Cleaning PET bottles

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JimmyP

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Hello all.

I have finished 2 brews now adding up to almost 80 pints.

I know a lot of people say it's best to clean the bottles straight after pouring your beer but I have left all the bottles with the sediment and a little beer in the bottom since I bottled them. Let's say up to 2 months for the longest ones.

I have cleaned out all the sediment with my hose/jet wash and the bottles seem pretty damn clean with no sediment left.

My question is do I need to use a cleaning agent such as PBW even though there is no real visible caked on beer left on the bottles or do I just go ahead and just sanitize with some Star San. I have some PBW that came through the post today so using that won't be a problem, should I use it just to be safe or does it not matter too much.

Thanks for the help guys,
Kind Regards,

JimmyP
 
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JimmyP

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I've decided to just go with the PBW clean just in case.

The packaging on PBW suggests 25-35 minutes soak at 100 - 150 F, everyone else seems to do it overnight.
Should 35 minutes be sufficient?
 

Coff

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A PBW soak is the way to go so good idea, 35 minutes should be sufficient. Dont forget to sanitize after the soak, PBW is for cleaning but you still need to sanitize. You probably already know that but you know...
 

vnzjunk

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In the future, do yourself a favor and just quickly rinse out the bottles after emptying. Put some warm water in and shake and drain..... maybe a couple of times. Recap lightly. The bottle should already be sanitary when uncapped so you basically just want to get rid of any sediment which in my case is just a bit of yeast in the bottom bottle groves. Only takes a sec. and you will feel good the next time you go to bottle and only have to put a bit of sanitizer in the bottles without worry. Much easier than dealing with dried crud and guessing at how good of a job you are doing on your bottle cleaning.
I've done it this way for a couple of years and have had no problems and and am happy with the results.

Hello all.

I have finished 2 brews now adding up to almost 80 pints.

I know a lot of people say it's best to clean the bottles straight after pouring your beer but I have left all the bottles with the sediment and a little beer in the bottom since I bottled them. Let's say up to 2 months for the longest ones.

I have cleaned out all the sediment with my hose/jet wash and the bottles seem pretty damn clean with no sediment left.

My question is do I need to use a cleaning agent such as PBW even though there is no real visible caked on beer left on the bottles or do I just go ahead and just sanitize with some Star San. I have some PBW that came through the post today so using that won't be a problem, should I use it just to be safe or does it not matter too much.

Thanks for the help guys,
Kind Regards,

JimmyP
 

DaNewf

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Completely agree with vnzjunk. A good rinse/shake with hot water as soon as the bottle is emptied with take care of the crud in the bottom.

The only bottles I "clean" are empties someone gives me or bottles from beer I purchased that still have the label on.
 

unionrdr

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He's got the PET plastic bottles,like Munton's or Cooper's gives with their brew kits. DO NOT use hot water in PET plastic,let alone 150F! It can warp the plastic,etc. Cooper's recomends not to use hot water. A little warm to the touch maybe,but not hot. You can clean them with a room temp PBW solution. That's what I did with my Cooper's PET bottles till I switched to glass 12oz'rs & traded the PET's.
 

vnzjunk

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I use my hot tap water which I have set just hot enough that you don't want to use it straight to wash your hands other than for a quick dunk. I have not noticed any malforming or softening of the bottles when quick rinsed. I do not let the hot water sit in them however. And I would never use boiling or near boiling water. They look/smell clean after 2 quick rinses. I then let them drain dry and cap them to await sanitizer before refilling whenever that mite be.
Absolutely no problems for me with this procedure. Either with the bottles or with the next batch of beer.
I might add that I get my extra bottles from the grocery store. They are brown root beer bottles which I get for $0.99 each, full of very good root beer. Much cheaper than paying $1.50-$1.75 for empty PET bottles from the beer supply houses plus shipping costs.
Plus I get to drink the root beer. WIN WIN

