Sanitizing and K-meta Contact Time

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vinny

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Todays ponderings...

I recently made my first batch of K-meta solution and citric acid. I often hit things with sanitizer and carry on with set up so they get 20+ minutes in contact with sanitizers, but I am curious what's the minimum recommended time for k-meta?

I usually rinse my tubing after use and sterilize before use. Is this adequate, or should they have something run through them or be more aggressively sanitized? I noticed some wines like carrot need residues to be washed off and rinsing isn't enough

I have seen some posts about bleach, and people saying it has no place in a wine prep area. Like, I wouldn't even wipe my counter with it. The first cleaner I got was bleach and TSP. Why the hate for bleach, or moreso, what's the risk? All searches lead to wine stains in you carpet or trousers!
 

CDrew

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Read up on "cork taint" /TCA and you will understand. No risk if you use synthetic corks.

Bleach is an outstanding sanitizer-cheap, widely available, and highly effective at low concentrations. But it's gotten a bad rap in winemaking because of it's association with TCA. And honestly with sulfite solutions and Star San there are super excellent alternatives. StarSan in particular is great, and one bottle of it lasts for years as it is so highly concentrated.

My go to sanitizer is StarSan. But for sterilising bottles just before bottling I use a sulfite solution as a quick rinse.
 

Raptor99

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When I use Kmeta + citric acid solution for sanitizing, I let it set for 10 minutes. Contact with the fumes is sufficient for sanitizing, so filling a carboy part way and putting plastic over the mouth will work fine.
 

vinny

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Read up on "cork taint" /TCA and you will understand. No risk if you use synthetic corks.
Thanks. I have heard of cork taint, but obviously related it to corks and not chlorine.

I am using synthetic corks because it was what was available. I have some actual corks that were included with used equipment I bought and I was wondering if I am just being wasteful using synthetics. All my wines are young and won't last the years really needed to warrant synthetics, but if they remove variables and I don't even know the cost difference... who's to question their use.
 

Jim Welch

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+1 for starsan, it is my sanitizer of choice. Not doubting a kmeta solution at all, I’ve used starsan for years coming from a brewing background and IMO it’s great stuff!
 
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The minimum contact time for K-meta solution is supposed to be 10 to 15 minutes. I use K-meta and (like you) douse everything and it's 10 to 30 minutes before I use equipment.

Something to keep in mind is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning is removing foreign material, while sanitizing is reducing microbial life to levels that are not threatening. Sterilizing is removing 100% of the microbial life, which is not what we do in winemaking. I've never heard of anyone putting their carboys in an autoclave. ;)

I clean all equipment when done using it -- nothing sets with foreign material on it. I keep a scrubby pad handy, one that has never touched cleaning chemicals, and use it to scour equipment. Before using equipment, I examine it for foreign material, e.g., bugs or spiders, and rinse if I even think there might be anything. Then I douse with K-meta solution.

If you're following a good hygiene regimen, there's actually not a lot for K-meta to do. By removing foreign material, you've removed the food for anything microbial, and the K-meta (or Star San) is just insurance.

Note on cleaning -- For tubing, use a small weight and a piece of string, and feed the string through tubing. Tie a cloth on the far end of the string and pull it through the tubing, removing any foreign material.

I make up a gallon of One Step periodically, and use it on all equipment, including using a carboy brush (got a drill-mounted item that has felt straps, really gets stuff out of the carboy). I rack One Step from container to container, so that gallon gets racked as much as a dozen times through the tubing.
 

vinny

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I make up a gallon of One Step periodically, and use it on all equipment, including using a carboy brush (got a drill-mounted item that has felt straps, really gets stuff out of the carboy). I rack One Step from container to container, so that gallon gets racked as much as a dozen times through the tubing.
Hmmmm. I have a lot of tubing. At least 4 auto siphons. I usually prep 2-3 depending on whats getting racked. I could see it being much more sanitary to focus on using and cleaning one.

I'll be looking for the drill attachment. It currently sounds like a child stole a xylophone every time I scrub a ribbed carboy.
 

wineview

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Read up on "cork taint" /TCA and you will understand. No risk if you use synthetic corks.

Bleach is an outstanding sanitizer-cheap, widely available, and highly effective at low concentrations. But it's gotten a bad rap in winemaking because of it's association with TCA. And honestly with sulfite solutions and Star San there are super excellent alternatives. StarSan in particular is great, and one bottle of it lasts for years as it is so highly concentrated.

My go to sanitizer is StarSan. But for sterilising bottles just before bottling I use a sulfite solution as a quick rinse.
I’m a 100% StarSan user. One minute contact time. You can’t beat that.
 

vinny

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I’m a 100% StarSan user. One minute contact time. You can’t beat that.
I have avoided it only because I shy away from no rinse products. This is why I went from chlorine based cleaners to K-meta, as you already add it. Any residue is present in wine, anyway.

