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Old 11-12-2007, 02:18 AM   #1
AZ_Brew_Dude
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Default Best method for cleaning & sanitizing bottles?

Hello all - I'm sure this has been covered before, but whats the best/easiest method for preparing bottles for bottling the beer? I read somewhere to simply put the bottles in the dishwasher, add a capful of bleach and run on the hottest cycle. Can it be this simple?

I bought Star San which I used while preparing the wort - and originally I thought this would be needed to prep the bottles as well. But if bleach in the dishwasher is adequate, then that sounds easier to me. If Star San is recommended by everyone here, then whats the best way to do it? Soak the bottles in Star San and let them air dry???

Thanks for the advice!

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Old 11-12-2007, 02:20 AM   #2
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If you have a heat dry on your dishwasher, that's probably the best way to go, it works great for me. Just run the dishwasher cycle without any bleach or dishwasher soap.

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Old 11-12-2007, 02:29 AM   #3
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I don't have a sanitizer setting on my dishwasher, so I take cleaned bottles and sanitize them and put them on a bottle tree. They don't need to dry. I use a vinator and it squirts sanitizer up into them.

I rinse my bottles when I drink the beer, so they are always pretty clean, but I'll take a bunch and clean them every week or so before storing them away. Then I just rinse the dust off and sanitize and fill. I use one-step, usually, but I've used Idophor in the past. It's not too bad sanitizing the bottles- I mean, you've got to sanitize the bottling bucket and tubing and siphon and hydrometer anyway, so I just do it while I start my priming solution. I bottle on the dishwasher door, though, with my bucket above it and fill the bottles on the door. It's quick and easy that way.

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Old 11-12-2007, 02:31 AM   #4
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It really depends on where you start.

If the bottles are brand spanking new all you need to do is get a jet washer that attaches to your faucet and give them a good rinse then sanitize.

If they are used then you may have to do some scrubbing and label removal. If I get a case or two of Weizens while on the road I'll soak the labels off in the hotel room and rinse them out really good until I get home. But basically they're clean.

If you have slugs at the bottom...I soak the bottles overnight in bleach water and clean them with a bottle brush. I cut off the round wire and attach it to my drill and let the drill do all the work.

If you've emptied them yourself (of your HB) then the best thing you can do for yourself is to rinse them out right away and place them on a drying tree. There's no scrubbing to do.

To sanitize I found it best to use Iodophor if you are using one of those pump cleaners advertized as a sulfiter. You can use Star San, but I find you can only do about 5 bottles before you have to remove the foam that builds up from the pumping action. Iodophor doesn't foam up (OK, very little).

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Old 11-12-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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If they are bottles that I found, I'll scrub the insides with a brush. After that, I give them a good hot water rinse after drinking the beer. At bottling time, I load the bottles into the dishwater and fill the soap compartment with One Step Sanitizer and then run the dishwasher. I fill my bottles at the dishwasher. I connect my bottling wand to the valve with a short section of tubing. Then I just grab a bottle out of the dishwasher and lift it up to the wand and lower the bottle when its full. Any overflows just drip into the dishwasher, no messes this way.

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Old 11-12-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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I wash out each bottle immediately after use, so they are put away clean.

On bottling day, I quickly wash each bottle in an oxy clean solution, rinse with hot water using a jet bottle washer attached to my faucet, then dunk in star san. They hang on a bottle tree until I'm ready to use them. I can clean and sanitize 50 bottles in just under an hour this way.

I don't use my dishwasher, even though it has a sanitizing setting, because I don't trust it to clean out the inside of the bottles. That means its only good for sanitizing, and star san does that quicker.

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Old 11-12-2007, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerthoven
On bottling day, I quickly wash each bottle in an oxy clean solution, rinse with hot water using a jet bottle washer attached to my faucet, then dunk in star san. They hang on a bottle tree until I'm ready to use them. I can clean and sanitize 50 bottles in just under an hour this way.
I'll second this as a good procedure and the one that my buddies and I use. Also try to hold up each bottle between a light source and your eye to inspect for old caked on yeast, cigarette ashes, etc!

And for the initial washing of bottles an oxyclean soak goes a long way to getting most labels off.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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I run mine through the dishwasher without bleach because I don't like the band aid taste. :-D Then I get them an extra rinse to clean off any soap residue on them. 10 mins in one-step and then in the dish rack to drain. I sanitize my bucket, siphon, utensils, caps, and basically anything else that will touch the beer. I don't get out the CSI gear but neither do I spit on the bottles then wipe them off my teeshirt. :-) Also, I rinse out the bottles after I'm done drinking and give them an anti-bacterial wash in the sink if they are not mine ( donated bottles ).

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Old 11-12-2007, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I soak the bottles ... and clean them with a bottle brush. I cut off the round wire and attach it to my drill and let the drill do all the work.
Genius - I am SO going to do that in future!
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:37 PM   #10
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I heat mine in the oven at 338 degrees for an hour with foil on the openings. Put in a case and store them until ready to use.

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