cleaning basket press after red grapes

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zappoid

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In one week I will finish my first wine making season. How I was advised, I pressed white grapes before red ones. Looked through the forum list and could not find how properly to clean the wood. Next season I will start again with white grapes, will juice be colored after pressing?
 

hawkwing

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I watched a video from morewinemaking on YouTube and he soaks in some kind of oxy clean. I think I’ve seen an oxy product at one of my local brewing stores. So it might not be the laundry kind. Without more knowledge I wouldn’t use the laundry kind especially any scented version. I think he called it B-Brite.

 
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I use Barrel Oxifresh to clean my barrels, and pump the solution into a Brute when done. I drop the basket parts into the solution for an hour, then hose then down.

If no access to a food grade cleaning product, spray well with a hose, and make sure the wood is dry before putting away.
 
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You can treat the wood to help make it easier to clean too. Like a hardening oil or butcher block protector. I did this to the staves as well as the circle pressing blocks.
Pressure washing only roughed up my staves. Don’t do that lol. Luckily it fits in my sink so I clean it with piping hot water and PBR cleaner. And Kmeta for sanitizing before use.
 
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hawkwing

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You can treat the wood to help make it easier to clean too. Like a hardening oil or butcher block protector. I did this to the staves as well as the circle pressing blocks.
Pressure washing only roughed up my staves. Don’t do that lol. Luckily it fits in my sink so I clean it with piping hot water and PBR cleaner. And Kmeta for sanitizing before use.
I thought about that when I saw the pressure washer too. Sure cleans wood like an old picnic table or a deck if you are refinishing.
 
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I thought about that when I saw the pressure washer too. Sure cleans wood like an old picnic table or a deck if you are refinishing.
Yea it’ll take the finish off. but beat the hell out of old ass staves! roughed it up like a 40 grit sandpaper would. little wood slivers “frayed” off everywhere sorta. Like it was hairy lol. i stopped after one side of one half and had to give it a haircut.
 

balatonwine

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Always interesting to see how others do things. :)

My 2 cents...

First, many of the chemical cleansing products mentioned here are not available here where I live in Central Europe. Personally, I use cleaning products from Enartis (Sanaton and Detersol). While these are sold "over the counter" here, those are both very caustic chemicals and can cause skin burns and skin damage if used improperly. But removes most "stains" well.

For one unable to get special chemicals, then a very strong acidic (add citric acid) solution of KMeta may be the best option.

Side note: It is a general rule of thumb to not use the same wood press basket for reds and whites. Not so much from color leeching, but due to the possible transfer of malolactic fermentation (MLF) bacteria to the white wine if the red wine had any MLF before pressing. Most white wine should not be allowed to undergo MLF and once wood gets MLF bacteria, it is difficult to remove it and prevent contamination of white wine.

Hope this helps.
 

balatonwine

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Pressure washing only roughed up my staves. Don’t do that lol.

I pressure wash my staves. No problems. And I have very old presses and staves. So age alone is not necessarily the issue. My staves are oak and beech.

Also I use only a retail pressure washer, not a commercial one, so not that powerful.

Otherwise, if a pressure wash damages the staves that would tell me your wood is maybe not the ideal hard wood, suffering from maybe some dry rot, or otherwise have some issues that the damage is hinting they maybe should be replaced.

Hope this helps.
 

zappoid

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Always interesting to see how others do things. :)

My 2 cents...

First, many of the chemical cleansing products mentioned here are not available here where I live in Central Europe. Personally, I use cleaning products from Enartis (Sanaton and Detersol). While these are sold "over the counter" here, those are both very caustic chemicals and can cause skin burns and skin damage if used improperly. But removes most "stains" well.

For one unable to get special chemicals, then a very strong acidic (add citric acid) solution of KMeta may be the best option.

Side note: It is a general rule of thumb to not use the same wood press basket for reds and whites. Not so much from color leeching, but due to the possible transfer of malolactic fermentation (MLF) bacteria to the white wine if the red wine had any MLF before pressing. Most white wine should not be allowed to undergo MLF and once wood gets MLF bacteria, it is difficult to remove it and prevent contamination of white wine.

Hope this helps.
The idea of two presses is new to me, never read about it before, but I understand the logic. Nevertheless the some questions arose:
1. How I can be sure not have MLF during primary fermentation, specially when I use long skin contact;
2. What I have read, mostly MLF is prevented or stopped by chemical additions.
 

balatonwine

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The idea of two presses is new to me, never read about it before, but I understand the logic. Nevertheless the some questions arose:
1. How I can be sure not have MLF during primary fermentation, specially when I use long skin contact;
2. What I have read, mostly MLF is prevented or stopped by chemical additions.

Actually a complex topic.... For too much information see:

For a more set of three simple options see:

The most basic solution is to use KMeta as @winemaker81 suggested. I do this, to some extent. But if one wants to make a so called "natural wine"** then one wants to use as little KMeta as possible, then filtering is a better option (and more expensive). Or as stated, keep wood wine making products separate depending on the type of wine you make. If you use Stainless steel or plastic, or glass, then not a problem and you can mix and match after full and complete cleaning. But wood can hold over MLF bacteria more than the other products. That is one does not need two full presses, simply two sets of wood baskets and press plates. You can use the same metal parts of the press. And if one has wood barrels, simply use one set for red wine and one set for white wine. Do not mix them.

Hope this helps.

**An ambiguous, trending, trendy, and sometimes questionable name, but if properly considered (removing the trending hipster angle) might have some interesting wine making possibilities. :D
 
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Rice_Guy

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An industry point of view:
how properly to clean the wood. Next season I will start again with white grapes, will juice be colored after pressing?
* wood is a porous material! you CAN NOT clean to eliminate micro contamination., , If I was serious I would have to heat treat as boil the basket or better yet a steam autoclave. NO ONE goes to this level of sterile. ,,, This kind of treatment shortens the life of the tool.
* wood that is damp will mold. The important thing is to remove surface dirt which you could do with a water hose and then get it dry
* Dry yeast survive well over time, it is easier to kill wet yeast. I haven’t seen the rules for malolactic bacteria but it probably is similar. The 1800 version of inoculation was to stir the must with the same wooden spoon that would only get used on wine/ mead/ cider.
* From a winery point of view the level of color contamination would never be seen once you past one gram of red pulp per a twenty liter carboy/ pail. Also note that the legal definition will allow ten or fifteen percent varietal contamination and still be labeled the dominant variety. When buying crop in truck load quantity I expect contamination.
* I am concerned about contamination as fruit flies which typically carry Acetobacter, if the sugar is washed off the tool basically doesn’t collect flies.
* If you are serious about cleaning consider using stainless steel or plastic for your basket.
EC4359EB-BDF7-48FA-9DE6-553E54D15E03.jpeg
plastic cutting boards make a non absorptive press plate/ perforated bottom drainage plate, acrylic is easy to work with, load bearing against the screw can still be oak, a mesh layer improves bottom drainage
* If using the old wood or modern plastic/ stainless, garden hose spraying is the primary cleaning tool. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE FACTORY CLEAN WOODEN PARTS!
 

balatonwine

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* wood is a porous material! you CAN NOT clean to eliminate micro contamination., , If I was serious I would have to heat treat as boil the basket or better yet a steam autoclave. NO ONE goes to this level of sterile.

If everyone will allow me a funny side note....

Both of my wife's parents were MD doctors. And a funny story from her mother, when she was a pre-med, and was involved in her first actual delivery. She asked, if the procedure was sterile (for anyone not aware, births can be quite messy). To which the instructing doctor said:

"The only way to sterilize a newborn, would be to boil it...."

:cool:
 
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