PDA

View Full Version : Oooof...



wildoates
02-20-2011, 08:51 PM
Today my two daughters and I either racked or bottled all the mead in the house (that wasn't already bottled, of course). We washed approximately 47 million bottles and filled approximately 37 million of them--at least it felt that way.

I need to get some more going, though--all I have left unbottled is the lingonberry (which will be ready to bottle next time) and the chocolate, which is way to young to even think about bottling. Soon I won't have much left to fiddle with, and that'd be a shame.

TDMooney
02-20-2011, 09:27 PM
ahh I have alot still bulk aging and I fear the day I decide to bottle them, but im sure it will be satisfying to see them neatly bottled, labeled and put on the wine rack :)

wildoates
02-20-2011, 11:27 PM
So far ours is all boxed up and stashed in the garage, as it's way too much for my bottle rack. :)

I've all my adult Christmas gifts, though!

fatbloke
02-21-2011, 03:36 AM
Whereas the dozen or so gallon batches I have bulk ageing under the stairs are crying out to have something done with them....

They're all traditional, so I'm thinking of blending them to standardise the flavour then I can decide if its ready or not.....

regards

fatbloke

akueck
02-21-2011, 03:44 AM
I hear ya! I need to do some serious bottle cleaning. I've got 5 gallons of beer that need smaller homes, then the cacao mead and the orphaned 1/2 gallon of mead I forgot about until just now (I should go make sure the airlock is still wet!). I've got 2 cases of bottles donated by a friend, but they aren't exactly clean. I think tomorrow I'll spend some time at the sink with a bucket of PBW.

Tannin Boy
02-21-2011, 08:12 AM
Now here is a thread I can identify with!

20 gallons of Cider, 26 gallons of Zinfandel, 3 gallons of Cyser all closing in on that time to bottle?

Yeesh!! :BangHead:

TB

wildoates
02-21-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm boiling some beer for my daughter at the moment, so we'll having at least something fermenting in a few hours. :)

JayH
02-22-2011, 02:45 PM
I have just one word for all of you "Kegs"

I now have 11 of them stashed away between mead, old ales and 10 gallons of a Samichlaus clone I made. I don't even want to consider bottling that much.

icedmetal
02-22-2011, 03:19 PM
Why not? I actually view bottling as the culmination of all the hard work we've done to create something we'd like to share with others. And it's hard to share when it's all in one 5-gallon container.

Besides, I never end a bottling session sober! ;)

wildoates
02-22-2011, 05:49 PM
Kegs are great if you drink it all yourself, but I give almost all of mine away. For that you need bottles.

It's not the bottling itself that's a pain, it's the washing the used bottles. And de-labeling. Every time I'm tempted to just head up to the semi-local shop and buy new bottles. :)

Chevette Girl
02-22-2011, 06:30 PM
It's not the bottling itself that's a pain, it's the washing the used bottles. And de-labeling. Every time I'm tempted to just head up to the semi-local shop and buy new bottles. :)

Amen to that one!! I am now to the point where if I soak a label and determine that it's one of the nasty gummy ones that require chemicals to remove, I don't bother scrubbing, it goes to the recycle pile... I was trying to make room in the basement winery to move more stuff down into it and ended up returning about three cases' worth of "aww, mannnnn..." bottles, and all the ones where the label is printed directly on the glass (people try to be helpful and save me ALL bottles)... sometimes it really is worth it to just go buy fresh new bottles...

icedmetal
02-22-2011, 06:57 PM
Kegs are great if you drink it all yourself, but I give almost all of mine away. For that you need bottles.

It's not the bottling itself that's a pain, it's the washing the used bottles. And de-labeling. Every time I'm tempted to just head up to the semi-local shop and buy new bottles. :)

Ahh, I see. My wife and I have found a way to deal with this: clean your used bottles well in advance, then seal em up in boxes so all ya gotta do is pull them out, rinse and sanitize. Makes bottling day more focused on the fun part :)

TheAlchemist
02-22-2011, 07:11 PM
The way I figure it, I can spend $12.95 on a new wine bottle...or I can visit Trader Joe and pick up a bottle of three buck chuck, enjoy that, then break out the elbow grease.

