Sanitizing / Cleaning - Steam Cleaner?

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Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Feb 23, 2009
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Hi everyone, Best Wishes to everyone on the forum for a Happy 2010.

The recent threads on Sanitizing and Cleaning have made me focus on the last area of our wine making that I still feel needs improving. At present we use a bleach based cleaner (VWP). As environmental impact is one of the motivating influences behind us making our own wine in the first place I always feel guilty pouring this stuff down the drain at the end of a session. The other problem with using VWP is the vast amount of water needed to rinse everything off.

My brew supplier sells a substance called Chemipro 'Oxi' and Star San is available mail order from some of the other brew suppliers. I was thinking of giving them a go.

A while ago I stumbled on a reference to steam cleaning carboys on a site but failed to bookmark it and have never relocated it since. Is steam cleaning glassware a viable option when cleaning & sanitizing? If so what type of machine would be best suited for cleaning carboys etc.?

Wade E

Jul 3, 2006
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Steam cleaning would scare me to try and get that kind of heat on glass!


Senior Member
Mar 16, 2009
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Steam cleaning also does not instantly takes several minutes longer than star-san.

Steam STERILIZATION works great but it has to be done under pressure (i.e. autoclaved).

Star-san is the only sanitizer I use, for beer, mead and wine.


Senior Member
Jun 20, 2005
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I use Star San as well. It is a foamy product but don't let that bum you out. The foam actually gets into everything and help sanitization. When mixed properly to it is an edible product so if you have some foam in a carboy, you can add your wine or beer with out worry. You can also obtain Star San that is foamless.

Steam works great if done properly. I don't know what the average winemaker would use to steam clean though. You would have to take care to have a clean environment and keep the carboy upside down so not to allow nasties to fall into the carboy. I will sanitize beer bottles in the dishwasher but I have a true sanitize cycle on mine. Many run of the mill dishwashers do not get hot enough to truly sanitize.

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