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Old 12-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #1
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Good morning folks,

New to the hobby myself, though I've been exposed to it for awhile from teachers and friends alike.

I have been collecting bottles from random sources and I know amber bottles are key in conditioning and yet in the process have collected plenty of off-colors as well (green and colorless), but I am a stickler for no labels on my bottles.

As I'm sure you've guessed, yes my hands have gotten pruned as I'm sure most of yours have at one point or another and I've read here that OxiClean (Free) is the way to go for cleaning and de-labeling. I have washed now approximately 8 cases of bottles with hot water and dish soap. I am a science geek and have heard horror stories from family and friends that there can be the unwanted remnants of hydrocarbons in the soap being broken down by the yeast in the process. Given a good rinse, for being the stickler I am, is there anything I should be concerned about? Does the same go for OxiClean, even though it's not an organic substance?

I would love to start saving time, and have been saving plenty of money. Also, between cleaning and sanitizing, should I be worried about any potential health hazards that might come gathering bottles from random sources being that I may or may not know who was drinking from them?

Thanks in advance for reading and I look forward to more brewing!

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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For de-labeling, I use old Star-San water. I soak the bottles in a tub for about a week and most labels come off easily.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Rinse them well after washing and then sanitize properly in either a starsan soak or a run though a dishwasher on hot wash and you'll be fine.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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I planned on doing a StarSan and a dishwasher cycle just to be safe. Cleanliness is key, better safe than sorry yeah?

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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I planned on doing a StarSan and a dishwasher cycle just to be safe. Cleanliness is key, better safe than sorry yeah?
Whatever way you choose to CLEAN the bottles just make sure the soap or oxy or whatever is rinsed out completely. Store the dry bottles in such a fashion as to keep anything from crawling into or floating into them. Cover them with a clean towel, plastic sheet or a put them on a bottle tree.

Starsan them (a spray is all you need as long as it gets the inside wet) and bottle your beer. I also dip the bottle caps in a dish of Starsan before capping.

OMO

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Old 12-06-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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I like to soak my bottles in hot oxy for a few hours at most. The labels generally come off easily. If it's a very nice bottle I might fuss with taking extra time and effort to get the label off (using goo gone or similar), but in general, if the label doesn't peel off easily with the fingernail, or better yet, slide off as I pull the bottle out of the bucket, then it goes in the trash. I have not enough time to get sore fingernails and waste hours because the brewery can't use waterbased glue (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, SHORTS!)

After that a good hot rinse and a dip in some acid rinse (because I have high alkalinity in my water and I often get a white residue from it that the acid dip removes), and then another rinse for the acid and put away, or sanitize for bottling if I'm bottling at the same time.

I'm starting a new plan where I save up to 10 bottles at a time and just clean and delabel them in the sink. I used to save much more and it made cleaning them a "project". This way I can just use the sink and get them done and out of the way like once a week or two.

A green scrubby is very handy for washing the glue residue and bits of label that didn't slide off completely too.

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Old 12-06-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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I am a science geek and have heard horror stories from family and friends that there can be the unwanted remnants of hydrocarbons in the soap being broken down by the yeast in the process.
Please elaborate.... It sounds like you are afraid of something. I'm curious.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Well, the soap forms micelles carrying dirt and other sediments away when rinsed with water, depending on how well its rinsed there could still be micelles hiding out. Meaning there would be some fairly large hydrocarbons that might not be broken down via fermentation giving an "off-taste" as well as whatever sediment was present in the micelle.

Not too say I don't clean and rinse like a madman, but still, worry is always underlying the procedure to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness.

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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I soak in PBW for a couple days to get labels off and then dry them until I'm ready to use. I pull out all the bottles I'm going to need to use and throw them all in the dishwasher with no soap but set to sanitize and let that run. I put my bottling bucket above the dishwasher and start pulling the bottles out and putting them on the door of the dishwasher. I run star san through the bottles with my avvinatore and then fill with beer using my bottling wand. Any spilled beer gets caught on the dishwasher door and when I'm finished, I close the door of the dishwasher and the beer goes down the drain so it's easy clean-up. I've never had any issues with this procedure.

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:23 AM   #10
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I did an OxyClean soak today, seem to work very well except for four of the bottles, I just might toss those out at this point. I have all I need for now, though I'll be getting rid of/ trading out the colorless and green bottles I have at some point.

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