Dirty Better Bottle...

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patrck17

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I recently racked a beer from my primary fermenter, which is a 6gal better bottle. I know anyone who has used a carboy or better bottle has seen the gunk that is dried against the side of the carboy after the fermentation process. Well to clean the bottle I did my normal routine which is to empty it out and put in a scoop of oxyclean and let sit overnight. This got out most of the gunk, but no amount of shaking or swirling seems to remove all the dried hops on the side of the bottle. I know not to stick my glass carboy brush in there since it may scratch the plastic, but I am just not sure what else I can do to get it off. Anybody had this problem? I added 2 more scoops of oxyclean and I am going to let it soak indefinately. Maybe this should help. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
 

jkarp

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Stuff a hot, wet washcloth inside with some dish detergent. Shake. Rinse.
 
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patrck17

patrck17

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Thanks for the feedback guys, gives me some hope. I'll combine the wash cloth idea with the extra scoop idea.
 

llazy_llama

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I'm going to have to go with Revvy on this one. If a good strong (4-5 scoops) Oxyclean soak doesn't get it out, the bottle blaster will. If both fail, nothing short of divine intervention is going to clean that bad boy.

Call me lazy (I prefer efficient), but I much prefer to just let something soak out than to try and shake the tar out of it.
 

Revvy

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I'm going to have to go with Revvy on this one. If a good strong (4-5 scoops) Oxyclean soak doesn't get it out, the bottle blaster will. If both fail, nothing short of divine intervention is going to clean that bad boy.

Call me lazy (I prefer efficient), but I much prefer to just let something soak out than to try and shake the tar out of it.
So nice to see you back to pitching in.
 

Poobah58

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I use a brush. Haven't had any problems yet. Just be careful of the metal on the brush that's all. Make sure carboy is full. Just swish around the gunk and lightly touch with bristles.
 

llazy_llama

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Just my two cents, but personally, I don't really trust carboy brushes on my better bottles. The risk of scratching or gouging the PET outweighs the benefits in my mind. But, to each his own. :mug:
 

Budzu

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Hotter water helps, but don't exceed around 120F. Also I find that PBW does work quite better for Better bottles. Shaking and/or soaking is all I need, I am very against sticking anything but liquid or a racking device (carefully) into my better bottles. That's just me! Never had an infection but want it to stay that way.
 

Bobby_M

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After the overnight soak, empty the carboy completely and put a damp washcloth in there. Shake, swirl, etc. Then rinse it out. The washcloth trick never worked for me because I left too much water in there. You want the cloth to touch the surface of the BB, not float around on a cushion of water.
 

EvilGnome6

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My Better Bottle cleaning method:

1) Add 1 oz of oxyclean and one gallon of water.
2) Tip on the side and rock the carboy back and forth.
3) Stuff a soft rag or cloth in the carboy (I use a freshly laundered gym sock).
4) Tip on side and rock back and forth.
5) Pour out some of the water.
6) Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have very little water with the rag.

I can usually get the carboy clean in 5-10 minutes this way.
 

raceskier

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One more technique if you're trying to get rid of the krausen ring around the top. Try using just a gallon or so of hot water with a scoop of Oxyclean or your favorite powdered brewing cleaner. Install the BB closure and invert the BB and set it in you carboy drying/draining stand. The concentrated solution goes to work on the effected area and you're not waisting it cleaning something that's already clean.
 

Bobby_M

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That's a good point. I put a plastic 'water cooler" style cap on it and invert it in my carboy dryer stand. I only need to mix 1/2 gallon of oxy water and that's a half scoop strength too.
 

HSM

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You only used one scoop? I tend to use 3-4 in a large carboy, and I haven't had any trouble.

You won't have any trouble, but you are just wasting oxyclean. I've never used more that 1/2 to 1 scoop and it always gets the crud off.
 

tom777

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One more technique if you're trying to get rid of the krausen ring around the top. Try using just a gallon or so of hot water with a scoop of Oxyclean or your favorite powdered brewing cleaner. Install the BB closure and invert the BB and set it in you carboy drying/draining stand. The concentrated solution goes to work on the effected area and you're not waisting it cleaning something that's already clean.
+1 to this -- I usually just set the BB upside down in a 5qt ice cream pail which is partially filled with water.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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It seems that as Better Bottles get older, they get harder to clean.

I have had to use the washcloth trick every time lately. It always works in the end, though.
 

Budzu

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I thought I'd add something from my experience:

My first BB I used a carboy brush on early on. I have several more now, but when I got my second one, I was cautious enough to not touch the inside with anything but liquid.

Now, that first BB is quite more difficult to clean than the others. The ones I never brushed still clean very easily with oxy or PBW soaking. So I do know from experience that I have made the inside of that first BB alot less smooth, and alot more protective of any crap that stays on the inside. I'll toss it as soon as I get a new one. Never used a cloth though. I won't attempt it either. That's just me, I am excessive.
 
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patrck17

patrck17

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I concentrated the oxy in the BB and that got a good amount of what was left, but there was some stubborn wort still stuck in the top. I put in a wash cloth and gave it a good swirling for a while and that got the last of it off. I'll probably use this technique in the future it works very well. Thanks for the help guys.
 

rcrabb22

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Just my two cents, but personally, I don't really trust carboy brushes on my better bottles. The risk of scratching or gouging the PET outweighs the benefits in my mind. But, to each his own. :mug:
Take it from experience. I ruined 2 BB's using a brush. I knew better but thought I could do it gently enough to remove some stains I could see when holding them up to the light. The stains are gone but a very subtle scratch on both BB's can be seen when held up to the light. A stupid and costly mistake
 

jtrainer

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I recently pulled my glass carboys out to loan to my bro for wine. I saw a film that I knew was there but never really worried about it. I've been using a TSP/OxyClean mixture (and my brush) to break it down.

I wonder if what I hit and what plagues the BB people is simply beer stone build up?

Note I use buckets almost exclusively now...
 
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