Cleaning Tubing

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vinny

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I didn't want to hijack the sanitation thread, but it got me thinking.

I asked what people do to clean their hoses in a thread a while back, wondering if soaking was enough. I was told I should use something weighted to pull through the hose to remove build up. I haven't gotten anything yet.

What do you use?

Anyone use a bore snake? If so, what calibre is racking tubing? 😂
 

Raptor99

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I have an All In One vacuum pump, so I use that to pull soapy water through my hoses, then rise them. I clean them immediately after use, so there is no time for anything to get stuck on. No need for soaking if nothing has time to get dried on.

What do you have inside your hoses that can't be removed by running soapy water through them?
 

vinny

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I have an All In One vacuum pump, so I use that to pull soapy water through my hoses, then rise them. I clean them immediately after use, so there is no time for anything to get stuck on. No need for soaking if nothing has time to get dried on.

What do you have inside your hoses that can't be removed by running soapy water through them?
Nothing. I do the same, I rinse after use and sanitize before use. I just asked if that was enough, and was told I should be running something through it, too.

I bought a brush just for cleaning tubes from more winemaking. Basically a tiny bottle brush on a 3' long flexible steel handle. Works great.
I have a 1 foot version of this to get anything sitting in sediment. A longer one would be nice. I'll have to keep a look out.
 

Nebbiolo020

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Nothing. I do the same, I rinse after use and sanitize before use. I just asked if that was enough, and was told I should be running something through it, too.


I have a 1 foot version of this to get anything sitting in sediment. A longer one would be nice. I'll have to keep a look out.
I use my pump to pull cleaner through the hoses then rinse and will sanitize before using the next time I need them and replace hoses periodically to avoid staining or etc
 
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What do you have inside your hoses that can't be removed by running soapy water through them?
Over time a film builds up that may need manual intervention. I need to get a brush like @Kraffty described.

A couple of times per year I rack One Step through the hoses, from container to container. That helps a lot, or at least makes the film less visible.
 

Rice_Guy

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* as a home wine maker 3/8 inch tubing is cheap! it get replaced when it looks dirty. Cleaning for Day by day use is a water rinse followed by OneStep or similar, and then rinse/ complete drain cycles. ALL tubing is placed over a ceiling hook to drain. (between metric and silicone/ vinyl/ PE I keep nine types on the shelf)
* as a pilot plant person hot caustic cleaner is pumped through followed by a tap water rinse. Next an acid cleaner is pumped through and a rinse. ALL hoses are lifted to a rack to drain/ dry.

Trapped moisture/ humidity creating a growth environment is a risk factor. I fear growth in a hose/ tubing more than I fear contamination from the food product.
 
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Rocky

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* as a home wine maker 3/8 inch tubing is cheap! it get replaced when it looks dirty. Cleaning for Day by day use is a water rinse followed by OneStep or similar, and three rinse/ complete drain cycles. ALL tubing is placed over a ceiling hook to drain. (between metric and silicone/ vinyl/ PE I keep nine types on the shelf)
* as a pilot plant person hot caustic cleaner is pumped through followed by a tap water rinse. Next an acid cleaner is pumped through and a rinse. ALL hoses are lifted to a rack to drain/ dry.

Trapped moisture/ humidity creating a growth environment is a risk factor. I fear growth in a hose/ tubing more than I fear contamination from the food product.
I could not agree more! This is exactly what I do, rinse immediately after use with hot water and occasionally a detergent. I hang them on a pegboard to dry. When this cleaning does not do the job, I replace the tube.

I would be concerned using those brushes. There is a good chance of scratching the inside of the tubing and in those scratches, all kinds of contaminants could lurk. A hundred feet of 3/8" tubing costs a tad over $33 at LP. Why risk a batch of wine for 3 or 4 dollars' worth of tubing?
 

Jim Welch

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I run tap water through within a minute or two of using for winemaking tasks then hang to dry.
I have used a foam ear plug pushed through with compressed air right after soaking on occasion but not not with the high end silicone hose I use.
The cheaper clear plastic gets discarded after so many uses.
 

QuiQuog

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I bought a brush just for cleaning tubes from more winemaking. Basically a tiny bottle brush on a 3' long flexible steel handle. Works great.
Same. I would describe it a a straw brush. I used to run cleaner and sanitizer through it the best I could to clean it. The first time I used the brush, it came through with purple detritus on the bristles. I use it every time now.

Edit: Now that I think about it, the detritus came from the bend in the racking cane, not the tube. I have to use an actual straw brush to clean that part, because it's able to bend around that curve.
 

vinny

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None of my hoses are getting to where I would be worried. I'm just making sure I am using good practices. I like the idea of replacing them if a good rinse and sanitizing won't bring them back to as new.

I can see the concern of scratching the inside with a brush. I have just had my first turned wine. Got some jello nastiness going on. It must be from the vessel because I racked 2 gallons and most of the batch is fine, just one smaller container has sludge.

I'll post on that one soon to get opinions.
 
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None of my hoses are getting to where I would be worried.
Yup. I understand folks' concern regarding hoses, but some of the concern may be misplaced.

Equipment is going to degrade over time, and it's going to get scratched, and eventually it will fail (need to be replaced). Clean everything well, don't stint on cleaners such as Oxiclean and One Step (and others), and don't stint on sanitizing. I have 2 fermenters that are 20+ and 30+ years old, and both have had numerous batches in them each year with no problem.

The hose on my autosiphon is 8+ years old. It's starting to darken up -- that's a natural process. I replaced the previous hose at roughly 15 yo as it was stiffening, not as limber as it had been, so I had concern for that reason. The current hose is just as limber as the new one I purchased last year for a gallon-jug sized autosiphon, so I'm not concerned.

In 2020 I posted a picture of a 16 gallon fermenter that I accidentally dropped off my truck onto concrete, and it shattered. I'd had it since ~1989 and it spent a couple of decades in my NC attic (Mercury is cooler than my attic in the summer), and heat isn't good for plastic. I discovered in the best way (it was empty) that it was no longer suitable for winemaking. :p

All jokes aside, I'm quite happy that it shattered, as I an visualize losing 4 lugs of grapes if the side gave way!

Pay attention to the status of the material itself. Annually I drop my old fermenters, as if they are gonna fail, it's best while empty!


I have just had my first turned wine.
It's difficult to make a judgment, as there are so many potential factors for problems. I had excess of my 2020 reds which I put in screwcap bottles. I lost track of them and spotted them a year later. Four bottles had 2" of sediment, while the last one was over half sediment. The first four were fine -- I racked off the sediment and kept them separate as I was cautious. A sniff of #5 made me dump it. Trust your nose!

The others I never integrated -- they were bottle separately and drunk first. I comment periodically on the paranoia of home winemakers, but this doesn't mean I'm immune to the phenomena! 🤣
 

wineview

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Prior to using a hose I submerge in StarSan. After using a hose I rinse with water and submerge in StarSan. After a few minutes I whip the hose over my head like a lasso in an attempt to get all the moisture out. I drape over a hook to store. There are times when is see a bit of something at the end of the hose so I run a small 3” long brush there. At the end of a season I toss it and cut a new 5’ length from the 100’ that I purchased. 17 years of brewing and Four years of wine making never had an issue.
 

mikewatkins727

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I do whatever, however to clean my hoses and dip tubes. The last two steps I used distilled water. Squirt a couple of mils into the interior and rock the "bubble" of water back and forth to rinse any tap water out. Now for the last step. I have repurposed an aquarium pump to blow air through the tubes and hoses to dry them.
 

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