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RJ Spagnols Our first foray into winemaking: Orchard Breezin' Pomegranate Wildberry Zinfandel

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Maestro

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My wife and I started our first ever batch of wine almost a month ago. We've been following the instructions almost to the "T" save for the exception that we added more sugar to bump the abv up to 12.5%. We are nearing bottling at the end of this week. The wine looks beautiful so far. Deep red with a nice clarity to it.

One question I have at this moment pertains to the bottles themselves. We have collected bottles from some local bars and restaurants here for our bottling. We soaked them in very hot water to loosen the labels to clean them up. They didn't come off quite the way I thought they would tho. The label residue stayed on almost every bottle. Any tricks for getting sticker residue completely off and the bottles perfectly cleaned?
 

cpfan

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There's lots of suggestions out there. I suspect there are other threads on the forum that will have ideas.

My preference is to rub peanut butter into the gummy residue, and let the bottles sit for a while (overnight), then use a soft nail scrubbing brush to remove. Works well for me.

You can also use Goo-B-Gone (or whatever it's called) WD-40, vegetable oil, etc etc. But I don't really want to take a chance on those getting inside my bottles.

Steve
 

Tom

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Or, I use a Paint Scraper. You know the one that uses a single edge blade and is retractable. Just keep a new sharp blade in it. If there is alot of glue than cant be scrubbed off then I spray some goo be gone. Use a S/S scrubbie. Works great.
 

Green Mountains

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My Best Method as of late is soaking and peeling the labels until all that is left is residue

THEN

using an SOS pad and warm water to scrub the rest of the residue off. It works great.

Make sure to fully rinse any bottles after introducing chemicals and cleaners, you don't want those ruining your nice new wine.
 

Maestro

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Thanks all for the advice for getting the residue off the bottles. I'm gonna give it a go tonight with the scrub pads so when my drying tree and sulfiter show up Friday I'll be ready to rock. Gettin' excited. lol!
 

robie

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Just a few days ago I discovered what really works for me.

I did not soak the bottles, I just used a scraper (with a razor blade in it) to scrape off the dry label.

I would do about 10 bottles at a time befoire going onto the next step; this allows for some soaking time later.

Next, go to ACE hardware and buy some De-solv-It. It is a citrus acid based cleaner that really works and is not harmful.

Next. spray a little on a bottle, put it in your hands and rub the solvent into the glue until it is desolved; set the bottle down and move onto the other 9 bottles and do the same.

Finally, starting with the first bottle again, take a cloth and clean off the oily portion that is left on the bottle. Do the same for the other 9 bottles.

At this point the glue will be completely gone.

Wash the bottles in oxiclean, but don't let them soak too long, as oxiclean can cause a thin white film to form.

Sanitize the bottles and you are done.

This really works well, believe me.
 

Maestro

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We bottled the wine this past weekend and I have to say it turned out really good. The taste is nice with a slight tartness to it. We ended up getting a total of 29 bottles out of the batch. I'm guessing we lost a little in racking somewhere over the whole process. My wife and I have already finished off a couple bottles and we love it. So excited about our next kit. I'll leave that for a new thread.

Anyways, here's a little on the specs, maybe someone could teach me how to actually translate this.

The initial SG at the very beginning was 1.092 as we boosted with some sugar to get the abv up to a potential 12.5%. The final reading at bottling was 1.022. Is there a formula to use to determine the actual abv?? Also, will temperature throw off my readings? The temps stayed steady in the 75-78 degree range the entire time of the process. Do I have to add anything to the SG readings for temp. differences? Either way though it's some pretty strong stuff. :dg
 
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Wade E

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Yep, you will have to get hat racking done better or youll have a lot less with a normal wine kiut that isnt sweetened cause without that F-pac youd be down to about 26-27 bottles and thats a lot of topping up. When i do one of these kits I usually have a full carboy and then about another 1/2 gallon due to adding the f-pac and also all the sugar which displaces quite a bitof volume. Done be afraid to rack over some more sediment and let it settle out in the next vessel by tilting that vessel so that it all falls into one carner and then you rack off the clear corner getting more wine and very little lees. I use 2 rubber bings under 1 side of the carboy and when the lees are falling Ill grab then carby and give it a few swift jerks so that the lees collect better into that corner .
 
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