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Old 04-30-2013, 02:44 AM   #1
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Default Sanitizing bottles with bleach

Is it safe to sanitize bottles in bleach??

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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It is safe, but it's not recommended. Any residual chlorine can lead to nasty off flavors in beer, so it's best to rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward, and that can re-contaminate. It's best to use a properly mixed no-rinse sanitizer like Star San. You don't need to rinse and it's most effective if the bottles are still wet with star san when you fill them. If you buy a 1 qt container of the star san and use it wisely (spray bottle, distilled water, etc.) it'll be a minimal expense and the bottle will last a long long time.

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Old 04-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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It's fairly tough to completely rinse bleach, it tends to stick around after multiple rinsings, and it will make your beer taste like beer + chlorine.

A 32oz bottle of StarSan last me about a year, and I brew pretty much every other weekend. It's no rinse, so if you leave a little in your beer, it is harmless and won't alter the taste of the beer at all. All in all, a good investment for sanatazing.

For bottles, just do a good job cleaning them, then immediately give them a few sprays with a bottle of dilluted StarSan, put them upside down to drip dry, then go ahead and start bottling when all of the bottles are sanatized, regardless of if they have a little of the StarSan spray/bubbles left in them or not, and everything is AOK.

But don't use the bleach!

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:20 AM   #4
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I sanitized with bleach for my first several batches. It works fine, but as others said you have to rinse well which is a risk. I never had an infection going this route, nor a chlorine flavor to the beer.

Having done it myself I agree with the above that you are better off with a proper no rinse sanitizer. It's vastly easier and really doesn't cost much more. Buy a quart bottle and it will last a very long time.

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Old 05-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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When I first learned to brew (back in the dark ages, about 30 years ago!), I used bleach to sanitize bottles. I didn't rinse, and it worked fine.

I decided to try Star San a few years ago after reading on HBT how many people liked it. I find it much easier than bleach. The bottles don't need to be soaked in Star San, I just use my vinator to get them wet. I don't have to worry about getting bleach on my clothes. And I can mix up a big batch of Star San with distilled water so it's always available when I need it instead of having to mix up a fresh batch every time.

A friend of mine still uses bleach to sanitize, and it works fine for him. But now that I've tried Star San, I'm never going back!

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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If you do use bleach rinse with HOT water. Chlorine is very unstable and breaks down fairly easily when heated.

Personally I'd use starsan or iodaphor. no rinse sanitizers are much easier.

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Old 05-02-2013, 03:41 AM   #7
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If you're rinsing a bleached bottle with hot water, isn't it possible the water will "infect" the bottles again?

I have always used StarSan, but wondered about "rinse" sanitizers and how this works.

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Old 05-02-2013, 04:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
If you're rinsing a bleached bottle with hot water, isn't it possible the water will "infect" the bottles again?
It is possible. Though unlikely.
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