Anyone who shops for wine on even a semi-regular basis has no doubt encountered the term “old vine” at one point or another. It’s commonly…
Cleaning & Sanitation
Winemaking Cleaning and Sanitation
The debris left over from a previous batch can carry bacteria that reacts badly with the yeasts and the sugars. Dirt and contamination ruin perfectly good batches of wine. That’s why it’s important to clean and sanitize all of your wine making equipment thoroughly before and after every batch you make, but be careful about which harsh cleanser you use. Some industrial soaps and cleaners will stick to the sides of your carboy and brewing implements which will ruin any batch of wine. Rinsing with the hot water helps, but it is best to only use dedicated winemaking cleaning supplies and winemaking sanitation chemicals on your fermentation equipment in the first place.
Keeping Your Equipment in Top Condition
Making wine is not only fun because you get to drink it but also because you get to taste the variations of flavors you created. Sometimes your wines come out better than you expected, and you will want to be able to replicate the results. However, that can be very difficult to do after contaminates enter your winemaking equipment. The skill of reproducing favorable results begins with proper cleaning and sanitation.
You will need the supplies that work best for your specific needs. The chemicals in your water have a major impact on the the flavor of your wines, but it also has an impact on how your cleaners interact with the surfaces of your equipment. An alkaline wash helps to reduce the excessive calcium found in your water supply. Evidence of this can be found on your wine glasses when you get water spots that are hard to remove. Hard waters spots are places where other contaminants may hide. If your tap water already contains too much calcium, you will need to address this issue to get your carboy and bottles truly clean.
Other environmentally friendly sanitizers are designed to kill bacteria without leaving chlorine residue on your equipment. This helps to keep unpleasant chemical flavors from being introduced into your batch. Environmentally friendly cleaners are also better for your home plumbing. This is especially true if you live in a rural area and depend on a septic system. If your washing station is outside of your normal kitchen and lacks adequate drainage, you will need to be able to dispose of your waste water without contaminating the ground around your home.
Scrub brushes and jet nozzles make it so that you are able to clean inaccessible areas. The mouth of your glass bottles and carboys are too small for your hands to fit inside. A wash nozzle sprays a jet of water into these areas and can be used to clear out the tubes and lines you use to transfer your wine from one container to another. Specially shaped brushes can reach to scrub along the inside of your bottles.
For your plastics, it is important not to scratch the surfaces of your containers and tools. Bacteria can hide in small cracks and scratches you accidentally create while cleaning. Even with thorough scrubbing, these irritants can be difficult to remove. It is better to use scrubbing cloths that remove dirt without leaving scratches to help extend the life of your plastics.
Proper cleaning and sanitation is part of the skill of brewing wine at home. To get the best results out of each batch, make sure you are using the best quality products on your fermentation equipment. Find all of the top quality cleaning and sanitation supplies you need at Wine Cooler Direct.