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Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2008
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Poconos, PA
So, now that I've bottled my first two batches, I have a question. How in the @#$!%#@ do clean my bottling tube, and how to clean the siphon hose? And how do I get these things dry?

In a lab, we never really cared about the cleanliness of hoses as they were typically used for vacuums or cooling water that never touched our reactions. But these hoses and thin tubes are used for food material, so I'm a little more concerned about cleanliness for re-use. Any good ideas here?

Also, do they make a racking tube that doesn't leak between bottles? Mine did and it was really annoying...
To clean I soak the tune and auto siphon ( taken apart ) on a solution of 4 gallons of H2O + 1 scoop of oxyclean. I then reassemble the autosiphon and attach the tube. I then siphon 4 gallons of the cleaning solution through the tube down then drain. I then siphon a bunch of clean water. Takes almost no effort.

I just let everything air dry.
I pretty much follow Dr. Vorlauf's method. For some of the other hoses that get gunked up, I'll soak in bleach. I rinse with a bottle washer like this one.

For some of the other racking hoses that get caked on residue, wadding up a few small pieces of paper towel and using the bottle washer to push it through the lines 2-3 times will remove alot of the junk.
I clean all racking equipment with hot water immediately after use, then dry. the tubing hangs like an upside down U for 12 hours to drip dry.

that's all I do. no issues.
I have a short hose attached to my faucet. The tubing fits right into the hose and I run hot water through it.

There's no reason why you have anything built up inside the tubing. If you soak/hot water through it it'll dissolve the sugars right away.

If you are really concerned why not purchase a dip tube brush?
I have been cleaning my tubes right after I finish and before I use them, and yet I was still getting some stains in the tube. I tend to use smaller tube, 1/4" ID then probably some of the others, but due to my water here I was getting Hard Water Stains inside my tube.

So I cleaned with vinegar and Bleach and still hardwater stains. So what I did to really clean my tubes ,was to use a piece of still leader to pull a nylon string with knots in it to fix the tube tightly and it was much cleaner.
No auto siphon here. I use the good old racking cane and tubing into the bottling bucket, then tubing into the Bottling wand into the bottles. As far as cleaning them, I sipmply use hot water immidiately after bottling through asll the tubing, racking cane, and the bottling wand. (knocking on wood), I haven't had a problem in over 14 years of brewing.:mug:
I was planning on bottling three batches late one night, and I noticed my racking hose had spots of mold in it from being put away wet. It was too late to go to the store, so I poured straight bleach in it and let it sit for 30 minutes.
I just flush my hoses with hot water and a little star san. Seems to work well for me.
I also whip them around a few times to get the majority of the moisture out before using the above mentioned inverted U drying technique. Warning, watch out for the ceiling fan blades.
I rinse everything thoroughly and then scrub the crud out of my fermenting bucked with Brewmasters cleaner, rinse verything again. SOAK everything with sanitising solution, then put everything into the fermenter, including hoses, measuring cups and spoons, spare bits an dpieces, give teh fermenter another dozen sprays of snaitiser, then seal it all up tight with an airlock fitted and filled and put ti away into the cabinet, out of the heat and light.

When I get it back out to use it, everythign is still soaked with sanitiser, so I just drip dry everything and use it!
I soak in hot water with PBW and then run hot water through it and drip dry hanging up so water will not collect in the tubing. Water that stays in a tube is a bad thing. If your tubing looks bad then replace it. Trying to clean the inside of tubing can be done in a pinch by using a stiff wire with a loop of cloth attached to the end of it and dragging it through the tube while soaking it in PBW. Be careful not to scratch the inside of the tubing with the wire!