BOTTLING, the process of enclosing liquids in bottles, including the operation of stopping or corking. The use of bottles for re taining liquids involves three requisites: that they shall be clean enough not to injure the purity, taste or looks of the contents, or the looks of the bottle, or to cause chemical action which will do so; shall be strong enough to resist probable pressure; and shall have stoppers which will not be disintegrated or corrode and will be tight enough not to let air in or volatile substances out, the degree of such precaution varying with the liquid. For scientific prepara tions, which include chemical analysis in crim inal cases, an indispensable condition is that the bottle shall contain no impurities which would cast doubt on the result; hence chemists in such cases use only new bottles, cleanse them thoroughly with some preparation to remove external substances and expose them to a red heat before using. For common household use, as there is no bottling under pressure, the kind or weight of glass is of no importance. For cleaning, it is best to shake up with warm water and caustic soda and clean with a bottle brush; to clean out gummy residues like paraf fine from naphtha and gasoline bottles, shake up with sulphuric acid.
The material of the stopper is of the first importance. For scientific use, only glass is possible; as also to retain corrosive acids and perfumes that would pass through the pores of a cork, in which latter case also nice taste as well as security is a desideratum. In general family use, for volatile fluids like gasoline and naphtha and ammonia which might soak up and disintegrate the cork and let its gas escape, rubber is the usual stopper. In commercial bottling on a large scale, of beer, wine, mineral waters and carbonated beverages generally, the only stoppers used are cork and rubber, except in the case of siphons with valves. For wine, the old-fashioned long cork, driven deep in and pulled with a corkscrew, still holds the field. The common stopper for ((soft' drinks, and in part for beer, is a rubber one fas tened to the under side of an iron cap and attached to the neck of the bottle by a wire loop whose leverage forces the rubber tightly into the mouth of it, and can be easily thrown off and the stopper removed. But in the United States, for beer even the rubber stopper is rap idly being displaced by a patent cork made in Baltimore, consisting of a crimped metal cap lined with cork, which a machine tightens around the neck of the bottle. It is easily lifted off by an iron ring, thrown over the neck and pulled up by a short handle; is much cheaper than the permanent rubber, and nearly as handy; and is cleaner, as good houses use only new ones. Indeed the use of old corks re
cleaned belongs to a low grade of goods. For milk bottles and others of which the corks are to last but a few hours and need no strength, pasteboard or wood-pulp is much used.
Old bottles, however, are used over and over ; and here thorough cleanliness is a prime requi site, both for salability and because dregs of old liquor might ferment and ruin the new. If any corks have been driven in, they are ex tracted by machinery; for the rest, in the large establishments, the bottles are placed in rows of pockets on the surface of a large drum, which their weight, as the upper rows are ad ded and the emerging ones taken off, causes to revolve slowly through a vat of hot solution of caustic soda, which enters the open mouths and eats out the sticky remnants of the last filling. They are then taken out and placed by sets, inverted, in a frame over revolving brushes, now consisting almost entirely of two or three rubber prongs held apart by strings or centrifu gal force,— the old bristle brushes being dis used because they wear out and leave bristles in the bottles,— at a speed of from 2,500 to 3,000 times a minute; then rinsed in frames of from two to four dozen vertical sprinkling tubes, over which the bottles are set, and jets of hot water forced into them. The filling is done by siphonage or air or gas pressure. A simple form for small breweries is an open trough filled from a barrel and supplying sev eral siphon tubes which the operator starts by sucking them, shifting the bottles as fast as filled; the siphon is tilted up by the weight of the bottle enough to give a flow and the liquid in the trough is kept at a constant level by a float. But in the larger ones, a row of barrels or hogsheads is drawn upon by a set of rubber pipes with stop-cocks, to which the bottles are held and filled by means of air or gas pressure, one pipe having several branches. With car bonated beverages there is danger of the bottles bursting, and they are filled in iron cages open only at the top, to protect the workmen; with heavily charged waters in siphons, the latter are of tougher glass and are tested before hand, and the men sometimes wear rubber cov erings for face, hands or body. With flavored or sweetened drinks, the syrup is fed into the bottle from one spout while the carbonated water comes from another; in small works, however, the syrup is put in first and the bottle filled right-side up.