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Old 08-02-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Bottling in about a week...sanitation question?

Well...I've been patient, and my beer has been in the fermentor for about 10 days. I haven't even opened the lid of the bucket. I'll probably bottle in a week to 10 days. I've got 48 brand new 12oz bottles, but my question is what is the best way to sanitize them? I'm probably going to get a Jet Bottle Washer to rinse them. How about sanitization? Should I dunk them in a Star San solution? I was thinking of getting one of those Vinator things that sprays sanitizer on the inside of the bottles. Also, should the caps be sanitized too? What's the best way for sanitizing an autosiphon and racking cane? I'm probably being too paranoid about this, but would hate to ruin my beer after the work I've put into it.

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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For me, I just have a bucket filled with about 3 gallons of a star san solution. I just sit it next to me and my bottles on the floor and put 6 in the bucket at a time. No fancy tools required. You should also sanitize the caps. Just dump the caps into the solution as well, or even use a little bowl filled with the solution to let the caps soak in.

To sanitize your auto siphon and racking cane and tubing, just use your auto siphon to start a siphon in the bucket of star san and let some of the solution run through everything. Should be all set.

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:25 AM   #3
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How long do I need to let bottles or caps drip dry after dunking in star san? I've never used it before, so I'm not sure if it will alter the taste of my beer.

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:40 AM   #4
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It won't alter the taste, at least not with the trace amounts that will be in the bottle while bottling. Star San only works while wet so you don't want to let your stuff dry completely. I just go by the fact that if it's wet, it's sanitized. So a good dunk in the solution and dumping what's in the bottle out is all I ever do. I obviously shake the excess off, but no reason to get crazy with trying to dry everything off.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:27 PM   #5
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Right, everything being wet with StarSan isn't a bad thing. It takes a while to get used to the idea though. I sanitize my bottles in my dishwasher set on the hot wash/hot dry settings, and bottle when the bottles are cool enough to touch. Haven't had any problems with infection yet.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:31 PM   #6
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I finally got a vinator last week and used it for bottling for the first time this weekend, and man I should have bought one when I first started homebrewing. It makes that process so much easier.

That, and attaching the bottling wand directly to the spigot on the bottling bucket with a bit of flexible tubing have made bottling go much faster for me.

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Old 08-03-2009, 06:59 PM   #7
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I use my bottling bucket to sanitize my bottles, kills two birds with one stone. Fill it with star-san and 4 gallons of water, put the bottles in the bottom for at least 30 seconds each (after all the air is out), empty them and put them on a tree until it's time to bottle.

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Old 08-03-2009, 07:22 PM   #8
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Star San all the way...although I go overkill and put them in the dishwasher, too. I use a "vinator," sometimes called a "sulfiter," which is a plastic pump that's a kind of fountain. HB suppliers sell them. You just put some Star San in the reservoir and a few pumps and a bottle is done. Best money I ever spent on sanitizing, do 54 bottles in 10-15 minutes.

When you use the beer you put in the bottles, avoid tedious and labor intensive cleaning by just rinsing the bottle thorougly when the beer is poured. I've done this for two years, and all I have to do then is sanitize.

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Old 08-04-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Here’s the process that seems to work well for me. After every brew I open I clean the bottle out and store it. Saves a lot of hassle when I do the next step, which is oxycleaning all the bottles, either the day before or on bottling day. As I rinse those out I set all the bottles in a square plastic empty tub. It fits about 55 bottles perfectly upright. I fill my bottling bucket with water/starsan. I then rack the sanitized water from the bottling bucket to each bottle which gets the tubing and all bottles sanitized. I usually have enough water to fill the entire tub so I get the bottles completely sanitized inside and out. With the bottling bucket now empty I add the brew and primer. Then, like clockwork, as I empty one bottle from the tub I am filling another with beer. Once that’s done it’s off to capping.

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Old 08-04-2009, 03:26 PM   #10
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I am in overkill moda also. I use the dishwasher first and take the bottles out and use the vinator to squirt Starsan into them. Two or three squirts and hang'em on the tree.

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