My Top 10 Favorite Winemaking Posts…

Top 10Another year has passed, and the rear-view mirror is full! I always use this time as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened. In doing so I have come up with a list of my top 10 favorite wine making posts.

These are wine making post that I feel have been helpful, entertaining and interesting. They are listed in no particular order. You might want to give them a once-over and see if there’s anything that piques your interest:

  1. Keeping Fruit Wines In Fruity Balance
    Learn how: sugar, fruit and alcohol level all come together to create balance in a homemade wine.
  1. 7 Random Winemaking Facts…
    A listing of winemaking trivia that my surprise you. Take a look and see how many of the 7 you already know.
  1. In Plain English: The Difference Between pH And Titratable Acidity In Wine
    Understanding pH and titratable acid is the key to having a wine that tastes great and is stable. This post takes a complicated topic and distilled it down to something that’s easy to understand.
  1. A Simple Guide To Metabisulfites
    Covers the differences among Sodium Metabisulfite, Potassium Metabisulfite and Campden Tablets and how much this difference really matters.
  1. What’s The Difference Between Crushing And Pressing Grapes?
    The blog post clears up some of the confusion surround crushing and pressing. How are they different, and what are their purposes.
  1. How To Handle That Last Bit Of Sediment
    A handy little article the gives some quick pointers about racking your wine — how to do it more efficiently so as to lose less wine with less work.
  1. Is Oxygen Good Or Bad For Wine?Shop Wine Making Kits
    Knowing how to leverage air exposure to your advantage can go a long ways in producing a healthy, stable wine. See how easy it is.
  1. Picking When To Pick
    This is actually a 4 part series of posts that contain some solid information on how to determine the optimal time to harvest your grapes.
  1. What On Earth Is Bottle Shock?
    Learn how bottle shock affect both commercial and homemade wines, particularly after bottling, and how manage this phenomenon.
  1. 5 Myths About Homemade Wine
    Here are the top 5 myths that many non-home-winemakers believe. These are misconceptions that keep many from enjoying this rewarding hobby.

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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Try This Trick When You Back Sweeten Wine

Funny Way To Back Sweeten WineI am making European Select Chardonnay. I will be ready to bottle in a week or so. I have not done the stabilization & clarification step yet, which is when I would normally back sweeten wine. Can I complete all the steps, bottle half of it, and THEN sweeten the other half? Will the potassium sorbate added at step 4 or adding some potassium metabisulfite hinder refermentation from adding wine conditioner for sweetness? Or is the your wine sweetener non-fermentable?

Betsy L.
Wisconsin (Go Pack, Go)
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Hello Betsy,

Thank you for your questions about how to back sweeten wine.

Your idea of – bottling half; then sweetening half; then bottling – is a great one.Shop Wine Conditioner I have done this more than once. I’ve even divided one of my homemade wines into dry/semi-dry/medium. I think this is a great way to back sweeten wine because if gives you so many more options.

And it’s simple to do. You should have no problems pulling it off. With your 30 wine bottles in play, there’s nothing wrong with giving them some variety by way of sweetness. As you have suggested you are bottling some of the wine, sweetening what’s in bulk than bottling that.

This method of back sweetening a wine works particularly well when you plan on gifting it or sharing it with friends. It gives you a way to tailor the gift to the person you are giving it to. Quite often we want to share our wine with family and friends who are not wine drinkers. Giving them a bottle of wine that is not bone-dry makes good sense.

As for your second question on the potassium sorbate: as long as theShop Potassium Sorbate fermentation has completed and the wine has completely cleared, the potassium sorbate or potassium bisulfite will stop a re-fermentation from occurring in your wine bottles when back sweetening wine, but it is important that the wine be clear first, regardless of what day in the steps you are on. Wait an extra day or two if necessary. It won’t compromise your homemade wine in any way.

I would also suggest using our Wine Conditioner for the purpose of back sweetening the wine, just as you were planning. Wine conditioner is easy to use and has additional sorbate to help stabilize the wine. It will not adversely affect the wine in any way and will help to assure that your homemade wine does not experience a re-fermentation.

