• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

Heating Bottles in Oven to Sterilize.

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Sediment

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Short Version:
Has anyone had experience with heating your bottles in the oven to sterilize them?

Long Version:
I picked up some old brewing equipment from a guy who is a hard core brewer. He gave me ton of bottles too. His method was to place the bottles in his kitchen oven at 300 degrees for one hour. He also puts a little aluminum foil cap on top of each bottle. He said the only risk is that after many repeat heating the glass can break down. This is sort almost like auto-claving. Seems kind of easier too and less fuss than washing.

Thoughts?
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
Short Version:
Has anyone had experience with heating your bottles in the oven to sterilize them?

Long Version:
I picked up some old brewing equipment from a guy who is a hard core brewer. He gave me ton of bottles too. His method was to place the bottles in his kitchen oven at 300 degrees for one hour. He also puts a little aluminum foil cap on top of each bottle. He said the only risk is that after many repeat heating the glass can break down. This is sort almost like auto-claving. Seems kind of easier too and less fuss than washing.

Thoughts?
Well, you have to wash them before you do this (cleaning and sanitizing are separate steps).

It should work fine, but it does need a long time (that hour or more) because dry air doesn't convey heat all that quickly.

More commonly, people use their dishwasher (with _no_ pre-wash or detergent) to sanitize their bottles.

Watch out for flip-tops (Grolsch tops are plastic these days, not ceramic).

Also, it is kind of stressful on the bottles as he notes. Warm slowly, and then cool slowly.

Personally I think a squirt of star-san from a vinator is a lot quicker, and I'd go with the dishwasher over the oven. But it ought to work.
 

hammer one

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
When I first started brewing I did this a few times, it works but what a PITA. Just use some star-san and save your time for brewing and drinking
 

Swagman

Banned
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
190
Reaction score
3
Location
WACK Kansas City Kansas
GREEN EYED MONSTER

First I’m not an English major and I have been kicking this ideal around for a long time in my head. Just might not get it correct to paper. So if my wording offends anybody I apologize now. I was thinking back when my two Great uncles brewed beer, the equipment used and the outcome of their efforts. This was in the mid fifties and there equipment was just a canning pot to boil and the kitchen sink was to wash items and rise out bottle’s they had collected from everywhere. No liquid soap, no hydrometer, no disinfecting of any kind. Open top crocks with maybe a cloth towel across the top as I was told the bottles where worth more than the beer since they were hard to come by. Was there beer good, I never was allowed any but everybody said it was or it was just free beer? They used Past’s Blue Ribbon extract and bakers dry or cake yeast and that was it. But I never heard that the beer went bad. A few broken bottles because over primed or bottled too soon and the wort was still working.
In other words no Green eyed Monster jumped out of the back room and ruined their beer. They just used common sense to their brewing. Clean everything with soap and water and go on with the business at hand Brew Beer.
Now I with a shed full of equipment and I go a few extra steps than my great uncles did but I never had a batch of beer where the Green eyed Monster spoiled the batch. I believe in the CS approach on cleaning and do at time get a little to lay back.
Infections can happen and a few blame that when they have a poor process or just forgot to use CS.
Remember don’t carry common sense too far because than it’s not CS but infatuations trying to eliminate a problem that’s not there to start with. I remember a while back of a brewer told me what he did to clean and sanitize his bottles. After bottles soaked in bleach and water mix they where rinsed with hot water. Placed into a container with one step placed on rack to dry and then stacked into the oven and heated I don’t have a clue at what temp. Cooled down and back to one step just before bottling. Common Sense was tied to a stake and shot.
Just use common sense and enjoy the beer and not make it a chain gang of labor.
It’s just Beer
Green eyed Monsters aka Infections
Nothing is jumping out of the closet
Dominus Vobiscum

Swagman:cool:
 

remilard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
3,654
Reaction score
53
Location
Kansas City
I do this. I like not having to own and drag out a big ugly plastic thing every time I want to fill a bottle.

I keg, so I use less bottles than some people but I can fit about enough bottles for 5 gallons in my oven at once. It takes perhaps 3 minutes to cover them with foil and place them in the oven and then less than a minute to take them out. I don't see how that is more time consuming than any other method of treating around 50 bottles.

