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What's the best sanitizer for making wine?

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Vinman

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It seems the more I read on this forum, the more confused I get! Lots of different products are mentioned, so it's tough to keep things straight.

Last night I racked an Old Vines Zin and used K-meta (3tbsp per gallon) as the sanitizer and it stinks (as in smells bad). I've also used One Step, which is a bit better to work with.

What's the all-time BEST sanitizer, based upon everyone's experience?

Thanks!
 

rawlus

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K meta is the easiest and cheapest for me and convienient since I need it as a wine additive anyway. One-step is not really a great sanitizer.

Idophor is iodine based so there no sulfur odor but you get the
potential staining issue from iodine.

Everyone I know uses kmeta. Some beer brewers seem to use idophor prob because they don't use kmeta as a beer additive.

other brands would be star san, IO star or saniclean - all iodine based i think and again, i believe these are mostly used by brewers or those who brew and make wine.
 
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Omerta

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I've been using One-Step. I soak and rinse. It says its a no rinse. But i notice a slick film on my equipment. My buddy swears by Star San. Haven't tried it myself.
 

Courtney

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I used K-meta. I put some in a spray bottle and spray everything down to sanitize.

My bf uses Idophor for his beer brewing. They told us at our local brew shop that it is a stronger sanitizer (it kills more bacteria). They said it wasn't necessary to use a sanitizer that strong for wine.
 

TheTooth

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I love star-san, but I started in the homebrewing world. StarSan is an acid-based sanitizer, not iodine-based. I believe Iodophor is the only iodine-based sanitizer I've ever seen.

If you are rinsing off your sanitizer, you are defeating the purpose. If there is a film or foam, you shouldn't worry about it. It's protecting the surface until you fill the vessel.
 

Omerta

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i sanitize, rinse then do what i set out to do.... if its racking to a carboy.... i sanitize, rinse then rack. Some of the old timers I've talked with, who've made wine for decades, don't use anything but elbow grease and a good cleaning.
 

cpfan

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K-meta is the norm for wine making, especially since it is also a valuable wine additive, but it is not considered strong enough for beer making. But, as Vinman mentioned IT STINKS, and it affects my throat causing a bronchial cough. As a result I started using iodophor for both wine and beer about 10 years ago. The only problem I have had with staining was when I ran a Ferment on Premises. The racking hoses hung above the sink to drain, and got sprayed regularly (all day long). The hoses stained but the attached Auto-syphon racking canes did not. Different plastic I guess. The tile backsplash also got iodophor'ed but it wiped clean even after the iodophor built up.

Steve
 

Malkore

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i sanitize, rinse then do what i set out to do.... if its racking to a carboy.... i sanitize, rinse then rack. Some of the old timers I've talked with, who've made wine for decades, don't use anything but elbow grease and a good cleaning.
still, if you rinse a no-rinse sanitizer, you've just undone the sanitizing, and increased the risk.

bleach is the only sanitizer you should rinse.

I LOVE star-san. great for beer, great for wine, and cheaper than k-meta for me.
 

Heckle

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We use metabisulfite as reccommended by our LHBS.
 

rawlus

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it should also be noted that alot of the little winemaking issues that pop up here looking for help are sometimes the result of someone doing things the way the oldtimers did - which was often a good deal of no-measuring, wild yeast/natural ferment, no fining, minimal record keeping, no hydrometers, etc. not knocking the old ways or anything but there's alot of luck of the draw involved in that approach and problems can happen...

modern methods when performed with some adherence to protocol will generally allow you to produce more consistently fine wine as well as have the records of what was done, what was added and when and the temp and SG readings necessary to repeat the performance if the outcome was exceptional.

the danger in sort of winging it is that when something does go wrong, it becomes very difficult to determine what the cause was which can affect what the solution should be. if you practice good sanitation habits you can often completely rule out infection/spoilage/bacterial or microbe issues as a cause right away and move on to the next diagnosis.

since poor sanitation is probably one of the top killers of wine in process, it makes sense to take this step seriously. :)
 

xanxer82

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I've been using KMeta. no issues here. If it's stinking, it's working.
 

Omerta

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Other than Kmeta what would be the best? I would think using Kmeta on equipment that will house a red that will go through an MLF would not be ideal. Am I correct on thinking that?
From what I hear...
Star San uses acid / kills on contact / no rinse
One Step uses oxygen / 30 second soak / no rinse
I know this is something that a lot of beginners (myself included) concern themselves with. It seems there is no definitive answer to the question of which is the best.
 

TheTooth

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It seems there is no definitive answer to the question of which is the best.
I think that's your answer.

I'd say these are a few most commonly approved mothods:
K-Meta
StarSan
Iodophor

Everything else (One-Step, bleach, elbow grease, etc...) seems to have issues of one type or another. Some people use these later methods with apparent success. I just wouldn't recommend them.
 

Omerta

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Tooth... off hand have you had/know of issues with One Step? I still can convince myself that anything that dries to a cloudy white film doesn't affect the out come. I'm sure its all in my head. My next run to the LHBS will include Star San.
 

Wade E

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Iodophor is also an excellent sanitizer. I like k-meta for wine and star san for beer. K-meta is not good for beer and star san is way to expensive for wine.
 

TheTooth

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Tooth... off hand have you had/know of issues with One Step? I still can convince myself that anything that dries to a cloudy white film doesn't affect the out come. I'm sure its all in my head. My next run to the LHBS will include Star San.
I didn't remember off the top of my head... so I did a quick google search and found this thread:

http://www.tastybrew.com/forum/thread/171222
 

rawlus

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the only issue with one step is that it is marketed and designed as a cleaner. it has not been tested by the manufacturer and certified as a sanitizer... it may sanitize, but with so many excellent products that actually are proven sanitizers, why use one that isnt?

i use one step as a cleaner f i dont have PBW on hand.
 

Omerta

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thanks for the follow up and research. good info
 

vvolf34

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Being a newbie, I bought Iodophor from my LHBS and so far, have had no issues with infections. It does stain my tub a little but comes off with a good cleaning. However I plan on buying 5 lbs of K-meta and start using that instead.
 

DesertDance

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K-Meta Defined

We use metabisulfite as reccommended by our LHBS.
Sometimes we toss abbreviations around like everyone understands. :slp Newbies often are confused because you can not purchase K-meta. You CAN purchase Potassium Metabisulphite! It's a long word, and tough to spell, but Kmeta is the abbreviation for Potassium (K) Metabisulphite (meta).

Good luck with your sanitation!
 
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