How do you CLEAN your glass carboys?

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Hi!

How do you guys clean out your glass carboys.. and glass bottles?

I was listening to the Brewers Network and Jamil and them said not to use plastic buckets because of the scratches. I moved to glass but am not sure if my brushes will cause scratches on the glass.. I also now don't know what cleaners I should be using.

All I have is Star San and PBW at this point but don't know really how I should incorporate this into a routine or how to 'exactly' clean my bottles/carboys.

Thanks a million!
 

Suthrncomfrt1884

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Brushes won't scratch your glass. I just use some PBW to clean my carboys. I fill it, let it soak for a few hours, come back and shake the piss out of it, and then empty. I then rinse it out and it's usually good to go.

By the way...as long as you sanitize properly, you shouldn't have to worry about those scratches in your plastic buckets. I have a few that have deep scratches in them and I haven't had an infection in a long time. The infection I did have was because I didn't make a starter for a lager and the wort got infected before any yeast had a chance to ferment it.
 

Duffy85

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I was my glass carboy with one step as soon as I'm done using it. I let hot water and one step sit in it for a bit then I shake it and empty it out. Then wash with plain hot water and shake around. Never had a problem.
 

jacksonbrown

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PBW as mentioned above, and a good acid wash whenever I notice any organic material that might be lingering or that brushing can't catch.
 

Hummer

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I use food grade plastic buckets and barrels for all my primary fermentation. Besides aiding early fermentation it keeps the heaviest and stickiest yeast byproduct where it is easier to clean--and out of the carboy.

Washing and brushing the carboy immediately after use will prevent problems. I have a jet carboy washer but a simple garden hose hand sprayer works as well for pressure. I finish by brushing with a little One Step, PBW or Straight A. I store the carboy "wet", with about 1/8 cup potassium metabisulfate solution inside and capped with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Then with a light rinse, it's ready to use.
 

remilard

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I rinse them with hot water after emptying and then set them aside with kegs until I have 6-10 total kegs and carboys and then clean them on a keg and carboy washer that I built (lots of plans on the web) that recirculates PBW. Best gadget I have ever built for brewing. I can clean 10 kegs/carboys during a brew day with very little actual labor.
 

viking73

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Pea gravel and about 2" of water. Rinse, sanitize and ferment!
 

homebrewer_99

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mikebiewer & snevey: I checked out both attachments. Some good stuff in there except we never did see what a carboy toy was...interesting...:confused:

I take it a step further and cut off the loop from my bottle brushes so I can insert them into a drill (like carboy toy) to clean out the insides of my bottles.

For my carboys, I use the cleaning tool that's a long metal shaft with the shammy "fingers" on it that spin outward and scrubs the inside...the name escapes me right now. Anyone know it's name?

In the video you saw the metal shaft is always in contact with the glass opening of the carboy. Well, I HAD the same problem (at least I thought that was a problem) until I solved it earlier today.

We all buy CDs in bulk (25 and 100 CD packs), right? Well, take the bottom piece...usually made of black plastic with the shaft that the CDs slide on (I know, sounds dirty...;)). Some holders have a solid shaft. What you need is the hollow shaft for this to work. OK, now look at the bottom of the CD stand (for lack of a better term). There are a number of concentric circles (mine were about 3" across). I cut off all the plastic around the circle and trimmed it up to make it look nice, I'll probably sand it smooth later. Next, I cut the tip of the shaft (ala Lorena Bobbitt-style) to about 3" long and cleaned up all the loose plastic by scraping the knife across it...viola, DONE! :mug:
Next I slid the cleaning tool into the carboy. Then slid the (shaft end of the) plastic piece over the shaft of the tool until it goes into the carboy neck. The large circle piece keeps it from falling into the carboy and the new shorter shaft keeps the metal off of the glass. Attach tool to drill. Time to clean. :rockin:

I have pics of the process, but I can't post them.

Don't you just like DIY??? ;)
 

mikebiewer

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If you click on "buy now" on the carboy toy you can actually see it. Looks pretty interesting.

