sanitizing the must stirring spoon??

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Mike B

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All of my books and instructions stress cleanliness and sanitation. So, I'm curious about the daily stirring of the must. I assume that the stir spoon needs to be washed after each use, and sanitized prior to each use. Is this correct? Also, if it is to be sanitized each day, prior to use, what exactly should be used to sanitize it. Most sanitizing agents say that they're only good for a short time. I doubt that people mix up a gallon or more daily, just to sanitize a stir spoon. This is probably a stupid question because I've never seen it mentioned before in print or online. Maybe I'm just overly cautious.
 

JBP

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I keep a small spray bottle with star san solution (can't remember exactly, something like 0.5ml/10 ounces water? Double check the math) - probably replenish once a week or so (depending on how much and what I am doing). When stirring daily, I spray my spoon after cleaning it and again right before using it the next time
 

Jim Welch

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I use Star San too. I made a narrow “bucket” out of PVC pipe and a cap. I keep this filled with Star San that I mix by the gallon. I check the Star San with a ph meter from time to time, if it is 3 or below it is still good. I’ve never had it go bad but only put my stir paddle back in after rinsing and drying, never soiled. I do change it every couple of months since it is not very expensive once mixed. Also have Qt spray bottles with it I keep handy. Great stuff, use it in my kitchen too when I want to sanitize things.
And yes sanitation is number 1, 2, & 3 most important things in wine or beer making IMO!
 

Rice_Guy

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HOWDY Mike welcome to wine making talk.

In a food canning line, treating the food long enough to achieve nine log cycles of kill is considered sterile. For reference simple washing stainless equipment in cold tap water will remove five log cycles of bacteria. Hot water adds another and soap in the water a second (ie 7/9 of the way to commercial sterility) For the micro lab tools are sterile if they have been retorted for 45 minutes at 121C/ 15 psig live steam. Another method for loops is to heat them in a Bunsen burner till red.
For me,, first an foremost the tool must be clean, ,,, free of obvious mechanical dirt. This can be done in wine or a fluid like milk with a spray hose. A second requirement is that the tool should not be wood or other porous material. . . . . I will rinse siphon tubes and bottles with K meta sanitzer, but don't see the point on tools for punching down the cap.
The must is already a mix with some bacterial contamination. I think of it as “a multi component food preservation system”. Over 10% alcohol does wonders, pH knocks out many bacterial families, free SO2 is a barrier, anaerobic conditions / CO2 prevents most organisms, fast growth of selected yeast , ,,, and I guess I consider these more important to the wine
 

David Violante

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Is there any benefit to just leaving the punch down tool in the must as long as it’s non-porous? I’ve seen a couple of posts of folks leaving their hydrometer in, of course as long as they’ve been cleaned and sanitized prior to going in~ that way there’s no back and forth. Just curious~
 

cmason1957

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Is there any benefit to just leaving the punch down tool in the must as long as it’s non-porous? I’ve seen a couple of posts of folks leaving their hydrometer in, of course as long as they’ve been cleaned and sanitized prior to going in~ that way there’s no back and forth. Just curious~
That is what I do. My spoon or larger, depending on batch size gets cleaned and sanitized, then into the bucket for use whenever needed.
 

bstnh1

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All of my books and instructions stress cleanliness and sanitation. So, I'm curious about the daily stirring of the must. I assume that the stir spoon needs to be washed after each use, and sanitized prior to each use. Is this correct? Also, if it is to be sanitized each day, prior to use, what exactly should be used to sanitize it. Most sanitizing agents say that they're only good for a short time. I doubt that people mix up a gallon or more daily, just to sanitize a stir spoon. This is probably a stupid question because I've never seen it mentioned before in print or online. Maybe I'm just overly cautious.
I keep a gallon jug of K-Meta solution in my wine room. For something small like a stirring spoon or hydrometer I simply wet a paper towel with the sanitizer and wipe down the spoon, etc.
 

jumby

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I normally just run my stirring spoon under extremely hot water before and after each use. I've been doing that for decades with no ill effects.
 

winggolder33

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All of my books and instructions stress cleanliness and sanitation. So, I'm curious about the daily stirring of the must. I assume that the stir spoon needs to be washed after each use, and sanitized prior to each use. Is this correct? Also, if it is to be sanitized each day, prior to use, what exactly should be used to sanitize it. Most sanitizing agents say that they're only good for a short time. I doubt that people mix up a gallon or more daily, just to sanitize a stir spoon. This is probably a stupid question because I've never seen it mentioned before in print or online. Maybe I'm just overly cautious.
I started like you, 35 years ago. I quit the sanitizing about 30 years ago. I just rinse in cold tap water, carboys, hoses, spoons. I still use meta-water on my bottling procedure, as I have a squirter on top my bottle tree. Works fine. I bottle 40-60 gallons of wine annually.
 

