Sanitation

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wineview

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I'm kind of a nut when it comes to sanitation. Does anyone else out there sanitize your hands before squeezing out skin bags?
 
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I squirt mine with some K-Meta, maybe wait long enough after that, maybe don't. It's hard to say. I have a cellar rat (my wife) who insists on sanitation, even if I might forget to do some, sometimes, like take an airlock and bung off, set it on the counter, add something to the wine, better spray the sides and bottom of that bung, before you insert it, just in case.
 
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wineview

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I squirt mine with some K-Meta, maybe wait long enough after that, maybe don't. It's hard to say. I have a cellar rat (my wife) who insists on sanitation, even if I might forget to do some, sometimes, like take an airlock and bung off, set it on the counter, add something to the wine, better spray the sides and bottom of that bung, before you insert it, just in case.
I have a small measuring cup that I give a spray then place the bung into it while working with an open carboy. I end up spraying the bung before I replace it as well.
 
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Rice_Guy

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Meta is an irritant, star San is an irritant. I would avoid getting sanitizer it on my skin. @Ohio Bob has a good compromise.

Me personally, when I was a freshly graduated foods major I would have done similar. After a few “oh this is what a factory is like” I tend to say “wine is a multi layer preservative system” and I pick microbial fences like free SO2 and low pH to be concerned about. Think back to the good old days where tanks were wood or concrete and the labor shoveled solids into the grape press. The risk of food poisoning is extremely low! The potential risks are infections/ off flavors as Acetobacter or bret and air exposure.

Having had micro, I know the organisms will be found if we have a big enough sample. I relied on “fences” to keep them from reproducing/ spoiling a lot.
 
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I try to stay out of topics like this this because it always leads to debates. Sanitation shouldn't be taken lightly or totally disregarded. I have to agree with @Rice_Guy that, in other words, wine is somewhat forgiving. There are obvious considerations that must be taken to produce a flawed or fault free wine but excessive sanitation practices, although it doesn't hurt, are really not necessary.

Again I'm not saying sanitation should be ignored and excessive sanitation not be a consideration. If anyone has the opportunity to volunteer at a winery during production I would highly recommend it. You may cringe or never want to drink their wine again but it will give you a perspective of the limitations a large scale producer has with regard to sanitation practices.
 

bstnh1

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I'm kind of a nut when it comes to sanitation. Does anyone else out there sanitize your hands before squeezing out skin bags?
Yep, I spray K-meta on my hands quite often when working with the wine. I also don't set any sanitized equipment down on an unsanitized surface. As they say ..... an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 😁
 

Mike Parisi

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I use Star-San and dip my hands in it whenever I am doing anything with the wine that requires the lid off (fermentation bucket) or airlock off (carboy). I haven't noticed any hand/skin irritation.
 

VinesnBines

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I'm with Fred and RiceGuy. I take more pains with beer sanitation because of the lower alcohol level. I do sanitize tools and vessels but not to the point of washing myself with k-meta or Starsan. Bacteria are in the air and keeping the wine from air does the most good.
 
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If anyone has the opportunity to volunteer at a winery during production I would highly recommend it. You may cringe or never want to drink their wine again but it will give you a perspective of the limitations a large scale producer has with regard to sanitation practices.
This is food production in general. Consider that the US FDA allows a certain amount of insect parts per volume of peanut butter. Why? 'Cuz it can't be prevented, but can be limited.

Having grown up on a small dairy farm and having spent a fair amount of time in commercial wineries, I'm aware that home winemakers tend to be more zealous in sanitation than the professionals. Based upon my experiences, I'm in the camp with @Rice_Guy, Fred, and @VinesnBines.

Keep in mind that "sanitizing" is reducing microbial life to a level low enough to prevent it being a practical danger to the wine. This starts with washing -- I wash all equipment as soon as possible to eliminate residue. Depending on many factors (such as something sitting on a shelf for 6 months) I may wash or rinse it again before use, and hit everything with sanitizer. And I always wash hands before starting, and may do so in the middle if I deem it appropriate.

Note that I'm not telling anyone what to do -- if anyone's level of sanitation works for them, then I have no complaint (nor any right to criticize, which I'm not).
 

Sailor323

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I just wash with soap and rinse well. I use a liquid dairy detergent for this, it has no odor and is designed to rinse completely. Even just washing with running water and lots of rubbing go a long way toward reducing surface bacteria on your hands.
 

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