I love your DIY project. I'd love to post something like that on my site. I expect to be doing a couple DIY's of my own soon enough.

That is some good advice my friend. I really don't mind the fill with oxyclean and water and let sit for a couple hours and rinse method though. Its pretty easy. However, if I'm going from one batch to another and can't afford the time, this would be a perfect solution to getting the gunk out fast!

I'd love to see your pictures. Have you ever written an article for a blog?

Cheers!
 

funkapottomous

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If you click on "buy now" on the carboy toy you can actually see it. Looks pretty interesting.

I love your DIY project. I'd love to post something like that on my site. I expect to be doing a couple DIY's of my own soon enough.

That is some good advice my friend. I really don't mind the fill with oxyclean and water and let sit for a couple hours and rinse method though. Its pretty easy. However, if I'm going from one batch to another and can't afford the time, this would be a perfect solution to getting the gunk out fast!

I'd love to see your pictures. Have you ever written an article for a blog?

Cheers!
or you can click "how it works" too
 

homebrewer_99

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Homebrewer 99

If you click on "buy now" on the carboy toy you can actually see it. Looks pretty interesting.

I love your DIY project. I'd love to post something like that on my site. I expect to be doing a couple DIY's of my own soon enough.

That is some good advice my friend. I really don't mind the fill with oxyclean and water and let sit for a couple hours and rinse method though. Its pretty easy. However, if I'm going from one batch to another and can't afford the time, this would be a perfect solution to getting the gunk out fast!

I'd love to see your pictures. Have you ever written an article for a blog?

Cheers!
No, sorry, I don't blog, tweet, do Facebook or text...;)

I could send you the pics and you could put it on your site if you'd like.

Email me @ [email protected]



EDIT: OK, I checked out "buy it" and the shammy scrubber does basically the same thing with "scrubbing fingers"

I also cut the loop off of my very large cornie brush and clean them the same way...with a drill.
 

shortyjacobs

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I use this:





With warm Oxyclean, (kept heated by some aquarium heaters), then a swipe of the brush, a rinse, and good to go.

I tried building a shammy scrubber once...(similar to the carboy toy), and it vibrated too much to make me happy....the Carboy toy looks nice, but I find the carboy washer I built works fine. Works great on kegs too.
 

Bad Influence

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Believe it or not...... we have a small club (4) of us and we've been using those Amway dishdrops - that stuff rocks!!!

Couple of drops, water to foam up, then use the carboy cleaner. That thing is great (IMHO). Bubbles up, gets in the glass and PET Better Bottles well.

Haven't had a bad batch yet.

Jonathan
 

shortyjacobs

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Yeah that saves water and cleaner it looks like. That is one massive pump.. I suppose you need that kind of power to get it to spray?
Ha, yeah, it's a biggie. 600 gph, 1/2 hp. I got it from Harbor Freight for $33. I got it cuz it was big and cheap, and I figured bigger was better for this operation. It certainly has good throughput. Plus I only use 1 scoop of oxyclean and 5 gallons of water to clean a dozen kegs and carboys, (I save up and clean a bunch at once...).
 

shortyjacobs

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Allrighty Shawnyboy..

Here's the pump. I used 1.5" PVC fittings to screw into the threads, followed by bushings to reduce to 1/2", and then the male ends of the union fittings. If I did this again, I'd use 1.5" unions and then step down to 1/2", instead of vice versa, because the unions somewhat restrict the flow.



Here's my piping. The one on the right pulls water INTO the pump. The one on the left spits it back out into the carboy or keg. The "T" on the output piping tees off to two hunks of vinyl tubing going to quick disconnects. When washing a keg, these go on the posts to wash out the dip tubes. The main output is 1/2" PVC piping. I didn't bother with any kind of "sprayer" on top....just open tubing...it works great.



Here you go, all assembled in the bucket. You can see that the output tube rests on the bottom of the bucket, so when it's pumping out water the tube won't flex downward.



