> >I've been using Iodophor as a sanitizer for several years of home beer
> >making. Any reason I should not use it for wine sanitization? Not to
> >add to the must, but solely to sanitize equipment, fermenters, bottles,
> >etc. Thanks for advice. John H.
> I've been using it that way for 6 or 7 years with no problems.
>> >I've been using Iodophor as a sanitizer for several years of home beer
>> >making. Any reason I should not use it for wine sanitization? Not to
>> >add to the must, but solely to sanitize equipment, fermenters, bottles,
>> >etc. Thanks for advice. John H.
>> I've been using it that way for 6 or 7 years with no problems.
>Iodophor is intended for beer brewing. Sulfites is still the better answer
>for wine making. Iodophor is a very powerful sanitizer and is just not
>necessary for wine making. Sulfites serves the purpose of cleaning
>equipment and can be mixed in doses which can be added to the wine as an
> If what I do is classed as overkill, I have to say that it has
> served me well these past thirty years.
> Are you saying that sanitation practices need not be as stringent
> when making wine as they are when making beer? Why is a 'very
> powerful sanitizer just not necessary when making wine'?
> Iodophor is just one form of iodine and, iodine is intended for
> sanitization, whether it be in my carboy just prior to the
> addition of must/wort or, on my gut just prior to the application
> of the surgeon's scalpel. It does the same job in both places,
> reduces the "nasties" to an acceptable level.
The fact is that wine actually sanitizes itself as it ferments.... all of the
nasties which are capable of damaging wine need oxygen. Wine yeasts do not
need oxygen after the initial colony is established. This is the one most
important and basic factor in wine making. This simple fact is what allowed
early man to happen upon the wonders of wine making. It is quite possible to
start your wine in a contaminated primary and have no ill effects as long as
your ferment starts off strong.
My "sanitizing" efforts during "active fermentation" involve nothing more than
a rinsing of the primary fermenter with clean water. No chemicals of any type
other than sulfite addition to my must 24 hours prior to fermentation. I have
never lost a batch of wine. Beer on the other hand does not have the
capability of protecting itself..... the final product does not have enough
*** or preservatives. Absolute sanitation (as absolute as possible at
home) is a necessary part of beer making, but not of wine making.
Overkill on the part of sanitation will certainly not be harmful, however as
the posts continue on this newsgroup, inhibiting the nasties has gone from a
simple sulfite rinse... to sanitation with boiling water... to dishwashers on
stun settings.... to 2 to one mixes of bleach and water. I am almost
surprised that someone hasn't suggested we bake our bottles in the oven or dip
them in an acid bath before bottling . OK, I'm getting a little out of hand
My original post was intended only to suggest that the original way of keeping
things at hand still works just fine. No one has to try to outdo the next
person with yet another more advanced way of sanitizing equipment and bottles.
True sanitation in the wine making industry is simply not possible. Just in the
time that your equipment goes from being cleaned over to the counter for use,
wild yeasts have already found their way to the surface of the equipment.
Wild yeasts along with many other bacteria's are already present in your juice
and on the surface of your primary before you start your wine. There is no way
around this. Check out the public television shows which talk about germs in
Even after the addition of sulfites to your must, wild yeasts and bacteria are
still alive and viable. Sulfites, at the levels used by wine makers, only have
a stunning effect. Fortunately most wine yeasts have a high tolerance to
sulfites (they have been bred to work with the presence of sulfites) and
therefore they can multiply in the oxygen rich must in just a day or two. Then
they begin to consume sugar and produce *** and CO2. The CO2 blanket
ultimately resists further growth of the nasties while allowing the good yeasts
which can survive without oxygen, to continue on their merry way. Ultimately
the wine is protected by a combination of *** content and acid content.
Long time storage of wines is further protected by additions of sulfite.
P.S. Just because the sulfites we add to our wine (50 - 150 parts per million)
only have the ability to stun wild yeast and bacteria, do not believe that
this infers that sulfites cannot be an effective "sanitizer". At 3000 - 5000
parts per million sulfites will kill.
For Sanitizing Equipment
1/4 Cup (Or Manufacturers Recommendation) Sodium Metabisulphite in 1 Gallon of
Cold Water. Store in Sealed One Gallon Jug. Shelf Life Is 6 Months. ***
stuff..... be like President Clinton and do not inhale. Asthmatics beware.
For an Additive to Wine
1 Ounce (2 tbsp.) of Potassium Metabisulphite in a Half Pint of Cold Water.
Store in 20 Ounce Plastic Soda Bottle. 1 Teaspoon of this Mixture Equals One
Campden Tablet. Use one teaspoon per gallon of must or wine.
