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Old 12-16-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
Oct 2011
Central PA
Posts: 20

Friend of mine gave me a couple of cases of OLD Genessee 16oz returnables...they had been sitting in a basement for god knows how long. Mold, bugs, thick dark stuff caked in the bottoms...really gross. But I am trying to clean them. I will clean them. I will use them.

So I ask:

What is the nastiest bottles that you have cleaned and used to bottle homebrew in?

How did you clean them?

Did you have any infections?

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:25 AM   #2
bottlebomber's Avatar
Apr 2011
Ukiah, CA
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Never dealt with anything like what you got... a few years ago before I knew the importance of getting ALL foreign matter out of the bottles before using them, we had gotten some used bottles from a friend, ran them through the dishwasher, and filled and capped while some of them still had cakes in the bottom. Nothing actually exploded but a month later my friend opened one and as soon as he touched the church key to the cap it shot off and his him in the mouth, and then beer gushed into his lap. Luckily he helped me brew it so he didn't feel like I intentionally abused him

Nothing a little oxiclean can't fix, just don't soak them too long or you'll get scaling.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:04 AM   #3
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Jul 2011
Virginia Beach, VA
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A good soak in Oxiclean for a day or two. Attack them with a bottle brush. Then another soak in Oxiclean. Should do the trick.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:28 AM   #4
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Feb 2011
Kokomo, IN
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I'd get a case of your favorite micro and toss those in the trash. Or what homebrewlawyer said.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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Sep 2011
Puyallup, WA
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Case wouldn't be enough. Get 4-5 cases and have a party. Or you could clean them...but it's more fun to drink and rinse the empties as they empty rather than cleaning old nasties. That's just me though
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
Feb 2010
Kent/Brockport NY
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Clean, soak in bleach, clean again, rinse rinse rinse. Good as new.

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #7

boiling them might be a good part of the cleaning regime too - a good way to get gunk off the bottles

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Nov 2005
Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,019
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Fill up the tub with HOT water and OxyClean, and soak them for 2 days. EVERYTHING will come out. Use a bottle brush, and make sure you rinse all the cleaner out when done.

I have had some very very nasty bottles that I have brought back to life with mold, bugs, ashes, etc. I think there was one out of 50 that I threw out.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
Sep 2010
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Nothing is too nasty in bottles if you really want them clean.

Personally, I think bottle brushes are worthless...not enough bristles hit the surface I'm trying to clean.

If you want them clean fast, I'd do a blast from a faucet-mounted jet washer and then use this: Austin Homebrew Supply

If you don't mind waiting, hot water and oxyclean. However, even after oxy baths, I've had some bottles that need scrubbing.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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You might be fine with a good soak in HOT Oxiclean and a rubbing with a stick and piece of cloth to get anything stuck fast.

Or use sodium hydroxide solution to eat away anything.

Frankly, if they were that bad, I'd go looking for newer, cleaner bottles at a decent-sized bar or recycling center. You'll save time and effort.

Here in Michigan with our deposit, I can buy any number of very clean bottles of my choice for a dime apiece.

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