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Racking hose cleaning

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pete1325

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Hi all. I normally replace my racking hose when they start getting a little tinted from my reds. Is anyone actually cleaning/pigging out hose or replacing like I do. Just curious if anyone has come up with a method to clean a few feet of hose it would be nice to share the process.
 

cmason1957

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Hi all. I normally replace my racking hose when they start getting a little tinted from my reds. Is anyone actually cleaning/pigging out hose or replacing like I do. Just curious if anyone has come up with a method to clean a few feet of hose it would be nice to share the process.
I just run warm water through them in both directions and then replace about every year. Simple insurance cost is what I look at it as.
 

mainshipfred

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My favorite piece of tubing is my oldest. It's discolored but has no memory of it's original coil shape. Prior to racking I squirt a little K-meta solution in it then connect it to both ends of a racking cane and spin it around a few times. When done racking I just run water through it.
 

pete1325

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Thanks, sounds like we all pretty much do the same thing; rinse, K-meta and reuse. Mine are just looking a little grungy....I might try a wad of paper towel pushed through with some compressed air. Like an old musket rifle.
 

bstnh1

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I run some OneStep or EasyClean through them; rinse them with hot water, spin them around outside and hang them up to finish drying. I have a brand new tube cleaning brush that I bought years ago. Never saw any need to use it. Those hoses never get anything but liquid in them and if you clean everything right after you use it, there no need to scrub the hoses.
 

pete1325

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Scooter 68; nice find. I'll look into buying some of them. Those are the "pigs" I mentioned. I sort of knew they existed, just never thought to Google, "feeding tube cleaning brushes". Makes sense now. Thanks again for the reply.
 

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I have a length of string a little longer that twice the length of my racking tube, with a 6” long piece of cloth tied in the middle. While running hot water through your tubing, insert one end of the string into the water flow, the flow will feed the string right through the tubing. Dip the cloth in your choice of cleaner and simply pull it through and / or back and forth as much as you like. You’ll be amazed at the filth you get out.
 

Scooter68

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When I rack I know some sediment is passing through the my racking tube - just a matter of fact that unless your wine has already cleared sediment is going to pass through that tube. While the various cleaners will remove residue, I've never seen one that would remove everything, so occasionally I run that brush through the tube and I can tell the difference. And after a while even with brush cleaning, that plastic tubing is going to get some staining and scratching that cleaners and brushes cannot remove so I've replaced my racking tubes once in the 5 years and will probably do it again before too long. I just prefer to invest a little to save.

And Johnd - you are so right when you push or pull a piece of cloth through tubes like that it's a bit surprising about how much collects on the cloth by the time it gets to the end. Just looks slightly hazy until you see what the haze was made of.
 

Jan

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Hi all. I normally replace my racking hose when they start getting a little tinted from my reds. Is anyone actually cleaning/pigging out hose or replacing like I do. Just curious if anyone has come up with a method to clean a few feet of hose it would be nice to share the process.
Bleach
 

Scooter68

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Yeah, I watch what sort of cleaner I use. Typically one or two drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid is what I use for a 1 or 3 gallon carboy. Then if it's not too cruddy from that job that same washwater gets used for tubes and other equipment . I can always make more and I try to get the most plain-jane soap to avoid fragrances and 'anti-bacterial' chemicals. Harder to do these days but that's the safest route if you can do it. I use as little a possible soap, rinse well, sanitize, then put the stuff away. If it's very long before I use it again, I sanitize before use as well.
 

DizzyIzzy

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My racking hoses are about 4-5 feet long so with a 32" brush I can get the entire length of the hose cleaned.. And there is nothing to prevent you from adding a little more length with some wire or clothes hanger


View attachment 64389
Aren't you concerned about "irritating" the inside of the hose which might then harbor residue thus growing bacteria?.. Just a thought.............................Dizzy
 

DizzyIzzy

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I have a length of string a little longer that twice the length of my racking tube, with a 6” long piece of cloth tied in the middle. While running hot water through your tubing, insert one end of the string into the water flow, the flow will feed the string right through the tubing. Dip the cloth in your choice of cleaner and simply pull it through and / or back and forth as much as you like. You’ll be amazed at the filth you get out.
I like your idea ALOT! Thanks for the tip..................................Dizzy
 

Scooter68

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Aren't you concerned about "irritating" the inside of the hose which might then harbor residue thus growing bacteria?.. Just a thought.............................Dizzy
I would not use brushes that I thought might scratch the tubing. Also since I sanitize them before and after use, I doubt that any bacteria would grow.
 

BABRU

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Why not just replace the tubing occasionally? It’s one of the cheaper insurances you can buy. Contaminated tubing can cause ugly stuff to grow in your wine. Just buy 100’ coils and cut to desired length and toss out the old stuff from time to time or especially if you find stuff you don’t like floating at the neck of your carboy. That can be a sure sign that something may not be right and old tubing can be replaced much easier than cleaning and sterilizing the old stuff.
 

Scooter68

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- Like a lot of folks - I don't have money to burn.
- Sanitizer is less expensive than tubing and the time it takes is free for me.
- I would still have to wash the new tubing and sanitize it before use
- Of course it would have to be "Food Safe" tubing, not something you pick up at the Home Improvement center. (Most manufacturing processes leave behind various residues)
- I haven't found anythings strange floating in my wines yet.
- I'm not of the use-n-toss belief - not a tree hugger either, I really don't like the idea of just tossing vinyl tubing into the landfils .
 
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