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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Bottling tips...
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:11 AM   #1
tully72
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Default Bottling tips...

Getting ready to bottle 5 gallons of blueberry wine that has been bulk aging for six months. Any last tips and reminders would be helpful. This is my first batch of wine Ive ever brewed and first bottling as well!

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
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Be clean, be patient and prepare everything you need before you siphon from the carboy to the bottle bucket. Get a few towels ready because you are bound to spill a little here and there. My filler never shuts off all the way and even if it does it drips off the excess. Not to mention it is easy to over fill just enough to lose some more. One more and don't ask how I learned but if using a hand corker be gentle with it. You don't want to split it in half when you still have half a bucket to bottle. Mike

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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One more, set the siphon tube about three inchs from the bottom of carboy. When it sucks air bottle what is in the bucket. Then set the tube as close to bottom as you can and siphon the remainder to the bucket. Bottle the last four or five bottles and mark them in some way to keep separate. This way you will have twenty or so super clear bottles and four or five that probably won't be quite as clear. I usually drink those myself. Mike

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Old 12-29-2012, 02:31 AM   #4
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Thanks ! How about sterilizing.... Also, adding camden tablets?

Not bottling bucket yet, just going to siphon into the bottles. Any issues?

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:53 AM   #5
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tully, I don't have much info for you as I'm a newbee (making mead actually). I'm not quiet to the point you are, I've still got a bit of aging left to do. My game plan is to sterilize *everything* inside and out...of course the bottles and closures, too. Have your bucket of sanitizing liquid close by to rinse your hands in all along.

I figure I'll put as many bottles as I can into a clean bucket or some other kind of container that will hold them upright and fill them up...with the bottles in the bucket any drips/overflows will be contained. If it's clean and you have problems then you can drink the spillage at the end.

I will be bottling straight out of the carboy, also. I feel that racking over into a bottling bucket and then into the bottle expose my wine to extra oxygen so I'm just going to go straight into the bottle. Also, when you fill be sure your bottling wand is against the bottom of the bottle so that the wine doesn't splash into the bottle...naturally if you have a wand with the valve in it you'll have to have the tip on the bottom of the bottle.

Are you corking or capping?

Mike's suggestion to keep your racking cane a few inches over the bottom of the carboy is great advice...if you drink the dregs yourself just think of all the vitamins that you will be getting!!!! (And Mike, thanks for the tip on going easy on the wing capper!).

What was your recipe? Did it ferment to dry? Any residual sugar? If it fermented out dry and you've seen no activity for a month or so you *may* be ok without sulphite and sorbate but to be on the safe side...I'd do both (at least for mead). What temperature has the wine been aging in? Should the bottled wine end up in a warmer area that could restart the fermentation....read that as bottle bombs.

Anyhow, you've probably already thought of all that but "just in case" I thought I'd mention some things off the top of my head.

Best wishes, I'm looking forward to how it works out for you!
Ed

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tully72
Thanks ! How about sterilizing.... Also, adding camden tablets?

Not bottling bucket yet, just going to siphon into the bottles. Any issues?
A day before bottling, I give all my bottles a rinse inside and out with clean water. My bottles have already been de-labeled and scrubbed if needed.

On bottling day I rinse my bottles, hose, bottling wand with a sanitizing solution of water and metabisulfite.

I rack my wine into a bucket to carefully siphon off any last sediment. I have learned not to suck all the liquid, leaving behind a cup or so. This gives me all clear bottles. I have tried to filter the remainder with a coffee filter, but usually makes a mess and makes me mad!

As the wine racks into the bucket, if I need to add any sulfite and sorbate, it is easier to mix than in a carboy.

If you don't have a floor corker, borrow or buy one, money well spent.

Good luck, don't forget to share your blueberry with us!
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:12 PM   #7
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I always wait a good 1-2 weeks between that last k-meta dose, and backsweetening with addition of sorbate, so that I can rack one final time before bottling. Sediment, just a fine layer, tends to drop so that last wait period and racking is quite helpful when getting ready to bottle and you desire a sediment free wine.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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I read somewhere that once in the bottling bucket to let that bucket set a few hours to let more fines settle out. Does anyone do this?

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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First, if there is ANY sediment in your carboy now rack off first, dont try to bottle from a carboy with sediment, you are going to bump it or wiggle the racking tube and stir up junk, much better to rack off the junk first then you have no worries when you bottle. So what is your bottling setup? Racking wand with an autofiller? You have to watch them, they can come off and cause a panic until you stop the bleeding Our usualy bottling day is get wine into a bottling bucket with a spigot, attach a hose almost as long as the bottle and use the spigot to fill the bottles to the top, remove the bottle and its usually just right. A lot of people go through extremes at bottling time, if you keep your euipment clean, add KM to your wine on bottling day and have clean bottles you will do well. Have Funm dont forget to sample often! WVMJ

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Originally Posted by tully72 View Post
Getting ready to bottle 5 gallons of blueberry wine that has been bulk aging for six months. Any last tips and reminders would be helpful. This is my first batch of wine Ive ever brewed and first bottling as well!
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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I'll clarify my newbee thoughts...take them for what they are (or aren't) worth.

Racking over into a bottling bucket, another carboy, or whatever is fine...as long as you give the wine several days (weeks?) to let the fine sediment settle back down. Care, as usual, should be taken not to do a lot of splashing but have the racking cane sitting on the bottom of the receiving vessel so that the surface of the wine quickly covers the tip and reduced likelyhood of oxydation. By this point the wine should have already been racked a few times to help it clear, anyhow. The last racking into whatever container would indeed be the proper time to stabilize it. Oxidation issues after stabilization should be greatly reduced.

Ed

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