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Old 09-21-2005, 12:24 PM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
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Default Sanitizing Techniques

I am nearing bottling time and am wondering how most people handle sanitizing their bottles and caps. First, as to caps, a number of places simply advocate boiling them in water, while others say to soak them in water with sanitizer.

As to the bottles, most sources I have seen say to use sanitizer, but also others say that they have success with running them through a clean dishwasher with no detergent added. My dishwasher has a "heat boost" setting, so it can get pretty hot.

On the issue of sanitizing in general, how can using containers and equipment that are dripping with sanitizer water be: a. good for you and b. good for the taste of beer?

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Old 09-21-2005, 12:32 PM   #2
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Sanitize your bottles and caps in a no rinse sanitizer like iodophor. After soaking in the sanitizer, let them dry (or not) on a drying rack...the racks on your dishwasher are good for this. You might be OK running them thru the dishwasher (many do) but don't kid yourself...they're not sanitized.

As to the effects of the small amount of sanitizer on you or your beer...probably won't be any. Someone with a better memory than myself will post a link to an experiment that one guy did that pretty much dubunks the notion that the sanitizer will effect your beer in any way.

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Old 09-21-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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I've bottled 4 batches but haven't come up with the way of sanitizing bottles. I've just dipped them in One Step and turned them up to drain on a towel. One time I sanitized and covered each bottle with foil, put in oven and "baked" for a couple hours at around 250, let cool and put in a bottle case. Used them a week later, just took the foil off as I was bottling. No signs of contamination. Read this somewhere. If I had a bottle tree, I would dip and put on tree to drain.

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Old 09-21-2005, 05:03 PM   #4
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The easiest thing I have found to do is to fill up my fermenting pail with 6 tsp. of one step sanitizer & water. I give the bottles a wash in the solution then put them all in the dishwasher- no soap, and ON the heat dry setting. This works great- you just have to wait for your bottles to cool. I do the same thing with the caps (put them in the silver ware tray or something similar where they will dry w/out being all stacked up on each other.)

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Old 09-21-2005, 05:21 PM   #5
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I fill up a bucket with iodophor solution. Sink as many bottles as I can in it and let them soak for 2 minutes. Then take them out, shake them off and line them up ready to fill. Then sink more bottles. Those bottles soak while I fill/cap the first round. Works out pretty well.
As for One Step. The guy at my LHBS told me that One Step is not a sanitizer. He says they use to advertise that it was, but had to take that off because it's only a cleaner.

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Old 09-21-2005, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdsmith72
I fill up a bucket with iodophor solution. Sink as many bottles as I can in it and let them soak for 2 minutes. Then take them out, shake them off and line them up ready to fill. Then sink more bottles. Those bottles soak while I fill/cap the first round. Works out pretty well...
I used to do the same thing.
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:41 PM   #7
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I'm still really new at this, but i purchased a spray bottle and spray my santizer inside the bottle about 15 times (after clean and rinsing of course) and then, wearing disposalble latex gloves...oohh latex), I swish it around covering all surfaces. I was doing sets of six at a times during my bottling process.

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Old 09-21-2005, 07:51 PM   #8
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ok, I have bottled quite a few batches, here are my bottling procedures.

1. ALWAYS clean the bottle immediately after emptying it.
2. Before bottling, run dish washer with no soap in it to rinse out any residualy soaps. Also, check to make sure no food stuff is hanging out at the drain.
3. Put your bottles in, opening down, and run it on medium with the drying and sanitizing cycle on.
4. Leave the bottles in with the door closed until you have everything else ready and the bottles have cooled.
5. Open the door, put your bottling bucket on the counter right above the door with the fill device hanging down. Grab a bottle and fill, any spillage is collected right on the door. Set the bottle off to the side and grab another. Repeat as needed.
6. I usually put a cap on as I set them off to the side. (Caps are soaked in Idophor for about ten minutes, then put on a paper towel off on the counter top.)
7. Cap when ever you feel like taking a break from bottling.
8. When complete, close the door and run the washer one time on rinse only to get rid of the beer.

I havent had a batch that I've bottled become infected or have any off flavours.

Good luck with it.

Sean

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Old 09-22-2005, 01:22 AM   #9
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First of all, do NOT use soaps of any kind. I've had problems with head retention and believe the problems to be directly related to soap film. I'm not the only one who believes this mind you. I've also heard that the scent from your soap can find it's way into the beer's flavor... though I have no direct experience with this. I clean my bottles with plain old water (hey, they're glass) and clean with starsan (no rinse). My local HBS guy tells me that one step isn't a very good sanitizer.. for what that's worth. Anyway, here's the process:

1. Drink a homebrew and immediately rinse the bottle out real good with water till there's no beer smell or any apparent residue.
2. Spray a couple of squirts of starsan in the bottle and shake it up real good to coat the inside of the bottle (cover the mouth with your thumb). Dump out the excess (you don't need to soak or let sit with starsan).
3. Spray some starsan on the neck and mouth of the bottle
4. Wrap the neck and mouth with some saran plasic wrap
5. Store the bottle until needed.

When you bottle all you have to do is sanitize the caps.. it's super simple and reduces the time and hassle on bottling day. I haven't had any infection issues with this process yet.. seems to work quite well. Infections at the point of bottling are also least likely since the beer does contain alcohol (6% or 7% usually).

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Old 09-22-2005, 03:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanhagerty
ok, I have bottled quite a few batches, here are my bottling procedures.

1. ALWAYS clean the bottle immediately after emptying it.
2. Before bottling, run dish washer with no soap in it to rinse out any residualy soaps. Also, check to make sure no food stuff is hanging out at the drain.
3. Put your bottles in, opening down, and run it on medium with the drying and sanitizing cycle on.
4. Leave the bottles in with the door closed until you have everything else ready and the bottles have cooled.
5. Open the door, put your bottling bucket on the counter right above the door with the fill device hanging down. Grab a bottle and fill, any spillage is collected right on the door. Set the bottle off to the side and grab another. Repeat as needed.
6. I usually put a cap on as I set them off to the side. (Caps are soaked in Idophor for about ten minutes, then put on a paper towel off on the counter top.)
7. Cap when ever you feel like taking a break from bottling.
8. When complete, close the door and run the washer one time on rinse only to get rid of the beer.

I havent had a batch that I've bottled become infected or have any off flavours.

Good luck with it.

Sean
Interesting. I just was at a couple of home stores that sell appliances. Every dishwasher I looked at lacks a "sanitizing" cycle. All of them did have a heated dry cycle, but don't kid yourself. The heated dry cycle of almost all home dishwashers does not get anywhere near enough heat to sanitize anything.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: home dishwashers, or at least 90% of them, don't provide any sanitization. Industrial units do, as they are required to by health codes, but almost all of them use some type of pressurized steam to perform it - and I don't know many homes that have a pressurized steam line running to them!
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