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Old 09-04-2006, 05:03 PM   #1
puravida286
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Default Rinsing bottles with tap water

I am about to bottle my first batch of homebrew. After I sanitize the bottles in a bucket of bleach-water, is it really that harmful to rinse them with tap water? Or should the rinsing water be boiled first as howtobrew.com suggests. I don't think Papazian's book addresses this issue and I want to do this right since I only have one shot at it and I've put so much effort into the process so far. Does tap water house bacteria that could spoil my brew?

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Old 09-04-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puravida286
I am about to bottle my first batch of homebrew. After I sanitize the bottles in a bucket of bleach-water, is it really that harmful to rinse them with tap water? Or should the rinsing water be boiled first as howtobrew.com suggests. I don't think Papazian's book addresses this issue and I want to do this right since I only have one shot at it and I've put so much effort into the process so far. Does tap water house bacteria that could spoil my brew?
It could, but if you're sanitizing with bleach, you really don't have a choice.

I used that exact procedure (bleach, rinse w/ tap water) for my first few batches and had no problems. I would, however, recommend iodophor (or star san). The no-rinse is convenient, but the short contact time (1-2 minutes, vs 20+ for bleach) is what really makes it worth the slightly higher expense.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:09 PM   #3
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Do you have a dishwasher? After giving my bottles a good bleach rinse and rinsing them out, I run them through the dishwasher, no soap, on the highest-temp setting. Works great as a bottling rack, and the heat will cause any bleach remaining in the bottles to be broken down. You can't use a dishwasher to CLEAN the bottles (the water can't reach all the way inside), but I like it a lot for this application...

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Old 09-04-2006, 06:45 PM   #4
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I like the dishwasher as well for cleaning bottles. I know there is minimal cleaning action on the inside of the bottles, so I give them a good scrub before putting them in the dishwasher. It's great for getting the last bits of labels off, and mine has a heat sanitizing cycle that I can use on bottling day (though it takes forever, so sometimes it's easier to just use a no rinse product like Star San).

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Old 09-05-2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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If you're using bleach in a proper solution rinsing isn't strictly necesary. Bleach in low concentrations is a competent no-rinse surface santizer. However at those low concentraiton the contact time is 2 minutes or more. 2 minutes is a LONG time when you're sanitizing 5 gallons of bottles.


I second, however, the use of a fast contact no-rinse sanitizer like Star-San. I've used bleach in the past (because my Dad did it that way) but I find Star San far easier to use.

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Old 09-05-2006, 12:47 PM   #6
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I rinsed the bleach from my bottles with tap water for years. Never had a problem.

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Old 09-05-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puravida286
Does tap water house bacteria that could spoil my brew?

I sure hope not, not only do I drink tap water all the time, but I sometimes top off my primary with it straight from the tap.
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:44 PM   #8
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I remember reading somewhere in Papazian's book that for all intents and purposes he considers HOT tap water sanitary. I always rinse with hot tap water (as hot as it will get) and also have never had a problem.

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Old 09-06-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
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I have done the same, I soak the bottles in a weak bleach/water solution then rinse with hot water and store upside down in the dishwasher. No problems to date.

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Old 09-06-2006, 03:13 PM   #10
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You can bet that any tap water delivered in the USA is sanitary and germ-free. It is a good idea to clean & sanitize any hose or faucet prior to starting.

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