You can also back sweeten wine just by adding plain ole sugar. But if Shop Wine Bottle Corkersyou decide to do this, I would highly recommend that you also add another 1/2 dose of potassium sorbate to the wine (1/4 teaspoon per gallon) in addition to what was with your wine ingredient kit. For others reading this, if you have not added any potassium sorbate from a kit or what-have-you, then add a full dose of potassium sorbate (1/2 teaspoon per gallon) when you back sweeten wine.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus

—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

 

My Homemade Wine Has A Sour-Bitter Taste

Wine Is Sour BitterI have made two batches of wine from wild grapes here in WI. The first one was harsh at first but aged about a year and it turned out very good and smooth. The second batch has been bottled now for about a year and is still sour, bitter and hard to drink. Wondering what I could do with it besides just sweetening it – don’t care much for sweet wine. I am about ready to pick some for the next vintage and am trying to figure out what I can do ahead of time to get it to turn out better. I read some in the blogs about adding acid blend before you bottle if it is too blah but what can be done if I sample before I bottle and it is way too harsh?

Name: Mike S.
State: Wisconsin
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Hello Mike,

There are two major reasons a homemade wine will have a sour or bitter taste:

 

  • There is too much acid in the wine Shop Potassium Bisulfite
    If your homemade wine has a sour taste it could simply be from the fact that the fruit used to make the wine was too tart. In other words, the wine has too much fruit acid from the fruit, itself. Also, a homemade wine can have a sour taste if too much fruit acid was added to the wine must by way of acid blend. Regardless, if your wine has a sour taste for this reason there are corrective steps you can take to make sure that this does not happen with the batch of wine your are getting ready to make.  I would suggest taking a look at the article on our website, Getting A Handle On Wine Acidity. This will fill you in on what to do. As for your current batch of wine, there are some things your can do to lower the acidity level.
  • The wine is turning to vinegar
    If your homemade wine has a sour taste it could also be caused by vinegar bacteria (acetobacter). The bacteria infects the wine an slowly begins to turn it to vinegar. There are two ways to distinguish vinegar sour from just plain too tart. The first being, the wine will become more sour as time goes buy. Shop Acid Reducing CrystalsThe second way is by smell. Having a homemade wine with a sour taste from fruit acid will have no smell from this, but a wine with a bacterial infection will also have a sour smell. The number one reason for a wine to be infected with acetobacter is sanitation. If you are not using sanitizers to clean your wine making equipment and wine bottles, then this could definitely be the cause. If you are not using sulfites such as either: sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite or Campden tablets directly in the wine, then this could be the cause. An article on our web site that will put you on the right track is The Many Uses Of Sodium Bisulfite.

 

Bitter is caused by having too much tannin in the wine. Tannin is the dry, woody tasting stuff that can be experience when chewing on a grape skin. If the grapes are over processed or chopped, such as using a blender, etc., too much tannin may be coming out of the grapes and into the wine must. This will give your homemade wine a bitter taste. It is important that you only crush the grapes. All you are looking to do is burst the grape skins. Anything more than this is overkill.

It is possible to reduce the bitterness of a wine. Treating the wineShop Bentonite with bentonite will help to drop out some of the tannin as a sediment.

How long you keep the skins in the fermentation can make a difference in bitterness, also. A reasonable amount of time would be 3 to 5 days. If you left the skins in the fermentation longer than this, than you may want to adjust what you do this season.

Mike, I hope this info helps you out for this year.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

There’s A White Scum On Top Of My Homemade Wine

White Scum On Top Of Homemade WineBill has made a few small batches of home wine, and all went well. This year we did a strawberry-rhubarb and on the third racking in a 5 gal jug, it developed a thin white scum over the center of top. We could get past the film to re-rack, but Bill is concerned it is ruined…is it? Has this white scum on top of his homemade wine ruined it?

