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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Caustic cleaners & better bottles
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default Caustic cleaners & better bottles

It's a good thing i went to JW Dover (my lhbs) today in Westlake. The brewer had a slack moment & walked out with the clerk to rap for a bit. So we got to talking about the better bottle I'd traded. He said he used to use'em in the brewery (Black Box Brewing Co.),& he said it's caustic cleaners that're causing the better bottles to crack. Which includes,unfortunately,my beloved PBW.
I told him I use 1.5oz in a gallon of water for general cleaning,& 4TBSP in fermenters filled with cold water to above the crud ring. He of course said caustic cleaners work better when hot. He also said at the amount I'm using (which is normal average cleaning strength according to Fivestar),was "pushing it" in regard to the better bottle cracking thing.
And instead of soaking them 5-7 days & a light scrubbing,he said it'd last longer if I used a lighter cleaner strength & more scrubbing to prevent it from weakening & cracking.
As we discussed it,he remained adamant about his convictions. So I thought this was of milestone importance to tell my "other family" about his findings!
Now here's the kicker...He had a discussion with the owner of the company that makes the better bottles about this,the guy,needless to say...was quite arrogant as he said,about the product & my man's findings. So he quit carrying them. But he also said,with a seriously introspective face & tone,that he was trying to think of a cleaner,or way to clean them that would be safe & prevent the cracking bit. I'm gunna hang around there more often & see if I can help him the way I help you folks...Idk...hopefully something will come to me. I sincerely hope so...

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #2
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I was completely unaware of this "cracking" issue. I use PBW also.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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there are threads on here where folks have had them crack across the bottom. If you & any others have any ideas on how to solve this,let's here'em! Black box brewing,& thus JW Dover LHBS need you & I to solve this riddle. it 'll def be a milestone developement in the HB & craft brewing world. We have a very real chance to make a major change here folks!

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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Better Bottle addresses this issue and proposes a solution on their website: http://www.better-bottle.com/technical.html

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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Here's the page that directly speaks of PBW & fivestar's PBW,stregnths,etc; http://www.better-bottle.com/technical.html Opinions & real world experiences??? The Black Box Brewing guy was quite adamant about it all. sounds like the solution might not be what's really needed in his experiences?

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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I just use unscented dish soap in mine, soak a few days then brush and rinse out and sanitize on brew day of course. Never had any probs.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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I don't tend to primary in Better Bottles, only secondary. So, cleaning is done with an Oxyclean and TSP mixture, but is more of the fill with a small amount of warm cleaning solution and shake violently to knock bits off the fermenter wall variety. I'll keep this in mind if I ever have the urge to soak my BB overnight. Actually, I don't even soak my primary buckets. I use the same solution and a soft cloth to clean them. The only things I soak overnight are kegs and keg parts.

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Old 06-05-2013, 10:08 PM   #8
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So it sounds like your buddy was using really hot water. I soak mine with oxyclean all the time and haven't had any cracks or other problems.

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Old 06-06-2013, 05:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
he said it's caustic cleaners that're causing the better bottles to crack.
I can believe this.

Caustic acid is WICKED on all plastics other than HDPE 2. BB are PET. I am sure if people that made liquid caustic acid containers could use a lighter vessel they would be all over it as liquid caustic acids can weigh 1.5 x water of identical volume.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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At the same time if this guy runs a brewery (if i understand right) wtf is he messing with Better Bottles for in the first place?

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