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Old 01-25-2013, 03:46 AM   #1
Dan-The-Man
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Default Is my sterilization overkill?

A friend and I recently started brewing (using Brew House kits for now) and we have been sanitizing and then sterilizing our bottles.

At first we were using sani-brew (what the brew shop gave us) but we have since switched to star san. Basically what I do now is use this rinser to squirt starsan into the bottles, put them on the tree and wait for them to dry. Next I put aluminum foil over the tops of the bottles and bake them in the oven at 350°F for 60 minutes, let them cool and store them in the six pack boxes that commercial beers come in.

When it comes time to use the bottles we simply pull the foil off the top and fill them.

My primary question is whether or not sterilizing the bottles in the oven is overkill. It would definitely be much easier to simply rinse the bottles with starsan just before bottling...

My secondary question is about starsan itself. Is it sufficient to give the bottles a squirt with my rinser, dip the top of the bottle in the sanitizer and then let them dry for a bit before filling the bottles?

Thanks for taking the time to help.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Yes

You're subjecting your bottles to unnecessary stress by putting them in the oven...the star san should be enough.

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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You are sanitizing, not sterilizing. Run them through the dishwasher with no soap. The heat will kill a lot of crap in them.

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-The-Man View Post
... put them on the tree and wait for them to dry. ... dip the top of the bottle in the sanitizer and then let them dry for a bit before filling the bottles?
Star San. If it's not wet it's not working!
"Don't fear the foam."
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Is my sterilization overkill?

Yes, a simple rinse w/ starsan of a clean bottle is all you need...fill w/ beer while still wet w/ the Star San.

Sanitize NOT sterilize FWIW.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Rinse bottles after use with water to get the wash and any yeast out. To clean, rinse out with a bottle washer well. Put them in a bucket of oxyclean for 20 minutes. Take them out, rinse with bottle washer. Use a bottle brush to get leftover schmutz, and rinse out again. Before bottling, rinse with bottle washer. Dunk in StarSan for 20 minutes. Bottle.

Substitute PBW or your cleaner of choice for oxyclean.

New bottles should get a brush after the dunk in oxyclean.

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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I rinse my bottles when done and the sterilize (not sanitize, same as the OP). I've tried all the methods mentioned here and find it to be the easiest for me.

It is overkill, literally, but it's simple, and better safe than sorry.

details here:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...terilized.html

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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So you put them in an autoclave?? Keep in mind sterilization is heat and pressure. Im not trying to be a grammar nazi, just sayin.




Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
I rinse my bottles when done and the sterilize (not sanitize, same as the OP). I've tried all the methods mentioned here and find it to be the easiest for me.

It is overkill, literally, but it's simple, and better safe than sorry.

details here:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...terilized.html
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abarker8541 View Post
So you put them in an autoclave?? Keep in mind sterilization is heat and pressure. Im not trying to be a grammar nazi, just sayin.
I appreciate the editing help to make what I am trying to say more clear. Sometimes it's hard for me to see what makes my writing hard to understand. Can you be a little more specific about the grammatical error you are seeing?

Autoclaves work by heat and pressure, but heat alone can also be used to sterilize.

See wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterili..._sterilization

Quote from the Wiki article on "Dry Heat Sterilization"
Quote:
The standard setting for a hot air oven is at least two hours at 160 °C (320 °F). A rapid method heats air to 190 °C (374 °F) for 6 minutes for unwrapped objects and 12 minutes for wrapped objects.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:25 PM   #10
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overkill? maybe a little.
necessary? not really
bad for your brew? not at all


Palmer gives instructions for oven, autoclave and pressure cooker STERILIZATION, which does not have to involve pressure, but makes it more effective and takes less time

sanitation kills MOST nasties, sterilization kills ALL nasties

just depends on how clean you want it

bottles are the only thing I actually sterilize, everything else is Star-San.

the night before bottling; I put bottles in the oven, THEN heat to 350°, keep them there for 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave them inside overnight without opening the oven door until the last possible moment before bottling.

VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO HEAT OR COOL TOO QUICKLY

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