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Old 07-05-2005, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Easiest way to Clean Bottles??

What is the easiest/fastest way to clean a bunch of bottles? I initially thought the dishwasher was going to do it for me but now that I hear about the necessity of bottles being "beer clean" I realize I need an alternative method.

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-05-2005, 07:12 PM   #2
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Oahu, I recently inherited a pile of Grolsh-type bottles, from a winemaker, and they were all full of winey grime. What worked best was to put about a teaspoon of dishwashing machine powder in each, and fill them with hot water. All the sludge came off.

Then the question is whether there is a residue of dishwasher soap on the bottles. I rinsed and soaked them again with a bit of TSP. They now seem residue free, and totally clean. Still have to sanitize before bottling, of course.

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Old 07-05-2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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[stupid question alert!]

Sounds Snazzy. One question: what is TSP?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 07-05-2005, 08:31 PM   #4
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Overnight soak in bleach water with a hot water rinse.

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Old 07-05-2005, 08:59 PM   #5
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and once you get the bottles clean, the easiest way to keep them so is to rinse them after you pour, and drop them in a bucket of bleach water or sanitizing solution, just let em soak untill you need them, then you can rinse them and they will be ready to go...

it's best not to let the gunk sit in there for any length of time, though moldy bottles can be salvaged...

i found a case of empties that i had not rinsed out and they were covered in mold and nasty slime and it took way longer to get cleaned...

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Old 07-05-2005, 09:31 PM   #6
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I second those rinse and dry comments - I use a drying tree.

When I get enough bottles I soak them all in bleach water, remove from the sink and place on the tree UNRINSED.

Once they are dry I remove them from the rack and place a square (4X4) of aluminum foil over the top and set them in their cases. Ive read that these will stay sanitized from in excess of 12 months. When you get ready to use them just rinse with hot water.

This also lets me know (by sight) which bottles are ready to use.

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Old 07-05-2005, 11:39 PM   #7
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Oahu, TSP is trisodium phosphate, a mean-ass cleaner you can get almost anywhere, including most grocery stores, paint supply stores, hardware stores etc. It's just soap with a helluva bad attitude.

The chlorine soak suggestions are very similar in function, save that bleach also sanitizes whereas tsp doesn't.

I'm a fan of wet-clean. Anything that gets dried has spent too long in the air, or has touched something dirty.

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Bottled:
Tar Sands Porter, Special Dark Bitter,Oaky Red ale, Hammer & Tongs Black Ale, Black Draught, Cooper's Bitter, Baron's Pilsner
Super Saazy Saaz Pilsner Saaz (It's a little green, yet)

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Old 07-06-2005, 01:06 AM   #8
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I 3rd the motion with Chlorine Bleach soaks. So easy and cheap. Save your $ for other toys besides cleaning bottles

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Old 07-09-2005, 06:52 PM   #9
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Default Dishwasher?

OK, I'll bite. Why isn't dishwasher clean enough? I'm careful to clean my bottles as soon as I get them, first rinsing them before whatever is in them can turn to dried gunk, then running them through the dishwasher so they'll be clean for storage. Any bottles that I find have stuff left in them I soak in some cleaner until it comes out, then run them through the dishwasher again. I store the bottles upside-down.

When I'm ready to bottle I run the bottles through the dishwasher again. We keep our water heater really hot. Like hot enough to wash wool, hot enough to burn you if you aren't careful. I've been bottling as soon as the bottles cool enough to use, right out of the dishwasher.

How can sanitation in the dishwasher be OK for other things, but not beer?

Thanks in advance,
SpinDance, the always curious, who is hoping she won't have to get a drying rack

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Old 07-10-2005, 12:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDance
OK, I'll bite. Why isn't dishwasher clean enough? I'm careful to clean my bottles as soon as I get them, first rinsing them before whatever is in them can turn to dried gunk, then running them through the dishwasher so they'll be clean for storage. Any bottles that I find have stuff left in them I soak in some cleaner until it comes out, then run them through the dishwasher again. I store the bottles upside-down.

When I'm ready to bottle I run the bottles through the dishwasher again. We keep our water heater really hot. Like hot enough to wash wool, hot enough to burn you if you aren't careful. I've been bottling as soon as the bottles cool enough to use, right out of the dishwasher.

How can sanitation in the dishwasher be OK for other things, but not beer?

Thanks in advance,
SpinDance, the always curious, who is hoping she won't have to get a drying rack
Your regular dish washing, in a home dishwasher, really doesn't sanitize your dishes. Any sanitization of them comes from the detergent; hot water helps the detergent work better. Dishwashers used in industrial settings usually used pressurized steam to accomplish their work, and most homes don't have a pressurized steam line in them!

Dishwashers also don't work well for cleaning bottles, as the shape of most bottles prevent the water stream from getting up inside all of the bottle.

I just rinse my bottles as I use them with hot water and let them drip dry on my bottle tree. I sanitize 16 at a time in my bottling bucket full of iodophor, then let them drip for a bit on the tree. I can easily sanitize two cases of bottles in less time than my dishwasher can cycle, saving me time. It also give me peace of mind since I KNOW that the bottle was completely coated with sanitizer.
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