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Old 07-26-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Better Bottle and blowoff gunk

I have started taking the advice of others on this thread and going for a long primary. I bottled a beer yesterday that had been in the primary just over 4 weeks. I had been dreading bottling day because I knew it would be followed shortly by cleaning day.

It was a Belgian fermented in the high 70s so it generated a pretty dense krausen and some blow off. When the krausen fell, it left the predictable layer of gunk at the top of my 6 gallon Better Bottle. It used to be when I was doing shorter primaries, a good warm water soak overnight would loosen up the bulk of this crud. Then another session of sloshing warm water would break up the rest of the visible matter. A quick StarSan soak before storage was all I needed. Then sanitize with StarSan again on my next brew day and life was good.

With this sitting for a month however, it's dried pretty solidly to the inside of the better bottle. I filled it with hot tap water last night and let it sit overnight. It loosened up some of the gunk but not all.

I have a carboy brush that I use for my glass fermenters, but I am afraid that I'll scratch the plastic on the inside of the BetterBottle.

I've had success in the past with a weak bleach soak (.5 to .75 oz for 5 gal) removing the crud from glass. Will bleach work on the BetterBottle or do I risk damaging it with the bleach. I would certainly rinse after bleach and before storage, followed by another rinse and sanitation with StarSan before I used it to brew again.

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Old 07-26-2010, 07:46 PM   #2
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You are correct, don't use the brush. I clean my BB's out as best I can with hot water and then add oxiclean or PBW solution in hot water to the point that when I turn the BB upside down the solution will cover the gunk line. Once that is done I put on one of those orange plastic caps and turn it upside down over a bathroom size garbage can. So far it has never leaked and save a ton of PBW. Otherwise you can make a full 5 gallon batch or sit there for 30 minutes shaking the BB while the solution does its work.

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Old 07-26-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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I've used Oxyclean with good results. I never had an issue with the bottom but instead the dried foam at the top. You can turn it upside in your sink overnight. I have a plastic lid for my sink and once the water is just a few inches deep the pressure keeps the water in your BB.

One great tip I got here was to put a dish cloth for the scrubbing. It is a bit scary since you think it will never come out but they do come out easily. This has worked great for the top so I assume it would for the bottom.

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by winvarin View Post
I have started taking the advice of others on this thread and going for a long primary. I bottled a beer yesterday that had been in the primary just over 4 weeks. I had been dreading bottling day because I knew it would be followed shortly by cleaning day.

It was a Belgian fermented in the high 70s so it generated a pretty dense krausen and some blow off. When the krausen fell, it left the predictable layer of gunk at the top of my 6 gallon Better Bottle. It used to be when I was doing shorter primaries, a good warm water soak overnight would loosen up the bulk of this crud. Then another session of sloshing warm water would break up the rest of the visible matter. A quick StarSan soak before storage was all I needed. Then sanitize with StarSan again on my next brew day and life was good.

With this sitting for a month however, it's dried pretty solidly to the inside of the better bottle. I filled it with hot tap water last night and let it sit overnight. It loosened up some of the gunk but not all.

I have a carboy brush that I use for my glass fermenters, but I am afraid that I'll scratch the plastic on the inside of the BetterBottle.

I've had success in the past with a weak bleach soak (.5 to .75 oz for 5 gal) removing the crud from glass. Will bleach work on the BetterBottle or do I risk damaging it with the bleach. I would certainly rinse after bleach and before storage, followed by another rinse and sanitation with StarSan before I used it to brew again.
For me, it's HOT tap water and OxyClean, overnight.
By morning most of the crud is gone.
If there's anything left, I shove a dish rag in there with some more OxyClean and hot water, and slosh the holy **** out of it until it's clean.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:06 PM   #5
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Oxyclean? I've seen the commercials but never used it. Does that stuff work for brewing gear? Do you have to rinse the crap out of it?

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:29 PM   #6
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Personally, I have not had much luck removing said residue without using physical means. My tap water is around 110 F, and I fill the BB with PBW and hot water and let it soak, but there is always some residue that won't come off.

I bought one of those bendable brushes made out of some non-scratch stuff, intended to be used to clean out wine decanters. I can bend it such that I can run it along the sides, and it doesn't take much to remove the leftover residue after an overnight soak.

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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One great tip I got here was to put a dish cloth for the scrubbing. It is a bit scary since you think it will never come out but they do come out easily. This has worked great for the top so I assume it would for the bottom.
this sounds interesting. So you toss a cloth in with the cleaning solution and use the agitation (like a washing machine) to scrub?
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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Oxyclean? I've seen the commercials but never used it. Does that stuff work for brewing gear? Do you have to rinse the crap out of it?
It works great! Especially if it's in Hot water - Just make sure it's completely dissolved - Don't want any granules scratching stuff (Just like PBW, really)

I rinse it off - It comes clean very easy between rinsing and sanitizing.

The cloth works GREAT. It's some elbow grease, but works well.
I usually have about a little less than a gallon of Oxy water in the carboy, drop in a dish rag, and slosh the rag into the crud over and over until it comes clean.
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