It is important to sanitize the equipment you use for your own health and safety; also, putting wine into a bottle that is not very clean can give the wine a bad taste. After each batch of wine that you make, you will need to sterilize both the bottles and all the parts of the wine making equipment. Following are the details of how to sanitize wine equipment. All you need to do is decide what piece of equipment best suits your sanitizing needs.
Tube brushes are by far the simplest and sometimes least expensive means of sanitizing wine equipment, bottles specifically. You may find a small bottlebrush meant for reaching the tips of beer and wine bottles and run less than five dollars a brush or you may want a more specialized brush like the carboy brush that bends to reach every corner of the bottle. Demi John brushes are thicker and denser than both the aforementioned brushes and of course cost more.
Bottle washers help deliver powerful water blasts to assist in cleaning bottles by attaching hose threads to the faucet. Double blast bottle washers allow you to sanitize two bottles at once. These washers have great features such as eliminating stress on pipes and faucets via a quick disconnect from the faucet with a stable wide base. They can also accommodate carboys with custom nozzles.
A power-wash spray wand creates a more accessible option for those who may need to clean both bottles and kegs. This devise emits water from the tip in all directions. The wand is a few feet long, attaching to the faucet with hose threads. However, it may also need a separate adapter for attaching. If your sanitizing needs are not as grand, a simple wash bottle squeezes your cleaner in all directions.
Wash bottles are great for use with washing fluids such as San Star, which is an acid-based foaming solution that gets to areas you may not see and does not require a rinse. Even more, it has no odor, does not taint the flavor of your wine and does not stain your containers. Just be sure to use the right proportion of the San Star with water, two tablespoons with evey five gallons of water, and do not let it sit for more than the required time, about five minutes.
A common sterilizing agent used by many winemakers is sodium metabisulfite powder. This powder is used to sterilize bottles, corks and other equipment. Iodophor, an iodine-based sanitizer, is also used on glass and stainless material. Like San Star, it must be diluted in water, two ounces for every gallon. However, potassium metabisulfite has also been gaining acceptance as a wine sterilizing solution for many winemakers.
If you have tougher tasks needed for sanitizing, BLC equipment wash may be the best option. This equipment rids buildup of deposits such as oxalate and protein. Like other solutions, it must be diluted in water but the mixture must soak longer and requires a rinse. To help with sanitizing and sterilizing from the beginning consider a bottle tree. Wine sanitizers need not be complicated and are a great investment for protecting your wine.