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The importance of wine tank cleaning

From grape to glass: 🍇

There are many factors throughout the wine-making process that impact the quality and consistency of the final product. One the most important determinants is the cleanliness of the tank the wine is made in, as this plays a critical role in preventing the proliferation of food spoilage organisms. You’ll find the majority of contaminants in wine tanks are usually organic residues, carbohydrates, dyes and tannins, to name a few. The correct cleaning method can either make or break a quality drop, let us explain how.🍷

It's important to understand the why behind tank cleaning before undergoing the how. We'll take you through a few of the key points associated with the importance of tank cleaning.

Stainless steel wine tanks:

Due to the nature of stainless steel wine tanks, they have a longer life span as they’re known to be more durable and therefore, more economical, along with having an easier cleaning process in comparison to wooden barrels.

Why does tank cleaning matter?

It’s important to note that the cleanliness of the wine tank goes hand-in-hand with the quality of the final product. If the tank isn’t cleaned properly, it can lead to impurities in the wine which may consist of harmful bacteria tainting the entire product.

The need for wine tank cleaning:

As tartrate crystalises out of wine, it forms a deposit coating the tank wall. The amount of tartrate deposit can vary depending on storage time, and conditions such as cold stabilisation. This reduces the temperature of the wine which forces the tartrate out of solution, speeding up the process.

During vintage a brown deposit can also form in the tanks. This deposit is very difficult to remove given the proteins and tannins it contains. With time, tannins can polymerise (combine), causing the stain to set and making the deposit even more difficult to clean.

Removing these deposits was the focus for the Dominant Research & Development team. We have developed a range of formulated cleaning products with surfactants to assist with the removal of the deposits.

We have a range of wine cleaning product that can be used with traditional CIP (Clean in Place) methods used to clean wine tanks. They are made up as a solution that is pumped through a spray ball or similar device that is at the top of the tank, which then cascades down the walls to the bottom and is recirculated.

Our wine industry products are also compatible with devices such as Gamajet, Fury or Turbodisc units, which further assist the process by giving much greater pressure and better cleaning ability.

In order to manage run-off from the cleaning process, we have formulated potassium-based products to reduce sodium ions in effluent, phosphate free products for easier onsite waste treatment and alkaline products for greater safety in use. These complement our conventional sodium hydroxide based products.

Whatever your requirements, we're dedicated to working with you to choose the correct products for each application at your winery from barrelling to bottling.

Discover your grape to glass solution.

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