Step 2: Inserting the Cork
I drop the presoaked cork in the cork holder and then turn the handle about 180 degrees to push it into the bottle with about 3/4 inch still sticking out (see my comments below on what I’d do differently.) I didn’t have to use an unnatural amount of pressure to get the cork in there. It seemed well within the working capacity of the corker.
Step 3: Removing the Cork from the Corker
Okay, here’s where it gets interesting. The cork holder on the corker is like a funnel so that it compresses the cork before pushing it into the bottle. When you only press the cork in part of the way you’re left with the cork still in that funnel bit. So how did I deal with it? Well I removed the base from under the bottle so the corking mechanism no longer had leverage to push the cork into the bottle. I could then hold the bottle to prevent it from falling and then turn the lever to it’s full extent, pushing the cork through the cork holder without pushing it any further into the bottle.
Step 4: Admire the Result
Admire the result. It’s extremely easy to get repeatable results so if you wanted to push the cork in more or less than I did you certainly could.
Step 5: Cage the Cork
Put on the wire cage, tighten it down with the shaft of a screwdriver or pencil, and you’re good to go. Note that I secured the cage into the groove rather than below the second ridge. See my notes in the summary about why I did this (the B3 corks are longer than normal commercial Belgian corks). Also see my notes on what I’d do differently in the future below.
One good trick when tightening the cages is to pull away from the bottle while tightening. This tension ensures that you get a nice even twist on the wire.