Name: Gidget M.
State: PA
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Hello Gidget,

What this sounds like is something called flowers or flowers of wine. It starts off as patches of white scum or a white film. If left uncheck it can grow to cover the entire surface of the wine. It is actually a small bacterial growth on the wines surface.

Just because the wine has this white scum or film on top does not mean it is ruined by any means, but some actions should be taken to see that it does not get any worse.

Just as you have suggested, you need to rack the wine away from the bacterial growth. Draw the wine from the center of the fermenter, passed the white film on top, but not from the vary bottom, either. Once you get it racked, dose it with either Campden tablets, potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite. Any of these will easily destroy any bacteria cells that may still be in the wine.Shop Potassium Bisulfite

What allowed the white scum on top of your homemade wine to occur in the first place was having too much head-space in with the fermenter with the wine. This is okay during a fermentation, when CO2 gas is coming off the liquid, but after the fermentation the head-space needs to be eliminated.

It is the air in contact with the wine that can promote a bacterial growth such as the one you are experiencing. In the future, after the fermentation has completed, I would suggest that you keep whatever fermenter the wine is in topped-up. There are many ways you can top-up a fermenter. You can read more about this in the follow article: Topping Up Your Homemade Wines.

I would also recommend that you automatically add one of the three forms of sulfite mention earlier after the fermentation. This will dramatically help keep your homemade wines from getting this white scum or film.

Shop SanitizersGoing back to your strawberry/rhubarb wine, it is fine. Based on your description, it does not sound like the white scum or film advanced enough to affect the wine’s flavor in any significant way. If sulfites are added to the wine, flavor and aroma would be the only concern to take into consideration. Rack the wine, and add sulfites.

Once the wine has cleared and is ready to bottle, sample it and see what you think. The wine will be perfectly safe to drink. You are only noting the flavor and aroma.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

What Are Noble Hops?

Noble HopsPerhaps the most celebrated ingredient in American craft beer is the hop. It’s what gives beer its bitter quality, and it also contributes to flavor and aroma. The hop makes classic American Pale Ales citrusy, floral, or piney.

Many homebrewers have heard the term noble hops. But what are noble hops, and what makes them so noble?

 

NOBLE HOPS
There definition has become somewhat vague and diluted throughout time, but in general, noble hops are traditional European hop varieties. They are generally characterized as having low alpha acids and subtle aromatic qualities. As such, noble hop varieties are most suitable in low IBU beers and traditional European styles, especially lagers. Though there is some debate about exactly which varieties are noble hops, it’s generally agreed that there are four that fit solidly into the category. Here is a the noble hop list along with their basic characteristics:

 

  • Hallertauer – Hallertauer hops are grown in the Hallertau region of Germany, north of Munich. Germany produces a significant portion of the world’s crop and most of these are grown in Hallertau.Shop Hops Hallertauer hops are noted for their floral and spicy flavor and aroma characteristics and are popular in European lagers, especially German Pilsners. (Alpha acids: 3.0-6.0%)
  • Tettnanger – Tettnanger hops are grown in Tettnang, Germany (see a trend here?). They are a good aroma hop and noted for their spicy and fruity character. (Alpha acids: 3.5-5.5%)
  • Spalt – Also grown in Germany, Spalt hops are known for their complex aromatic qualities with floral and spicy notes, similar to Tettnanger. (Alpha acids: 4.0-7.0%)
  • Saaz – Authentic Saaz hops are grown in Czech Bohemia, near the town of Žatec. They have a distinct floral aroma with a slightly spicy flavor and are traditionally used in Pilsners. Pilsner Urquell is a classic example of a Bohemian Pilsner brewed with Saaz hops. (Alpha acids: 3.0-6.0%)

 

These noble hop varieties are grown in the US, but much like grapes, hops have distinct characteristics based on their local terroir. As a result, those hop varieties grown in the US are not usually considered noble hops.

