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Old 11-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default Best practices for washing bottles... how do you do it?

I've been washing them in the dishwasher without soap and with heated dry. My buddy said that should get hot enough to sanitize them if I bottle right after they come out. Guess it's too early to tell if that's true or not, I've only bottled twice but I haven't detected problems yet. I may get a bottle washer but then the outside of the bottle isn't clean, does that mean I have to scrub the outside as well? And then rinse with a star-san solution after cleaning? Sounds like a lot more work... what's your method?

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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I just rinse my bottles immediately after use and store them. When I have 4 or five cases worth of these I make a batch of PBW or one-step and soak them. Rinse, let dry and cover top with small piece of foil. When I need to bottle, I bake them at 350F for an hour. This actually sterilizes them instead of just sanitizing. The only draw back to this is that you need to warm up and cool down the bottles slowly. If you go too fast in either direction you risk cracking the glass becasue the bottles aren't tempered like pyrex. Takes me about 30 min to get them up to temp and then to cool I just shut off the oven and leave them there for at least 6 hours.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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i rinse each bottle after i pour out a beer, i mean right after, not later that night so there is no chance of any yeast drying out inside. after the bottle dries i store it in my bottle closet and at bottling time i give it a shot of star san with my vinator and i bottle, never had a problem. every so often i fill my oven with bottles in the morning and bake them at 350F for a couple of hrs (overkill) and let them cool all day. when i get home from work that night i bottle into the now sterilized bottles. i don't worry about the outside of the bottles but they are never really very dirty anyway.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
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I bottle all beer as I have no kegs. I like bottles anyway.
I buy bottle full of beer from craft brewers here in Michigan... lots to chose from, these I soak in oxyclean over night once I have 24 of them. That releases the label and I use a scrubby to clean them outside. I use a bottle brush to clean the inside. I rinse in hot water, twice. Store in clean environment (like my brew room). Just prior to use I will wash in very hot water and a little oxyclen with scrubby and brush and rinse in very hot water twice. To bottle I soak in starsan for 5 minutes then rinse in boiling water (yes I know not necessary but it makes me feel better) for 5 minutes and I mean the water is boiling and I time the 5 minutes. Use tongs and rubber gloves, fill and cap while bottle is hot. Work very well... for me. It seems a little overboard but it is my beer and I take no chances with my brew!!!

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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15 batches now using same approach and I think it is as efficient as I can get it. I do the following: pour the last little bit out after serving, fill to about 2 inches with hot water from the tap and swirl briskly, repeat three times. As the bottle sits, the remaining water runs down, so I pour out every so often. They are usually totally dry after a few days. On bottling day, I load the dish-machine, and as I do that, look into each bottle to ensure no growth or bugs. I have never come across growth, but have found a bug or two in the 800 bottles or so I've processed so far. My machine thankfully has a "sanitize" cycle. I bottle when the bottles are cool. I have my bottling bucket right next to the dish-machine and fill as I pull them out. No chemicals, no power rinsing of individual bottles. If anyone has a tip to streamline my process further, would love to hear it.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:34 PM   #6
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I rinse bottles the same day I drank the beer. Some time in the future, when I have enough bottles collected, I soak in hot water and oxiclearn for a short period of time, then rinse. On bottling day I run bottles face down through the dishwasher (no dishwasher soap) . The steam sanitizes the already clean bottles.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #7
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I just give them a good wash in hot water and soap. Prop them upside down in my dishwasher and let them dry competly. When I brew-up a batch that I want to bottle (I keg way more than I bottle). I get a spray bottle of Stanstar and give each bottle a real good blast. Let Stanstar soak for at least one min and fillem' up.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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one thing you all might want to consider is storing your bottles upside down. then NOTHING can get in them. when it is time to bottle quick shot of StarSan. i have tried dishwasher, left food particles inside bottle;

brand new bottles i will soak about a dozen or so in a bucket with oxyclean and HOT water. labels fall off after about an hour or two. rinse and store upside down on clean bottling tree. once dry put them back in the 12pack holder upside down. also use file folder boxes to store bottles. Cheap, stackable and they hold about 30 bottles.

Keep them upside down.

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Old 11-18-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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I used to just rinse them with water and then in iodophor. I never had a problem at home. Now I rinse, brush, rinse and then iodophor.

The reason I changed it was because I sent some beer in a comp a state over from here and got excellent scores with no off flavors and brilliant clarity. I had to send examples of the same beers across the country and got negative comments about clarity and some clove phenol. Shipping unfiltered unpasteurized beer has been a problem since the beginning of bottled beer. I just blame my bottles for lack of a better thing to change.

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Old 11-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
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I recycle bottles in a bucket of PBW after rinsing them out in the sink. Soak overnight,then use a dobie & bottle brush real quick to clean them inside & out. goes real quick,since gunk & glue are dissolved,or real soft. Rinse out & onto the bottle tree to dry. Then stored in covered,sturdy 12 pack craft beer boxes.
After drinking my beers out of them,rinse out a couple times real quick,& back on the bottle tree to dry before going back in said boxes. Then just sanitize with the vinator on bottling day.
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