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Old 02-12-2008, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default How long will Bottles stay sterilised ?

Hi Folks,

I am pretty new to Home brewing. What I find is that by the time I get home from work and do the fatherly thing there is not much time left for looking after the really important things in life like my home brew.

I find the process of sterilising the bottles, priming and bottling on in one night is a bit of a push. What I am wondering is it Ok to sterilise the bottles some time in advance of actually bottling ?

What I was hoping to be able to do was a break the process into two stages. Sterilise and rinse when I know the beer is almost ready to go and then a day or two later bottle it ?

Anybody got any tips for speeding up the bottling process ?

TIA,
JC

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:27 AM   #2
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If you cover the bottles with aluminum foil, they'll stay sanitized indefinitely.

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:28 AM   #3
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Look into the oven method. Here is one description:

http://www.boomchugalug.com/baking_bottles.htm

From what I have read here there is a variety of temp/time combinations people use. There was a thread not too long ago that mentioned it.

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:55 AM   #4
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Papazian says if you soak in bleach water you can pull the bottles out, wait indefinitely, then rinse and bottle on bottling day. Haven't tried it. I am a bleach user and I don't disagree, but I tend to bleach soak, rinse and bottle all in one day.

I start with mechanically clean bottles, so three minutes in a 10% bleach solution is above and beyond, just a lot of rinsing - which is time consuming.

Congrats on putting fatherhood ahead of beer, I think you made the right choice.

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Old 02-12-2008, 01:41 PM   #5
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I use the oven method. - 338 degrees for one hour. Make sure to put bottles covered with foil in cold and, once the hour is up, let them cool before taking them out. You can then store them until you are ready to bottle.

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Old 02-12-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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I soak my bottles in a mild bleach solution over night.

Next night I rinse in my shop sink then let them drip dry upside down in a milk crate lined with paper towels.

Next night I place the bottles upside down in a beer carton with the bottom lined with paper towels. Close the carton and store indefinitely.

(You could obviously condense this process down to a few hours)

When it's time to bottle, I simply take the bottles and dip the mouth of the bottle in a small cup of vodka, place them upright in the carton and fill away.

I brew a bunch and keg everything, but I also bottle off a 12-pack or more of every keg, so having ready-to-go bottles is important.

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Old 02-12-2008, 10:50 PM   #7
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I"m going to be anal here and point out that we are NOT 'sterilizing' anything. We only sanitize.

Cleaning is tier 1
Sanitizing is tier 2
Sterilizing is tier 3 and is not feasible for homebrewers, or even commercial breweries, save for their yeast slants.

as long as your bottles start off clean, they'll stay pretty sanitary after you use your sanitizing method. glass is not the best place for wild bacteria or yeast to survive, especially if the bottle is inverted to limit wild spores from falling inside.

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Old 02-12-2008, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
When it's time to bottle, I simply take the bottles and dip the mouth of the bottle in a small cup of vodka, place them upright in the carton and fill away.
Now be honest...when you're through bottling, do you throw away that small cup of vodka? Or do you drink it down?!?
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I"m going to be anal here and point out that we are NOT 'sterilizing' anything. We only sanitize.
Wouldn't 338 °F for an hour sterilize? I can't think of any bacteria or yeast that could survive that.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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I believe that 338 for an hour does sterilize the bottles. But as malkore mentions, it certainly is not necessary. I don't use the oven because it sterilizes the bottles. It is just my preferred method. All other methods are just as effective.

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