As I have said in a previous blog post, I tell new winemakers that women make better winemakers then men because the two most important rules are read and follow the directions and keep your equipment clean and women are better at both of these then men. In my previous blog we talked about reading directions and today we will visit the subject of keeping your equipment clean.
You need to protect your wine from oxygen (to prevent oxidation) and you need to protect it from bacterial infection (this is the cleanliness part!).
First, always wash your equipment with a good detergent soap and rinse it well with good, clean water. The is the cleaning part of the equation. This step removes the dirt and grime which may have accumulated on your equipment from previous usage or just from being idle for awhile. Second comes the sanitizing of your equipment. Sanitizing is different from cleaning in that this is the step that involves the application of a chemical or chemicals to your winemaking equipment that give as little opportunity as possible for the start up of a bacterial culture. Whether you use Easy Clean or http://www.bluestemwine.com/oscommerce/product_info.php?cPath=21_41&products_id=615&osCsid=2a2fdaf586c59e28d189deb8112c3ac0 or a solution of Potassium Metabisulphite the important thing is that you sanitize each and every piece of equipment that comes in contact with your wine each and every time that it does!
They are moving fast! BlueStem Winery recently added the Cellar Craft lineup of winemaking ingredient kits from Cellar Craft International and they have been a hit! Two more went out the door today (a Showcase Gewurztraminer-Riesling blend wine kit and a Showcase Yakima Valley Viognier). I have three of these new kits in process right now, the Washington Reserve Late Harvest Riesling, the Showcase Yakima Valley Pinot Gris, and the Showcase Walla Walla Cabernet-Merlot. Check out the links to take a look at these products on our website at http://www.bluestemwine.com/!!