Three Questions mildly for Patient Forumers...

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DSorenson

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EDIT: noticed the stupid title typo. I'm THAT tired. Sorry guys and gals.

Brewing a beer for my brother's graduation from law school.

No experience with secondary. Transfered to secondary with one ounce of oak chips in three ounces of bourbon. I started fermentation 6 days ago. It reaches to the top ridge in the typical 5 gallon glass carboy; I was hoping it would reach the neck and be "topped off". The airlock is bubbling about once every second or two. Should I take steps to prevent oxidation, or will my beer produce enough CO2 for a blanket?

Anyone know about what volume is in a 5 gallon glass carboy at the top ridge? You know what I mean... that raised glass lattice on the sides.

I rinse my bottles almost immediately after every beer decanting and store them upside-down. Step two is cleaning bottles with a bottle brush while submerged in starsan. I starsan again just before bottling. moments ago I was performing step two and I noticed some kind of slightly dull film in the bottoms of some of the bottles that was streaked by the bottle brush. You need to look through the glass with a light right behind it to see it. I can't seem to get it out. Never noticed it before, but I'm sure it's been there before since I'm so consistent. Anyone experience this before?

Thanks in advance... it's been a hell of a day. I know some thorough searching could find me what I need to know, but I'm almost too tired to care. (it's been one of THOSE days... you know what I mean.) Sorry for asking three noob questions all at once!

Thanks- DSorenson
 

prpromin

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I don't know what the line on the carboy is. Depends on the size. Maybe 4 1/2 gallons? Maybe 5? In any case, if you had some offgassing/continued ferment, there'll be a layer of co2 now over the beer. You'll be fine.

Regarding bottle cleaning. Starsan is nit a cleanser. That film could be dried starsan or something worse.

I follow a similar bottle washing procedure, but I use the unscented Oxy Clean for washing. I'd suggest something like that for your wash step. I'm pretty lazy, so I fill the sink with hot water and Oxy, submerge the bottles for however long it takes me to remember I have bottles soaking (usually about an hour), bottle brush, really good rinse, dry upside down till bottling day. On bottling day, I give a few squirts with Starsan through my vinator, then onto the bottling tree they go.

Now, I'm pretty particular about my bottles and how they get clean. If a buddy returns bottles to me and says they've been cleaned, they get cleaned again. I bet that 95 percent or more of the time, your process is fine.

I would strongly suggest swapping out that Starsan cleaning step for one that uses a cleanser. If for no other reason than you're wasting Starsan. I mean, you're effectively creating dirty Starsan with the used bottles. I wouldn't be reusing it.
 
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DSorenson

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It is nice to hear from a like minded person. I also take my bottles very seriously. It is in fact also where my starsan goes to die. I have always been weary of using oxyfree in my bottles because we are all aware of that slimy feeling it leaves behind. Of coarse I use it in my carboys all of the time... so maybe bottles will be fine, too. Thanks for the reply!

Just for further clarification, it is an Italian made 5 Gallon glass carboy with the top glass ridge where the carboy is bottle necking
 

kh54s10

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Starsan is not a cleaner. It might be what you are seeing in the bottle when dry??

Oxyclean does a great job for me but it seems to depend somewhat on water chemistry. The wrong water seems to make it more slimy and difficult to rinse. Or maybe people are using too much.

I usually take my bottles and rinse with hot water soon after drinking, no cleaner, store, rinse again, a good shot of Starsan with my Vinator and refill. If they sit for a while or have labels or gunk inside they get the Oxyclean soak. I look into each bottle to see they are clean but do not get obsessed and have had 1 infected bottle in more than 1500 bottles.
 
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DSorenson

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Hey guys, just to be sure, I might have a quart or two head space in my secondary. I was hoping to leave it in there a month. It bubbled for about three days and now the airlock isn't doing anything. According to some estimated calculations for the size of bubbles and frequency most if not all the head space should be filled.

Reassurances that I am not screwing this up?
 

k1ngl1ves

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If you were getting bubbles, especially for three days after transferring, you are fine.

As for the film in the bottles, you may just have a bit of hardness in your water. I would go crazy and scrub like mad to get it out... ocd is a disease! Lol! I'm sure the film won't cause you any problems though.
 
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DSorenson

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Thanks guys. If this beer was just for me I wouldn't worry. Thanks guys!

Here it what I did with the bottles: put one sixteenth teaspoon oxyfree in every bottle and filled to the neck. I let it sit over night and rinsed them thoroughly (shook um like a red-headed step child). I checked the bottles and all of them were clean (no film)! I stored them in my fast rack.

I have a water softener, so I'm familliar with the salt deposit film when the water dries on the bottles. This certainly wasn't that... glad I asked!
 

IslandLizard

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Immediate rinsing/soaking prevents caking on, it's good practice.

Using a bottle brush cleans better than shaking or soaking alone. But soaking ahead of time makes the brush job easier and more effective. All my "clean" bottles get brushed (I use washing soda as a detergent), rinsed, and followed by a hot water rinse with a jet spray bottle washer.

Then Starsan right before filling.
 

prohl84

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I just rinse the bejeezus out of my bottles with 140* water after I finish the beer and then again on bottling day pre- sanitizing until there's no odor/ visible residues. If I can't get it cleaned easily it goes in the recycling.

I used to be super anal/ OCD about my bottles until I realized I could get them for 50 cents ea./ $1 for bombers at my LHBS (even though I get them 'free' from commersh brew) and I was spending way too much time and effort on them. I think I've only attacked a bottle with a brush twice in my life. My case of liter swingtops otoh...... they're treated like gold.
 

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