Mild wine odor in empty primary okay?

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.


Dec 28, 2008
Reaction score
So my first batch of red wine is my secondary and I've cleaned my plastic bucket primary with 7th generation odor free dish detergent. There is a mild wine odor(not bad) in the primary. Is this normal and okay? I may do a batch of beer in here next. I'd imagine it's okay but just figured I'd check.

Cool, thanks. Yes, it does smell good! Thinking about trying an RJ Spagnols wine next!
Yep, and thats why people recommend brewing beer in 1 bucket and fermenting wine in another. Some people even go as far as to ferment whites, reds, and beer separately like me! I have used 1 for a couple mixed fermentations and never noticed the difference but I have enough now to keep them separate.
never had odor in the primaries after cleaning, but i stay away from dish detergent... i use PBW almost exclusively for this sort of thing.
You ought to be just fine. I used to have a wine odor in my buckets until I started using PBW myself. Anyway, I would use a bucket with a wine odor for beer but I wouldn't use a bucket with a beer odor for wine. My beer buckets have much more of an odor than the wine buckets. PBW won't knock out the odor for me after brewing a beer.
I actually love the smell of a clean empty fermenting bucket ... reminds me of wines brewed in the past.

Lately, however, I pour a little K-meta sanitizing strength into my empty fermenters ... which pretty much over powers any lingering wine smells ... and keep the buckets all ready to go for the next time.
Not sure what pbw is but i use soda ash or b-bright that does a good job as well.
P.B.W. (Powder Brewery Wash) – P.B.W. is a percarbonate that is the highest strength of the Percarbonates listed. This is my favorite cleaner of all, since it is very effective in dissolving stubborn stains in hard to reach places. It works well to clean hoses, airlocks, fermenters, all plastic and all metals, with a 30-minute soak. P.B.W. works well to clean the interior of your Cornie kegs. P.B.W. works well in hot, warm and cool water. For stubborn stains, an overnight soak is necessary. The solution can be used for more than one piece of equipment. A normal dosage is 1 tablespoon per gallon. Heavy duty cleaning can be up to 2 tablespoons per gallon. Rinse twice with warm water after using.

PBW is commonly used as a clean-in-place (CIP) chemical in commercial breweries where it is difficult to gain access to the surface the brewer is cleaning.
as wade said. PBW was developed for commercial beer breweries to clean equipment that was difficult or impossible to effectively clean with other methods. beer brewing requires a higher standard of sanitation than winemaking so in some respects PBW may be a bit overkill - but for me, it is easy, cheap and effective to use the commercially-geared product because i know the results will be consistent and effective.
Interestingly, when I soak a bucket in OxyClean the wine smell goes away, but when I do the same with a beer fermenting bucket, there is always a faint beer smell left. Only the plastic does this. My glass and stainless come as clean as the day I bought them.
I was wondering the other day if i put some baking soda in & let it sit a couple of days if that would work .I liked the thought because baking soda is more natural then a lot of the cleaners and I could rinse it out easily .
BTW thanks for asking what PBW is because i didn't have time to ask when i read the post but wanted to know so it was cool to come back & find the answer :h