Advantages are that they bottles are sterile, not simply sanitary, and that they will remain so indefinitely so you are not forced to add on bottle treatment to your bottling day list of chores.
 

bluehouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
4
I use this for larger bottles like champ bottles that won't fit properly in the dishwasher. What I usualy do is wash them the night before and put in the oven, it's best to go with a low heat for a long time. The chart I have says 250% takes 12 hours 300% takes 8 hours. So I put in before I go to bed and in the morning on botteling day, turn off the oven leave them in the oven about 2 hours to cool somewhat. Then I put out on counter and cool another hour or so before starting to bottle. This gives me time to get up & get my coffee & breakfast maybe watch the news & set up the bottleing stuff then I am ready to go with clean bottles. I have a pretty big oven with 3 racks so I can do 18 champ bottles at one time. I don't mess with regular 12oz in the oven cause they are to small for the racks in my oven.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
9
Location
Underwood, Iowa
I do this. I like not having to own and drag out a big ugly plastic thing every time I want to fill a bottle.

I keg, so I use less bottles than some people but I can fit about enough bottles for 5 gallons in my oven at once. It takes perhaps 3 minutes to cover them with foil and place them in the oven and then less than a minute to take them out. I don't see how that is more time consuming than any other method of treating around 50 bottles.

Advantages are that they bottles are sterile, not simply sanitary, and that they will remain so indefinitely so you are not forced to add on bottle treatment to your bottling day list of chores.

How do you store them to keep them sterile? How long could you store them before use without any more effort? Is 300* the correct temp?
 

llazy_llama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
2,832
Reaction score
92
Location
Rapid City, South Dakota
Seems kind of easier too and less fuss than washing.

Thoughts?
Hmm... break out a cookie sheet, line up my bottles carefully, put them in the oven, heat to 300, set a timer, remove the bottles without burning myself, apply tinfoil to the top of each individual bottle...

Or

Attatch jet bottle washer. Spray bottles each with hot water. Pump each bottle a few times in the vinator. Stick in the dishwasher. Reuse bottles indefinately without risk.

Yeah, I'll spend the $30 for a vinator and bottle washer.
 

bluehouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
4
With Champs
No Cookie sheet.
No burning myself they sit in oven for 2 hours prior to removal.
No timer, put in oven on low & go to bed, wake up to sterilized bottles.

When my brew space is finished I may have a different outlook. Right now I am brewing in a tiny kitchen with one sink & the oven is the biggest spot to store/work on the project. I actually set up a work broad accross my 6 burners when I am not cooking cause my kitchen is so small the counter space is premium.

Differnt strokes.
 

llazy_llama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
2,832
Reaction score
92
Location
Rapid City, South Dakota
Yeah, if it works for you, then go for it. I have a dishwasher, a sink, and room enough on my counter for a vinator that is roughly the size of a small mixing bowl. I leave the bottles on the floor in a box until I'm ready to sanitize them, and I always clean/sanitize my bottles on bottling day so I don't have to store them.

Some people soak in Star San, but that always seemed a waste to me. Some people will use their ovens, but that would be much more work for me given my set up.

As you said, Differnt Strokes. :mug:
 

remilard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
3,654
Reaction score
53
Location
Kansas City
How do you store them to keep them sterile? How long could you store them before use without any more effort? Is 300* the correct temp?
The temperature depends on the time and vice versa. You can find charts for dry heat sterilization, Palmer has one in How to Brew.

I store them with foil on top in a reasonably draft free area. As long as microbes can not fall into the bottle, they remain sterile. So far a similar set up has worked for hundreds of years for Pasteur (at least one of his bottles remains on display, uninfected).

Louis Pasteur - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
OP
Sediment

Sediment

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like there are some easier options out there. The dishwasher has me intrigued.

Do you use any detergent at all?

And how do you place the bottles in the washer, facing up? Or facing down on each of the tines?

I like the idea of dishwashing then a quick dip in One Step cleaner (I don't have star san but I think this is the same thing).
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
73,943
Reaction score
11,458
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like there are some easier options out there. The dishwasher has me intrigued.

Do you use any detergent at all?

And how do you place the bottles in the washer, facing up? Or facing down on each of the tines?

I like the idea of dishwashing then a quick dip in One Step cleaner (I don't have star san but I think this is the same thing).
The dishwasher doesn't clean the bottles. They must be washed (without soap) either by hand or with one of those handy bottle jet washers. People who use the dishwasher use it to sanitize the bottles. The dishwasher doesn't clean the bottles- if there is dried on sediment, or any thing in the bottle, the dishwasher jets don't shoot the water right into the bottle.

