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Old 05-26-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Storing Sterilized bottles

What do the biology/lab gurus think of this?

If I sterilize bottles in my oven and allow them to cool in the oven (oven closed), then cap them with caps that have been soaked in 1 step, would they maintain their sterility until I opened them again?

Alternatively, if I loosely covered the tops with foil and crimped it on removal from the oven to keep the bottle caps out of the mix would I get a more acceptable sterility percentage?

It seems a waste to fire up the oven for two bottles when I could do six and pull them off of the shelf as needed for starters.

This assumes that all of the equipment I use is sanitized and I work in a clean, but not sterile environment.

Up until now I have "Baked" the bottles needed and poured boiling wort into them when they cool to about 200 degrees f, then put foil over the tops.

Thanks for the info,
Barry

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Old 05-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #2
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In the labs I have worked in, we clean them (key), cover the tops of flasks with foil tightly then autoclave them, leaving the foil on only removing it in a sterile field. For this to work in the oven you need to make sure they are dry or the foil will come off.

To sterilize you need to go over 250F for 15 minutes. Of course, as soon as you remove the foil you can no longer consider it sterile, but good enough for beer.

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Old 05-26-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
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You're going to trap some air in the bottles. While the bottles should remain sterile, the air will probably take on a stale quality. I don't know if that could effect the flavor of your beer.

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Old 05-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #4
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What I do is fill my bottles with sanitizing solution ahead of time and then cap them untill they are needed. This insures that they are sterile and it takes away alot of work come bottling day.

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Old 05-27-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
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You guys are taking this too far. I throw them in the dishwasher for a real quick rinse then they go to the oven @ 350 for about 20mins then I turn off the oven and wait for them to cool. I then bottle. Are they sterile anymore, no. Do they need to be? No. Clean is the key here.

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Old 05-27-2007, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k
You guys are taking this too far. I throw them in the dishwasher for a real quick rinse then they go to the oven @ 350 for about 20mins then I turn off the oven and wait for them to cool. I then bottle. Are they sterile anymore, no. Do they need to be? No. Clean is the key here.
That sounds like too much work also.

Rinse clean after use, sanitize before use...
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:59 PM   #7
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I think the OPs point was to develop a way to sanitize (or sterilize) the bottles and then store them until ready to bottle.

If you clean and dry them, foil the tops, put in the oven at 250F for 15-20minutes. You can pull them out (probably let them cool in the oven) and they can be stored indefinitely (as long as the foil is intact).

I might look into doing this too. I a week or so I have to bottle 10 gallons and it is hard for me to devote a huge chuck of my day to this, spreading the bottle cleaning/sanitizing duty out over the preceding weeks is a nice thought.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:02 PM   #8
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I'm with homebrewer_99. Clean bottles immediately after you pour, store them clean, then sanitize them on bottling day.

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Old 05-27-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
That sounds like too much work also.

Rinse clean after use, sanitize before use...
What 99 says..


I rinse out after use. If this is a store bought beer it gets rinsed and stored for delabeling at a later time.

Before I bottle:
I fill a 5 gal bucket with water and Iodophor,
let them soak for 10 min,
Rinse with jet rinse (I know I don't have to but it only takes a couple of minutes to rinse 50 bottles),
Put the bottles upsidedown in a cleaned plastic milk carton it holds 25, 12oz. bottles, I have a clean paper towels in the bottom

The two milk carton sit on my table next to the bottling bucket and I take them out 1 at a time.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:08 AM   #10
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The original question was about bottles for starters.

I personally use a pressure cooker as an autoclave and use pint and quart mason jars covered in foil. If you cover your bottles in foil, bake at 350 for I believe 30 minutes (might be 60) and then cool to room temp your bottles should remain sterile until you peel the foil tops off.

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