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-   -   Cleaning Bottles (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/cleaning-bottles-38305/)

Photopilot 09-09-2007 09:00 PM

Cleaning Bottles
 
I am about to bottle my first batch in a while. My bottles are a bit dusty after sitting in my crawlspace for 8 years or so. Also some of the bottles were not rinsed properly after last use so there is a build up on the bottom.

I had filled a tub with a bleach water solution and submerged and filled the bottles. It has been 3 days now, because I have not had the time to empty, clean and fill them.

I know bleach looses its effectiveness over time. Do i need to start over with the cleaning, or can I now dump the bottles, rinse them and then bottle? What about the ones with stuff in them. Should I scrub them out and re-bleach or how do I go about getting them ready to bottle?

Thanks

FlyGuy 09-09-2007 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Photopilot
I am about to bottle my first batch in a while. My bottles are a bit dusty after sitting in my crawlspace for 8 years or so. Also some of the bottles were not rinsed properly after last use so there is a build up on the bottom.

I had filled a tub with a bleach water solution and submerged and filled the bottles. It has been 3 days now, because I have not had the time to empty, clean and fill them.

I know bleach looses its effectiveness over time. Do i need to start over with the cleaning, or can I now dump the bottles, rinse them and then bottle? What about the ones with stuff in them. Should I scrub them out and re-bleach or how do I go about getting them ready to bottle?

Thanks

I would absolutely scrub them clean, rinse them well, and re-sanitize. I highly recommend a no-rinse sanitizer like Star San.

To make the scrubbing easier, I cut the handle off a small scrubbing brush and attached it to my cordless drill. Gets them clean in no time. A pressure bottle washer is also a must.

tgreene7 09-09-2007 09:08 PM

No matter how good the sanitizing agent is, it wont work if there is gunk, or scratches to hide bacteria, under.

The bottles that have crud in em, need further attention.

Photopilot 09-09-2007 09:27 PM

Thanks Guys for the info.

Yes I have a pressure washer that I was going to use. Only some of the bottles had some gunk in them. I will dump out the bottles scrub the ones in need, and resoak. Why the norinse sanitizer? I have mostly used bleach or Iodophor in the past. If you use the no-rinse do you just dump out the solution and then fill the bottles? How about bottle caps. I had boiled them in the past, should I use a sanitizing solution instead?

FlyGuy 09-09-2007 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Photopilot
Thanks Guys for the info.

Yes I have a pressure washer that I was going to use. Only some of the bottles had some gunk in them. I will dump out the bottles scrub the ones in need, and resoak. Why the norinse sanitizer? I have mostly used bleach or Iodophor in the past. If you use the no-rinse do you just dump out the solution and then fill the bottles? How about bottle caps. I had boiled them in the past, should I use a sanitizing solution instead?

With Star San, you can take clean bottles, spray them with sanitizer inside, drain, stick them on the bottle tree, and they are ready to go. Makes the job quick and easy. And yes, you can do the same thing with the caps. Just soak them in Star San for one minute, and they are ready to go (no rinsing or drying required).

IowaStateFan 09-11-2007 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Photopilot
Thanks Guys for the info.

Yes I have a pressure washer that I was going to use. Only some of the bottles had some gunk in them. I will dump out the bottles scrub the ones in need, and resoak. Why the norinse sanitizer? I have mostly used bleach or Iodophor in the past. If you use the no-rinse do you just dump out the solution and then fill the bottles? How about bottle caps. I had boiled them in the past, should I use a sanitizing solution instead?

Times have changed. Where you used bleach with good results 8 years ago, people now days are afraid it will harm their beer. While the no-rinse sanitizers are much better, more reliable, and easier to use without worrying about harming your beer, they are pretty expensive. I'm a cheap SOB and use bleach to clean and sanitize on brew day. I clean my bottles with Oxyclean and a bottle brush. I sanitize them (and the bottle caps) by running them through the dishwasher on the high heat cycle on bottling day. Many people on this board would probably be appalled with my sanitation procedures, but I haven't had a problem yet. I say there's no real reason to change your procedures from what you did in the past, though you might find that the no-rinse sanitizers will be better. YMMV.

FlyGuy 09-11-2007 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IowaStateFan
Times have changed. Where you used bleach with good results 8 years ago, people now days are afraid it will harm their beer. While the no-rinse sanitizers are much better, more reliable, and easier to use without worrying about harming your beer, they are pretty expensive. I'm a cheap SOB and use bleach to clean and sanitize on brew day. I clean my bottles with Oxyclean and a bottle brush. I sanitize them (and the bottle caps) by running them through the dishwasher on the high heat cycle on bottling day. Many people on this board would probably be appalled with my sanitation procedures, but I haven't had a problem yet. I say there's no real reason to change your procedures from what you did in the past, though you might find that the no-rinse sanitizers will be better. YMMV.

Nothing wrong with that procedure at all. I have done that with success, too. I just find the no rinse sanitizers like Star San to be real time savers. For me, time is as precious (or more precious) commodity than expendable cash, I think. Besides, Star San can be reused over and over if prepared and cared for properly, so in the end it isn't as expensive as it appears. But I still use bleach on occasion, too.

skou 09-11-2007 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IowaStateFan
Times have changed. Where you used bleach with good results 8 years ago, people now days are afraid it will harm their beer. While the no-rinse sanitizers are much better, more reliable, and easier to use without worrying about harming your beer, they are pretty expensive. I'm a cheap SOB and use bleach to clean and sanitize on brew day. I clean my bottles with Oxyclean and a bottle brush. I sanitize them (and the bottle caps) by running them through the dishwasher on the high heat cycle on bottling day. Many people on this board would probably be appalled with my sanitation procedures, but I haven't had a problem yet. I say there's no real reason to change your procedures from what you did in the past, though you might find that the no-rinse sanitizers will be better. YMMV.

Here's a small revision of this method;

Use no dishwasher soap, but use a capful of bleach, in the dishwasher. Use the heated dry cycle, like you said.

Now, here's the difference. Set your bottling bucket on the counter, right over the OPEN dishwasher, grab the bottles out of it, fill them, and have your helper cap them. You are going to drip. No way around that, but you're dripping on the open D-W door. You don't even have to clean that up, just shut the door.

steve


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