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Old 04-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
pwndabear
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Default Sanitizing Bottles

Here's a question for you guys...
My cousin homebrews and for years has sworn by simply washing his bottles with soap and water and then throwing them all in the dishwasher instead of using sanitizer. He suggested I do this since the dishwasher has a heating element that should kill all possible infectious microbes.

Someone else who brews that i know says that this is very risky and that it should not be done unless the bottles are sterilized with a chemical component after the dishwasher (which he says is a good means of cleaning, just not sterilizing).

What do you all think: I have 3 cases of soap-and-water-washed and dishwasher-washed bottles. You think I should go the extra mile and sanitize prebottling or is that just an extra step i can nix?



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Old 04-24-2010, 10:47 PM   #2
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i wouldn't skip the bottle sanitizing...it'd be a shame to find infected bottles three weeks from now.

I use starsan in a spray bottle- a couple of sprays in each bottle and you are good to go. It is a no-rinse wet sanitizer, so you don't even have to wait for the sanitizer to dry. It's actually good for your yeast, so don't fear the foam.

It will add ten minutes tops to your bottling day, and you'll have infection-free beer in three weeks.



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Old 04-24-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedhedjed View Post
I use starsan in a spray bottle- a couple of sprays in each bottle and you are good to go.
This is exactly what I do and it works great for me. Takes me about 5 minutes to sanitize a whole batch worth of bottles.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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My Dad's sanitizing routine is to put the bottles in the dishwasher upside-down and wash them, then we put a bit of Star San in them, shake them, then put them back in the dishwasher, ready to fill. Works pretty well for me. No infections in over a year <knock wood>.

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:27 PM   #5
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I hear what others are saying, but I have bottled 100's of batches of beer in bottles sent through the dishwasher only. I'm not saying its the best, but its worked for me!

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:41 PM   #6
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If you have a "sanitize" setting on your dishwasher, that would work fine. Some (like me) are pressed for time, and I find it's just quicker to use a vinator and squirt some sanitizer in each bottle and hang on the bottling tree. We bottled six gallons of wine on Saturday, and it took less than 15 minutes to sanitize 32 wine bottles.

Some use the oven to sanitize. They cover the openings with foil and put the bottles in the oven at 350 for an hour or more then leave them in the oven overnight.

I guess whatever works for you is fine. Keep in mind that you can only do any of these sanitizing steps if you start with clean bottles. The dishwasher won't clean your bottles, so you have to clean them first. That's easiest if you always rinse out your bottles immediately so you don't have any dirty bottles to begin with- oh, and never drink out of the bottle! You'll have less "clean up" to do.

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:15 AM   #7
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The dishwasher is all you need, but you have to be sure it gets to over 170 during its sanitation cycle. Not all dishwashers get there.

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #8
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I use star san, then every now and then I'll put them in the oven to ensure they're sterilized. I do get a mild sour bug or a gusher in a bottle now and then. I am working on that; haven't had one in a few batches.

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:49 AM   #9
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I love my dishwasher!

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Keep in mind that you can only do any of these sanitizing steps if you start with clean bottles. The dishwasher won't clean your bottles, so you have to clean them first.
THIS IS KEY.

It's good practice to completly rinse a bottle you later plan on putting beer in. In fact, when I pull bottles of the shelf to sanitize if I find one with grime in it I just throw it out because it's very difficult to get that crap out of them.


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