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Old 11-12-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
Oct 2011
Novi, MI
Posts: 13

In about a month I'll be racking my first batch of hard cider into bottles, so while I wait for the cider to clarify I'll be cleaning my bottles.

Some of the bottles I have were used with homebrew before, and were never rinsed out so they have mold/yeast on the bottom. The bottle brush my kit came with doesn't have bristles on the end of the brush and I have no water jet (both problems have already been remedied and replacments should arrive next week) but in the meantime I was trying to think of other ways I could clean the bottles.

One thought that comes to mind is putting the bottles in a tray, placing them in the oven, and letting the oven go through a cleaning cycle. Wait a few hours after the clean cycle runs for everything to cool off and hopefully all the mold/yeast will be reduced to ash and therefore should be easy to brush out with a little soapy water.

Has anyone tried cleaning bottles using this method before? Worst thing I could think of happening is shattering the bottles, but I should be pretty safe as long as I let them warm up/cool down slowly.

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Old 11-12-2011, 12:50 AM   #2
Jun 2011
South China, Maine
Posts: 277
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I would try soaking in oxy clean for a few days.

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Old 11-12-2011, 12:54 AM   #3
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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The cleaning cycle gets HOT. I mean very, very HOT. Like 900 degrees F.

What do you think will happen to glass beer bottles at 900 degrees? There will be definite structural changes and the glass will be very very brittle after that. IF they survive.

Seriously. Pour some bleach in the yucky bottles and let them sit if you're unable to put some effort into it.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:56 AM   #4
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Dec 2010
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IMO, the cleaning cycle will destroy the bottles. They're not made to withstand those kinds of temperatures (you want to use Pyrex glass in the oven, and even that's not advisable at those temperatures).

Far, far, far, far better off using either oxyclean/oxyfree or PBW to clean them out. Simply soak them overnight, drain and inspect. I have yet to find anything stuck to any of my brewing gear, or new acquisitions (including kegs with nasty stuff inside) that didn't get cleaned up with a 12-24 hour PBW soak. Just be sure to rinse them out really well once clean, then sanitize and use as normal.

Cases like this is a good reason to make sure you rinse out your bottles, or make sure anyone who gets any of your bottles knows to rinse them out once emptied. Especially if you're bottle carbonating. Not really an issue once you start kegging.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:01 AM   #5
Jan 2010
Posts: 245

For getting mold and junk out of the bottom of the bottle, I've found that boiling a some water and pouring an inch or two into the bottom of the bottle helps. Pour the water in, let it sit for a few minutes, then put your thumb over the top and shake it.

Tougher molds though, bleach/pbw/oxyclean would probably be better

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Old 11-12-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
Jan 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 937
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go get yourself some oxiclean with the green lid and soak them in a tub of that over night, that stuff will pour right out after 24 hours
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
Oct 2011
Novi, MI
Posts: 13

I did soak all my bottles in oxyclean for 12 hours. The labels on the new (or, recently emptied) Sam Adams bottles fell right off and after wiping them with a sponge and a bit of dish soap they look perfect. There was never any mold in them though.

The other bottles I have were given to me by my uncle and were last used 6 years ago, and free bottles are free bottles so I can't complain. Some of the mold knocked out after the soak, but whats stuck in there now wont budge, hence why I ordered a different brush and a water jet for the faucet.

I think I'll just leave them to soak in oxy for a few days and by the time the new stuff gets here they should be easier to clean.

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