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Old 01-30-2008, 05:50 AM   #1
Jan 2008
Posts: 8

Hey People,

I've pulled the old gear out of the back of the closet after not making beer for a couple years and I've got some dark ale bubbling away in he basement. What I'm wondering is how thorough should I be with the bottles? Let me rephrase that; how much laziness can I get away with? Can I just run my bottles through the washing machine or should I scrub them all with the food safe bleach I have? Bear in mind they've been sitting in the closet for a couple years and are fairly dusty. How does that affect bacteria and such. Thanks in advance for any tips. Cheers.


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Old 01-30-2008, 05:52 AM   #2
BuffaloSabresBrewer's Avatar
Sep 2007
Posts: 2,218
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Wash throughly and sanitize the first time. After that you can be lazier if you just rinse the bottle out right after you empty it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:59 AM   #3
Nov 2007
Halifax, Canada
Posts: 279
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I usually put them through the dishwasher on super-hot cycle with no soap. It does the trick, even with the dustiest of bottles.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
Jan 2008
Posts: 8

Sweet, thanks for the tips. It's nice to be on this forum and it's great to be back in the game.

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Old 02-06-2008, 01:02 AM   #5
Jan 2008
Haymarket VA
Posts: 1,172
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I have read a lot and searched so I hope this isnt a common question...

I am hoping to bottle this weekend, and want to get things as ready as I can beforehand so I don't spend all weekend in the basement. Is it OK to sanitize bottles and leave them dry on the bottle tree for 2 or 3 days before filling them? I would like to do a little bit every day to prepare and get through the process quickly.

I have the red plastic bottle tree from morebeer and the bottle squirter that I plan to use with iadophor solution to sanitize.

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
Bombo80's Avatar
Jan 2008
Maple Grove, Minnesota
Posts: 391
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I'm in the same boat. It's been 3 years since I brewed anything, and probably closer to 5 years since I bottled anything. I have a 66qt plastic tote that I use for cleaning, and disinfecting my brewing hardware. When I was done with the brewing session, I topped it off with more of the no-rinse (oxyclean type) cleaner, stuffed it with as many beer bottles as I could, and let it sit for a couple days. I then actually scrubbed each bottle, and rinsed them off, and out.

Now when I get ready to bottle, all I have to do is fill the dishwasher (53 bottles for a 5 gallon batch) and fill the soap compartment with plain old bleach, and let it run the full cycle. The inside is a sterile environment until I open the door. Has always worked for me, in the past. Any issues I've had were because of an individual bottle not being scrubbed out good enough.

I then just bottle right there in the kitchen, sitting on the floor. Any mess is an easy clean up, plus I usually end up doing the whole kitchen when I'm done bottling. A side bonus of bottling.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:55 PM   #7
Nov 2007
Posts: 142

not to hijack the thread, but what if you don't have a dishwasher?

i got a huge bag (probably 40+) of swing top 16oz bottles for free from a neighbor ( score by the way) - but while they are not dirty, they are old and dusty...

i'm thinkin' an oxyclean soak overnight, then rinse rinse rinse and star san right before bottling?

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Old 02-06-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
Professor Frink
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Sep 2006
San Diego, CA
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If you don't have a dishwasher and don't want to use liquid sanitizer, you can always do it in your oven. It takes a little longer, but it does work.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:59 PM   #9
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Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
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One note of concern with reviving old, dusty bottles.

I would make sure to give them a good scrub with a bottle scrubber the first time out.

A simple hot wash, soak, rinse etc..., Will not loosen any crud or residue that may have formed from an old speck of beer leftover in the bottle.

I simple soap, soak and rinse my bottles that tells you I'm not facetious about completely scrubbing my bottles, but I've learned the hard way that crud likes to hide out in old bottles.

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Old 02-06-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
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Originally Posted by debaniel
i'm thinkin' an oxyclean soak overnight, then rinse rinse rinse and star san right before bottling?
Yes, that will work well, its basically what I do.

I rinse each bottle well right after pouring the beer and set it aside. When I get 6 or 8 bottles accumulated I soak them in an oxyclean solution (anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight depending on what else is going on). After the soak I rinse them well and hang them on a bottle tree to dry.

On bottling day I rinse out each one with a bottle washer attached to my faucette then dunk in Star San for 2-3 minutes. Then they hang on the bottle tree until I'm ready to use them.

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