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wineview

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I live around the corner from a very nice restaurant where they serve a lot of wine. On recycling nights I go and fetch as many cork style bottles as I can. Its amazing the amount of screw tops out there.

First I rinse them then soak in a heavy bleach bath for several days to help in removing the labels. Out of the bleach I remove the labels, rinse and dry. The other day I held a dry bottle up to the light and noticed some material on the glass in the neck where the cork had been housed. Some light pressure with a dowel and thin dish towel I can easily remove whatever it is in there. Had I not caught this, would it have been a sanitation issue after bottling?

Of course I will also sanitize with Star San before bottling.

WV
 

mainshipfred

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You're going to get a lot of grief over the bleach bath. I stay away from the stuff not because of experience but it is one of the few no no's that seems to be consistant. If they are freshly emptied bottles an initial rinsing should be fine until you are ready to use them. De labeling is another topic.
 

wineview

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You're going to get a lot of grief over the bleach bath. I stay away from the stuff not because of experience but it is one of the few no no's that seems to be consistant. If they are freshly emptied bottles an initial rinsing should be fine until you are ready to use them. De labeling is another topic.
I regularly bleached bottles in this way for 17 years as a brewer with no issues. I think rinsing very thoroughly is key. What are the dangers you imply? I was under the impression that soap was the enemy.

Thanks
 

wineview

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Mainship.......You got me thinking and I did some research. Seems corks would be the issue. So now that the baby is born, what would you suggest to make sure all the bleach is gone. I really do rinse and rinse again before sanitizing with Star San. Dishwasher? or just more hand rinsing?
 

mainshipfred

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Mainship.......You got me thinking and I did some research. Seems corks would be the issue. So now that the baby is born, what would you suggest to make sure all the bleach is gone. I really do rinse and rinse again before sanitizing with Star San. Dishwasher? or just more hand rinsing?
You're probably fine if you just make sure they're rinsed well. I just don't use it due to the precautions. Chlorine does dissapate.
 

pillswoj

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I find oxyclean work great for the soaking and label removal.
 

Scooter68

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If rinsed well and allowed to set for several months the chlorine should break down. Just be sure to rinse existing bottles well, sanitize and you should be good to go. TIme heals a lot of these little wounds.

Of more concern would be to be sure to use a good bottle brush. I recently processed about 50-60 bottles and found some dried crud in some that I only spotted (Green bottles) by holding them up to a light and rolling them around. These were bottles that had been soaked in hot soapy water for several hours or overnight even to help label removal. So very close a visual check always worthwhile just as you spotted that cork residue in the neck.
 

Scooter68

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Label removal is a tricky thing. There are a W I D E variety of label types and adhesives. No one method will work with every variety.

1) I've found some soak right off in hot soapy water. (Based on numerous comments on this board anything with chlorine is not on my use list.)
2) Others will peel cleanly if you put hot water in the bottle but don't get the label on the outside wet.
3) There are even some really nice ones that peel off cleanly with no heat, no water just a little careful fingernail work and gentle even pulling.
4) Others require soaking scrubbing, rubbing and occasionally the use of glue solvents.

(Of late I have personally adopted a "No Solvent" policy for label removal because of, 1) Cost, 2) Additional labor to remove the solvent itself, and 3)The risk of solvent residue lousing up a bottle or batch of wine.)

Often I find the more exotic the label, the more issues removing it. Clear labels lead that group followed by labels with foil and labels with cutouts.
 

wineview

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I've found some soak right off in hot soapy water.

I thought soap was a no no.
 

kevinlfifer

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Bleach is a no no, I used it for really cruddy bottles , but I did it outside in an old tub, really rinsed and let the bottles dry out in the sun. NEVER NEVER NEVER bring or use bleach in your actual fermenting/bottling area.

I been using OXiClean for a long time but it started to leave a mineral like crusty film inside and out of the bottle, requiring a great deal of brushing to remove it.

Last batch I did with Dawn, 1/4 cup in the laundry sink, and very hot water. A 12 hr soak and only 2 of 40 bottles required solvent.

I ordered some PBW to try.

I have a friend who drinks really cheap wines. Currently, Behringers that comes in 15 bottle cases. What a great number. The labels nearly fall off after soaking 30 min. He dropped off 8 cases yesterday. Boy am I glad I trained him to rinse them and but them upside down in the case!!
 

wineview

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Bleach is a no no, I used it for really cruddy bottles , but I did it outside in an old tub, really rinsed and let the bottles dry out in the sun. NEVER NEVER NEVER bring or use bleach in your actual fermenting/bottling area.

I been using OXiClean for a long time but it started to leave a mineral like crusty film inside and out of the bottle, requiring a great deal of brushing to remove it.

Last batch I did with Dawn, 1/4 cup in the laundry sink, and very hot water. A 12 hr soak and only 2 of 40 bottles required solvent.

I ordered some PBW to try.

I have a friend who drinks really cheap wines. Currently, Behringers that comes in 15 bottle cases. What a great number. The labels nearly fall off after soaking 30 min. He dropped off 8 cases yesterday. Boy am I glad I trained him to rinse them and but them upside down in the case!!
What a pal.....
 

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