Here's a close-up of the T:



Finally, the whole thing put together:



Any questions, go ahead and ask.
 

yeastbound

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Shorty - Awesome! I'm definitely going to build this. Carboy and keg cleaning is the only thing I loathe about this hobby. This also looks to really conserve water!

I do have one question: You had mentioned an aquarium heater to get/keep the water warm. Can you let me know what model/wattage you used? I know nothing about aquarium heaters, but I assume that 50W is about right?

THANKS AGAIN!
 

shortyjacobs

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Shorty - Awesome! I'm definitely going to build this. Carboy and keg cleaning is the only thing I loathe about this hobby. This also looks to really conserve water!

I do have one question: You had mentioned an aquarium heater to get/keep the water warm. Can you let me know what model/wattage you used? I know nothing about aquarium heaters, but I assume that 50W is about right?

THANKS AGAIN!
Yeah, I used 2x 50 watt heaters....but honestly I don't know how much good they did. They top out at 80*F or so....so they just keep the water kinda warm, not hot. Maybe one day if I get ambitious I'll put a little element in there to heat it up more....but honestly if you don't already have them laying around, (like I did), I dunno if I'd spend the money on em.
 

mikebiewer

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I'm with the low tech. I fill my carboy up with oxyclean and warm water. Let it sit for an hour then scrub and rinse it. It seems ok for me!
 

Homercidal

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Hot water and Oxy overnight, then drain almost empty and shove a washcloth in there. Swirl the cloth around until it's wiped all surfaces. Then remove cloth and drain completely and rinse and sanitize.

It's a bit of work, but I rarely use my carboy anymore.
 

Jawbox0

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Water rinse immediately after transfer, then Oxyclean overnight. I rinse it the next day and it's good to go after a quick sanitize.
 

permo

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after brewing I use a bleach water solution and then rinse it with water...there aren't many spots for yukies to hide on the smooth glass interior.
 

billc68

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I never "clean" my carboys, ever.

Within a few minutes of emptying them or after bottling is complete. I rinse, rinse, rinse. If they have any visible solids that won't come out I might soak with chlorine sanitizer or bleach and water.

Then I put them away and rinse and sanitize and rinse again before using. The way I see it, it was already sanitized before I rinsed it, just had some beer and yeast in it. Need to get that all out.

For bottles, if they are my own homebrew bottles, I rinse 3 times immediately after emptying them and then sanitize on bottling day. For "new" empty commercial bottles, I soak them for a day or two in a cooler with warm water and oyclean, peel off any labels that haven't already come off, look for crap in the bottom. Any that don't look crystal clean go back to the recycling depot, the rest get sanitized and used. I should also mention, I always look for fresh bottles when buying them, having two alcoholic neighbors helps too, a few cigarette butts sure beats old dried up mold in the bottle.

NEVER HAD A PROBLEM YET

I am a little concerned about my second kegging attempt, I have an off flavor but I made a few other mistakes in that process, so we'll see.
 

Bobby_M

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I love a little overkill now and then but this is pretty easy stuff. A little (1 gallon) warm/hot water and PBW with a carboy brush, then a good rinse. It's now clearn. Another gallon of room temp water with .2 fl.oz. of starsan sloshed around in the carboy a couple times. Dump. It's now sanitary.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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My carboys always have that brown gunk caked on the top conical portion and neck area (by design). I usually have some previously used PBW solution around so I put a couple gallons of that in there and then invert it in a bucket and let soak until the gunk comes off. Rinse well and that's my 'preclean'. Then before I use it I PBW it again (and this PBW solution can be reused), rinse well and then Starsan it (I mix SS with Distilled and reuse for weeks). Every now and again I'll go newkular on it and bleach it, especially just before a new yeast strain that I intend to wash. I haven't needed/used a brush or anything else in there since I started using PBW.

It might be overkill but I always clean with PBW and rinse well before sanitizing, even if I cleaned it a week earlier with PBW. For whatever reason I don't feel comfortable just sanitizing something I cleaned days/weeks earlier.
 
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