Home Wine Industry Spotlights Dry Steam Study Reveals Best Methods to Combat Beverage or Barrel Spoilage

Dry Steam Study Reveals Best Methods to Combat Beverage or Barrel Spoilage


Steamericas, the US subsidiary of SJE Corporation, has led the pressure and steam washer business for 28 years providing quality washers that save time and money while delivering outstanding sanitation. They recently released their newest steam washer, the Optima Steamer SE II, and with it came a plethora of upgrades to help your winery utilize dry steam to quickly and efficiently sanitize barrels, equipment, and tanks using minimal water and taking less time than the competitors.

The Optima Steamer SE II is the ultimate sanitation tool; it has minimal preheating time, consistently higher pressure and temperature than competing brands, and its safety features surpass all other steamers on the market. The Optima SE II also comes with an updated LCD display with real time alerts and an on board water tank that can support all day operation and repair. It allows wineries to sanitize and create barrel swell while also saving time and water.

Steamericas is not only focused on bringing the best products to market, but are actively investing in research to determine how effective their sanitation methods truly are. Steamericas is teaming up with Dr. Stewart Lebrun Ph.D. of Lebrun Labs LLC to conduct research into the effectiveness and best-use methodology of dry steam using the Optima Steamer SE II. This 4 phase study focuses on one of winemakers’ biggest fears, the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces (Brett), and how dry steam can reduce the risk. Known specifically for bringing out unfavorable flavors and aromas in wine when at high threshold levels, Brettanomyces are extremely hard to get rid of when found in wine or barrels.

Dr. Lebrun explains how Brett is so invasive and hard to terminate in the barrel, “Brettanomyces metabolism breaks down the cellulose through acid hydrolysis boring holes in the oak and then hibernates deep in the wood, sometimes up to 2 cm in depth.”

This is where dry steam can make a difference in a winemaker’s sanitation regimen. Dr. Lebrun goes on to explain how dry steam and specifically the Optima Steamer and the special barrel tool attachment make the difference. “The barrel tool is remarkable because it allows the pressure to build and create a temperature gradient across the oak evenly, creating an autoclave that penetrates into the wood. It allows for a consistent and safe method to sanitize barrels thoroughly.”

A practical advantage of the Optima Steamer is that Steamericas offers local dealer techs instead of distant manufacturer reps for dealing with maintenance and repairs. And the steamer is also able to be integrated into an automated barrel cleaning system. The barrel tool is an attachment that can be utilized with other manufacturer’s steamers as well.

“Our main goal with the study is to show that utilizing steam and pressure at the same time through dry steam is more effective than other steamers and pressure washers on the market or chemical sanitation methods,” says Yujin Anderson, General Manager of Steamericas. “The other methods only sanitize the surface and don’t penetrate the wood at an effective depth to kill spoilage microbes. We want to use the research to educate winemakers and brewers on the best methods possible to combat beverage or barrel spoilage.”

See the Optima Steamer and talk to Dr. Lebrun at Hotsy Pacific’s WIN Expo booth 235, December 6, 2018 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, or visit www.steamericas.com to learn more.

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