The biggest mistake a brewer can make is to spend time and money making a quality beer wort or wine must but fail to take the time to clean and sanitize their equipment. All kinds of surprises await the brewer who uses unclean equipment- bacterial infections, wild yeast ferments, gushing bottles, a plethora of off-flavors and aromas... The first step to consistent and predictable results is employing sanitary procedures.
First, it's important to understand that cleaning and sanitizing are two separate procedures, neither one difficult. Cleaning is the act of removing physical particulate matter from something, such as your fermenter. If you have, for example, dried yeast stuck on the sides of your fermenter after doing a ferment, use an appropriate cleaner such as Oxygen Brewery Wash, PBW, or OneStep to help break up the particulates and scrub the surface with a non-abrasive scrubber, brush, or towel. Dish soap is not recommended as soap residue can produce off-flavors and aromas in your product.
Used bottles often benefit from a cleaning as there may be dried yeast sediment or other material in the bottom. The best way to reduce your time and energy cleaning is to clean as soon as possible; rinse bottles out well immediately after emptying them and don't let dirty fermenters sit for long without cleaning. Once particulates dry, they are much harder to remove from surfaces.
Once your equipment is clean, you must sanitize it before subjecting your beer, wine, or other beverage to it. Sanitizing is killing 99.99% of all microorganisms on a surface. To do this, use a food-grade sanitizer such as IoStar or StarSan; bleach is not recommended as it is not food grade, may be difficult to remove from plastics, and trace amounts can produce off-flavors and aromas. Merely mix sanitizers to the recommended concentrations and make sure that the sanitizing solution thoroughly contacts all surfaces of any equipment that will come in contact with your beer or wine. This includes fermenters, airlocks, siphoning equipment, bottles, etc.
Sanitizing procedures should be done just prior to use. Sanitizing a week, day, or even hours prior to using the equipment does no good as it may become recontaminated by airborne yeasts and bacterias in that time period.
If this sounds complicated or like a lot of work, it really isn't. It is, however, absolutely necessary and should never be dismissed. Happy brewing!
Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212
14% alcohol tolerance. A moderate speed, low-foaming fermenter ideal for full-bodied reds. Promotes color and tannin stabilization for lighter reds throughout fermentation and aging.It is used for reds where full extraction is desired.Emphasizes fruit and spice notes. Accentuates red grape character and is the classic strain for Pinot Noir and f...
14% alcohol tolerance. A very vigorous white wine strain that will leave a wine very full-bodied with enhanced outhfeel. Accentuates varietal character and contributes ripe tropical fruit and citrus notes. Recommended for Chardonnay and Rose as well as mead when nutrients are supplemented. 50-86F
18% alcohol tolerance. A very competitive yeast that will inhibit wild yeasts. It will restart stuck fermentations because of good alcohol and sulfite tolerance. This is a very neutral yeast that will have very little effect on the varietal character of the grape. A popular strain that ferments fully and flocculates well producing compact lees. ...
Lalvin Montpelier (K1V-1116)
18% alcohol tolerance. A vigorous and competitive fermenter that, because of its neutral effect on varietal character, is very well suited to fruit wines as well as wines to be made from grapes. Also known as the "Montpellier" strain. 59-86° F (15-30° C)
Lalvin Narbonne 71B
Formerly called 71B-1122. 14% alcohol tolerance. Semi-dry white wine yeast that will enhance fruit flavors and add fruity esters. Limits phenol extraction and may neutralize up to 40% malic acid, producting a smooth and rounded nouveau wine that will mature quickly. Great for whites, roses, nouveaus, and concentrates.; works very nicely in mead ...
16% alcohol tolerance. An excellent choice for wine styles like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonel and Gewurztraminer. Low nutrient and oxygen requirements, and it has been known to ferment juice at low temperatures (59 degrees F) to dryness. An excellent thoil converter making it a complementary yeast for developing varietal Sauvi...
Red Star Cote des Blancs
Red Star Premier Classique
A house favorite! Formerly "Montrachet" Temp range 59-86F. Alcohol Tolerance 13%. Great choice for producing dry, full-bodied red and white wines. Enhances color and flavor while preserving tannin content. Will produce hydrogen sulfide gas in the presence of excess sulfur compounds and therefore should not be used to ferment grapes with residua...
Red Star Premier Cuvee
The Complete Meadmaker
Introduction to the wonders of mead with easy-to-follow procedures and simple recipes for making mead at home. 212 pages.
Vintner's Best 1 Gallon Equipment Kit
A great way to step into winemaking easily and affordably! Takes up minimal space and is adequate for producing 5 regular-sized wine bottles (750mL). Includes: Primary fermenter with lid, 10" Test jar, Dual end swizzle spoon, Wine thief, Bottle filler, Easy clean, One gallon jug, 6.5 solid stopper, Econo-lock, Hydrometer, Thermometer, Mini auto...
Vintner's Best Wine Equipment Kit
CONTAINS: 7.9 Gallon Fermenter with Drilled and Grommetted Lid 6, Gallon Glass Carboy, #6.5 Drilled Stopper to fit Carboy, Econolock, Bottle Brush, Wine Hydrometer, Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser, 30 - 8 x 1 ¾ Corks, Fermtech Auto-siphon, 5 ft Siphon Tubing, Combination Bottle Filler, Plastic Shut-Off Valve, Equipment Instructions, Double Lever Co...