GooGone is my friend...

wildoates
02-22-2011, 07:19 PM
Ahh, I see. My wife and I have found a way to deal with this: clean your used bottles well in advance, then seal em up in boxes so all ya gotta do is pull them out, rinse and sanitize. Makes bottling day more focused on the fun part

I always mean to do this, but usually just stick the boxes of donated bottles in the garage and fergit about 'em 'til it's time to bottle. :)

I do actually have some bottles that have been washed, dried, and covered with foil to keep the dust out. Just not all of them. :)

akueck
02-22-2011, 08:36 PM
I always mean to do this, but usually just stick the boxes of donated bottles in the garage and fergit about 'em 'til it's time to bottle. :)

I do actually have some bottles that have been washed, dried, and covered with foil to keep the dust out. Just not all of them. :)

Haha! I'm the same. I am down to 7 pre-cleaned and foil-capped bottles to hold 7 gallons of stuff. Don't think it will fit. Meant to bottle clean yesterday but played Wii instead. :p

AToE
02-22-2011, 08:41 PM
I don't even take the labels off 99% of the time, too lazy. Also, I've stopped washing and sanitizing them - when I'm done drinking whatever was in the bottle before I just immediately triple rinse it with hot water (or let it soak full for a bit if I didn't get to it right away) then let it dry and back onto my wine racks it goes. Then, when it's time to bottle I sometimes sanitize or rinse, but honestly I just fill them as they were a lot of the time... bad practice I know, but I haven't had any problems yet!

wildoates
02-22-2011, 08:56 PM
I'm too paranoid to not scrub and sanitize at least once, and to bottle wet. :)

I tend to say I'm not going to take the labels off the next batch of bottles, but when it comes down to it I just can't admit to the laziness it implies. I'm darned lazy, sure, but I'd be embarrassed to give mead in a bottle with an old label on it.

Hee hee

akueck
02-22-2011, 09:05 PM
I remove labels when I have the energy. Lately the labels stay on unless they fall off of their own volition. But I do soak in PBW and almost always I will give the bottle a short scrub with a brush. Too paranoid!

Chevette Girl
02-22-2011, 10:21 PM
I'm darned lazy, sure, but I'd be embarrassed to give mead in a bottle with an old label on it.

Hee hee

Yep, again, what WildOates said...

I can pay about $13 for a case of new clean bottles. Or elbow grease. Some days it's a toss-up.

I have found that wine bottles keep best if I drink their contents and then put the cork back in, the residual alcohol doesn't get fuzzy like I've found water does if it's not drained out when it's been rinsed... Once bottles get de-labeled (or if I know the label comes off easily, ie, it's either water-soluble lick and stick or it's one of my own gummed shipping labels), they get to sit in a cardboard wine box, open-end up, box is closed to keep out the spiders. Once they've been scrubbed inside AND out, they get put upside down in the box, then it's just sanitize and go...

I have a bucket that fits 7 regular bottles, so I fill it with bottles, put a little soap in each one and a bit for the bucket, fill each bottle and the bucket with hot water, set the timer and go play computer games or read gotmead for 15 min... come back, scrub 'em all with the bottle brush and then one at a time, pull them out, de-label them and either put 'em back if they need another soak, or empty the soapy water into another bottle to soak, rinse with bottle blaster and decorate the bottle tree, when the bucket's filled with a fresh load, set the timer again... lather, rinse, repeat...

wildoates
02-22-2011, 10:50 PM
I do the upside-down thing with cleaned delabeled bottles too. That's how I tell the difference!

Braxton
02-23-2011, 06:43 PM
I'm on the same page as AToE with my bottles, except I do make sure to sanitize before filling. I'm also lazy enough to wind up bottling mead in beer bottles most of the time. I prefer it in 12 oz doses anyways. Bottling with a helper is usually not too bad, but man, I never want to bottle a 10 gallon batch alone again.

havoc64
02-23-2011, 07:00 PM
I have a buddy who makes wine. He dives the recycle bin at Wal-mart and digs out the wine bottles. He de-labels them, Cleans and Sanatizes them and then sells them to the LHBS for credit for the supplies he needs. I buy a case from him for the same price that he sells them to the LHBS.

I think next time I am gonna use New bottles

Enjoy..

papasmurf
02-23-2011, 08:02 PM
I stopped using 12.oz bottles, and went to 22.oz bombers for beer. My mead, i will put into grolche bottles or cham-pain' bottles. Works well with less moving parts..

tycoon
02-25-2011, 10:14 AM
I bottle my mead in recycled beer bottles (1 litre, 500 cl and 330 cl) as I use crown caps to seal my bottles. To remove the labels I fill a large washbasin with hot water and a large dose of chlorine and let the bottles soak for a few hours. In general, the labels peel off easily. And I sanitise the bottles with iodophor, which saves me a lot of time.