Shop Hop Bags

NOBLE HOP SUBSTITUTES
A number of hop varieties are considered to be acceptable substitutes for noble hops, and some are even related to them genetically:

 

  • English Fuggles – Fuggles is a low alpha acid, earthy hop, typical of traditional English ales. It works fairly well in place of Tettnanger. (Alpha acid: 3.0-5.0%)
  • Liberty – Derived from Hallertauer, Liberty is a fruity and floral hop. It’s a possible substitute for both Tettnanger and Hallertauer. (Alpha acids: 3.0-6.0%)
  • Mt. Hood – Also a descendant of Hallertauer, this clean and herbal hop is typically grown in Oregon. It’s similar to Hallertauer and Liberty. (Alpha acids: 4.0-6.5%)
  • Vanguard – Vanguard is a slightly spicy hop, similar to Saaz and Hallertauer. (Alpha acids: 5.0-7.0%) Shop Steam Freak Kits
  • Willamette – Derived from Fuggles, Willamette is also grown in Oregon. It is an earthy and spicy hop and can often be used in place of Tettnanger. (Alpha acids: 4.5-7.0%)

 

Want to experiment with some different hop varieties?

Homebrew ingredient kits include all the hops required for a 5 gallon batch, but you can also order individual kinds of hops on E.C. Kraus. Simply go to the product Pelletized Hops, then select the type of hop you need.
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Increasing Your Wine’s Fruity Flavors

Increasing Wine FlavoringJust wondering if your liqueur flavorings could be added to a fruit wine as a wine flavoring additive… for a little stronger flavor… Our blackberry wine, from last year, is not real fruity…. and wondered if this would give it a flavor boost…

Thank you,
Sandy M.
—–
Hi Sandy,

To answer your question, yes, you can use these liqueur flavorings as wine flavoring additives to increase the flavor your wine. It is recommended that you do not add more than one bottle of flavoring to each five gallons. These extract flavorings are very strong, and should be used with care. Adding more than one or two bottles can bring a bitter aftertaste to the wine.

One of the wine making tips I tell people when using any kind of wine flavoring extract or additive, is that the full flavor impression does not usually take effect immediately. It takes a little time for the extracts flavoring to come together with the wine. Letting the wine sit a day to let the flavors mingle is recommended before making any decisions to add more flavoring.

Shop Liqueur FlavoringsBefore you decide to add liqueur flavorings to your wine, there is a point I’d like to bring up. One of the things that can throw you off as a home winemaker, particularly if you’re just beginning to learn how to make your own wine, is experiencing the flavors of a dry fruit wine. Dry means the wine has no taste-able sweetness to it, which is normally the case after fermentation, if the fermentation has completed successfully.

One of the effects that dryness has on a wine is that it reduces the fruity impression. When all the sugars have been fermented out of the fruit juice it takes on an entirely different character.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because, increasing the fruity flavors of the wine may be just a matter of adding some sweetness back to it, and bringing the wine back into better balance. This is simply done by adding a sugar/water syrup mixture to the wine until the desired effect has been achieved.

A wine stabilizer such as potassium sorbate will need to be added, as well, to keep the fermentation from starting up again. This is something that should be done at bottling time.Shop Grape Concentrate

Even if you like your wines dry, adding some sugar to the wine to make it a little less puckering can bring out a substantial amount of fruitiness, so never rule out back sweetening a wine, regardless of your personal tastes.

Learning how to make adjustments to a wine before bottling is a big part of home winemaking. By utilizing tools such as wine flavoring additives you can increase the flavor and pleasure of your homemade wines.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Christmas Punch Recipe With A Holiday Wish

Santa’s got his sleigh loaded! It’s a time of celebration and cheer.

As families come together, old stories will be retold once again. Presents will be passed among us, as we reflect about how the nieces, nephews and cousins have all grown since we’ve last seen them.

We sincerely wish that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive.

