Is 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
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.
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.