Reusing Box Wine Container Bags For Homemade Wine

Box Wine ContianerIs it ok to use boxed wine containers for my homemade wine, after removing spigot, and using Camden tabs to clean container? Spigot is easily removed and replaced. I make 15 gal every run, bottles get expensive. Thanks

Name: Dale
State: TN
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Hello Dale,

No one here has any specific experience with reusing box wine container bags for homemade wine. I haven’t heard of any of our customer doing this either, so I don’t have any direct experience with using them. But knowing what I do know about wine and storage, I see know reason why you couldn’t reuse the bag-in-a-box container.

The biggest concern is sanitation. If remnants of the original wine has been sitting in the bag for some time, weeks maybe, and has become dried, it could be hard to get the box wine container bag completely sanitized. But on the other hand, if you rinse the original wine out as soon as you empty the box bag, it should be fairly easy to sanitize.

As far as sanitizers go, I would suggest using CleanPro SDH in the bag. Realize that the only way you are going to get it completely sanitize is to fill the box bag completely up to maximum capacity. The sanitizing solution needs to come in contact with all surfaces. This will not happen unless the bag is fully expanded and wrinkles eliminated.

Also, you will want to add sulfites to the wine just before putting the homemade wine in the box wine bag. This can be in the form of either: Campden tablets, potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite. It doesn’t’ matter. This suggestion is no different than if  you where putting your homemade wine up in wine bottles.

When actually sealing the wine bag shut, you will want to eliminate any air pockets in the wine bag. Any air in the bag will only contribute to oxidation.

My personal thought is that reusing box wine containers bags for homemade wine does have potential, but there may be some problems to look out for as well, particularly when it comes to long-term storage and aging. Will the wine age well? Will the bag’s plastic allow too much air to permeate and facilitate oxidation?

I would like to also point out that there is a similar product that can be used for this purpose. We have been selling Reliance containers for over 30 years for both fermenting and dispensing. Like the bag-in-a-box containers, they collapes as the wine is decanted.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
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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.

6 thoughts on “Reusing Box Wine Container Bags For Homemade Wine

  1. I have been reusing the wine box "bladder bags" for years. They work well for wine that you plan to drink within several months. They are perfect for having several wines "on-tap" in my cellar. They are also a center of attention at parties. I have mage several wooden boxes that allow the wine to be dispensed and look great too – not a cardboard box on the table. I bottle wine for gifts and long term storage and bag/box part of some vintages for early tasting and consumption.

    I remove the small valve (properly called a fitment), rinse and sulphite the bag and add as much wine as I want. I then replace the fitment, turn the bag so that the fitment is facing upward and open the valve. I gently squeeze the bag until the wine starts to dribble out of the fitment. All of the air has now been purged from the bladder. I would suggest consuming the wine within six months.

  2. Most restaurants around me are happy to save a case of their empty wine bottles for me. Otherwise, they put in the recycling bin. You just to wash thoroughly and sterilize

  3. To me bottles are no problem. I ask those who I give my wine to, to return the bottles. Also, many people I work and/or are acquainted with will save their empties for me. I propably have well over a 1000 bottles stored in an old building. When I go to bottle, I can usually find 27 fairly close matching bottles for each flavor. Just ask, people throw them away all the time.

  4. Yes, how do you remove the fitment? We also ask other people to save bottles…but, the box wine bladder would work great!

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