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Old 12-12-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
Aug 2011
Hinton, VA
Posts: 12

What do Ya'll do to sterilize previously used bottles and corks before bottling?

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Old 12-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
Jun 2011
Chehalis, WA
Posts: 449
Liked 79 Times on 49 Posts

Bottles get a bath in some Oxyclean to remove the labels and gunk that is on the inside, prior to bottling. Then just before bottling they get a shot of sanstar to sterilize them.

If you are talking about reusing corks NEVER do that.

If you are asking how to sanitize new corks there are lots of different opinion on that some say it is not necessary. For me I take the corks I am going to use and place them in a bowl, I then crush a campden tablet in a smaller bowl and fill it with some boiling water, and place it in the bowl full of corks and cover. This basically steams the corks with and sanitizes them without getting them wet.

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Old 12-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
Jun 2008
Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 1,372
Liked 109 Times on 102 Posts

Before bottling time:
1. Scrape off labels with a sharp chisel.
2. Soak several hours in Oxy-Clean. Clean with bottle brush in drill.
3. Rinse and let dry.
At bottling time:
4. Wash bottles in One-Step.
5. Rinse (I know its non-rinse, but to me it is still soap)
6. Spray with sulfite solution.
7. Put corks in a Tupperware tub with sulfite solution (1/4" and shake to get wet)
8. Bottle and cork.

6 months after bottling:

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
Jul 2009
Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 866
Liked 41 Times on 31 Posts

I generally reuse bottles that I've had wine in previously. I generally just use metallic markers to label my bottles. So it just takes the rough side of a sponge to get 'em clean.

That being said, after I finish a bottle I rinse it out good, let it sit upside down on a towel to dry out. Once dry into a wine box upside down. Then I just refill it after a cursory check for anything stuck inside such as dust or once in a great while mold from one put away not dry.

yes I know this that and the other, but it's a combination of effort vs. return on the whole sanitize before bottling issue for me.
In Progress: Blueberry Wine (3 & 5 gallons)
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
Sep 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 1,171
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts

Oxyclean process to clean. As for sanitation, I use a starsan solution in a spray bottle, (though some use the vin cleaner. Just spritz it so it covers the surface of the inner bottle and pour it out, wait a bit, then fill with liquid.
Primary: Sake
Secondary: GF Czech Lager
Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
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