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4 Steps to Cleaning Stainless Steel Wine Barrels

As a commercial wine maker, we know you want your vintages to be smooth and flavorful when they go into that bottle. The equipment handling your wine plays a big part in achieving the end product. But you have to start with a clean canvas so your work of art can shine. The good news is, with Mueller stainless steel barrels it doesn’t take a lot of labor to achieve stellar results, see our tips below.


Step 1) Inspect.

When you first receive your stainless steel barrel, inspect it for cracks and scratches. You want the inside to be smooth. If it is not, call your manufacturer and trade out. Remains of wine can embed in those grooves and could have an effect on the taste of the next wine you put in there. For this reason, it’s also important you don’t use harsh abrasives or steel wool to clean your barrel.


Step 2) Clean.

Before your first use of the stainless steel barrel you should rinse your equipment and you can use a non-hazardous, buffered alkaline cleaner to remove any residual oils or dust from the manufacturing process. Just be sure to rinse well with warm water followed by tepid or cold water.  


Step 3) Expose.

After using your barrel there are really just two steps to cleaning it. Repeat your cleaning procedure from above. As you are doing that make sure the surface is exposed to be sanitized. In other words rinse or scrub off any dirt or dried grape skin during this cleaning process. This way the inside of your barrel can be sanitized properly. If the sanitizer can’t come in contact with the steel because it’s blocked by grape leftovers, it won’t work.


Step 4) Sanitize.

Now the barrel is ready to sanitize! Do this by pouring in your sanitizer and swirling it to cover the entire area of the barrel. Wait for the recommended time. Then rinse. When sanitizing be sure not to exceed the sanitizer manufacturers’ recommended concentration for stainless steel equipment.

You should also sanitize immediately before product enters the barrel. Do not close the barrel for empty storage with wet sanitizing solution on the stainless steel surface, make sure it is dry first.

Reference this chart for guidance on which brands to use for stainless steel and other materials:


Wine Barrel Cleaning Chart
Click to Enlarge


With proper care, your stainless steel wine barrels and stainless steel wine tanks will last a lifetime. And your wines will be poised for perfection!




Now is the time to be thinking about your 2018 capacity. 

With Paul Mueller Company stainless steel wine barrels, it's easy to grow your offerings and

save money.


Topics: Winemaking equipment

About Paul Mueller Company Academy

Teaching and sharing ideas has long been part of the rich heritage at Paul Mueller Company. We have almost a century of quality craftsmanship guiding the way we apply new learnings. Paul Mueller Company Academy is a collection point for those learnings, so we can collaborate and grow more successful together. You will find articles, blogs, guides, infographics and more dedicated to furthering knowledge for all, in the world of stainless steel processing equipment solutions. We hope you enjoy!