Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Much of your time spent working in a winery is spent cleaning.  Do all winemakers have some sort of OCD?  No.  It turns out that any mold, yeast, or fungus can negatively impact the fermentation process, so every piece of equipment that will be in contact with the fruit must be thoroughly cleaned. For us, it means a scrubbing with peroxicarb, a rinse, another scrubbing with citric acid + sulfur dioxide, and a final rinse. BTW, blisters + citric acid is not recommended. It feels like lemon juice in a paper cut. Actually, it is lemon juice in a paper cut!

I got a great big whiff of sulfur dioxide while I was cleaning some bins today, and I thought to myself "Hmm...  SO2 + H2O = sulfuric acid, right?"  Nope, it makes sulfurous acid (H2SO3 vs. H2SO4), which is more benign.  It still burns, though, which is why I immediately put on my respirator.

"Luke, I am your father"

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