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Old 04-08-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Can't believe it, but forgot to sanitize carboy before racking wine into it

So I bottled a beer today, cleaned the carboy, and grabbed my wine that's been fermenting for about 30 days to rack into the carboy. Of course I have a brain fart, and forget to sanitize the carboy, although I obsessively sanitized everything else.

The wine is 12.5% ABV with a FG of 0.999 so I'm guessing there's little chance of infection, but now I'm paranoid. I dropped in one campden tablet yesterday in anticipation of the racking.

Should I put more campden in there just to be safe? If full-blown infection is unlikely due to the high alcohol content, is there a risk of more subtle off-flavor problems?

On a related note, do you just drop in whole campden tablets or crush them first?

Thanks...

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
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I always crush a campden tablet and add to 1/4 cup boiling water, stirring well to dissolve, then put into the carboy and rack the wine into it.

I don't know what to tell you about the unsanitized carboy. Hopefully it'll be fine.

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:46 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about it. I am sure it will be fine.

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:59 PM   #4
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Thanks... not much to do but wait and see I guess. I did dissolve some campden in boiling water like you suggested and added it.

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Old 04-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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When I'm doing multiple batches, and I empty a carboy of wine, if the carboy doesn't have crud stuck to the sides, I just rinse it but I don't bother sanitizing. The wine that came out of it is sanitary (presuming no infections). I've never had a problem doing it this way. I think you'll be OK.

The biggest threat to infection is when you have equipment with old wine in/on it that sits around. This allows spoilage bacteria to get into these traces of wine and develop. They can then be introduced to a new batch if you don't clean really well.

It's a lot like food. Clean dishes pose little threat, you take them out of the drawer and you don't give it a second thought. But dirty dishes can harbor bad things that would make you sick, and you'd take great care to clean them well before using them.

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Old 04-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captive View Post
When I'm doing multiple batches, and I empty a carboy of wine, if the carboy doesn't have crud stuck to the sides, I just rinse it but I don't bother sanitizing. The wine that came out of it is sanitary (presuming no infections). I've never had a problem doing it this way. I think you'll be OK.

The biggest threat to infection is when you have equipment with old wine in/on it that sits around. This allows spoilage bacteria to get into these traces of wine and develop. They can then be introduced to a new batch if you don't clean really well.

It's a lot like food. Clean dishes pose little threat, you take them out of the drawer and you don't give it a second thought. But dirty dishes can harbor bad things that would make you sick, and you'd take great care to clean them well before using them.

I agree. I do the same thing. Although it never hurts to sanitize, I think we get a little carried away with it sometimes. People have been making wine for 8000 years. Don't you wonder how they sanitized before we had all these modern day chemicals to do it with?

My great uncle died at 92 years old of old age. He made wine all his life, and never sanitized anything. Just washed and rinsed with well water, and I never knew of him EVER having to throw away any wine.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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We do not sanitize our 1800 gallon tanks before we use them. We clean them, pump the wine/must into them, then use so2 on the wine/must.

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Old 04-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #8
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We do not sanitize our 1800 gallon tanks before we use them. We clean them, pump the wine/must into them, then use so2 on the wine/must.
Just curious, but what do you clean them with?
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #9
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Water. No cleaning chemicals or sanitizers. We do not bring ANY cleaners into the winery. The door is where they are stopped. Other than dawn dish soap for the dish sink and it is used sparingly.

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Old 04-09-2011, 09:20 PM   #10
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I agree. Just rinse things out real good after I empty them out. When I store them I put a piece of papertowel over the top iwth a rubber band so that the what little water is in there can evaporate. When I put new suff in them I check to make sure they don't smell funky and then just carry on.

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