Cleaning and Sanitizing Carboys

Carboys, also called demijohns, are the primary tool for the first stage of fermentation.  Sometimes a secondary carboy can be employed for conditioning but usually the wine is transferred directly into clean bottles for final conditioning or racking.

Carboys are commonly made from glass or plastic.  We suggest using glass carboys as they are easier to clean and sanitize.  Plastic carboys can be difficult to clean and sanitize if when they get scratched.   Scratches provide a perfect breeding ground for mold and other unwanted microbes.  Those unhealthy microbes can interfere with the fermentation process and can quite possibly ruin your hard work.

Cleaning carboys is easy.  Sanitizing carboys is that extra step that will help you be in total control of your home wine making process.

Cleaning & Sanitizing Items:

  1. 5-gallon bucket
  2. water, cold or lukewarm
  3. household unscented bleach*
  4. stirring stick or spoon
  5. large pitcher or measuring cup with pour spout
  6. sand (optional)

*Scented bleach can leave a residue due to the additives which give it the scent.

Sanitizing Instructions:

Fill the 5-gallon bucket with water.  Add 2 oz of the unscented bleach and mix with stick/spoon.  Using the pitcher or measuring cup, pour bleach solution from the bucket into the carboy until it reaches the mouth of the vessel.

Next, let the bleach solution sit in the carboy for 15-20 minutes.  Pour out the bleach solution into your tub or sink.  Fill the carboy with clean tap water and pour that water out to rinse the carboy.  Repeat that 2-3 times to remove all traces of bleach.

About americanwinegrape

American Wine Grape Distributors Inc. AKA A. Silvestro Wine Grape, has been in business for over 5 decades. We are wine enthusiasts just like you and want to share in that enjoyment. This is why we are developing a new and exciting platform for growers, restaurants, sommeliers and home winemakers. Our goal is to bring the wine community together and is the driving force behind our new blog.