> I would have to disagree with you here. I my opinion, there is simply no
> cleaner that is exceptable for wine making other than a good scrubbing with
> clean water ( a sulfite addition is OK for inhibiting nasties ). If all
> equipment is rinsed immediately after use, there aren't any sludge build ups
> that need vigorous scrubbing or caustic chemicals. Cleaners like bleach and
> others containing bleach or chloride damage equipment and only a few parts per
> billion ( yes, billion ) left on the equipment can ruin a batch of wine.
> Sometimes the damage is just in the form of a wine that isn't quite as good
> tasting as it could have been.
> Overkill on the part of sanitation will certainly not be harmful, however as
> the posts continue on this newsgroup, inhibiting the nasties has gone from a
> simple sulfite rinse... to sanitation with boiling water... to dishwashers on
> stun settings.... to 2 to one mixes of bleach and water. I am almost
> surprised that someone hasn't suggested we bake our bottles in the oven or dip
> them in an acid bath before bottling . OK, I'm getting a little out of hand
> My original post was intended only to suggest that the original way of keeping
> things at hand still works just fine. No one has to try to outdo the next
> person with yet another more advanced way of sanitizing equipment and bottles.
> True sanitation in the wine making industry is simply not possible.
(you can have your soap box back now.)
> >I my opinion, there is simply no
> I doubt you will find a commercial winery that agrees with you. I
> recently toured a number of established wineries in the Niagara region
> of Ontario. They *all* had lots of chemical cleaners and sanitizers
> around. And lots of BIG scrub brushes. Don't think for a minute this
> stuff was lying around for decoration. Sulphite *cleaner*, my ass.
As far as sulfites and your ass are concerned, I'm not interested.
I said, very clearly, in the second post, clean with water. That would
the cleaning agent, not the sulfites, which I clearly suggested as an
additive for inhibiting nasties.
There is a big difference between a commercial winery and brewing 5
or 10 gallon batches at home. I would guess that just about any
commercial wine maker would agree that , at home, caustic cleaners are
required. With proper practices, at home, there should never be a build
up of sludge
that requires a caustic cleaner. If you are using containers that do
allow adequate access for cleaning, or are porous, there may be
And even here, special precautions need to be used. Bleach is not a good
for wooden containers (as an example).
> At normal concentrations, air drying is sufficient. A quick rinse with
> potable (read - municipal tap) water is sufficient to remove any
(Remember, this is only my opinion, I'm not saying you have you do it
this way, nor will I criticize you if you don't do it this way)
While you are air drying, wild yeasts and bacteria are having a party on
your equipment and in your must no matter how powerful your sanitizer
The wine itself, overcomes these residual nasties.
> A sulphite rinse and drain, as a *sanitizer* needs some time for the
> sulphite to work. If you just rinse and drain briefly, you will
> introduce a lot of sulphite into your wine. This gives some people
> ferocious headaches, as well as adding a sulfur nose to the wine's
> bouquet. If you need sulphites as an anti-oxidant, you need to rework
> your handling process. You are introducing too much air after the
> fermentation process.
As far as your final comment is concerned, I'm at a loss. Sulfites
are most certainly used as an anti oxidant. That is their main purpose
in the wine making industry. Proper sulfite levels during the racking
and at bottling time will help to preserve
your wine for years to come. Sulphiting is not required in wine making,
I and others have made sulfite free wine, but for you to suggest that
implies improper wine making techniques is simply ridiculous.
> Are you a chemist or micro biologist? Lots of commercial operations
> maintain true sanitation daily or they would start losing huge batches
> of wine. The potential loss of profits makes it imperative to sanitize
> effectively. What do you call this, if not "true sanitation?" I believe
> you mean "true sterilization", which is really not possible in the wine
> industry. Damned few other industries as well.
Ultimately the remaining nasties are overcome by the wine making process
itself. Yes, I know I'm repeating myself. But this very important fact
to be understood.
Your kind of post, makes it hard for individuals to use a newsgroup. I
am always open for constructive counter points... that's why I monitor
this newsgroup. In the future, I would suggest you tone down your
You are obviously not an expert wine maker, placing you right with the
rest of us,
myself included. Your statements are therefore, your opinion, and not
You have a right to your opinion without being insulted... and so do I.
If your ideas were the only right ones, how come my wine turns out fine,
batch. I have banana, cherry, grape, plum, pear, grape-apple, apple,
wine in my wine rack..... 100's of bottles. I have another batch in
and another in the primary (which I cleaned with water only) and enough
pulp in my freezer for several more batches. My friends can't wait for a
they can "share" them with us. All were made from scratch and all have
turned out very well. None of my batches of wine have ever been lost to
or vinegar nasties (which, by the way, will come more from improper
fermented wine, then from unsterilized or unsanitized primary
Gee, come to think of it, that means my comments come from experience!
Although I tend to over-clean everything myself (out of simple paranoia, I'm
sure) - I have NO DOUBT that you are absolutely correct regarding your
statements on over cleaning:
" ...It has been said on the newsgroup so many times that equipment has to
be absolutely sanitized, that the readers are starting to believe it as
gospel. Keeping thing clean is of course a very good idea, but there are
limits on the degree of
sanitation required for wine making."
