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Old 12-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by rcrabb22 View Post
I think I make this same post every year, or at least feel the sentiment.

I bottle once a year, at Christmas time, to give my beer to family and friends as gifts. This year my gift list has increased to 6.5 cases and yesterday I washed every stinking bottle for the chore, actually 160 to have a few extra.
I used a bottle brush in each bottle and then thorough rinse. The activity took almost 5 hours and my hands and back were killing me by the time I finished.

It only took an hour or so to remember why I keg!

Bottle people: I COMMEND YOU FOR YOU EFFORTS!
Thanks for your condescending "compliments". They are really appreciated. Sweet blog. Have a Merry Christmas.


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Old 12-18-2012, 08:01 PM   #22
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The whole time spent de-labeling thing need only be a one time investment.

I washed and collected empties until I had a ridiculous amount, more than I would ever need, something like 15 cases. OCD was kicking in

Now I just reuse the same bottles. No need to ever de-label again. As long as you stick to the program and rinse/soak em out as soon as their emptied, there's no reason they should ever get crudded to the point where it's not worth the risk of reusing. If I get an obvious infection, then I'll toss em to be on the safe side. I don't do sours, but if I did, I'd segregate those bottles.

Your PBW bath will last a lot longer too without label residue and glue floating around. If you pre rinse shake the dregs out with tap water prior to your PBW soak, it goes even further.



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Old 12-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #23
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Like many others I do a soak in Oxyclean of all my bottles overnight.

Once they are all soaked, a good swish of each and rinse then drain on bottle rack.

Oven sanitize at 190F for 20 minutes.

I use 2 bottling buckets going at the same time to bottle 110 bottles myself in just about 1 hour.

Why I prefer bottling to kegging? a. easier to store for long aging of big beers b. to distribute to friends/family c. to have 10 different beers in storage when 10 kegs is not feasible d. MUCH less investment cost (my bottles were free).

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Old 12-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hamsterbite View Post

I washed and collected empties until I had a ridiculous amount, more than I would ever need, something like 15 cases. OCD was kicking in
Yeahhh...I haven't stopped. Up to like 30 so far...
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #25
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I have growlers, but they never keep the right carbonation IMO.
Was this directed at the swing top bottles? I acquired a recycle bin full of Grolsch 16 oz bottles and I was gonna use em for a blonde ale I plan to brew, but not if they don't stay capped tight like a crown top.

I think it would be sweet to have kegs with my beers on tap at home. I bottle because I don't have a ton of space or the extra money for the kegging equipment, but really the grab-and-go convenience of bottles is key. If you're heading out, and you decide you want to bring beers, it takes 5 seconds to grab a six pack and get out (if not, you're doing it wrong).
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by CheshireCat View Post
Was this directed at the swing top bottles? I acquired a recycle bin full of Grolsch 16 oz bottles and I was gonna use em for a blonde ale I plan to brew, but not if they don't stay capped tight like a crown top.

I think it would be sweet to have kegs with my beers on tap at home. I bottle because I don't have a ton of space or the extra money for the kegging equipment, but really the grab-and-go convenience of bottles is key. If you're heading out, and you decide you want to bring beers, it takes 5 seconds to grab a six pack and get out (if not, you're doing it wrong).
I've noticed swing top bottles don't hold the same carbonation/pressure as crown tops (at least not for me) and are a little more flat in general. I prefer the crown tops, in 22 oz if available.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:26 AM   #27
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Thanks for your condescending "compliments". They are really appreciated. Sweet blog. Have a Merry Christmas.
I am a Newbie here, and to brewing, but a vet to online forums and someone has to bash you.......come on man lighten up, go have a beer.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #28
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I am a Newbie here, and to brewing, but a vet to online forums and someone has to bash you.......come on man lighten up, go have a beer.
Oh, dear vet - I am as light as they come. Thank you for your concern. Have a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #29
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I have rigged a way to fit almost 2 cases of bottles in my dishwasher mouth pointed down. bottling day i thrown them in and run it in the am with cleaner. Take them out look in them to make sure no gunk(usually not a problem because I rinse right after I pour a beer, but I do sometimes get some bottles from other people) anyway they usually come out of the dishwasher fine. So I hit them with star San and put them back in the cases upside down. Then they are ready to go when I am, and I have been able to do any number of things while the bottles were being cleaned. (Usually kegging the first five gallons of the batch for myself at home) but I don't mind bottling the last 10, The bottles are easier to bring with me to drink somewhere or to share. Also if you can recruit SWMBO to operate the capper while you fill, this cuts down time significantly. Disclaimer: (This can be difficult or even hazardous to your health depending on your swmbo. So do suggest this at your own discretion. I am not responsible) Otherwise offer a friend a few bottles to do the capping.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:37 PM   #30
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Taking labels off is the only time-consuming part of bottling for me now. I used to save up a bunch until my wife got to the breaking point and then I soaked them in a tall kitchen trash can. Usually a couple of batches.

Now I try and soak 10-12 bottles in a spare bucket. Hot water and Oxyclean for several hours to overnight usually takes the labels right off. I have a mental list of certain brands that do not come off easily. I usually don't buy that brand, or return to toss accordingly. They are not worth the effort.

The Vinator is something I really need to pick up. I spray starsan into each bottle, swirl, and place on the bottle tree now. I think it could go faster to use a vinator, not sure.

At bottling time I sanitize the bottles and bucket, rack the beer and start filling bottles. I usually have a young person to take the filled bottles and cap them for me. Really, with an assistant, it doesn't usually take much more than 1/2 hour.

If I included the time for cleaning the bottles/kegs, kegging it MUCH faster. If it's only fill time, it's usually pretty close, with kegging being somewhat quicker, but not by a ton.

I usually take my kegs completely apart after each beer and clean and reassemble. This goes MUCH faster than the equivalent number of bottles being delabeled. However, once the bottles have been delabeled and washed, they go FAST.

I just can't stop buying commercial bottles and saving them for future use. It makes giving beer away to friends so much easier, and it's actually often easier to do this than to return the fancy beer bottles to the fancy beer store with the Mother$#&*%ing bottle machine. You know the one. The one that doesn't seem to take ANY frigging bottles?? I end up literally having to show the bag of rejects to the person behind the counter to get my money. They ought to just have someone quickly look over the returnables and throw that POS machine away. Whew! I don't feel better, but that did feel good.



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