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Old 05-06-2007, 11:49 AM   #1
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Default Cleaning Bottles?

I was going to post this in the Equipment/Sanitation thread but figured it was so simple I would put it here.

I just wanted to go over what I am doing and maybe you guys can give me some pointers.

I will rinse out the empty bottles and leave them for the next day to clean. The next day I clean with dish soap and a bottle brush. Then rinse out throughly with hot water. I then put them in a clean dishwasher to dry, put them away and don't worry about them until bottling. Prior to bottling I sanitize and again store the bottles again upside down in the clean dishwasher.

I have 2 concerns...

1. Soap (I don't want any residue)
a. Will the sanitizer get what soap is left if any?
2. Is the dishwasher safe to use in this manner?
a. If not where do you guys put the bottles?
b. Is drying needed after sanitizing?


Cheers!

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Old 05-06-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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I do not have a whole lot of experience, but I used the sani setting on the dishwasher and it worked so far so good.

I use a soap called Basic H put out by Shaklee. It is highly concentrated so you only need a couple drops and leaves NO residue. It is also ORGANIC and contains 0 phosphates and nitrates.

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Old 05-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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I don't use soap on my bottles. I rinse really well after drinking one and if they need further cleaning I put them aside to use with my carboy/bottle blaster. It connects to the sink. I do about 20 at a time, and then store them upside down until I need them. Rarely use a bottle brush unless I have to. When I go to bottle, I just sanitize with either one-step or Idophor in my vinator and stick on my bottle tree. Here are some links to my "toys":

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=909
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=1322
http://www.antonco.com/jetcarboy/

I didn't start with this though- I used to clean bottles and then sanitize in my sink or bottling bucket one by one. That works, too! I say whatever works.

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Old 05-06-2007, 01:43 PM   #4
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I rinse in very hot water and store in a case upside down. When I get 24, I place them in the oven with alum. foil on the openings. I sterilize them at 338 degrees for an hour. I then put them in the case with the foil on - seal the case, and when it is time for bottling, just get them out, remove the foil and bottle.

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Old 05-06-2007, 01:59 PM   #5
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I wouldnt recommend using soap on your bottles. As Yooper said, you should be able to clean them enough without a brush most of the time.

The sanitizer wont "zap" any soap. If there is residue before you sanitize, there will probably be residue afterwards.

Many people use the dishwasher as you describe, I use a bottle tree. The trees are convenient because you can clean and dry the bottles as you use them, then sanitize them when you bottle.

You should NOT wipe off your bottles to dry. Let them air dry, and it is not necessary that they be totally dry.

One last note, I wouldnt use the oven to sanitize, for fear of weakening the glass from heat stress. The bottles are under significant pressure when being used and a bottle repeatedly sanitized like this will eventually blow.

- magno

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Old 05-06-2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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I have a 20 gallon plastic pail that I fill and add a bit of PBW. I let my bottles soak for an hour or so and then use a brush to ensure the yeast from the prior brew is gone. I do rinse them after I open each bottle but there can be some stubborn yeast sticking to the bottom.

I also let them dry on a dishwaher rack. On bottling day I fill the same pail with iodaphor and sanitze them before filling. They don't have to be totally dry before use.

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Old 05-06-2007, 03:16 PM   #7
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I rinse my bottles well as soon as they are emptied, then when I have a bunch I soak them in OxyClean to remove labels and clean them out. I store the clean bottles in cardboard cases until it's time to bottle. At bottling time I sanitize in Iodophor right before filling.

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Old 05-06-2007, 03:27 PM   #8
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The first thing I do after tasting the beer that just came from the bottle is to rinse the bottle several times to get the beer residue out of it. I use the faucet jet sprayer. Then I put it in the rack (case).

When I get ready to bottle I take my bottle trees and spray them down in the sink. Then I spray the hell out of them with sanitizer in a spray bottle.

I sanitize each bottle using that bottle sprayer with the sanitizer reservior and give each bottle about 5-6 spritzes. I also dip the bottle's opening in the solution. Then I give the bottle one last SLOW spritz to remove the bubbles inside. Then I place them on the tree.

They do not have to be rinse or dried prior to use.

I never use soap.

The only time I use a bottle brush is when I get bottles back from "friends" who don't follow my rinsing instructions and some sort of fungus is growing in them. Then out comes the bleach and overnight soak.

One of my bottle brushes has the ring cut off so I can use it in my drill (to turn).

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Old 05-06-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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On the oven cleaning. I got this idea from Palmer. The key is to put them in the oven cool and remove them when they cool down. Just don't put a cool bottle into a hot oven and don't take a hot bottle out into a cool environment. Magno is correct in saying that the heat could stress the glass if precautions are not taken. I just like the convenience of having a couple cases that remain sterile until ready for use.

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Old 05-06-2007, 08:52 PM   #10
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Wow it sounds to me like most people make WAY too much work for themselves on the bottle sanitizing aspect of this hobby.

Just make sure to rinse out the bottles after you pour your beer. Get all the yeast residue out of there, put a little water in the bottle and shake it good. You can do this with hot or cold water, just get that stuff out. At this point the bottles are clean, just not sanitized. I do not do anything special to store them, I have a couple milk crates, some case boxes, six pack holders, and various copier paper boxes too. I store open and with the top pointed up, and sometimes not even totally dry either. The night before I am going to bottle a beer I put all the needed bottles in the dishwasher and run it without soap or jet dry. I only make 5 gallon batches so all the bottles fit on the bottom rack on the wire pegs. They get plenty of hot hot water shot up into them to get anything out of there and then the heated dry cycle sanitizes the whole lot of em'. I also use the dishwasher door as a bottling platform to fill 6 at a time and then cap them up on the counter with my bench capper. I have completed about ten batches in my brewing career and this has been the proceedure I have followed for all of them and I have never had a problem at all.

The only time soap touches them is when I use OxyClean to take off the labels or clean them after getting them back with mushrooms growing in them. So all you guys using all the sanitizer stuff and cleaning by hand seem to be wasting your time and money. Work smarter, not harder.

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