He's got the PET plastic bottles,like Munton's or Cooper's gives with their brew kits. DO NOT use hot water in PET plastic,let alone 150F! It can warp the plastic,etc. Cooper's recomends not to use hot water. A little warm to the touch maybe,but not hot. You can clean them with a room temp PBW solution. That's what I did with my Cooper's PET bottles till I switched to glass 12oz'rs & traded the PET's.
 

unionrdr

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I use my hot tap water which I have set just hot enough that you don't want to use it straight to wash your hands other than for a quick dunk. I have not noticed any malforming or softening of the bottles when quick rinsed. I do not let the hot water sit in them however. And I would never use boiling or near boiling water. They look/smell clean after 2 quick rinses. I then let them drain dry and cap them to await sanitizer before refilling whenever that mite be.
Absolutely no problems for me with this procedure. Either with the bottles or with the next batch of beer.
I might add that I get my extra bottles from the grocery store. They are brown root beer bottles which I get for $0.99 each, full of very good root beer. Much cheaper than paying $1.50-$1.75 for empty PET bottles from the beer supply houses plus shipping costs.
Plus I get to drink the root beer. WIN WIN
I wouldn't trust that over time. They don't have to melt down to a sculpture to warp a little. not letting the hot water sit in them is better. But warm to the touch,not so hot you wince after a second or two. Damage can be long term as well. Like the thread we had over using hot PBW in better bottles. They're PET as well. Same applies here.
 
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JimmyP

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Well I soaked all the PET bottles in water at around 30c last night mixed with PBW, probably hotter than 30c actually and they have been sitting in the water for about 21 hours now. I hope the hot water hasn't ruined the bottles but we will see as I'm about to rinse them in a minute.
 

vnzjunk

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The bottles are not even anywhere hot or warm to the touch after rinsing. I suppose anything is possible but I have been reusing these same bottles and the same process for 2 years now and no probs as of yet. In my case I will continue with the practice until evidence that the process has issues pops up. But I do not expect that and will not be losing any sleep worrying about the possibility.

Thanks for weighing in.

I wouldn't trust that over time. They don't have to melt down to a sculpture to warp a little. not letting the hot water sit in them is better. But warm to the touch,not so hot you wince after a second or two. Damage can be long term as well. Like the thread we had over using hot PBW in better bottles. They're PET as well. Same applies here.
 
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JimmyP

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A completely different question but I'm kind of struggling to take off those plastic rings which are left behind on the bottles after you unscrew a plastic bottle. You know, the plastic seal which breaks when you open a fresh drink in a plastic bottle. I'm trying to take them off with my nails which kind of hurts after just 2 bottles, never mind after 30-40 bottles, and using a knife seems rather dangerous!
 

unionrdr

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I just left them on my Cooper's PET bottles,as the caps are good for 5-6 brews. Then use some small wire cutters to remove them when you get new screw on caps. My lhbs carries a few different sizes of them.
 
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JimmyP

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Haha since I posted that last post I managed to get them all off the 32 or so bottles using a blunt normal cutlery knife, just slide it under the plastic then twist the knife until it snaps, did feel slightly nervous dealing with a blunt knife and slipery wet bottles though. Oh and I didn't realize I could use the caps again for another 5 or so brews. Might just sanitize some old ones then.

Thanks
 

quincy07

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The only advice on this subject I can give is to NOT put the PET bottles in the dishwasher. I made that mistake and badly warped all 8 of my "Mr. Beer" bottles. I don't know what I was thinking but I prefer glass bottles over the plastic ones anyway, and my LHBS sells 24 12oz bottles pretty cheap, so I wasn't too upset when it happened.
 

Jipper

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If you have a stubborn part of the carboy, you can put a soft terrycloth rag in when it's about 1/3 to 1/2 full of PBW water and then tumble it. That rag should be soft enough not to scratch, but abrasive enough to pull off any dirt / leftover krausen.
 
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