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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Who Here Washes Their Bottles Before Filling

Is the answer obvious?

In case it is unclear, i have not yet reached this stage, and I am unsure as to the scale of preparation (what equipment to purchase) for this task. Do the bottles require a blow-off, rinse, wash, sterilization, or full fledge commercial-grade Hobart-style cleansing? I imagine that many State Regs vary on this topic as well. I believe in Maine, they (The Department of Agriculture) require a means of sterilization (but I'm uncertain to this as well).

So who does what? Experiences?


Reply:

To go on...

There are millions of methods of accomplishing the various stages of "clean". Have others innovated? or purchased standard equipment?

Our distillery has the ability to produce steam, and I figure that a well placed application could effectively clean and sterilize many bottles in one step. Has anyone tried anything like this?


Reply:

I don't know what your state requirements may be, but alcohol above 22% kills all bacteria. So if you're filling bottles with 50% alcohol, it will sterilize anyway. Bacteria range from 0.2-5 microns in size, so if you filter, you may be removing bacteria was well as any particles.


Reply:Is the answer obvious?

In case it is unclear, i have not yet reached this stage, and I am unsure as to the scale of preparation (what equipment to purchase) for this task. Do the bottles require a blow-off, rinse, wash, sterilization, or full fledge commercial-grade Hobart-style cleansing? I imagine that many State Regs vary on this topic as well. I believe in Maine, they (The Department of Agriculture) require a means of sterilization (but I'm uncertain to this as well).

So who does what? Experiences?


Reply:

If you are worried about a silica or silicone coating that is on the OUTSIDE of the bottles, this is put on to prevent scratching during shipment of bottles. You may also have issues with labels adhering properly to the bottle. Especially in refrigerated or humid conditions, if the labels are pressure sensitive.

We offer a fantastic adhesive that allows you to label your bottles in any conditions without the fear of flagging or the label sliding off. This includes ice bucket and even great for beer labels.

Washing the outside of your bottles is very labor intensive.

Irene George

Landmark Label

[email protected]


Reply:To go on...

There are millions of methods of accomplishing the various stages of "clean". Have others innovated? or purchased standard equipment?

Our distillery has the ability to produce steam, and I figure that a well placed application could effectively clean and sterilize many bottles in one step. Has anyone tried anything like this?


Reply:

Some bottle companies ship the bottles ready to fill/use, no rinsing needed. It depends on how they're coming to and the source, but it's worth asking your glass supplier.


Reply:Some bottle companies ship the bottles ready to fill/use, no rinsing needed. It depends on how they're coming to and the source, but it's worth asking your glass supplier.
Reply:The major distilled spirits producer's automated bottling lines do a compressed air blow-out immediately prior to filling. They do not rinse or do anything else.
Reply:Right. The water film left from a rinse is enough to throw off the proof by enough that if you were close anyway, it could put you outside the .15% tolerance.
Reply:Why wash a clean bottle? Just blow out the dust.
Reply:

We've been mostly buying in bulk from Europe, bottles come very well sealed and very clean internally. The only thing we do is blow a puff of air into them (be sure to use an oil free compressor and moisture removal filter or dryer)- sometimes you get a little cardboard dust inside the bottles during shipping. Your hands do get black from the outer coating though.


Reply:We've been mostly buying in bulk from Europe, bottles come very well sealed and very clean internally. The only thing we do is blow a puff of air into them (be sure to use an oil free compressor and moisture removal filter or dryer)- sometimes you get a little cardboard dust inside the bottles during shipping. Your hands do get black from the outer coating though.
Reply:Your hands get black from what?
Reply:Why wash a clean bottle? Just blow out the dust.
Reply:

Yes...glass manufacturers from Mexico and Asia are notorious for this coating on the outside of the bottles.

It causes all kinds of label concerns, especially with wine bottles or spirit bottles that are kept in the freezer or refrigerator. Humidity plays havoc with label adhesion also.

Irene


Reply:The more I post, the faster I move up the ladder from "newbie" to "Master Distillerator"
Reply:

What a nice old topic!

I've been using a compressed air blow out on my bottles, as mentioned in this thread. Occasionally after I fill, I find a largish piece of cardboard floating around in the bottle. That's not nice. Are you blowing out with the bottle upside down (I'm not) ? Are you inserting a long probe into the bottle to blow air (I'm not) ? Am I just a dufus (hope not) ?


Reply:

What a nice old topic!

I've been using a compressed air blow out on my bottles, as mentioned in this thread. Occasionally after I fill, I find a largish piece of cardboard floating around in the bottle. That's not nice. Are you blowing out with the bottle upside down (I'm not) ? Are you inserting a long probe into the bottle to blow air (I'm not) ? Am I just a dufus (hope not) ?


Reply:

You must blow bottles out upside down. We have inserts which when the bottles are put on upside down reach up to the bottom of the inverted bottles, then blow them out through the upside down bottles. Coop


Reply:

Dave, check out the bottle sparges' pictures in GW Kent or St Pats of Texas catalogs. It will give you a good idea how to build. Note: the bottle "finish" is actually below the apparatus surface to insure the particles blow away and not collect for the next blow.


Reply:

I made my own 4 bottle blower set up. Coop


Reply:

Just saw an episode of "The Thirsty Traveller"... Absolut Vodka bottling plant tour. They rinse with vodka. I would do the same, though in a slightly less industrial fashion.


Reply:

We inverted spray rinse with purified water at +65C, then drain, then blow out with dry air (all inverted). With spirits its not an issue of bacterial contamination, but rather dust, dirst and crap in the bottle. We buy premium glass from Saver in France and I have had glass chips, a screw, mouse droppings and bits of cardboard in the bottles. We then cap, then wash externally and dry with air knife.

I think that nitrogen or CO2 purging for spirits is pointless.

rich..


Reply:On 5/18/2011 at 5:14 PM, coop said: