During my trip to Japan 2 years ago, I noticed in both the sake breweries I visited the use of an antibacterial product based on ethylic alcohol. This product was especially used to disinfect shoes, hands, etc. before entering the room where the koji was prepared, the rice fermentation starter.
As we are following regularly courses with our workers to maintain updated on the latest developments in the food industry regarding hygiene and procedures to avoid infections, we discovered that slightly diluted alcohol is one of the most effective anti-bacterial products, much more than undiluted alcohol. We were using in the cellar 98% ethylic alcohol for the cleaning of vessels and tubing as well as all stainless steel parts. But after this information, it has become clear why in Japan there are many products available based on following composition:
78% ethylic alcohol
1% citric acid
21% distilled water
In Italy these products are not available and so we now prepare these in house as they have many benefits, besides the highly effective anti-bacterial function, such as odorless cleaning which has become difficult because it is virtually impossible finding products which do not contain perfumes.
Another advantage is that both citric acid as well as ethylic alcohol and water are all chemical components of wine and so if there are slight residuals after cleaning, this will be absolutely harmless to both product as well as the consumer. Which is not the case with other anti-bacterial products.