And with that, we would like to share with you a special recipe in the hopes that it may add even more cheer to your holidays…

 

Christmas Punch Recipe

  • 750 ml of dark rum
  • 750 ml of dry red wine (homemade of course)
  • 3 cups strongly brewed tea
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredient in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a simmer until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not boil.
  3. Serve in a heat resistant bowl, warm.
  4. Add fruit garnishment such as orange slices and cranberries.

 

From everyone at E. C. Kraus,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf

We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf
We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf

Making Your Own Toasted Oak For Wine

Toasted Oak For WineI have tried oaking wine to my satisfaction with oak chips. Now I want to make my own toasted oak strips. I purchased some white oak that I sawed into yard stick width and thickness.  I noticed in the wine supplies different types of flavors for oaking. I was told it was like flavored coffee. What should I do to the oak strips so as I can oak wine?

Thanks,
Marvin F.
—–
Hello Marvin,

First, I want to commend you on your DIY spirit. It’s fun hearing about people tryin’ to get it done on their own.

This is a project that is a little more involved than one might first suspect. Toasting oak to be used in wine is a very delicate process. I for one would suggest that you are probably better off by leaving this one to the experts. But I understand your drive to try doing this yourself.

Shop Toasted Oak ChipsFirst, it is important that you use a white oak as opposed to red oak. You seem to be okay in that department based on you question, above. Red oak is a completely different family of wood. The only thing they have in common is the word “oak”.

The oak then needs to be dried to what cooperages refer to as sap clear. They typically do this by letting the slats or staves of wood dry cross-stacked in the sun for 1 to 3 years. The oak strips are rotated and rearranged periodically to allow for even drying. Someone trying this at home could get around this if they happen to have a kiln of some sort to dry the slats out, or maybe thay have a source of white oak that has already been sitting around for a few years.

Once the white oak is sap clear it then needs to be toasted. This is typically done over a flame of burning white oak wood. Oak is used for the fire for toasting as opposed to another wood or fuel to keep foreign residues to a minimum. Try not to let the smoke from the fire directly hit the wood. Rely more on the fire’s radiating heat by keeping the wood adjacent to the fire instead of over the fire.Shop Oak Powder

There is some art and some science to toasting oak for wine. Not only do you need to be concerned about how toasted the oak wood is becoming, you also need to be concerned about the temperature being used to do the toasting. Both how much you toast the oak and how fast it toasts plays into the flavor the wood will contribute to the wine.

Toasting Oak For WineIf the wood is toasted too fast there is not enough time for all the caramelized sugars in the wood to raise to the surface. The heat doesn’t penetrate the wood deep enough. Toast the wood too long and you will raise too much tannin with the sugar which will bring too much bitterness to the wine. The right temperature a length of time is beyond my experience and most cooperages keep this info as a trade secret, but you can get a sense of what to do by seeing how a wine barrel (not whiskey barrel) is toasted.

Shop Oak Wood ExtractiveBecause of the complexity involved, I would suggest that you do not try this yourself and purchase some oak that has been professionally prepared. It is not something I would try, especially when an entire batch of wine may be on the line, and the toasted oak is relatively inexpensive.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

There’s A Yeasty Smell In My Wine. Should I Dump It!?

Noticing Yeasty Smell In WineI’m still learning this process but haven’t had this happen. Got 3 gallons of Muscadine wine I was gonna bottle up. When opened up it has a very strong “yeasty” smell in the wine. Made this a couple times and never had this happen. Only thing I did different was use a different wine yeast. (Montrachet instead of lavlin 71b 1122.) I may have forgotten to rack the wine after it had been placed in the secondary fermenter. Either forgot to write it in log or didn’t do it. Seems I read somewhere that could cause this issue. Anyway, should I bottle this or dump it and start a new batch when the Muscadines ripen this summer. Thanks for the advice……..

Name: Bill B
State: SC
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Hello Bill,

There is absolutely no reason to dump any wine because it has a yeasty smell. This is an issue that comes about from time to time that is easily overcome.Shop Wine Yeast

It is true that different wine yeast have different amounts of yeast odors, but the yeast smell also increases the more the yeast become stressed. If the fermentation is done in an environment that does not make the wine yeast happy, you will get more of this odor.

