Steam is the Superior Method of Sanitizing Barrels. Period.
The Optima Steamer generates steam temperature around 350 °F and is capable of delivering temperature of 212~240 °F at the nozzle tip in ambient temperature and pressure. If steam is fed to a container such as a barrel or tank and lightly pressurized, it can reach much higher temperature in a relatively short time.
Dry, pressurized steam paired with our barrel tool penetrates wood’s surface and pores. Because of its gaseous properties, steam can reach ¼~½” into wood, which is where brettanomyces lives.
Steam’s temperature makes it a natural sanitizer. Steam’s saturated vapor is able to penetrate better than heat alone, making it ideal for delivering its high temperatures to difficult areas–areas most often impossible to reach using boiling water or chemicals including ozone. Amongst competitors, the Optima Steamer delivers steam at a higher, more consistent pressure more quickly, which equates to higher temperatures and saving time.
You can use the Optima Steamer as a stand alone cleaning station to sanitize 2 barrels simultaneously. For larger facilities, the Optima Steamer can be paired with CIP automatic barrel washer line and loading systems, cleaning 4 barrels at a time.
The Optima Steamer…
Heat, especially moist heat (a.k.a. steam), can effectively and rapidly inactivate most microorganisms. A temperature of 175 °F (80 °C) for 5–10 min, for example, will destroy all active bacteria, yeast, and fungi. While some yeast strains are known to be resistant to low pH, high alcohol and/or SO2, high temperatures delivered by dry steam can combat these spoilage microbes.
The Optima SE-II is designed to the highest international standards, including OSHA-approved (bearing ASME and NB stamps) and CSA-certified (Canadian-compliance) models, all with a sleek, self-contained design so that you can be rest assured your business and staff are safe operating an Optima Steamer.
Restore and Sanitize Foedors
Foedors have similar cleaning challenges as barrels being wood. In addition, they are very large. Steam can restore and fill in the gaps between foedor staves and sanitize effectively and relatively quickly. The fastest and most eco-friendly way to sanitize every nook of the surface is using wet heat, a.k.a. saturated steam. Unlike hot water or wet steam (water vapor), saturated steam (a.k.a. dry steam), which is the gaseous form of water that carries heat, can travel far and around obstacles and reach areas that hot water in liquid form cannot. The Optima Steamer has a flow rate of 0.08 gallon per minute (per regular sized steam hose). It takes about 5 gallons of water to sanitize and swell a 3500~4500 gallon foedor. Energy spent to boil only 5 gallons of water versus the alternative (thousand gallons of water) equates to big savings on your power bill. Using less water and energy is not only friendly to your wallet but also to the environment.
Reach >200°F Inside Tanks in Record Time
Steam molecules travels further than water vapor (e.g. wet steam from boiler) and hot water. In a case study, the Optima Steamer SE 42kW was able to deliver 200°F temperature throughout a 6,000 gallon stainless steel tank within 40 minutes.** This is done chemical-free and uses only a few gallons of water.
**Time varies based on ambient temperature, tank material and thickness and steam hose size.
Dry Steam Swells Barrels in MINUTES Instead of Hours
Swelling, or rehydrating, barrels with dry steam is not a separate process from sanitizing them. You will simultaneously sanitize and swell barrels in just a few minutes and doing so with only about half of a gallon of water per barrel. Steam both penetrates wood pores and fill the gaps between staves.
High Temperature Bottling Line Sanitation
CIP is commonly used for steam. Bottling line equipment parts can be delicate and cannot be exposed to high psi or highly acidic chemical agents. Dry steam can deliver over 200F temperature throughout nozzles and pipes inside bottling lines with less time and water spent.