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Old 02-11-2013, 02:02 AM   #1
birdley123
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Default Best way to prep bottles?

I've got a BUNCH of freebie bottles that I've delabeled, now I need to get them
"Clean" for bottling. Not sanitized, I've got starsan for that.
Whats a good way to get the germs out before I put my beer in them, since I have no idea whe they came from? I've got about 150 to do, so I'm looking for a production type setup.

Thanks,

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:15 AM   #2
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I use PBW ( powdered brewery wash) and i scrub them inside and out with a bottle brush, especially around the mouth of the bottle, also make sure you you get the inside bottom seam well. I fill the sink on one side with the PBW for washing, and the other side of the sink stays empty so I can run the water for adequate rinsing, each bottle needs to be thoroughly rinsed 2 -3 times to get all the PBW out.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:21 AM   #3
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Then just starsan and go?

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdley123 View Post
Then just starsan and go?
Yep... PBW, Oxyclean etc. rinse well and then star san prior to bottling. If the bottles are really cruddy we'll use the kettle to heat up several gallons of water, add some PBW and let them soak for a spell. Then just use the bottle brush, rinse and star san. We brew a lot of Belgians and bottle a lot and have an assembly line set up..
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:28 AM   #5
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Yes starsan just before bottling, I submerge as many bottles as I can in a 5 -6 gal bucket and pull about 12 out at a time for bottling, rotating more into the starsan at the same time, also leave your caps in a measuring cup of starsan taking them out as you need them.

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- White IPA on deck
- ESB on deck

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:28 AM   #6
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You may want to look into a vinator and bottle tree if you don't already have them. Essential for any sort of bottling IMO. Also, bottle tree is great for just drying your freshly rinsed empties every night.

Did I say every night?

Well, most.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:31 AM   #7
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If the bottles I get have lefrover dried beer. I oxyclean them in a rub of water for an hour, and rinse. The day of bottling, star san them.

After that its easy to maintain clean bottles. Immediately after drinking, rinse with cold water and star san the day of bottling.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 AM   #8
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I should be good, I got a vinator and a bottle tree yesterday. Also bought one of those "fast-racks" on a whim. Pretty slick!

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Then you are set. As a previous post mentioned, if you just rinse every bottle after pouring and put it on the tree, you will have no problems. Day of bottling, give a couple pumps on the vinator and you are good to go.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:40 AM   #10
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I get free bottles from a local bottle scoop from time to time. I agree with you, I don't know where they come from, so try to be extra certain that they are clean. I use one of the big red buckets, like you get from smart and final:


I soak the buckets in oxyclean overnight. Then us a brush to clean out any gunk and scrape labels- the oxyclean helps weaken the glue for the labels, which is a bonus. I be sure it's warm by tossing in a few gallons of boiling water with the hose water into the bucket. I can do about 30-40 bottles in a batch. I try to be sure that the inside of the bottles is clean with visual inspection and willingly toss any that don't pass the inspection- they are free anyway, right? Then a soak in iodophor over night, rinse and then a run though the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle, then ready for a star san rinse and drip dry on the bottle tree while I prep the bottling bucket.

Obsessive? Most certainly, but the bottles are free, and I know they are clean when I am done. A couple days of sporadic work to do a few batches of bottles and I am set for a few batched of homebrew. Paying 12 bucks-18 bucks for a case of bottles that don't even come with beer kills me.

Just be sure to give the bottles a good look when you are cleaning them and toss them liberally is something won't come out- not worth ruining a bottle of your good beer on because you missed a mold or bacteria colony.

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