Examples causing stress are:

  • Fermenting at too warm of a temperature
  • Fermenting with not enough nutrients in the wine must
  • Fermenting with too little yeast to perform the job at hand

The last one typically happens with old wine yeast is used, or a significant portion of the yeast cells are killed in the rehydration process.

Most of the time this odor will go away on it’s own throughout the natural course of the winemaking process. Racking the wine is one of the times that this odor is able to release from the wine and dissipate. You stated that you are not sure if you racked the wine, so this could be all that’s wrong with the wine.

Shop Potassium BisulfiteAnother normal activity in the winemaking process that releases this odor is adding sulfites. This would either be Campden tablets, potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite. If you do not ever add any of these then this can contribute to the yeasty smell in the wine.

A sulfite should always be added to a wine anyway to protect it from spoilage and oxidation, but doing so also drives out unwanted volatile gases that are in the wine from the fermentation – such as the ones you are smelling. If you haven’t done so already, the simple task of adding a standard dose of sulfites and waiting a few days may be all that is needed.

Since you are not sure if you racked your wine or not, I’m guess that all you need to do is rack the wine and add sulfites. Hope this should get rid of the yeasty smell in your wine. In not, repeat the process. Rack the wine in a splashing manner and then add sulfites again.

If you find that the yeast smell in the wine is not leaving that you may want to take a look at what to do about treating wine with a hydrogen sulfite issue.Shop Mini Jet Wine Filter

Just remember next time to keep your wine yeast happy, regardless of the type used; rack your wine sufficiently; and always use sulfites in your wine. Do these things and you should not have this problem again.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

What Size Corks Should I Get For Bottling My Wine?

Different Size Corks For Bottling WineIf you’re getting ready to buy corks to bottle your wine you may be wondering which size corks you should get. We offer four different sizes of wine cork stopper. They are sizes: #7, #8, #9 and #10. These numbers refer to the diameter of the cork. The higher the number, the larger the diameter of the cork.

The opening of a standard, 750 ml wine bottle is 3/4 of an inch. If you have a wine bottle corker you will want to purchase either the size #8 or size #9 corks. The diameter of these corks are 7/8″ and 15/16″, respectively. Size #9 corks is what the commercial wineries use. Either will require a wine bottle corker to press them into the bottle.

Which size cork you get depends on the type of wine bottle corker you have. Any wine bottle corker on the market can put in the size #8 wine cork, however some wine bottle corkers have trouble putting in a full-size #9 cork.Shop Wine Corks

If the corker was purchased from E. C. Kraus, you will be able to put in a size #9 or #8 cork just fine. If your corker was purchased from somewhere else then some caution will be required.

Some wine bottle corks on the market use a funnel-design to compress the cork. The wine cork is shoved through a funnel into the opening of the wine bottle. For the most part, this design of corker will work okay for a size #8 cork, but if you want to put in a full-size #9 wine cork and get a tighter seal, using a funnel-style corker can be a problem. The larger cork can get pinched and frayed as it goes through the funnel.

All the wine bottle corkers we offer compresses the cork evenly, from Shop Wine Bottle Corkersall sides then plunges the cork into the barrel opening of the wine bottle. With this method of corking no damage will come to the cork, as it is not be contorted through a funnel opening.

We do not recommend using size #7 cork, but we do offer them for individuals who want to put their corks in by hand. This size wine cork is small enough in diameter to be put in without a wine bottle corker. The downside is that they do not seal the wine bottle very well. In fact, if you lay the wine bottle on its side, there is a fair change that the #7 wine cork will seep some wine. For this reason you should store wine bottle upright if using this size of wine cork.

Size #10 corks are for larger size bottles. While many larger bottle still have the same 3/4 inch opening that the 750 ml have, some larger size wine bottles have larger openings that will require this larger size cork.
—–
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.