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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Bottling Sanitation Questionnaire
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:33 PM   #1
buckybrewer
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Default Bottling Sanitation Questionnaire

I am on a college design team that is attempting to develop an automated method of cleaning and sanitizing bottles marketed for home use. Please help us by answering a few questions about your experiences!

1. Which process do you use to clean bottles prior to filling and sealing (soaking, sanitizing, rinsing, scrubbing, etc)?
2. How many bottles can you clean in an hour using that process?
3. Have the pains of cleaning and sanitizing bottles led you to kegging?
4. Would you purchase a semi-automated product that allowed you to increase the number of bottles you can clean in an hour?
5. If so, which of the following would most influence your decision to purchase? Please rank the following list 1 through 4; 1 being the most important, 4 being the least important.

a. Cost (price tag, value)
b. Appearance (size, color, feel comfortable keeping it next to the toaster)
c. Degree of sanitation (cleaning by hand vs. clean enough for the FDA to allow you to sell your product)
d. Ease of use (easy to set up, no instructions needed).

Thank you for your time! It is greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:21 PM   #2
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1. Dishwasher with a sanitize cycle with heated dry.
2. my cycle is about 90 minutes - but it's set it and forget it. I can fit 66 bottles in there.
3. I keg and bottle.
4. My dishwasher was pretty cheap and "automated." So, no.
5. a - it'd have to be extremely cheap. My dishwasher was about $200 and is a multi-tasker.
b. my dishwasher matches my kitchen very well.
c. my dishwasher is already "FDA sanitizing" - according to instructions at least.
d. I load and press one button. My pre-schooler can help me.

So, unless it's better than a dishwasher w/ sanitize, you may be better off looking at a different venture.

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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I fill a bucket with 5 gallons of star san then put a 12 pack in and take it out without waiting and repeat until I have my two cases. I guess it takes about fifteen minutes. I do rinse my bottle after I pour them out so there isn't any mold or yeast left in them.

I don't think I would pay much for something that automates the process though. I might spend $100 or just see what you came up with and try and build it myself, which I'm afraid is what a lot of home brewers would do.

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Old 09-28-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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I don't see sanitizing or even cleaning as a major issue. Now if you could come up with a home version of the comercial fillers you would be on to something.

For cleaning I just soak in oxi over night and rinse well. Generally will spend 20 min every few days cleaning a case or so. T

Sanitizing just throw them in the starsan bucket and pull them out as needed.

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Old 09-29-2008, 02:20 AM   #5
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See below... Good luck with your project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckybrewer View Post
I am on a college design team that is attempting to develop an automated method of cleaning and sanitizing bottles marketed for home use. Please help us by answering a few questions about your experiences!

1. Which process do you use to clean bottles prior to filling and sealing (soaking, sanitizing, rinsing, scrubbing, etc)?

Rinse after use, drip dry. If soiled (i.e. not rinsed after use) soak in oxyclean, rinse well, drip dry. Bottle brush rarely used since oxyclean is very effective. I pre-clean bottles so at filling time they only require sanitizing using a no-rinse sanitizer. Keep in mind there is a difference between cleaning a bottle (removing solids, gunk) and sanitizing (making a sanitary environment just before filling).

2. How many bottles can you clean in an hour using that process?

If rinsing after consuming, it takes about 30 seconds per bottle. If cleaning a batch of recycled bottles, probably 24-48 bottles in 2 hours, of which 30 minutes is active hands-on rinsing, the rest is unattended soaking. Sanitizing with a no-rinse sanitizer takes only about 10 seconds per bottle using a vinator and a bottle tree.


3. Have the pains of cleaning and sanitizing bottles led you to kegging?

No. I don't mind bottling, and I have the process streamlined so it's not that much work.

4. Would you purchase a semi-automated product that allowed you to increase the number of bottles you can clean in an hour?

No. My process is pretty efficient as is.

5. If so, which of the following would most influence your decision to purchase? Please rank the following list 1 through 4; 1 being the most important, 4 being the least important.

a. Cost (price tag, value)
b. Appearance (size, color, feel comfortable keeping it next to the toaster)
c. Degree of sanitation (cleaning by hand vs. clean enough for the FDA to allow you to sell your product)
d. Ease of use (easy to set up, no instructions needed).

n/a

Thank you for your time! It is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckybrewer View Post
I am on a college design team that is attempting to develop an automated method of cleaning and sanitizing bottles marketed for home use. Please help us by answering a few questions about your experiences!