Still, it is a lot of work. :tard:

AToE
02-25-2011, 01:37 PM
Beer companies seem to use much easier to dislodge glue than wine companies, I guess it's more important for a wine bottle to look nice?

I'm thinking of just dipping all my bottles in black paint, right up to about 1 inch from the end of the neck. Then I cover up suck on glue (might do a few layers so it looks smoother) and get some extra protection from light. :)

wayneb
02-25-2011, 04:58 PM
That's a great idea - until the paint starts to chip away. ;D

Actually I bring this up because of personal experience. A friend of mine gave me some cool looking frosted blue and red wine bottles (used, from some German winery). I thought, how cool is that? These would be perfect for some extra special mead gifts. Then I started to soak them to get the labels off, and along with the label paper came several chunks of blue and red frosted coating! :mad: It looked like the stuff had been sprayed on to the bottle surface just before the wine went in, and the labels went on. Reusable? Not!

Chevette Girl
02-26-2011, 02:16 AM
The thing I'd be afraid of with painted bottles is not being able to see if I've missed some scunge that needs to be scrubbed out...

I've considered using glass etching compound to decorate wine bottles but it's a lot of work and then the bottles are forever marked up... although "Return to AJ for refill" might be a sensible thing to apply :)

TheAlchemist
02-26-2011, 10:23 PM
"Return to AJ for refill" might be a sensible thing to apply :)

If returned for refill, does the same happy recipient get the full bottle back?

beeboy
02-26-2011, 10:52 PM
I'll pick wine bottles from the recycle bins put out during trash day or call around to the local wine stores and see when they are having a wine tasting. Once I have about a case I soak them in a mild bleach solution till the lables come off, give them a good scrubbing and rinse them with fresh water. The bottles get stored upside down in a case untill I'm ready to use them. Right before being filled They get washed out with some more bleach water, rinsed and allowed to drip dry. The local HBS is charging around $20.00 per case for .75 liter bottles which is getting expensive.

Chevette Girl
02-27-2011, 03:20 AM
If returned for refill, does the same happy recipient get the full bottle back?

Often they will get A full bottle back, not likely to be the same one though... I don't drink a lot so I'm always happy to share with people who will partake.

Tannin Boy
02-27-2011, 07:53 AM
Often they will get A full bottle back, not likely to be the same one though... I don't drink a lot so I'm always happy to share with people who will partake.

My Terms & conditions of replacement of an empty bottle is Only if it is returned cleaned! :p

TB

JayH
02-28-2011, 03:15 AM
Most of mine ends up at places like beer club meetings, or on my own taps so that kegs work just fine. Otherwise I have a whole raft of flip top bottles and I just wash them and bottle what I need if I'm headed to a party. That just leaves gift bottles and I usually just give them away in Grolsh bottles (I'm lucky in that I have a pretty much endless supply).

At Christmas and for other special occasions I will bother to bottle in wine bottles with a good label. The last time was 118 bottles for my sisters wedding. I haven't recovered yet, so for now it is just kegs.

Chevette Girl
02-28-2011, 12:34 PM
At Christmas and for other special occasions I will bother to bottle in wine bottles with a good label. The last time was 118 bottles for my sisters wedding. I haven't recovered yet, so for now it is just kegs.

Yeah, I hear you on that one! I've done wine for two weddings and did half the bottling for another :p Those are the only time I deviate from my Chateau Chevette Winery shipping label, I generally whip something up with photos, for my mother's wedding and mine we used different photos for the reds and whites... they look really sharp but they're hard on ink...

You are so lucky to have an endless supply of Grolsch bottles!

TDMooney
02-28-2011, 04:32 PM
I can normally get 1-2 bottles a night from the bar I work at, most of them are 1.5L bottles though.

Tannin Boy
02-28-2011, 05:49 PM
I can normally get 1-2 bottles a night from the bar I work at, most of them are 1.5L bottles though.

That's a Great Size bottle...
I use those mostly for my wine making needs for home storage.
My usual yearly production is 30 gallons so the fewer bottles the better;D

TB

Chevette Girl
02-28-2011, 07:45 PM
I love that size too, two of them is usually perfect for a gallon of JAO after losses for fruit etc.

wildoates
02-28-2011, 07:59 PM
I'd like to gather a bunch of 350s, but I seldom see them, so I use beer bottles for the single serving (for 2!) size.

