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Old 01-19-2013, 07:25 PM   #1
JLivermore
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Default cleaning bottles

I'm sure this has been covered 100 times. I read a few threads and checked a few youtube videos but am still unclear what agents are needed during the cleaning process.

I had some of this batch in a keg and some in bottles. Keg -- A-OK. Bottles -- off taste for sure.

I just soaked them in hot water and scrubbed them with a bottle brush.

(Then sanitized w/ starsan)

So I think my error was not using a cleaning agent prior to sanitizing.

If possible I'd like to do this today w/o a trip to the store. Is dish soap good enough? Should I buy something else for next time?

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
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Don't use dish soap. It contains the enzyme used to keep water spots off. It kills the head on the beer from leaving a coating on the glass.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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You say 100 times but I'm sure it's closer to 50000000.

Pbw or Oxy clean. wash, rinse, sanitize.

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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Most people clean with a detergent brand called "five star" PBW. It stands for powdered brewery wash. I get mine from my local home brew store.

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll get some for next time. I'm far from LHBS, no car, going to use dish soap and attempt "rinse extremely thoroughly" today.

You can laugh a month from now if it sucks.

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:38 PM   #6
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I've also found through experience over time with the same bottles to use a bottle brush & dobie every time. Even if you're just rinsing out the dregs. Fine particles tend to build up slowly in spots that are hard to get a direct line of site on.
Also,a grainy crust slowly builds up on the lip of the bottles. I think this causes co2 coming up to X amount of pressure to leak out,leaving lower than intended carbonation. We'll know in a couple more weeks when this last batch is ready to drink whether my theory proves correct or not.
Anyway,rinse the dregs out of the bottle,then fill it up to the shoulder & use the bottle brush thoroughly. Empty & rinse again. Soak the dobie with water,& under the faucet stream,crimp the dobie over the lip of the bottle with your hand & scrub thoroughly,making sure to also scrub the level surface on top of the lip. I've found a small groove molded into some of these bottle lips on the top of the lip. Rather odd...
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLivermore View Post
Thanks. I'll get some for next time. I'm far from LHBS, no car, going to use dish soap and attempt "rinse extremely thoroughly" today.

You can laugh a month from now if it sucks.
grab a container of oxyclean or "oxygen" cleaner from your 99 cent store.... will work just as well as pbw for 95% of people and be a HELL of a lot cheaper. here's my process and ZERO bottle issues so far

1. soak in oxyclean or pbw
2. rinse out and toss in the dishwasher
3. run dishwasher with NO soap on sanitation mode
4. dunk in star san and bottle


it may be a little overkill but really isn't any harder than soaking and rinsing... just takes an extra 40 minutes to run the sanitation cycle on your dishwasher (sanitation mode runs uber hot to kill off any nasties)

if you're doing it today. clean them with a mild detergent and THEN run them through the diswasher on sani mode. that should rinse MOST of the residue off. then star san it and go....

OR if you're close to a walmart just pick up their "sun" oxygen cleaner (oxiclean knockoff) for like $4 and do it that way.... same result as PBW
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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I've had a ton of luck with soaking the crap out of my bottles in super hot bath water until they're clean than soaking them for 20-30 seconds in sanitizer and not rinsing the sanitizer out.

Though I will fully admit that I have water included i nmy rent for my apartment, so I have no qualms using gallons and gallons of water to clean my beer bottles.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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I have found that sterilizing is better than sanitizing. I rinse my bottles after I decant. On bottle day I bake my bottles for one hour at 350. Let cool in the oven and then drape Saran wrap over them to prevent contamination. Too much work with brushes and solutions

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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While "brushes & solutions" sounds like a lot of work,it doesn't take very long at all. I go through them rather quickly. We're not talking about soending 5 or 10 minutes on each bottle. Just a quick rinse-scrub-rinse & they're good to go. Besides,I'm finding that it's a good part of the process. Dishwashers can't spray up into the bottles very well to wash or rinse out cleaners. And I always thought that possibly too many oven cycles could weaken the glass. Sometimes,doing things by hand can be better in the long run. Especially if it dioesn't take all that long.
Yes,making things easier is good. But only to a point. Then it's just to hurry up & get it overwith. This is the flaw that can cause problems with beer.
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