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!
Selection Kit Ready in 8 weeks Selection Argentine Malbec is a medium/full-bodied, dry red wine with firm acidity, rich tannins and generous alcohol levels. Dark, inky purple colour and ripe fruit flavours of plums, black cherry and blackberry give an almost jammy character on the palate. Smoke, earth, leather, wild game, tobacco and white...
Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks The bold, individualistic style of Australia's winemakers has unleashed the full potential behind the king of red grapes', captured here in our Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. Combines forward fruit flavours of cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant with a tremendous backing of tannin and structure. Rich and polis...
Australian Cabernet Shiraz
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks The blend that made Australia famous. Cabernet Sauvignon's structural intensity perfectly complements the ripe fruit and chocolate flavors of Shiraz, for rich, complex and hearty red wine of outstanding character. Big, bold and dark a luxurious treat. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks Leave it to the Aussies to take the noble French grape and turn it into the wine equivalent of a full-on party. The Chardonnays of Australia continue to wow wine drinkers around the world with their unabashed celebration of opulent fruit and vanilla-oak, full-bodied flavour. Our Chardonnay is no exception. Ful...
Australian Grenache / Shiraz / Mourvèdre
Selection Kits Ready in 6 weeks The blending of these three grapes is a classic, originating in the South of France where Côtes du Rhone and Chateauneuf du Pape concentrate on these varieties. The small, thick skinned berries are deep blue-black in colour, high in extract, flavour, aroma and tannin. Sweetness: Body: Oak: ...
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks The grape that was made for Down Under - its hot climate perfec for bringing out the best traits in this popular grape varietal. Australian Shiraz is seductively delicious, with startlingly rich, ripe aromas that deliver right through to the full zesty finish. Amazingly, the style allows for polished tannins ...
Selection Ready in 6 weeks The lively golden hue reveals a combination of floral notes and apple crispness with perfumed headiness of lychee, rose petals, and hints of passion fruit. The long finish and medium body makes a great off-dry wine for sipping.Excellent with Asian cuisine, soft cheeses, oily fish and especially smoked salmon.
California Cabernet Sauvignon
Selection Ready in 6 weeks Our California version of this classic boasts black pepper and berry bouquets. Notably flavorful, with tannins that develop with age. Pairs with beef, turkey, lamb and stews.
California Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks This popular blend combines the plump, fruity, earlier ageing Merlot grape with the robust Cabernet Sauvignon grape for a powerful match.
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks Full of citrus and tropical fruit flavours and warm vanilla oak. Slightly more oak character than its Australian counterpart.
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks The plump, lush fruitness of this respected grape translates into a wine which perfectly balances berry and spice flavours with a smooth, supple texture. Mouth-filling and delicious; a standout with grilled meats. Sweetness: Body: Oak:
Selection Kit Ready in 6 weeks The character of this fine varietal is truly distinctive. Displays a flowery bouquet, complex fruit and cinnamon flavours and a crisp, clean finish. Versatile in pairing with foods, especially seafood, pork or veal. Sweetness: Body: Oak: