the corks that fail.
I suspect they may reenter the market to people who do not buy tested cork.
For instance home winemakers.

I thought of the agglomerated but they still have cork and may be tainted.
Screw caps are not a good option for home winemaking.

This last year I have been using synthetic. One year is not much of a test
in terms of protecting from taint but I have not had any trouble inserting
or removing the ones I have used. My one complaint is that if I remove one,
drink part of the wine and then try to reinsert it by hand -- No Way! They
expand back to their original size which requires a good corker. My
solution is to replace with tasting corks for this but this, of course, adds
to cost.

Ray

"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe




  #15 (permalink)  
Old 16-12-2003, 07:04 PM
J Dixon
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Agglomerated Corks

Ray,
Do you have any idea what company guarantees their corks to be taint
free? I was not aware of any companies making such a claim, and might be
interested in further information. The biggest question if this is true is
how is this achieved? Is it through just testing the corks, or are they
treated in some way as has occurred in the industry causing other problems.
Thanks for any info you might have.
John Dixon
"Ray" wrote in message
m...
Until recently I insisted on the traditional, natural corks. I felt it

not
only added to the esthetics but since cork is a type of oak it probably

adds
something to the wine.

For the first 20 plus years of my winemaking I had no trouble. But in
recent years I have had trouble with what I am attributing to cork taint

in
any of my wines that get over 2 or 3 years in bottle.

They now have a test for cork taint and the big wineries can by corks
guaranteed to be taint free. Unfortunately these are not offered for
general consumption and no one admits what is done with the corks that

fail.
I suspect they may reenter the market to people who do not buy tested

cork.
For instance home winemakers.

I thought of the agglomerated but they still have cork and may be tainted.
Screw caps are not a good option for home winemaking.

This last year I have been using synthetic. One year is not much of a

test
in terms of protecting from taint but I have not had any trouble inserting
or removing the ones I have used. My one complaint is that if I remove

one,
drink part of the wine and then try to reinsert it by hand -- No Way!

They
expand back to their original size which requires a good corker. My
solution is to replace with tasting corks for this but this, of course,

adds
to cost.

Ray

"Joe Ae" wrote in message
news
I am curious what the folks on this forum think. I have looked at some
recent postings regarding corks. Most discussions I saw were focused on
synthetic versus cork.

I have asked a couple of wine supply stores whether natural cork or
agglomerated cork are the better and sure enough I got a different

answer.
The cost are very similar at these stores.
One vendor claimed the agglomerated corks are only for short term

storage.
The natural corks can hold together for much longer storage. The longer
natural corks are the best for long term storage.
The other vendor told me natural corks can have defects due to the
manufacturing process he prefers agglomerated.

Joe






 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting out very old corks Ge2933 Wine 21 07-05-2004 04:35 PM
Stelvin or not? Ron Lel Wine 58 18-02-2004 02:57 PM
Champagne Corks for FP Wijnston General Cooking 4 01-01-2004 11:52 PM
Malolactic fermentation in Wine kits? Pinky Winemaking 20 21-11-2003 10:40 PM
Using UNUSED corks of uncertain age/backrgound? Deadend Winemaking 6 04-10-2003 11:37 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.SEO by vBSEO 3.2.0
Copyright 2004-2014 FoodBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.