1. Which process do you use to clean bottles prior to filling and sealing (soaking, sanitizing, rinsing, scrubbing, etc)?
2. How many bottles can you clean in an hour using that process?
3. Have the pains of cleaning and sanitizing bottles led you to kegging?
4. Would you purchase a semi-automated product that allowed you to increase the number of bottles you can clean in an hour?
5. If so, which of the following would most influence your decision to purchase? Please rank the following list 1 through 4; 1 being the most important, 4 being the least important.

a. Cost (price tag, value)
b. Appearance (size, color, feel comfortable keeping it next to the toaster)
c. Degree of sanitation (cleaning by hand vs. clean enough for the FDA to allow you to sell your product)
d. Ease of use (easy to set up, no instructions needed).

Thank you for your time! It is greatly appreciated!

I have nothing new to add to the responses you have gotten already, I use the same methods as do most people, but, you have my full attention, as I have been designing a bottle filler/capper and sanitizing machine over the last 18 months for the DIY'r, feel free to PM me if you have anything to share.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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1. Which process do you use to clean bottles prior to filling and sealing (soaking, sanitizing, rinsing, scrubbing, etc)?
I. Soak for 30 minutes in 1 scoop oxyclean to one sinkful of hottest tapwater available.
II. Remove labels and scrub outside.
III. Drain bottle, bottle brush inside, fill with oxy solution, shake, drain, hold bottle up to light to check for stubborn grime, repeat until clean.
IV. Rinse inside and out in clear water, drain.
V. Store bottles until needed.
(footnote: no matter how much I ask, the bar that saves bottles for me never rinses, so it usually takes 2-7 times through step III until their clean.

2. How many bottles can you clean in an hour using that process?
Including soak time, about 12. Double that if I use both sinks, quadruple that if you don't count soak time and use both sinks. Actual volume varies on the number of times I have to do step III.

3. Have the pains of cleaning and sanitizing bottles led you to kegging?
No, originally the pain of filling bottles led me to kegging. Now I fill bottles as needed from my kegs.

4. Would you purchase a semi-automated product that allowed you to increase the number of bottles you can clean in an hour?
If it was less than $100 and could do a case an hour with less than 5% needing re-washed, yes.

5. If so, which of the following would most influence your decision to purchase? Please rank the following list 1 through 4; 1 being the most important, 4 being the least important.

(comments in () )
1 a. Cost (I have a very limited brewing budget)
4 b. Appearance (It won't be going next to the toaster, SWMBO wouldn't like that)
2 c. Degree of sanitation (Less than 5% rewash rate is a must )
3 d. Ease of use.

Thank you for your time! It is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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1. Which process do you use to clean bottles prior to filling and sealing (soaking, sanitizing, rinsing, scrubbing, etc)?
Dishwasher on sanitation cycle. I rinse, then sanitize. No soaking or scrubbing unless there are labels.
2. How many bottles can you clean in an hour using that process?
I only need enough for a 5 gallon batch which I can do in one load.
3. Have the pains of cleaning and sanitizing bottles led you to kegging?
Not yet. I would like to keg and bottle because there are tradeoffs to each.
4. Would you purchase a semi-automated product that allowed you to increase the number of bottles you can clean in an hour?
Probably not. If it was a $100, I'd rather have a Barley Crusher. If it was $25-50, I'd rather have a digital scale. I think you see where I'm going with this.... it would be low on the list.
5. If so, which of the following would most influence your decision to purchase? Please rank the following list 1 through 4; 1 being the most important, 4 being the least important.



I think the school project is a good idea. I can imagine there are people who would me more interested. I can't imagine you making something that's easier than a dishwasher for less than $200 so I would think you would need someone that bottles on a larger scale (but smaller than many brewerys). Perhaps a brewpup?

Now, if you could come up with a way to fill those 50+ bottles faster, I would pay attention.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:34 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=buckybrewer;871717]

1. Rinse while drinking, Then a quick squirt of starSan from a weed sprayer, the I use the dish washer as the holding rack. 30 minutes prior to bottling.
2. I usually do 48 and a spare 6 pack.
3. I do keg, but I bottle big beer and some to take about.
4. Yes, but not necessarily to increase production.
5. Order of importance: C, B, D, A.

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Old 09-29-2008, 05:02 PM   #10
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Dishwasher and I'm done...I might consider paying a college kid to come over and clean my bottles though.

My system works great. After drinking a beer or 2 or 3...I rinse the bottle and then put a little bit of detergent in it and fill with hot water and let it soak overnight (or a few days) then I rinse them out really well and store on my bottle tree. After a few days I'll cap with a bit of tin foil and store away. They stay clean and ready to be sanitized like this indefinitely. When bottling I rinse the out sides off and throw them in the dishwasher and set at sanitize setting, and forget it.

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