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How Long Will My Homemade Wine Keep?

Wine In Gallon JugHi EC,

How long can finished wine be stored in gallon glass jugs?

Gabe

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Dear Gabe,

There is nothing unique to homemade grape wine that makes it spoil any faster or keep any better than commercially made wines. As long as the homemade grape wine is treated properly, it will keep just as long and as good as wines stored in glass jugs that you purchase at the store.

What does treated properly actually mean?

  1. It means your wine must be dosed with sulfites, and 
  2. Your glass jugs must be sanitized before using

Treating you wine with sulfites is very simple do and is very beneficial to the keeping qualities of the wine. If the wine is being made from fresh grapes or other fresh fruits, just add a standard dose of Potassium Metabisulfite 24 hour before adding the yeast. If you are making wine from a wine concentrate this process can be skipped.

Another dose of Potassium Metabisulfite should be added to the wine right before bottling, or in this case, jugging. This goes for any wine. By performing these simple steps you can greatly reduce the chance of your wine experiencing any reduction in freshness and eliminate any chance of out-right spoilage.

Sanitizing your gallon jugs is just as easy. All you have to do is clean the glass jugs as you normally would anyway. Then put in it a water/sulfite solution. Let the jug stand with the solution for about 20 minutes. Drain the jug, and it's ready to fill with wine. 

The Potassium Metabisulfite we offer comes with directions and dosages for performing both of these tasks.

It's important to understand that these are the same critical steps that any winery would take. It's what keeps all those glass jugs of wine fresh that you see on the store shelves; it's what keeps the standard wine bottles fresh as well. Follow these procedures. Make them habits. And you'll never have a problem with any of your wines keeping.

Best Wishes,
Customer Service
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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.

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