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How to Sanitize Winemaking Equipment Properly

When it comes to wine, taste is key. Any good winemaker knows that anything that touches the winemaking equipment (e.g., barrels, bottling lines, etc.) can leave residues or contaminants that affect the quality of the final product. That’s why it is vital to invest in the best possible cleaning systems to ensure facility equipment can be cleaned, sanitized, and sterilized. For this reason, many winemakers turn to steam cleaners.

Why Is Steam Cleaning the Best Way to Sanitize Winemaking Equipment?

Wooden barrels and large aluminum barrels wine factoryGiven the conditions commonly found in wineries—i.e., high humidity, temperatures, and sugar content—microorganisms can grow quickly in winemaking equipment. Steam cleaners—also sometimes referred to as steam generators—are a safe and effective solution for cleaning and sanitizing these systems.

When in contact with a cold surface, dry, saturated steam from steam cleaners condenses into water, depositing all of its heat energy onto that surface. This process of vaporization and condensation delivers far more heat than is conducted by contact of a surface with hot water. Therefore, steam cleaning is far more effective in achieving sanitization or, if in contact for long enough, sterilization, of surfaces.

Steam can also clean and sanitize areas that are inaccessible by boiling water or chemicals since it penetrates farther than heat alone and diffuses evenly without being counteracted by gravity. Additionally, it melts away residues, removes deposits, and kills microorganisms without requiring chemicals or specialized removal methods, making it an eco-friendly and efficient cleaning and sanitizing solution.

What Wine Equipment Can Be Steam Sanitized?

Steam cleaners are ideal for cleaning a wide range of winemaking equipment. Some of the equipment often subjected to steam cleaning and sanitizing includes:

  • Wine barrels- Oak barrels are huge investments for wineries. Steam cleaners are effective at cleaning and sanitizing them without damage, ensuring they remain useful throughout their expected service life. The penetrating ability of the steam produced allows for the removal of old wine, tartrates, and tannins that can affect the taste of the final wine product. If needed, the steam can also be used to rehydrate the barrels.
  • Bottling lines- Steam cleaners are effective and efficient at cleaning and sanitizing bottling lines. Unlike cleaning systems that utilize water or chemicals, steam cleaners can evenly distribute the steam throughout the lines since gravity is not working against it. The steam is completely safe for cleaning and sanitizing all parts of the bottling system, including the lines, the filters, the monoblocks, and the spouts.
  • Tanks- Many substances can stick to and build upon the walls of storage tanks. The hot and dry steam produced by steam cleaners breaks down these residues and deposits. Once it condenses, the contaminants can be removed easily through the drainage outlet of the tank. While a cold water rinse may be necessary to remove any remaining residue and deposits, no chemicals are needed to clean and sterilize the tank.

In addition to these types of equipment, many other components and systems found within wineries can be cleaned and sanitized with steam. Examples include pipes, flanges, and taps.

Contact Electro-Steam for Your Winery Steam Cleaning Needs Today!

If you need steam cleaners for your winery, turn to the steam cleaning experts at Electro-Steam. We’ve provided electric steam generators for over 65 years. Equipped with extensive expertise in the food industry, we can provide quality steam cleaning solutions for a variety of sanitary applications.

To learn more about our winery steam cleaning products, visit our wine making/bottling page or contact us today.