Improper Sanitation

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2009
Reaction score
Hey guys and gals, I'm new to wine making. I just started my first batch about a week ago. Everyone has told me that sanitation is key, so I have been doing everything I can to be sure that things are clean and sanitized. My question is this, what are the signs that things have not been properly sanitized? If possible, when might one start seeing these signs? I believe I have done everything right, but I'm having trouble finding information about the signs to see if I haven't. I just want to be able to recognize these problems so I know what to do in the future. Thanks in advance.

Some things are obvious like gunk growth in the liquid. If you see an island pop up and grow on the surface of the wine, you got a problem. Other signs might be very off odors or flavors. Wine has funky aromas though until it's done so don't always go by that. Don't stress out to much. In my opinion cleaning is the most important thing. If you keep stuff clean and your work area clean, sanitizing is pretty easy.
Welcome Dave, Smurfe pretty much summed it up. I have to admit that in a rush a few times I wasnt the most sanitary as I usually am and everything is fine. We might go overboard a little with som e of this stuff but we pour our heart and sould into making wines and a heck of a lot of time and dnt want to find out that after 1 1/2 yearts we screwed up and didnt take the time to properly clean 1 item!
No kidding on that Dave. Wade said it, "wait till a year or so later"? Hell, I don't even have running water or indoor plumbing. Just to clean and sanitize my fermenting vessel takes a whole lot more effort than what I want to describe. But those guys are right. Keep everything clean, it would indeed be a shame to find out a year or so later that your efforts were for naught because you didn't take the steps to keep it all clean.

The whole sanitizing effort really isn't that big of a deal, especally if you have water coming out of the wall from one of those pipe things.

Biggest help with sanitizing is to get a Cheap brand new spray bottle and make up a sulfite solution of 3 tbls of sulfite powder wether it be sodium or potassium and add that to 1 gallon of warm water and stir well. Fill your bottle up and spray anything that will touch your wine and let it sit on it for a few minutes. This solution will last a long time as in many months if it is kept air tight. I take whats left in the gallon jug and put that inside a sealable bucket and pour all my corks around the jug, remove the cap and seal the bucket up and you now have a corkidor. Just becareful and open the bucket up outside as the fumes from the S02 will knock you on your a$$ when opened. Remember, its the fumes from the sulfite that do all the work really.