Does Starsan have an odor? That is K-meta's downside. It's got bite!
 

wineview

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No odor with Star San. I’ve used it as a brewer and have read that Star San is actually good for beer.
 

Raptor99

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I also keep two spray bottles handy, one filled with Star San and one filled with Kmeta solution. I use those to quickly sanitize things like a stirring spoon.
 

CDrew

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I have avoided it only because I shy away from no rinse products. This is why I went from chlorine based cleaners to K-meta, as you already add it. Any residue is present in wine, anyway.

Does Starsan have an odor? That is K-meta's downside. It's got bite!

Don't shy away from StarSan. No odor at all, and when mixed in solution is super safe and I think you could safely drink it. It's mostly Phosphoric acid, which sounds bad until you realize many sodas have phosphoric acid added at much higher concentrations. It foams a bit, which also sounds bad but is a good thing as the foam is also a sanitizer. It's very convenient to use in a spray bottle, and unlike KMETA solutions in a spray bottle is not toxic. I have read but can't confirm that the tiny amount of residual phosphoric acid is actually metabolized by the yeast and so even that does not persist into the final product.

But I do like the KMETA solution as a final bottle rinse before filling, but that is all I use it for because of the smell and potential lung irritation. As you say, the tiny amount of residual sulfite is there anyway.
 

vinny

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Don't shy away from StarSan. No odor at all, and when mixed in solution is super safe and I think you could safely drink it. It's mostly Phosphoric acid, which sounds bad until you realize many sodas have phosphoric acid added at much higher concentrations. It foams a bit, which also sounds bad but is a good thing as the foam is also a sanitizer. It's very convenient to use in a spray bottle, and unlike KMETA solutions in a spray bottle is not toxic. I have read but can't confirm that the tiny amount of residual phosphoric acid is actually metabolized by the yeast and so even that does not persist into the final product.

But I do like the KMETA solution as a final bottle rinse before filling, but that is all I use it for because of the smell and potential lung irritation. As you say, the tiny amount of residual sulfite is there anyway.
Well, I might have to give it a try. I actually had some, but gave it away because I had watched videos previous to acquiring it and the foaming looked enough like a soap product that I just wrote it off. Acid and call poison control on the label didn't draw me in either. 😄

It actually looks like it could be the most effective and simplest option.

Is it just preference to use k-meta in some instances. I was using it in the laundry with the window open and leaving the bucket in the bathroom with the fan on when I wasn't rinsing anything, and I still found it to be very present. I wouldn't be sad to not have to endure that again.
 

wineview

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Well, I might have to give it a try. I actually had some, but gave it away because I had watched videos previous to acquiring it and the foaming looked enough like a soap product that I just wrote it off. Acid and call poison control on the label didn't draw me in either. 😄

It actually looks like it could be the most effective and simplest option.

Is it just preference to use k-meta in some instances. I was using it in the laundry with the window open and leaving the bucket in the bathroom with the fan on when I wasn't rinsing anything, and I still found it to be very present. I wouldn't be sad to not have to endure that again.
You won’t be sorry you made the change. The foam dissipates fairly quickly. Turn your carboy over for 10 minutes and rack your wine. Even if there are still some bubbles, they disappear as the carboy fills.
 

gmac52

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Todays ponderings...

I recently made my first batch of K-meta solution and citric acid. I often hit things with sanitizer and carry on with set up so they get 20+ minutes in contact with sanitizers, but I am curious what's the minimum recommended time for k-meta?

I usually rinse my tubing after use and sterilize before use. Is this adequate, or should they have something run through them or be more aggressively sanitized? I noticed some wines like carrot need residues to be washed off and rinsing isn't enough

I have seen some posts about bleach, and people saying it has no place in a wine prep area. Like, I wouldn't even wipe my counter with it. The first cleaner I got was bleach and TSP. Why the hate for bleach, or moreso, what's the risk? All searches lead to wine stains in you carpet or trousers!
Todays ponderings...

I recently made my first batch of K-meta solution and citric acid. I often hit things with sanitizer and carry on with set up so they get 20+ minutes in contact with sanitizers, but I am curious what's the minimum recommended time for k-meta?

I usually rinse my tubing after use and sterilize before use. Is this adequate, or should they have something run through them or be more aggressively sanitized? I noticed some wines like carrot need residues to be washed off and rinsing isn't enough

I have seen some posts about bleach, and people saying it has no place in a wine prep area. Like, I wouldn't even wipe my counter with it. The first cleaner I got was bleach and TSP. Why the hate for bleach, or moreso, what's the risk? All searches lead to wine stains in you carpet or trousers!
 

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