View Full Version : Processing Beer and Wine on the same equipment

01-24-2017, 01:29 PM
Does anybody have experience processing beer and wine on the same equipment?

The wine would be "finished". No crushing or fermenting. The main question that I am trying to answer is... can I package wine with my beer bottling equipment and not contaminate or taint my equipment? I would obviously be doing standard CIP cycles between runs.

What is the micro situation in finished wine? Any beer spoilers?

Will wine taint brewing equipment?

Is there any other reason why this is a bad idea?

Thanks for any input

01-24-2017, 04:05 PM
I can't give you any info on Microbes etc...

Personally I don't know if I'd try, at least for commercial use. I don't think a wine filler is going to be able to handle carbonated beer, or capping. And I have a feeling it would be hell to rig a beer filler to fit wine bottles, much less find a way to cork them. I suppose you could use beer bottles for the wine.
My only other thought is that you'd probably get a fair bit more sediment in your filler from wine.

dick murton
01-25-2017, 01:48 AM
Purely from a hygiene front, you will need to be absolutely scrupulous about cleaning and sterilising kit as wine yeasts or other relevant micro getting into beer would be considered spoilage organisms in beer, and vice versa. I have worked in breweries packaging cider, with no problems apart from extra QA attention and the odd extra (acid) clean, particularly when we started out, so don't see why not.

Make sure gasket and pump seals, hose liners etc. are in top condition, and the tanks and pipes are scale free to reduce the risk of harbouring anything "foreign".

Other factors such as those raised by Manuel also need to be taken into account of course.

01-25-2017, 08:16 AM
It sounds like you want to run wine on your existing beer-filling equipment? Presuming you're OK with using the same closures (either you're already corking your beer Belgian-style, or you're shipping wine with crown caps), there shouldn't be an issue here. You're probably gonna have to pressurize the wine, as beer-filling equipment is designed to operate under enough pressure to keep the carbonation from breaking out of solution use nitrogen or argon, rather than CO2, otherwise you'll partially carbonate your wine!

If you're trying to go the other way, bottling beer on wine equipment, you're probably out of luck your wine packaging line won't be set up to gracefully handle beer under enough pressure to keep the CO2 from breaking. We use a vacuum wine filler at the meadery, and even just under the back-pressure of an 8BBL conditioning tank more than half-full, the thing leaks like... well, I'll let you supply your own saucy metaphor, it's a messy bottling day.

If you use sulphites (or pasteurize, or use some other method to kill the yeast) in your wine, you shouldn't have to worry about microbial cross-contamination. Otherwise... well, it's a heck of a gamble. On the one hand, wine yeasts aren't selected for an ability to consume the complex sugars that are most of what's left after your beer yeast is done, but on the other, they do tend to have much higher alcohol tolerance, and there's no way of knowing what sorts of wild critters might've hitched a ride into the wine on the skins of the fruit (we've had... interesting results with some of our apple-based meads in this regard). Personally, I'd be pretty reluctant, but, hey, it ain't my beer.

If you filter and/or fine your wine, probably you don't need to worry about proteins or other "schmutz" gumming up the works finished wine has less protein in it than beer, that's why you don't get a lingering head in your champagne flute.

01-26-2017, 08:48 AM
Thanks for the input guys.

I would be bottling wine with my beer bottler, not vice versa.

As I suspected, the micro situation is a little sketchy and it is going on me to determine if it is a bad idea.

I am still curious if there are any guys out there that have done any work with wine with their brewing equipment.

01-31-2017, 02:08 PM
Sparkling wine can be done quite easily on a beer filler if the filler can fill 750 ml bottles. I have tried making home brew beer with my winery equipment and it always seems to infect the beer with odd yeast organisms. Bear in mind that wine is much more naturally hygenic than beer, because of higher alcohol, acid etc. If the wine has already been sterile filtered (no yeast) than running it through beer lines should be a lot less complex.