Traditionally, chemicals have been used to clean wineries and barrels. Most people go straight to chemicals when they think of giving something a good clean. The problem is chemical cleaning is not as safe or as effective as you might have suspected.
Aside from the fact that it has the potential to impact the wine’s colour, taste or smell, they are also ineffective in some cases. On the other hand, a barrel steamer is one of the most powerful tools you can use to replace chemicals and that is for a number of reasons.
1. Superheated steam gets into the pores of the oak
The high pressure superheated dry steam delivered by a steam vapour machine is extremely effective in cleaning all the nooks and crannies of a barrel. This is an important aspect, because that is where wine or dirty water accumulates, ultimately impacting the quality of the wine.
2. Dry steam for rehydration
Dry steam is used to rehydrate the wood. This, in effect, will increase its lifespan considerably, boosting its lifespan by up to 25% in most cases. As a result, a winery will spend less on its barrel purchases and maintenance over a period of time.
3. Eradicates bacterial populations
It is common for all types of bacteria to invade wine barrels, because of the fermentation process. High temperature steam vapour will sanitise barrels completely from unwanted bacteria. High temperature steam vapour is even used in hospitals as a cleaning process to safeguard surfaces from superbugs.
4. Eliminating tartrates
These residues are usually hard to remove, because of their adherent nature. High temperature steam vapour will deal with them effectively and fast, usually in less than 30 minutes.
All you need is a professional barrel steamer and you are good to go. The same steam machine can cope with several winery cleaning applications, including vat, tank and bottling line cleaning. Its effectiveness has made it very popular among winery owners all over the world.