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Thanks Mike. How exactly do you use a steam generator to sterilize your equipment?

By the way, I have enjoyed your blueberry wine!! :)

Hi Denise Im glad you enjoy the blueberry wine if you're ever in MD stop by and see us and be our guest we have a lot of goodies you might like. We use our steam generator to clean practically everything we got mostly wine barrels, the bottling line, and wine tanks. We used to use hot water, we have a boiler that heats uo to 180degrees and we would use that to steralize the bottling line. The difference the hot water and steam is that that the hot water only steralizes what it touches and it takes a minimun of 20min at 180F the beauty about steam is that it will sneak into areas that it would surprise you. the very first time we used it to clean wine barrels i was amazed at what came out of there. spirits are already a disinfectant and you dont have to worry about mold or britanomisis or other problems that appear in the wine business. but since we have it we'll take advantage to use it of course we do a final rinsing with cold water that always helps.

Cheers :D

and happy distilling.


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Mike, can you mention which make & model steam cleaner you use? How long has it lasted so far?

The make is Electro Steam generator corp P.O. box436 Rancocas NJ08073-0438 i got it after i saw it working in a winery for over 10 years with no problem

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  • 8 years later...

Might be my first time posting here, and I hope that this topic is still active.  I'm going to show my ignorance:

We've been using chemicals for cleaning: caustic (sodium hydroxide) and acid (citric acid); but I am wondering how to use steam.  We have a steam hose in our facility, but to be perfectly honest, I am not sure how to use it.  We have a whopping boiler (2.5million BTU).  

We have attached the hose to the drain of a fermenter and let it fill up with steam.  I haven't done this in a long time because I am not entirely trusting of the efficacy of this method for either cleaning or sanitization.

I am looking for some clarification if anyone else uses this method.

Much thanks


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are you saying you have a steak wand, a device that sprays live steam? Or do you have a strahman hose that sprays steam heated water? 

We clean our very large tanks and fermenters this way (6k gallon fermenters 3k gallon cookers) it is very effective as long as their is minimal soil and scale residue. We have plumbed steam spigots into lines and tanks for this purpose.

if you have a ton of scale in your tank that needs to be addressed chemically the steam won’t take that off. Also physical soil as mentioned. Steam is a great sanitizer but it may not be the best physical cleaner  


Aqueous ozone is an incredibly effective cleaner/sanitizer and can be hooked up directly to spray balls and  doesn’t require a rinse, purchasing a unit for this purpose for our small system (3800 gallon ferms 1750 gallon cookers) 



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1 hour ago, SlickFloss said:

are you saying you have a steak wand, a device that sprays live steam? Or do you have a strahman hose that sprays steam heated water? 

Hey SlickFloss - thanks for your reply.  We have a strahman hose that sprays steam.  Don't have a ton of scale, so that's good.  With the soil in the kettle, we mostly spray wash with water to get big soil off (spray balls in the fermenters and kettle) or power washing for the really heavy soil in the kettle after stripping runs, so manual cleaning.  Then citric acid wash in the kettle and caustic/citric/rinse in everything else.

Since we have the steam hose, I was wondering if that would be a good alternative, and perhaps sanitization method (for the bright tank we just got).  However, from what I understand, this steam is "wet" steam and doesn't really get hot enough to do the sanitizing job, like "dry" steam.

But if I were to use it, how you use it, what is your method (if you don't mind my asking)?  Do you attach it to, say, the drain, and fill up the vessel?  To what temperature?  How do you know if it has done the job of cleaning?  

All our vessels are 4k litre (about 1k gallons).  I am also going to look into aqueous ozone!  

Again, thanks for your help.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah we're running HP steam in our mains it's a bit drier. Even wet steam though has a time managed kill clock I'm just not sure what that is. Our steam plumbs into the mash out line, we back fill to which ever fermenter or fermenters we want to clean allow them to fill with steam. At this point we have already wash rinsed with hoses and there is no soil. let them sit for 44 minutes completely filled, use canvas tops to cover them (open top fermenters)



holler at me any time



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  • 1 month later...

The original question was twofold, cleaning and sanitizing.  My old plant manager was a fanatic about steaming mash lines and fermenters.  A word of CAUTION!  Steam in a closed container when turned off condenses and creates a vacuum.  The vacuum can collapse the largest vessel.  Be sure to have vacuum/pressure protection on any closed vessel.  Keeping a manway open should not be trusted.  All steam drops to 212 F when it is released to atmosphere, so wet or dry makes no difference.  We piped low pressure steam directly to the beer drop lines, opened the drain (the condensation was not hot enough) and let the fermenter steam about an hour.  It approached 212 F.  Never had a mash go sour, well almost never.  Steaming kills bugs.  

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