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Old 01-17-2013, 07:25 PM   #1
nolabrew85
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Default sanitizing bottles

I usually use starsan to sanitize my bottles immediately before bottling, but this is a mess and time consuming and I can never get all the starsan foam out of the bottle (I know the foam is harmless, but I don't have to like it!). I was wondering if placing the bottles in the dishwasher (with nothing else) on high heat would be a safe alternative.



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Old 01-17-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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depends. if the bottles go in clean and there is no organic material down in the corner for bacteria to hide it then you are probably fine.

personally I use StarSan and one of of these:


I don't like the foam either but a little is fine (as you know).



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Old 01-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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A lot of people do this without issues. Your dishwasher needs to get hot enough though. I think over 150 F. Don't quote me on that though. I have heard that with certain bottles the heat cycle can damage them. It's really just up to personal preference. I did it my first one or two times, but my dishwasher takes ~1 1/2 to run, so now I just dump them in the Star San bucket, then put them in the dishwasher w/o running it to drip dry. That way the Star San comes out (again, I know it should be an issue). The Star San coming out of the bottle will also sanitize the dishwasher as it drains. This takes less than 10 minutes (I think, I don't time myself) to do a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:50 PM   #4
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I run my bottles through the dishwasher (no detergent, no dishes or anything) for a full cycle on high heat. Then when it's time to bottle, I just flip them over, and any bottling messes stay in the dishwasher. As long as your dishwasher gets hot enough, this can be a very effective and easy way to sanitize bottles.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
depends. if the bottles go in clean and there is no organic material down in the corner for bacteria to hide it then you are probably fine.

personally I use StarSan and one of of these:


I don't like the foam either but a little is fine (as you know).
I too use one of these plus place the bottles on a bottle tree to drain. The tree holds 45 bottles. By the time I have 45 bottle on the tree the first ones are almost fully drained with just a very small amount Starsan foam left in the bottle. I start loading the tree from the top and work my way down so new bottles don't drip on existing bottles.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1k3
depends. if the bottles go in clean and there is no organic material down in the corner for bacteria to hide it then you are probably fine.

personally I use StarSan and one of of these:

I don't like the foam either but a little is fine (as you know).
That thing is pretty cool! Any idea what it is called?

I guess my dishwasher gets hot enough. I don't really know how I would take that measurement without putting a thermometer in there and opening it mid cycle or right after it is finished. It is always steaming when I open it though and the dishes are hot
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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What about using Saniclean? Same makers of Starsan, no foam!

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Old 01-17-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolabrew85 View Post
I guess my dishwasher gets hot enough. I don't really know how I would take that measurement without putting a thermometer in there and opening it mid cycle or right after it is finished. It is always steaming when I open it though and the dishes are hot
My dishwasher has a "sanitize" cycle. I don't know about the hot cycles causing issues with the bottles. My bottles have been through at least 4 cycles in the dishwasher now, and so far, none have broke.

An alternative to this would be your oven. I'm not an expert and I don't know exactly what bacterias are capable of infecting beer. With that said, the lactobacilus(?) and pediococcus (?) bacterias are killed at 140 degrees, others like e coli and staph are around 165 degrees. I have been putting things in the oven at 175 -180 for 10 to 15 minutes and call it good.

Decide for yourself if this is acceptable or not. I'm a rookie brewer with 10 complete batches, and knock on wood, I've never had an infection. I refuse to use iodophor and starsan anymore. I've tried them, and I drink my beer young. You can ALWAYS taste sanitizer in my beer.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:33 PM   #10
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Interesting about the oven. I have never tasted starsan in my beer and generally haven't heard of anyone else tasting it either. Maybe you have a super refined palate or you had a lot of starsan left in the there.



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