Could you tell me what solution should go into the bottle tree rinser — could I use campden tables?
The Bottle Tree Rinser/Sulphatizer is designed to be used with a sulfite solution. What this means is that you can use either Campden Tablets, Sodium Metabisulfite or Potassium Metabisulfite with water to make the sanitizing solution that goes into the bottle rinser’s reservoir.
The dosage is pretty straight-forward. You use either 16 Campden Tablets or one teaspoon of either Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite per gallon of water. Go ahead an mix up a gallon of it in a gallon glass carboy or similar. You’ll need to refill the reservoir as the process goes on.
The bottle rinser works by spraying the solution up into the wine bottles. You put the wine bottle over the nozzle and pump it up or down to cause a spray into the bottle. You then put the wine bottle on one of the bottle tree pegs to drain.
This spray action does two things: it rinses the wine bottle out, getting rid of box dust and the like; it also causes the sulfites in the water solution to release as a gas within the wine bottle. This sulfite gas lingers within the wine bottle, sanitizing it over the course of the next few minutes.
Ideally, the sulfite gas from the sodium metabisulfite, etc. would still be in the wine bottle as it is being filled with wine. This would keep contamination down to an absolute minimum. With this in mind, one of my wine making tips is that the wine bottles be filled and corked within a half-hour or so of being sprayed.
Happy Wine Making,
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.