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Old 02-25-2009, 09:21 PM   #1
ssabin
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Default Dishwasher and Bottles

OK,
I used the dishwasher to sanitize the bottle for my first batch of beer, and although the dishwasher was very crowded, it worked very well and went quickly.

However, my dishwasher has Jet Dry in it, and there doesn't appear to be a way to disable its use. I figured, what the heck and washed the bottles anyways.

And when I bottled I intentially went light on the priming sugar as this was an American Amber (extract kit), and I think most American beers are over carbonated.

So, it's been 4 weeks + in the bottle, and the carbonation is a bit low. Not horribly so, but lower than I would like.

The question I'd like to ask is whether the lack of head in my beer is due to the Jet Dry on the bottles, or the lower carbonation, or both? I've purchased 4 new 20 oz pint glasses to rule out the drinking glass itself, and there wasn't much of an improvement to the head. If I pour the beer agressively, I get some head in the glass, but it dissipates rather quickly.

I've hand-washed my bottles in anticipation of the next 2 batches which may be bottled at the same time. This was a lot more work! I washed in Oxyclean (those bottles from my previous batch - the rest are brand new and were simply rinsed), then rinsed out each with Star San. I poured out the liquid from the bottles several times and let them air dry overnight. This was a lot more work than the dishwasher!

So now I'm wondering if it's worth it? I'll know in a few weeks, I guess, but maybe I should put a couple in the dishwasher before I bottle, so that I have the different methods in the same batch of beer?

Anyone else test this before?

Thanks!

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Old 02-25-2009, 09:29 PM   #2
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Jet Dry will absolutely kill head retention. It prevents spots by breaking down surface tension...such as the surface tension forming the bubbles in a beers head!

I'd just manually sanitize until the Jet Dry in your dishwasher is used up.

BTW, there is no need to dry your bottles after sanitizing with Star San. Just drain out the excess and fill with beer.

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Old 02-25-2009, 09:30 PM   #3
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jet dry will give you poor head retention. Carbonation will not be affected.

Have you thought of not filling up the jet dry next time it runs out? What's more important, beer or dishes? I think the answer is obvious.

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Old 02-25-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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Commercial beers seem to have good head retention in my glassware. Since I use the dishwasher to wash all my glassware, I assume that there must not be enough residual Jet Dry on my mugs to make any difference. Therefore, I don't worry about it when I sanitize my bottles in the dishwasher, either.

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Old 02-25-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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I used my dishwasher to sanitize bottles for the longest time, struggling with head retention issues. I wash glassware in there fine and dandy and any commercial beer forms a stable head as well. I do not use Jet Dry or any type of spotting agent.

I finally sanitized the bottles in Star San, bypassing anytime in the dishwasher and started seeing the head that I was expecting. Don't know why the dishwasher was causing the problems, but not using it has seemed to solve it. YMMV.

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Old 02-25-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Wow - some quick responses!

As far as the first batch went, I put the bottles in with no soap, which I've also heard can cause problems (try to find unscented dishwashing soap - I went to 3 places and gave up!). Since these were new bottles, I figured running without soap should be fine.

I was probably more anal about getting the Star San out because I don't want it killing my yeast and keeping my carb level low again. I know it's fine, but...for this time at least, I wanted to do everything I could to get better head retention.

I think I will take a few bottles and run them through the dishwasher as an experiment. No soap, just Jet Dry. Then I'll know!

Thanks for the quick replies!

-Scott

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Old 02-25-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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Star san will not kill your yeast - you can fill right over the foam. I use a bottle tree and sanitize with star san every time. If you are finding the beer has to much foam when you open it this is probably because you are not chilling the beer long enough before serving. Try to chill your beer to serving temp (whatever that you like) for at least 24 hours before serving.

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Old 02-26-2009, 01:13 AM   #8
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I was running mine through the dishwasher without anything - no soap, no Jet Dry. If you are still using Jet Dry, you're still going to have head retention issues. I would just move to a Star San dunk (do not dry the bottles) right to bottling. If you need the bottles to be clean, try a hot water or hot water + oxyclean soak. Then sanitize with Star-San.

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Old 02-26-2009, 03:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
I was running mine through the dishwasher without anything - no soap, no Jet Dry. If you are still using Jet Dry, you're still going to have head retention issues.
That's very strange. You use no soap and no Jet dry, yet you have had problems. I use Jet Dry (but no soap) and yet I have no issues with head retention. This says to me that Jet Dry isn't part of the equation. (YMMV)

Something to consider is that a really cool experiment would be to put a half dozen bottles or so through your dishwasher the next time you bottle a batch. Mark them once they are filled, and compare them side-by-side with a bottle sanitized using your normal method. A split batch is really the only true way to know if your head retention problems are actually attributable to the dishwasher or not.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:10 PM   #10
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I used my dishwasher to sanitize my bottles a while back, and even though my JetDry compartment was empty (and had been for a few wash cycles), I still had an issue with head retention. It was still worth not having to sanitize 48 bottles individually though.

Simple solution? Keg.

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