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Is sanitation necessary?

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JoerassicPark

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If I wash my equipment really well with hot water and dish soap (I use Dawn) would that be sufficient for brewing wine in new equipment? I made wine in large drinking coolers (5 Gal) in the past and did that and it seemed to come out fine. I want to make wine again but have decided to invest in some actual equipment and have a single gal jug and airlock coming in the mail. My plan was to wash the equipment really well and us simple tap water in the airlock. Since this batch is just for me and maybe some friends and not for sale would this be ok?
 

G259

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I wouldn't use dish soap. There are ready made sanitizers out there, but I bought a bag of potassium metabisulfite, and make up a spray bottle full of sanitizer with it.
 

David Violante

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You really have to rinse dish detergent a lot to get it off the things you’re washing. There’s clean, which is getting all the items off your equipment, and sanitizing, which is making sure there aren’t any pathogens on your equipment that can then infect your wine. The forum has a lot of good postings on how to do both very well. There’s a lot of experience here. Search around and see what works best for you.

One way is to clean with PBW and then sanitize with StarSan or Potassium Metabisulfite (you will see this as Kmeta in some places). Sanitize everything you’re using. It’s so important. An ounce of prevention is more than worth a pound of cure. Do not use bleach.
 

GreenEnvy22

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You can certainly try to make wine without sanitizing, humans have been doing that for thousands of years, but sanitizing greatly increases the odds of a successful batch of wine versus something that gets infected.
As others have said, soap, like dish soap, is not a great choice because it leaves a residue behind on your equipment.
A great cleaner if you want something you can find locally, is 'OxiClean free', this is a laundry detergent with a green lid. This is a cleaner, not a sanitizer, so you still should sanitize after, but if you're not going to sanitize, this is a better choice than Dawn dish soap.

Starsan is a very popular sanitizer with wine and beer makers, because it's fairly cheap, and you don't need to rinse it off after sanitizing.
 

Rice_Guy

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A technical answer; washing with cold water will reduce micro population by about one out of 100,000; washing with hot water will reduce population to one out of 1,000,000; soap will reduce micro by another factor of ten.
Soap frequently contains perfume which can be nasty stuff when added to wine. This can be minimized by rinsing with tap water. New stainless steel is manufactured with machine oil therefore you want to wash everything before using it in food production.
The pH, reductive (CO2 ) atmosphere and alcohol produced act as preservatives.

A non technical answer; in 1900 grandpa washed everything he used with lye soap (no perfume).

while at it welcome to wine making talk
 

hounddawg

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A technical answer; washing with cold water will reduce micro population by about one out of 100,000; washing with hot water will reduce population to one out of 1,000,000; soap will reduce micro by another factor of ten.
Soap frequently contains perfume which can be nasty stuff when added to wine. This can be minimized by rinsing with tap water. New stainless steel is manufactured with machine oil therefore you want to wash everything before using it in food production.
The pH, reductive (CO2 ) atmosphere and alcohol produced act as preservatives.

A non technical answer; in 1900 grandpa washed everything he used with lye soap (no perfume).

while at it welcome to wine making talk
yep and lye soap strips the skin right off you or at least it feels that way, i think i remember how to make it, from great granny, i never knew till last night, mom told me both great granny and great grandpa who had died 3 years before i was born, but great granny was 5 when they both were on the trail of tears,
Dawg
 

jgmillr1

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If I wash my equipment really well with hot water and dish soap (I use Dawn) would that be sufficient for brewing wine in new equipment?
Not to belabor the points correctly made above, but it is important to make clear that cleaning and sanitizing are two completely separate and critical aspects of making quality wine. Cleaning is the process of removing particulates and soil from surfaces so that the surface can be effectively sanitized later. Without proper cleaning and sanitizing, you are risking spoilage in your wine and will later be posting questions on the forum along the lines of "why does my wine smell/taste like..."

There are many cleaners you can use (PBW, soda ash, diluted lye, oxyclean) but be sure to avoid anything with perfumes that can remain with your equipment. Most cleaners alkali, so an acid-based rinse or sanitizer is needed to neutralize residue. Sanitizers also are plentiful with iodophor, starsan, citric/meta mix, and just a strong meta solution.

Happy fermenting/
 
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