Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by TikiWine, Feb 12, 2019.
What is the best way to store the equipment when not in use? Ie the buckets and carboys?
Ask 20 winemakers that question, get 21 opinions. I run water through hoses, clean any obvious dirt, then hang. Carboys, I wash throughly, use a drill carboy brush. Add a small amount of kmeta solution, then put a solid bung in. Generally mine aren't stored for long.
What is kmeta?
Potassium Metabisulfite or SO2
Yup... Ok thanks
Hoses, spoons, siphons, strainer bags, etc... get stored in a 5 gallon bucket after they are cleaned and sanitized. I also spray a few squirts of K-meta in the bucket and seal the lid up. For my additives, thermometer, hydrometer, measuring spoons, I have a small 6"x12" Tupperware holder that sits on my workbench. Carboys are rinsed, k-meta, and sealed till next use.
Regardless of how you store them, a careful check and re-wash or sanitizing rinse is a good move. I've sanitized carboys, stored them for 4-6 months with a paper towel tied over the end and still occasionally found a spot of mold or debris inside. I'd thought the stars and liquid would evaporate an leave the carboys in a clean state - but sanitizers can lose their effectiveness before they dry provide moisture for mold.
So clean and store but be prepared to repeat the whole process of left more than a week.
I've even gone to refresh an airlock that was a just little low only to find fruit flies hiding under the translucent cap. In those cases the flies were dead but...
Very True. I just rinse out the residue from my carboys before storing and do the sanitizing only when I'm ready to put them back into use.
My suggestion is to CLEAN, and sanitize before I storing. Don't skip the cleaning and don't overdo sanitizing.
I rinse thoroughly with water and then dump out any residual water out of the carboy each time I walk buy it. It takes a few hours/times before nothing comes out. I hang my hoses so that the low point is the end points. You don’t want to leave a coiled up hose with water in it.
Good process for cleaning, , , , I drain everything inverted, when dry carboys have a paper towel rubber banded over the mouth so I don’t have to rewash when used again and risk of mold is reduced.
I always wash everything very good at once after use and dry it out with paper towel thoroughly. Hoses is hanged up after cleaning. Before use again next time, I just rinse everything with warm water and apply Star San, let it sit for a while and rinse with cold clean water.
I wash everything right after use with One Step or Easy Clean and rinse thoroughly with tap water. Dry or let it dry and put it away without sanitizing. I sanitize before next use. Carboys are stored with saran wrap over opening; hoses are hung to dry; smaller equipment is stored in large covered plastic storage box. Bottle rack and floor corker are stored with plastic bags over them.
As a last step, consider inverting carboys for several hours before sealing with saran wrap. The goal is for the inside to become completely dry.
I let them thoroughly dry for 2 or 3 days before sealing them up. I find that drying them on their side actually gets them dry faster than if left inverted. Before I set them down to dry, I put a small microfiber towel inside and bounce it around to pick up most of the water droplets, etc. It really speeds things up.
Been making beer and wine for 10 years and never even thought of covering empty carboys. I just clean them after use (wine is easier), rinse with starsan and drain.
When I go to use them again they get a quick rinse with starsan. Same treatment with pretty much all equipment. Never had any issues.
The only reason I stick some Saran Wrap on the opening is to keep spiders, etc. from getting in there.
My basement is full of spiders but have never noticed one in the carboy. If there was though it just comes out with the carboy rinse .
I’d probably be more worried that it wasn’t completely dry and the Saran wrap would trap moisture in there but I guess it’s fine as long as completely dry.
My thought was just to add a data point that I have not taken and steps to cover and it hasn’t been a problem. I certainly think those carboy drying racks are just a complete waste of time and also look a little dangerous but have never actually used one.
I actually don't know the absolute best way. I clean with PBW, rinse, rinse with StarSan and drain. Then cover with plastic to keep out dust or insects. I've not had mold growth ever and a quick rinse puts the carboys back in action. I like the StarSan! It's a good product for home winemaking.
I could see where a KMBS rinse and solid bung might preserve enough SO2 for a season to preserve perfect sterility.
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