People are using the dishwasher (on a sanitize setting) to sanitize the bottles, after cleaning them. You don't need one-step or star-san if you're sanitizing in the dishwasher.

My dishwasher doesn't get hot enough to sanitize, so I just take clean bottles (rinsed after using, and cleaned before putting away) and squirt star-san with the vinator in each one and put them on the bottling tree and then start filling them as soon as I've squirted each one. It's less than 10 minutes to sanitize 50 bottles.

Clean bottles are a must to start with, though! I always, always, always, rinse them out after pouring a beer, and dry upside down so that they are clean to start with. I never need to use a bottle brush or soak them, since they are clean when I put them in the box.
 

JVD_X

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
5
Location
Gainesville, Virginia
YooperBrew,

Cute dog pic. I concur - dishwashers can't get inside the bottle. Heck - I have a thermos that I use for coffee with probably a two inch wide opening and it still won't get inside.

I also make sure they get rinsed out but I go ahead and soak in PBW for a while anyhow, then rinse. Then I sanitize them all at once on my vinator w/star san and onto the bottle tree. THEN I bottle. I have never had an infected bottle, it's very quick, and most importantly doesn't piss off the wife.
 

raceskier

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
611
Reaction score
2
Location
Port Townsend
I use the oven method exclusively.

Soak the bottles in OxyClean, scrub, rinse drain and dry. I cap with aluminum foil and put them into the oven. Palmer recommends 350F for 1 hour. I also let them cool in the oven. The insides of the bottle will stay sterile indefinitely. (microorganisms can't crawl, walk or fly) The outside of the bottle and the foil will not, something to keep in mind when handling other equipment at the same time.

Also unless you've induced a flaw in the bottle, a chip or scratch, the heat cycling will not be a problem, particularly if you are careful about not thermally shocking the bottle by pulling it out of the hot oven. I've re-used the same bottles, I would guess over 10 times now.
 

Gedvondur

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
135
Reaction score
3
Location
Green Bay WI
GREEN EYED MONSTER

First I’m not an English major and I have been kicking this ideal around for a long time in my head. Just might not get it correct to paper. So if my wording offends anybody I apologize now. I was thinking back when my two Great uncles brewed beer, the equipment used and the outcome of their efforts. This was in the mid fifties and there equipment was just a canning pot to boil and the kitchen sink was to wash items and rise out bottle’s they had collected from everywhere. No liquid soap, no hydrometer, no disinfecting of any kind. Open top crocks with maybe a cloth towel across the top as I was told the bottles where worth more than the beer since they were hard to come by. Was there beer good, I never was allowed any but everybody said it was or it was just free beer? They used Past’s Blue Ribbon extract and bakers dry or cake yeast and that was it. But I never heard that the beer went bad. A few broken bottles because over primed or bottled too soon and the wort was still working.
In other words no Green eyed Monster jumped out of the back room and ruined their beer. They just used common sense to their brewing. Clean everything with soap and water and go on with the business at hand Brew Beer.
Now I with a shed full of equipment and I go a few extra steps than my great uncles did but I never had a batch of beer where the Green eyed Monster spoiled the batch. I believe in the CS approach on cleaning and do at time get a little to lay back.
Infections can happen and a few blame that when they have a poor process or just forgot to use CS.
Remember don’t carry common sense too far because than it’s not CS but infatuations trying to eliminate a problem that’s not there to start with. I remember a while back of a brewer told me what he did to clean and sanitize his bottles. After bottles soaked in bleach and water mix they where rinsed with hot water. Placed into a container with one step placed on rack to dry and then stacked into the oven and heated I don’t have a clue at what temp. Cooled down and back to one step just before bottling. Common Sense was tied to a stake and shot.
Just use common sense and enjoy the beer and not make it a chain gang of labor.
It’s just Beer
Green eyed Monsters aka Infections
Nothing is jumping out of the closet
Dominus Vobiscum

Swagman:cool:

Heh, I find this kind of wistful retro-ism to be both folksy and deceiving.

Reverence for the past can be taken too far, and pleas for simplicity are usually the culprit. Things always seem easier when you don't understand what is going on.

We all yearn for the days when things seemed simple and so-called common sense ruled. But the truth is that those days were ignorant, rather than idyllic. If the methods of the past were so effective, then no real progress would occur for there would be no need to research new methods.

I certainly hear the strangled cry to limit the number of variables and reduce complexity to lower levels, but I fear that harkening to the past, at least in this case, will yield unwanted results.



Gedvondur
 
Top