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Old 02-08-2014, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Cleaning bottles

Ok. So it's about time to bottle my first brew. So far things seem to have gone well (fingers crossed)

I read my "how to brew by Palmer" and a couple web sites on how to do it. Seemed pretty simple but like the novice I am I continued to read more sites and threads and now I'm absorbed too much info.

So my question is this. I'm going to describe how I plan on cleaning my bottles and I just want to know if it will be good enough.

What I have is a case of fresh 24 oz bottles from my local home brew store. I also have a collection of used bottles that I drank. Of course they were not rinsed after I drank them.


I'm going to fill a 5 gal bucket with very hot water and pbw. I'll place the bottles in the water and let them soak for about an hour. After that hour I will scrape off the labels and take a bottle brush to the insides and rinse them out in the pbw bucket.

Then I'm going to take the bottle and put it in my sink with a starsan solution and let it soak while I repeat the process with the rest of the bottles.

Once they're all in the starsan sink I will pull them out. Empty them and place them in my dishwasher and run it on the sanatize setting. Then hopefully they should be ready for bottling.


It might be overkill but I want to make sure I don't ruin everything in my final step.


So. Would that be sufficient to ensure everything is clean and sanatizer and ready to go?

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Old 02-08-2014, 04:57 AM   #2
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Make sure the bottles that you didn't rinse don't have mold specs in the bottom, I've seen this happen quite often with bottles that weren't rinsed immediately after drinking.

Putting in the dishwasher after sanitizing, is up to your discretion, but totally unnecessary.

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
Ok. So it's about time to bottle my first brew. So far things seem to have gone well (fingers crossed)

I read my "how to brew by Palmer" and a couple web sites on how to do it. Seemed pretty simple but like the novice I am I continued to read more sites and threads and now I'm absorbed too much info.

So my question is this. I'm going to describe how I plan on cleaning my bottles and I just want to know if it will be good enough.

What I have is a case of fresh 24 oz bottles from my local home brew store. I also have a collection of used bottles that I drank. Of course they were not rinsed after I drank them.


I'm going to fill a 5 gal bucket with very hot water and pbw. I'll place the bottles in the water and let them soak for about an hour. After that hour I will scrape off the labels and take a bottle brush to the insides and rinse them out in the pbw bucket.
PBW soak is good. This will loosen the labels and gunk inside. Rinse thoroughly with water. PBW is not a no rinse cleanser. Bottle brush with an electric drill works well. Battery powered drill is best to avoid accidental electrocution.

Then I'm going to take the bottle and put it in my sink with a starsan solution and let it soak while I repeat the process with the rest of the bottles.

Starsan solution is a no rinse sanitizer. It is only effective when the bottle is wet. You could pour a couple of tablespoons in each bottle and shake or use a spray bottle to spray the inside. Tip upside down to drain back into your bucket of Starsan solution. Start bottling.

Once they're all in the starsan sink I will pull them out. Empty them and place them in my dishwasher and run it on the sanatize setting. Then hopefully they should be ready for bottling.
This will remove the Starsan and your bottles will no longer be sanitized.


It might be overkill but I want to make sure I don't ruin everything in my final step.


So. Would that be sufficient to ensure everything is clean and sanatizer and ready to go?
Starsan solution can be stored in plastic jugs and reused as long as no dirt is in the solution. When the pH excedes 3.2 it is no longer effective.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:08 AM   #4
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You got it. Yes I'd definitely do the dishwasher. Like you said might be overkill but if anything I'd skip the StarSan step.

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Old 02-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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If you use a dishwasher make sure there is no rinse aid. I've read that it effects head retention.

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Old 02-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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I usually rinse my bottles after drinking then let them dry and when I am ready to bottle I rinse them again with super hot water from the tap, let them dry then use a bucket with star san and submerge the bottles until they are full and then carefully dump them out and let them dry while the sugar water mixture cools. Worked every time so far. Plus the hot water rinse/soak makes removing the labels a snap.

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Old 02-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #7
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Make sure the bottles that you didn't rinse don't have mold specs in the bottom, I've seen this happen quite often with bottles that weren't rinsed immediately after drinking.

Putting in the dishwasher after sanitizing, is up to your discretion, but totally unnecessary.
Good post..
It only take a second to look inside each bottle. Even store bought bottles could have creepy crawly web in the corner somewhere.

The final step before bottling is always (at least for me) the StarSan spray and I bottle while the insides are still wet with StarSan.

OMO

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Old 02-08-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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I usually rinse my bottles after drinking then let them dry and when I am ready to bottle I rinse them again with super hot water from the tap, let them dry then use a bucket with star san and submerge the bottles until they are full and then carefully dump them out and let them dry while the sugar water mixture cools. Worked every time so far. Plus the hot water rinse/soak makes removing the labels a snap.
Starsan is a wet contact sanitizer. Once it dries it is no longer effective as a sanitizer. You should be filling the bottles while they are still wet. That's easier if you don't wait for the sugar solution to cool. I dump the sugar solution into the bottling bucket shortly after I start siphoning the beer and the sugar solution is still near boiling.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #9
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When I bottled, I'd do it the opposite direction. I always ran through the dishwasher and then ran everything through a vinerator and bottled. I put starsan in the vinerator.

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Old 02-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #10
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...I dump the sugar solution into the bottling bucket shortly after I start siphoning the beer and the sugar solution is still near boiling.

Same here. Likely kills the first few yeast cells to hit the hot water, but I've certainly never had a carbonation problem.


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