Chevette Girl
02-28-2011, 08:06 PM
350's is the one size I rarely get back, so most of the time I have to buy them, at least they come 20 to a case.

mmclean
02-28-2011, 09:23 PM
Man, I need to find me a source for free bottles. :rolleyes:

wildoates
02-28-2011, 10:07 PM
It helps to have friends who are lushes. :)

mmclean
03-01-2011, 05:18 AM
All my friends are cheap lushes. Read, "Screw caps."

"What, $8.00 for a six pack, no way!"

$10.00 for a bottle of wine, forget it.

Talk about "free" mead, oh yeah. :rolleyes:

wildoates
03-01-2011, 08:27 PM
When I first started doing this most of my friends were extremely cautious and not overly enthusiastic about tasting mead (mine or anyone else's). That was before they tasted it. Now they look forward to tasting it. I had twice as many people at my second mead tasting party than I had at my first. I think at my third one I'll have everyone bring the ingredients for a JAO and walk them through how to do it. :)

Chevette Girl
03-01-2011, 11:57 PM
I gave my brother in law a JAO kit for Xmas one year, got all the spices, yeast, the jar of honey, an empty water jug and instructions together in a box labelled "Mead Kit"...
"Add orange and water, cover jug with plastic wrap. Wait 2 months. Enjoy responsibly."

wildoates
03-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Thts a great idea!

Chevette Girl
03-02-2011, 12:19 AM
He was living 500 km away at the time, so I don't know if he ever did make it, but I told him how to make the blacberry JAO variation I've fallen in love with and he made 5 gal or so of that for his wedding last year.

wildoates
03-02-2011, 12:27 AM
A blackberry JAO?! Dangit, another thread I've totally missed. Now I have to go find it!

Chevette Girl
03-02-2011, 12:29 AM
I'll save you some time - two six-oz containers of blackberries in place of the orange. Spices optional, it's awesome both ways.

wildoates
03-02-2011, 01:06 AM
I am SO gonna try that!

Thanks!

oldwhiskers
03-02-2011, 11:07 AM
The Blackberry JAO does sound good. Maybe my next batch. ;D

storm1969
03-10-2011, 12:41 PM
A good source of used bottles is wine festivals.

You can get as many bottles as you can fit in the back of a pickup. I think the record I have was 32 cases of bottles one sunday. (wife was not happy when I brought those home!)

They can be a lot of work to get the labels off, but I don't mind. Saves a ton of money and recycleing them for reuse is a good thing.

Most wine labels come off easily by soaking them. The ones that don't come off easily enough by sticking them in the oven at 150 for 10min. Then the labels pop right off. \
*word of warning* use a glove when picking up the hot bottle*
**I also have them in a pan, in case they don't handle the heat well, but have never actually had a problem**

Chevette Girl
03-10-2011, 02:14 PM
150*F in the oven shouldn't be a problem as long as you let them cool slowly... that's about how hot my tap water is, haven't cracked anything yet (although close to scalding a number of times), and jam jars get put in the oven at 200*F...

Good idea, thanks, Storm!

TheAlchemist
03-10-2011, 04:57 PM
Oven baked label removal. Novel idea.

Chevette Girl
03-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Really hot water works for some... why not really hot bottle working for the rest...

wildoates
03-11-2011, 01:43 AM
Were bottling beer this weekend, and If we happen across any stubborn labels, we might try it!

TheAlchemist
03-11-2011, 09:38 PM
I'm having a bottle cleaning weekend. If the bleach water doesn't do the trick, I may try bottles-in-the-oven...

wildoates
03-11-2011, 10:12 PM
We're about to embark on a bunch of bottle washing this evening!

storm1969
03-13-2011, 12:55 AM
have fun!

I won't be getting another large group of bottles until May...

TheAlchemist
03-15-2011, 04:33 PM
I have a new song!

It's bottle washing day! It's bottle washing day!

Tra la la boom dee ay! Tra la la boom dee ay!

I had no trouble getting labels off with bleachwater, so didn't need to try the bottle-in-the-oven trick.

havoc64
03-16-2011, 10:52 AM
Bleach water..hmm does the bleach help with loosing the gum/glue? Or is that for sanitation? ???

TheAlchemist
03-16-2011, 11:39 AM
Bleach water..hmm does the bleach help with loosing the gum/glue? Or is that for sanitation? ???

Yes

and

yes

I intended it just for sanitation, but I discovered it works way better for label removal than plain hot water did. Bonus!