Mike Parisi

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I make 5 gallons of Star-San at a time, for use all through my winter wine making months. It is cheap enough, 1 ounce per 5 gallons of tap water. I use it to sanitize all my equipment, then put the top on the bucket between uses. Here in the desert, in my garage, it is usually cool enough for wine making from mid-October to about mid April. As long as it is foaming, it is working.
 

Old Corker

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Gee, sounds like I'm the only one who sanitizes the spoon before using it and then washes and dries it after each use! :slp Does anyone else sanitize bungs, airlocks, wine thief, hydrometer and the plunger area on floor corkers?
I squirt down my spoon with k-meta solution usually. If the ferment is cranking along and I’m punching twice a day I sometimes just rinse it clean and hang it to dry. But yes, I squirt most everything and rinse it off. I just do a smell test for my solution to check that it’s still good. Mix up new once a month or so.
 

Mike Parisi

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Gee, sounds like I'm the only one who sanitizes the spoon before using it and then washes and dries it after each use! :slp Does anyone else sanitize bungs, airlocks, wine thief, hydrometer and the plunger area on floor corkers?
Everything I use gets thoroughly sanitized.. Spoon, hydrometer, thermometer, wine thief, corker, siphon (I wipe down the outside and pump the Star San solution through it). With Star San, you don't have to rinse, so a good dunk in the solution does it.
 

BernardSmith

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Technically, if you wash what you have just sanitized with water from your faucet then you just wasted the sanitizer. While sanitizing is a magnitude less intense than sterilization, there are enough bacteria and larger multi-celled critters in your water than sanitization would neutralize. so what you are doing by washing your equipment AFTER sanitization is re-inoculating your equipment. I use K-meta to sanitize (2 oz per gallon of water) and I wash equipment clean BEFORE I sanitize but that washing may be done hours, days, weeks before I spray the tools. But hey! if you have never had any bacterial fermentations or other issues your water may be bacteria free. I suspect your local hospitals may not agree... but that, as they say, is another story.
 
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Ajmassa

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Kmeta in a spray bottle. Spritz and whip around to air “dry”. (I rarely ever wait for it to actually dry). Or piping hot water.

Utilizing a spray bottle is huge. Makes sanitizing a non issue since it takes almost no effort. During a fermenting season a 32oz. bottle will last me a month or 2. With another gallon stored in a glass jug. In the Off-season I’ll replace when the smell isn’t as strong- usually every few months.
I do —3tsp kmeta:1tsp citric acid for my 32oz bottle
And— 3 tbs kmeta: 1tbs citric in a 1gal glass jug.
 
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DizzyIzzy

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All of my books and instructions stress cleanliness and sanitation. So, I'm curious about the daily stirring of the must. I assume that the stir spoon needs to be washed after each use, and sanitized prior to each use. Is this correct? Also, if it is to be sanitized each day, prior to use, what exactly should be used to sanitize it. Most sanitizing agents say that they're only good for a short time. I doubt that people mix up a gallon or more daily, just to sanitize a stir spoon. This is probably a stupid question because I've never seen it mentioned before in print or online. Maybe I'm just overly cautious.
No such thing as a stupid question! I use a spray bottle filled with the K-meta sanitizing solution that I use to sanitize the bottles. I spray the stir spoon before each use and wash it in hot water after each use. I also smell the solution periodically to make sure it is still safe to use as a sanitizer. Hope this helps.....................................................DizzyIzzy
 

DizzyIzzy

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Gee, sounds like I'm the only one who sanitizes the spoon before using it and then washes and dries it after each use! :slp Does anyone else sanitize bungs, airlocks, wine thief, hydrometer and the plunger area on floor corkers?
I sanitize all of the items you mentioned. However, I do not DRY the spoon after rinsing in hot water: I let it air dry.........................................DizzyIzzy
 

BernardSmith

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Everything I use gets thoroughly sanitized.. Spoon, hydrometer, thermometer, wine thief, corker, siphon (I wipe down the outside and pump the Star San solution through it). With Star San, you don't have to rinse, so a good dunk in the solution does it.
Star San would seem to me to be great for brewing but for wine making I am not sure that you can beat K-meta. It's a three-fer. It can kill wild yeast prior to fermentation, you can use it to sanitize at stronger concentrations AND you can use it to inhibit oxidation every time you rack and before you bottle. Star San is a one note song.
 

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