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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Condensation in bottling

We continue to be plagued by condensation in our bottles after filling/sealing.

Elsewhere in this forum the suggestion was made to let the diluted spirit sit overnight before bottling.

This does not seem to work well enough, we still get condensation even after letting it sit longer.

Any other thoughts on how to solve the problem. Thanks!


Reply:

What temperature is the liquid when you bottle it?


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What is the problem with condensation? And when does it appear? Maybe the room you store in does not have a very consistent temperature?


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The product tends to be room temperature, it is sitting in the same room as it is bottled in, normally about 20 C.

The condensation appears shortly after bottling in the neck of the bottle. The store room is also about 20 C, no different from the store or bottling room.

We work in these spaces so the temp does not vary hugely, though in winter the building does get a bit cooler at night.


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Does it ever see sunlight?

If the contents heat from sunlight or because it is sitting on a warm surface, you will get internal evaporation and condensation of alcohol. That would be normal.


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We continue to be plagued by condensation in our bottles after filling/sealing.


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I remember reading a thread on this over 2 years ago

I think the conclusion then was to rinse your bottles with the spirit you are botttleing. (tip the rinsings back to your tank before the filter--assuming the only contaminant is a small amount of dust)

I do that but still get condensation in quite a few bottles.

My theory is the spirit still contains a very small amount of oils. This sticks to the glass and acts as a repellent, the condensation can't run off the glass in a thin continuous film so it forms droplets.

If my theory is correct then well made vodka won't produce this condensation

Rinsing the bottles with detergent may stop the problem, but make sure the bottles are well drained.

The same thing happens with a SCUBA mask,in that case divers generally spit in the mask and rinse, that reduces the surface tension and you get no fogging.

Maybe you could spit then rinse each bottle


Reply:

What Pete is discussing is wetting and adhesion effects in the neck of the bottle. They will be a property of both the liquid in the bottle and the surface chemistry of the neck glass. The latter can vary according to manufacture, treatment, and subsequent cleaning and exposure. If it fully wets, it will make a film, not droplets. If does not wet at all, it will form droplets that most likely will not stick in place. Likely, though, you are in between. Glass generally partially wets with both water and alcohol. You can tell by the direction of the meniscus.


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Anyone ever resolve this issue? I am look for some guidance.