question about cleaning bottles

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Mollie

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I brought my bottles to my local wine store to get them cleaned. As it turns out my wine is not ready to bottle yet. Should I get them cleaned again when I go to bottle? I'm hoping to bottle it in a few days. I could always rinse them with really hot water or something. Ha I don't know.
 

BernardSmith

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Preparing bottles is a two stage process. Stage 1 is making sure that the bottles are clean. Easiest way to do that is to wash them as soon as they are emptied. Stage 2 is to rewash them and sanitize them. There can be many months between my first cleaning and my plan to bottle - and I assume dust and dirt may have fallen into the bottles. That the bottles are clean does not mean that they don't harbor all kinds of bacteria that when you store the wine for months (or years) in anaerobic conditions those bacteria won't flourish and spoil your wine. So, just before you are going to bottle, I would pour whatever sanitizing solution you use into these clean bottles and allow them to soak for a few minutes, pour out the solution (I use K-meta and don't dry my bottles but make sure that no more liquid drips out) and then I fill my bottles. So... wash after use. Wash and sanitize before bottling...
You never mentioned this but what about corks? IMO, it is easier to cork with a dry cork, so I don't soak my corks in sanitizing solution. What I do is - and I apologize as I do not recall who offered this suggestion on this forum but I thank whoever it was - I fill a small bowl with K-meta solution and I place a colander on top of the bowl. Into the colander which sits above the bowl I place the corks I plan to use and then I cover the colander with a plate or put the whole unit inside a plastic grocery bag. Let that stand until I am ready to cork and the sulfur dioxide will have permeated the corks and effectively sanitized them.
 

jgmann67

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Preparing bottles is a two stage process. Stage 1 is making sure that the bottles are clean. Easiest way to do that is to wash them as soon as they are emptied. Stage 2 is to rewash them and sanitize them. There can be many months between my first cleaning and my plan to bottle - and I assume dust and dirt may have fallen into the bottles. That the bottles are clean does not mean that they don't harbor all kinds of bacteria that when you store the wine for months (or years) in anaerobic conditions those bacteria won't flourish and spoil your wine. So, just before you are going to bottle, I would pour whatever sanitizing solution you use into these clean bottles and allow them to soak for a few minutes, pour out the solution (I use K-meta and don't dry my bottles but make sure that no more liquid drips out) and then I fill my bottles. So... wash after use. Wash and sanitize before bottling...
You never mentioned this but what about corks? IMO, it is easier to cork with a dry cork, so I don't soak my corks in sanitizing solution. What I do is - and I apologize as I do not recall who offered this suggestion on this forum but I thank whoever it was - I fill a small bowl with K-meta solution and I place a colander on top of the bowl. Into the colander which sits above the bowl I place the corks I plan to use and then I cover the colander with a plate or put the whole unit inside a plastic grocery bag. Let that stand until I am ready to cork and the sulfur dioxide will have permeated the corks and effectively sanitized them.
A sanitizing spritzer and a cork-a-dor... two staples in my wine preparation ritual.

I rinse the bottles when the wine is all gone and place them in a bin in the garage. When the bin is full (3-4 cases' worth), I bring it inside and strip the capsules off then soak in Oxi-Clean Green for a good while. When the labels fall off, I make sure the inside of the bottle is perfectly clean, rinse and air dry the bottles. From there, the bottles are stored till needed.

The night before I bottle, I will soak the bottles in boiling water; spritz with kmeta and rack them upside down to allow them to dry (and let the kmeta gas do its thing). The next morning, the bottles are ready to roll.
 

robk

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ready your bottles.

My biggest fear is a dirty bottle. Here is how i guarantee sanitized previously used bottles:
1. rinse and fill bottle with water.
2. place bottle in container of water overnight to soften label.
3. scrape label with plastic putty knife.
4. spray citrus goof off on label and wipe with paper towel to remove label residue.
5. empty bottle and drip some dawn detergent inside.
6. fill with hot water
7. attach cleaning rod to drill and drill away (15 seconds)
8. empty soap and bubbles.
9. short rinse and shake 3 times with water.
10. place on drying tree
11. when dry, place in box case
** 2 days prior to bottle: (sanitize drying tree)
1. fill up large plastic tub or bucket with one-step and set bottles in for 10 minutes.
2. remove and short rinse and shake 3 times
3. place on sanitized tree.
4. bottle with confidence.
 

Floandgary

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My biggest fear is a dirty bottle. Here is how i guarantee sanitized previously used bottles:
1. rinse and fill bottle with water.
2. place bottle in container of water overnight to soften label.
3. scrape label with plastic putty knife.
4. spray citrus goof off on label and wipe with paper towel to remove label residue.
5. empty bottle and drip some dawn detergent inside.
6. fill with hot water
7. attach cleaning rod to drill and drill away (15 seconds)
8. empty soap and bubbles.
9. short rinse and shake 3 times with water.
10. place on drying tree
11. when dry, place in box case
** 2 days prior to bottle: (sanitize drying tree)
1. fill up large plastic tub or bucket with one-step and set bottles in for 10 minutes.
2. remove and short rinse and shake 3 times
3. place on sanitized tree.
4. bottle with confidence.
Soap not really a good idea as it is very difficult to rinse ALL residue. Besides it's not necessary unless you've put something besides wine in the bottles. Most sanitizers in use these days do not require rinsing.
 
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