Dear Winemaster Kraus,
Do I need to sanitize the new out of the box wine bottles? I got two cases from you folk last week.
The quick and painful answer to your question is, Yes. Just like any other homemade wine equipment and supplies, you need to treat them with a Sodium Metabisulfite and water solution before filling them with wine–1 teaspoon per gallon of water is the dosage.
You can treat the wine bottles in one of two ways:
- Pour an inch worth of the solution in each wine bottle. Let the wine bottles stand up-right for 20 minutes and then drain.
- Use our Sulphatizer and Bottle Tree combination. The Sulphatizer shoots a stream of the sanitizing solution into the wine bottle, releasing the sulfite gases to linger inside. The bottle is then placed on the Bottle Tree and allowed time to drain.
Either one of these methods should be employed within an hour or so of filling, not the day before or anything like that.
While We’re On The Subject Of Wine Making Cleanliness…
Corks, vinyl hoses, and other wine making materials should be sanitized as well when bottling wine. Counter-tops and other surfaces around the general bottling area should be treated with the same water/sulfite solution.
All of these careful steps are done in the name of keeping your wine from becoming the victim of spoilage, a needless outcome for any wine. Sodium metabisulfite is cheap and easy to use, so why not do it?
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.