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Old 06-05-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning bottles

So I"m trying to figure out what the best way to clean 2 cases of bottles is.

Once I get the bottles *clean*, I'm good to go, but cleaning seems to really bring me down on bottling day. The sanitize and fill aspects seem to go quick enough.

Yesterday, I used the bottle brush on 50 some bottles. Hot soapy water, and a couple of rinses, and I'll be good to bottle this weekend. But what a PIA

Using the bottle brush takes a long time. But I've had cases where I swish around some sanitizer, and brown sediment drops out of the bottle I was going to use. Yuk. Normally, I rinse out my HB bottles the night I drink them, but I certainly don't brush them out at the time.

What's the best, if any, alternative to using a bottle brush on every bottle? Is the jet washer good enough?

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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well if you fill the bottles from a keg you won't have the normal sediment from carbing the bottles. Then washing wouldn't be so bad.

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #3
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I use a big round tub I got at the grocery store. Put the bottles in, fill it with water, add some Oxiclean and let it sit overnight. Next day, rinse the crap out of the bottles and store them upside down in boxes with dividers. I can fit about a case in the tub, and I also use a Homer bucket for the same purpose. Might take a couple of days to 'clean' them, but the Oxiclean is doing the work.

I find it's better to clean bottles a few days in advance if only to make it seem like not so much work.

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:19 PM   #4
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I soak all my bottles in hot PBW overnight. Works great. Just set them upright in a bucket and fill them up. The next day empty and blast with the bottle washer. They will be clean and you can still reuse the PBW. I never even touch my bottle brush.

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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Also, if you take a little extra time to rinse them good when you empty them, it goes a long way when you are cleaning a whole bunch.
I've also read somewhere that someone stuck their bottle brush in their drill to speed things up.

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Old 06-05-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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I don't often use a brush. I do use it to remove kraeusen rings once in a while. If you rinse them clean before storing you don't really have to clean them. I just rinse them when they come out of storage to remove any dust or insects then sanitize.

Sometimes I rinse them at the sink and sanitize them in the dish washer. Other times I set out a bucket of warm watter and another bucket of Iodopher (starsan is hard on the hands and I hate the foam.) I grab a bottle and put it under the watter a few seconds and with my thumb over the top I shake it then dump it back in the bucket. Then I grab a dry bottle and rinse it as I sanitize the other the same way in the other hand. I place the sanitized one aside, trade hands with the rinsed one, grab another dry one, repeat. Using both hands it goes fast. With two people one could rinse two bottles and the other sanitize two bottles and really fly.

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Old 06-05-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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FWIW, I've never used a brush on a bottle. Before I use them for the first time, they get a 3+ hour soak in a hot bleach or oxyclean solution to knock out any funk and loosen up the labels, then rinse them out really well. I sanitize immediately before filling them - and after pouring the beer into my glass I immediately rinse them 2-3 times with water (shaking vigorously upside down as they drain) and stow them for the next use. Subsequent uses I've simply re-sanitized and filled them again - I've done it this way for at least 8-10 fills without any cleaning (only rinsing) in between, and I've never had a bottle infection or off flavor.

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Old 06-05-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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are you an iFisher? ^^^

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Old 06-06-2009, 12:42 AM   #9
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If a bottle has gunk in it that would require a brush to remove, it gets chucked...

I soak in oxiclean, then dishwasher, then put away until bottling day, when they get taken out, santized, and filled.

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
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are you an iFisher? ^^^
Yeah, I don't visit there as often as I used to but I've been on there for several years. Same screen name.
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