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!
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks This refreshing, fruity ‘nouveau style' wine shows the bright cherry flavours and aromas of the Gamay grape. Typically consumed young and served slightly chilled. It can be enjoyed on any occasion. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Deep ruby, with black currant and cedar on the nose. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Blended from Chenin Blanc and Colombard grapes, this juice produces a crisp, semi-dry wine, with a clean, refreshing aftertaste. May be enjoyed immediately after bottling. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Powerfully structured, this wine shows a crisp, minerally character and a refreshing floral aroma well-balanced by toasty smoke and vanilla notes, and a long complex finish that emerges with ageing. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks A smoothly-balanced, aromatic red wine with plenty of cherry notes and a rounded, elegant mouth-feel. Perfect for entertaining Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Light straw coloured, this white wine shows smooth, ripe stone fruit on the palate.A refreshing wine by itself, it complements roast chicken and fish. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks A distinctive grape varietal with an unmistakable lychee/floral bouquet and zesty citrus flavours that lead to a mouth-filling finish. Excellent with spicy foods or desserts. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks This blend epitomizes the classic white wine style that Germany is renowned for, showcasing the Riesling grape with a delicately fruity bouquet and a lushly off-dry finish. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Deep in colour, with black cherry and currant-berry aromas, the lush fruit of this wine meets soft appealing tannins and a perfect kiss of oak. Perfect with lamb, red meats and tomato sauce dishes. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Mezza Luna Red
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Rich and flavourful, this purposeful blend marries intense aromas and complex flavours bursting of cherry and raspberry. The rich dark colour hints at the layered oak in the finish. Delightfully complex, Mezza Luna is a powerful and lively red wine to serve with hearty meals. Sweetness: Body:...
Mezza Luna White
Vintners Reserve Kit Ready in 4 weeks Like its Selection counterpart Luna Bianca, Mezza Luna (‘Half Moon') is Vintners Reserve's ‘great white' full, round and flavourful, with big fruit flavours and aromas. The oak provides a subtle yet noticeable balance to the fruit intensity. Big, lush and golden, it’s excellent to sip on its own. ...
Peach Apricot Chardonnay
Island Mist Kit Ready in 4 weeks Delicious peach and apricot flavours are blended with the world's most popular white wine variety for a thirst-quenching delight. Chardonnay quietly contributes a subtle dryness and perfectly balanced acidity, with hints of its own citrus and fruit flavours. The result is irresistibly refreshing and perfect...