In support of you statement, we should consider the following:
1. In ancient times wine was being made well with absolutely NO idea what
2. Contact your local University & ask for any Professor in their biology
department. Next ask that Prof to give you a list of pathogens & other
orgainisms which can survive in an environment which has a pH of from 2.9 -
3.5 and is comprised of 11% or more *** by volume....
He will give you a freighteningly (and reassuringly) short list!
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water..."
> Although I tend to over-clean everything myself (out of simple paranoia, I'm
> sure) - I have NO DOUBT that you are absolutely correct regarding your
> statements on over cleaning:
> " ...It has been said on the newsgroup so many times that equipment has to
> be absolutely sanitized, that the readers are starting to believe it as
> gospel. Keeping thing clean is of course a very good idea, but there are
> limits on the degree of
> sanitation required for wine making."
> In support of you statement, we should consider the following:
> 1. In ancient times wine was being made well with absolutely NO idea what
> "sanitation" was.
> 2. Contact your local University & ask for any Professor in their biology
> department. Next ask that Prof to give you a list of pathogens & other
> orgainisms which can survive in an environment which has a pH of from 2.9 -
> 3.5 and is comprised of 11% or more *** by volume....
> He will give you a freighteningly (and reassuringly) short list!
> "Wine is sunlight, held together by water..."
> -Louis Pasteur
As I look back over this tread, I also see myself talking about caustic
cleaners, while the responding party was probably referring to iodophor only.
Let me attempt to clear up the issues.
Both iodophor and sulfites should be classed as "sanitizers", although both in
strong concentrations become very close to sterilizers. If you are going to use
a sanitizer other than sulfites, iodophor is probably the best choice. In the
case of beer production, iodophor sanitizes and has the ability to destroy
odors. Iodophor also does not have any elements which will taint your beer's
flavor if it is allowed to air dry. A quick rinse and air dry is exceptable
when you are using iodophor. Iodophor is more powerful than sulfites and is
therefore a necessary part of beer making. Iodophor in proper concentrations
will "sanitize" after 2 minutes of contact.
Bleach, TSP. and other caustic chemicals should be referred to as "cleaners".
Neither iodophor or sulfites should be classified as "cleaners". They do not
have that ability. Cleaners use a chemical reaction to cause dirt and grim to
release it's hold on the surfaces of your equipment and many of them also have
elements which will prevent the dirt and grim from reattaching itself. In the
case of cleaners, they do have elements which will taint both wine and beer. A
very thorough rinsing is required after "cleaners" are used.
If you use iodophor for wine making, all items which are "sanitized" (I used
the right word), must be allowed to completely dry. They can then be used for
wine making without any ill effects from the iodophor. Iodophor leaves no
residue when completely air dried. It also has a "built-in" strength indicator.
As long as the solution is a light amber, it still has sanitizing power. When
the solution is clear, it needs
to be replaced. It is a wonderful "sanitizer".
One reason why sulfites are used for wine making is the fact that sulfites are
also an effective "sanitizer", and after a rinse with water, the equipment can
be used immediately. You do not have to wait for the equipment to completely
dry. Sulfites are not as powerful as iodophor, but for wine making, their
sanitizing power is quite sufficient.
Wine does not require the same level of sanitization that is required when
making beer. A strong sulfite solution which is used for sanitization will have
a shelf life of six months. It does not have the color change indicator for
strength like iodophor, however it's strength is quite obvious when you use it.
I noticed one element missing from your statement about the environment which
wine provides for nasties. Not only does the wine have acid and ***, but
also the intense lack of oxygen required by all of those nasties. Thanks for
In any case, I have seen "suggested" Iodophor contact times of 30 seconds to a
minute. This is for a standard 1ml per litre of water concentration. The only time I
figure I'm getting such minimal contact time is when I rinse my bottles with
Iodophor. I usually "spray" them about 20 times with my bottle sanitizer then allow
to drip dry. Touch wood, I haven't had an infected bottle yet. Do you think I'm
pushing my luck by doing this?
> Excellently written clarification. I always find it very annoying when I have to
> waste time writing a precisely worded tome because someone is managing to nit-pick
> at a more casually worded posting that seems to make perfect sense to me but alas,
> doesn't with some people.
> In any case, I have seen "suggested" Iodophor contact times of 30 seconds to a
> minute. This is for a standard 1ml per litre of water concentration. The only time I
> figure I'm getting such minimal contact time is when I rinse my bottles with
> Iodophor. I usually "spray" them about 20 times with my bottle sanitizer then allow
> to drip dry. Touch wood, I haven't had an infected bottle yet. Do you think I'm
> pushing my luck by doing this?
Just as a quick clarification. The above statements do not apply to beer. Beer does
not have the same ability to protect itself as does wine.
> Bryan Casper