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Old 09-07-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
smellslikebeer
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Default Need Bottle Cleaning Tips

I spent last night washing 90+ bottles for two batches I am bottling tomorrow. Let me first say that sucks. All bottles were bottle-brushed regardless of most not having any residue or buildup in them at all. I cleaned them in a tub of Oxi-Clean and will rinse once more today and finish with a Star San dip. What I find most frustrating is that a bottle brush cannot effectively remove the buildup on the bottom because the metal frame that the bristles wind around contacts the bottle before the bristles and does little to no good. What other procedure or tool can I use to effectively remove any haze or slight buildup at the bottom of the bottles? Thanks much.

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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The oxy clean soak and a faucet mount bottle washer should really work well. Hot water through the bottle washer really removes most stuff.

and Thumbs up for being in Indiana too!

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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I find a long and hot soak in OxyClean followed by a warm and thorough rinse and vigorous shake usually gets the crap out of the bottles with little to no brushing. If the crud is still in there, I just throw the bottle out and grab another. I don't have time to waste on stubborn bottles....there's beer a-waitin'! (I usually have at least a spare 6 pack of empty bottle just for this reason)

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Basically what has already been said, but I personally prefer using PBW for that extra kick. Get the water as hot as possible and mix the right ratio of PBW and water, let them soak, I haven't needed a bottle brush in quite some time if you just use a bottle rinser afterwards. Just my 2 cents. (oh, and just to be that guy, I'd suggest you just keg ;-) )

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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I will have to repeat the hot Oxy soak. I bought the inverted bottle sprayer from my LHBS and wouldn't you know I don't have a faucet to connect it to. Pretty much knew it but bought it anyways.Guess thats the one thing I missed on the contractors prints for my new house. A bit of re-engineering in the laundry room and I'll be in biz I suppose.

I have many extra bottles available. The UOA (units of agony) factor was applied to labeled bottles vs cruddy-bottom bottles (B side to fat-bottom girls ) and c-b-b won initially. I may rethink that one.

What is the ratio of OxyClean:water?

Thanks guys and a "thumb back to ya" fergusmj.

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by smellslikebeer View Post
I will have to repeat the hot Oxy soak. I bought the inverted bottle sprayer from my LHBS and wouldn't you know I don't have a faucet to connect it to. Pretty much knew it but bought it anyways.Guess thats the one thing I missed on the contractors prints for my new house. A bit of re-engineering in the laundry room and I'll be in biz I suppose.

I have many extra bottles available. The UOA (units of agony) factor was applied to labeled bottles vs cruddy-bottom bottles (B side to fat-bottom girls ) and c-b-b won initially. I may rethink that one.

What is the ratio of OxyClean:water?

Thanks guys and a "thumb back to ya" fergusmj.
Honestly, I'm really liberal with the use of OxyClean. It's not an exact measurement per se, I just dump at least 2 heaping scoops into the water and more as I go. My personal opinion on OxyClean is more is better. I'm also probably a little more liberal on the StarSan too, but that's because I have a TON of it right now.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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I think what you’re seeing is calcium carbonate. It precipitates out of solution when OxiClean is used with hard water. It won’t hurt anything. I usually clean it off the outside and don’t worry about the slight residue inside.

If it bothers you, you can switch to PBW, it won’t do that. I don’t use it because it’s hard on my hands, and I don’t like to wear rubber gloves for more than a few minutes.

I question the need for a StarSan dip. Why not use a spray bottle? Many of us do. I spray them after rinsing and use the dishwasher as a bottle tree.

I’m with you on the bottle brush. Lots of people don’t use ‘em, to which I say ewww. I don’t know why nobody sells a decent bottle brush. Same thing with a carboy brush.

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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The trick with the bottle brush is to bend the end so that the side of the brush makes contact and the point hits the side. I never used a brush either until about 6 months ago I had about 50 bottles, many of which had crud. I looked at my carboy brush and said DUH! It does make it a little harder to get the brush in, but it does work.

BTW, I also just bought a 3' long tubing brush. It reaches the center of the tubing so you don't need to replace stained lines as often, as long as they are under 6'

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
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I just pour hot water into the cruddy bottles and let them sit for a bit. Shake em up and the crud will come out. Of course I rinse mine out as I empty them as well.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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This is just an idea but as a chemist I have access to many acids such as Nitric and Phosphoric. I too was lazy with bottles and found I have about 4 cases of 12 oz bottles with a stuck on sediment in the bottle. I tried hot water soak with Star San but the acid is too dilute to really do much. So I am going to try 30% HPO4(Phosphoric Acid) and 30% HNO3 (Nitric Acid) and see if a small amount will break it up for sparkling clean bottles. If either works Ill try to scale it down to use the weakest concentration possible. Im think most people could to a 50/50 dilution of acid line cleaner or maybe even star san to help with stuck on lazy mess.

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