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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is a bottle brush necessary?
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
MisterOJ
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Default Is a bottle brush necessary?

I'm getting ready to bottle my first solo batch this weekend. I soaked a bunch of saved commercial bottles in PBW last night to remove the labels. I have a bottle washer for my sink that I used to rinse out bottles after I pour them to keep them clean.

A few of the bottles I had saved before getting the bottle washer though, and they had gotten a little mold in the bottom of them. After soaking them in PBW for a bit, I gave them a good blast with the washer and looked in there and all the mold appeared to be gone.

I don't have an actual bottle brush and I'm wondering if I should get one and clean them one more time with it. Or do you think they are okay after the PBW soak and bottle washer blast?

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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I think you are good to go. I rarely use brushes on my bottles unless there is visible gunk on the inside in which case I'll soak in PBW and then brush a bit if necessary.

If it looks clean, then just soak briefly in Starsan and proceed to bottle.

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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I only ever used a bottle brush to remove crud inside the bottles. Since I always rinsed used bottles out immediately, I very rarely had crud in them, so I rarely used the brush. If the bottle was moldy, I would probably pitch that bottle or us the brush, but that is just me.

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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Well, if you can't see any mold after the chemical and water blast, how will you know you are done brushing?

It sounds like you're just fine. I find the brush handy from time to time, but soaking and rinsing does all the heavy lifting for me. I say: RDWAHAHB. Go ahead and bottle.

Congrats on your first solo batch!

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:37 PM   #5
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Bottle brushes are not necessary - if an Oxyclean soak doesn't work to your satisfaction and you find yourself in the position of having to use one, just pitch the bottle. If you have so much gunk built up inside the bottle that doesn't freely rinse clean, don't take the risk to miss a little speck with the bristles. Throw the bottle away.

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmorebrew View Post
Bottle brushes are not necessary - if an Oxyclean soak doesn't work to your satisfaction and you find yourself in the position of having to use one, just pitch the bottle. If you have so much gunk built up inside the bottle that doesn't freely rinse clean, don't take the risk to miss a little speck with the bristles. Throw the bottle away.
I am at the point in my bottle collection (hoarding) that this is the method I use, if theres gunk toss it. I also have stopped cleaning labels off of new bottles unless they are some cool shape or size (stubbys and bombers ftw!). Even then, if the labels dont fall right off, I usually just toss em in the recycling bin.

Hell I dont even think I will EVER use all the bottles I have cleaned and delabeled (around 10-15 cases), since I keg almost every batch nowadays.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
I am at the point in my bottle collection (hoarding) that this is the method I use, if theres gunk toss it. I also have stopped cleaning labels off of new bottles unless they are some cool shape or size (stubbys and bombers ftw!). Even then, if the labels dont fall right off, I usually just toss em in the recycling bin.

Hell I dont even think I will EVER use all the bottles I have cleaned and delabeled (around 10-15 cases), since I keg almost every batch nowadays.
I'll probably get to that point eventually. Right now though, I only have about 5 or so cases worth of bottles total. I have two 5-gallon batches in primary and all the ingredients bought for a third. It'll probably be brewed the same day I bottle this weekend.

So, for the time being, I need all the bottles I can lay my hands on!
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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I didnt actually answer your original question, so heres my take: I have never had a bottle that didnt come clean with (sometimes multiple) oxyclean soaks and scalding hot water rinses. Dont waste money on a bottle brush.

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Old 11-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #9
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I've had that in a couple of my bottles. Oxy didn't do it.. but clorox did.. dissolved the stuff pretty fast.. then I did the oxy and rinsed well in the vinegar solution and rinsed again.. good as new. I'm still collecting bottles. I can get a ton of them.. but 95% or more are screw threaded.. but they all have caps on them at the bar. They must have some special way of capping these bottles at the brewery.

Wish I lived closer to you guys that are tossing them due to labels, etc. I still need a couple of cases of 12 oz. Off to Costco to buy some brew. No sense in just buying 24 bottles when you can get 24 bottles with good beer in them for about $6 more per case.

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Old 11-29-2011, 11:11 PM   #10
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No sense in just buying 24 bottles when you can get 24 bottles with good beer in them for about $6 more per case.
Isn't that the truth, cost of new empties is way too high compared to full bottles. Besides emptying them is a lot of fun.
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