sanitzing bottles

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Russ, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Arbe0

    Arbe0 Member

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    I have seen the nice plastic things that you put sanitizer in and it squirts into the bottle when you put the bottle over it. Wouldn't a plastic squirt bottle with Star-san in it do as good as the fancy bottle sanitizer?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    As long as you wetted the entire inside surface of the bottle with the Star San, yes. I just dunk mine in a bucket full of sanitizing solution and let them stand for at least 30 sec's before draining on a bottle rack.
     
  3. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I use the same method
     
  4. cearum

    cearum Member

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    I use three tubs that I got from Ikea. I do a clean, rinse, and sanitize flow. I'll drop 10-20 bottles into the clean (pbw solution), then move them to the rinse (just water), and then I'll drop them in a sanitizer. I'll move 10-20 of them through and then transfer a bit more into the clean and rinse and I have a line going. So I usually have 20-30 bottles in the flow at a time. They make good contact at each stage and I can't say I've ever really had a problem. I don't have a bottle tree or anything so I just let them sit on the counter for a 30-60 seconds, tip them upside down to get the remaining sanitizer out and them bottle from there.

    Another way I've done it is sanitize in the dishwasher (no soap or rinse aid!!!) just run it through the sanitize cycle or all the way through if you can't select. It doesn't really clean much out of the bottles, but I never had a problem with infection in those bottles either. Then while bottling I use the below method and put it right over top of the dishwasher door and grab bottles as necessary. Any spillage gets cleaned up the next run through of the dishwasher as it just lands on the door.

    As far as bottling goes I found that attaching the bottle wand directly to the spigot is a great way. This is achieved by a short piece of tubing. Then I just push the bottle up into the wand until it's full. It goes even quicker when you have 1-2 helpers to do the filling and capping. I probably got through bottling in 20 minutes with friends.
     
  5. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I've been rocking the dishwasher as it has a sanitization mode in which it washes the load and then heats it up to the temperature required for sanitization. Life got much easier when I realized that my dishwasher was capable of this! I just run the dishwasher without soap or rinse agent and I'm good to hook after 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, I'm free to do as I please which is usually prep everything else and have a beer.

    I've had zero issues and a lot less work - it now seems that allowing the wife to talk me into the dishwasher was a blessing :)
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Pointing out of course the dishwasher sanitation technique only works for clean bottles....
     
  7. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Yes, good point Nosy... I just ensure that I rinse the bottles after use to be sure no yeast or anything is left behind. If I see a carbonation ring at the top I'll scrub it with a brush but usually a simple rinse out is fine.
     
  8. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    I have heard that some dishwashes will have a residual amount of detergent left behind, even when running them without any detergent for the bottles. This can lead to a major reduction in head retention because soap kills the head.

    I soak my clean bottles in Star San for a good 5-10 minutes. I also wear yellow kitchen gloves, since the star san does start to burn mildly and dry out my skin. The Star San package says 2 minutes I believe. 30 seconds might be too short.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't use ours because it has an automatic rinse aid dispenser I don't know how to turn off. This is something to be cautious of if you use your dishwasher: The rinse aid is just a surfactant and can adversely affect head retention. And I don't trust the residue so here's the lazy brewer's method: When you've finished your homebrew, sigh, thank St. Arnold and, as quickly as you can, rinse the bottle a couple of times with hot water. Let the bottle dry, store it upside down to keep dust out, sanitize on bottling day and wa-lah! You're ready to go!
     
  10. jedblom

    jedblom New Member

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    My process... 2 - 14 gal totes. One filed with either PBW or Easy Clean. The other filled with Star San. Sink as many bottles in the cleaning solution as possible. Let them sit for a while. I then take a bottle brush and individually clean each bottle then dunk them in the Star San solution and let them sit for a while. Then, empty and onto the bottle tree. Repeat. It's a major PITA. But, you can't sanitize what's not clean.

    As for the dishwasher... Avoid them for bottling or any of your homebrew equipment. No way I'd trust my dishwasher not to leave a residue which would ruin a good beer. Proper cleaner, StarSan and elbow grease is all you need.

    Finally, I'm building a keezer here shortly. I'm tired of bottling! Keging beat bottling any day of the week.
     
  11. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I honestly I believe we get carried away with cleaning of bottles. I for one normally rinse my bottles with just water, and then store until ready to use. On bottling day they are dunked in Star-san for about 1-2 mins (ensuring the neck is vertical to eliminate trapped air), and then left to drain on the dishwasher rack. Of the 20 plus cases of beer I have bottled, I have never had an infect that I would contribute to bottle cleanliness (Of course now the next batch i will have one). I do check each bottle and if there is large amount of sediment that is still stuck to the sides of the bottle i will get out the brush, but if there is just a minor amount I don't bother. Also a 2-3 hour soak in oxygen cleaner will get those bottle left on the counter for a few weeks nice and spotless.

    2 things that are highly important here, one by bottling time your beer is not highly pron to infection (not to say it could not happen), second store your bottles dry. If they are 100% dry inside, any sort of nasty will have a hard time getting established, and 99% of the residual ones still in the bottle will either die or hibernate in the dry environment waiting to be killed by a Star-San rinse.
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    some people go way to far with sanitizing but not cleaning, they aren't the same thing and some people think soaking something is sanitizer for a long period of time is good, I don't think so, it leaves a nasty film on everything and can sour. The directions say coat the entire surface for 1 minutes, I think a spray bottle coat is just fine :D
     
  13. ThatCrazyMtnGuy

    ThatCrazyMtnGuy New Member

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    I'm a fan of Nosybear's method. After pouring a finely crafted homebrew, I immediately rinse thoroughly with hot water. This almost completely eliminates any residue from hardening at the bottom of the bottles.

    Typically, when bottling (as I did just yesterday) I fill my bottling bucket half way with star san solution, dunk two bottles at a time, drain back into the bucket, and let them sit on the counter to air dry. Is it a pain? Yes. Does it take a while? Yes. Have I ever had a bottle go bad on me? Never.

    As far as the star san instructions go, they are, and I quote, "for all applications, let air dry (but surface must remain wet for at least one minute)". Since it takes longer than one minute to air dry, I figure that simply dunking them, coating all surfaces, and then air drying does the trick.
     
  14. Sy6

    Sy6 New Member

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    Diluted bleach for me and then rinse never fails,i think a lot of friends in the US would be surprised how brewers in the UK pay a lot less time and worry over sterilizing their gear.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sy, you'd be surprised how little I think about it. Monks were doing this long before Star San, I think we moderns can get it to work. Cheers!
     
  16. ThatCrazyMtnGuy

    ThatCrazyMtnGuy New Member

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    Sy: I have heard that using bleach *may* leave a funny taste in your beer. Obviously, you've never had that problem if you continue to use the method. I personally don't use bleach for anything (clothes, cleaning, etc) because it is so caustic, but have you (or anyone else for that matter) heard of anyone having "funny taste" issues?

    I have to admit, I was a little shocked when I watched my cooking hero Alton Brown's episode on homebrewing and he advocated using diluted bleach to sanitize everything. With his penchant for perfection I thought sure he would use an acid-based no-rinse sanitizer.
     
  17. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    My 2nd batch ever had a bleach taint. I was using a bleach solution to sanitize my carboy. I think I must have used too much bleach in the solution. I was also spilling it all over the place. The beer turned out tasting like bleach and I had to dump the batch. Thankfully I did not give up brewing. Next time around I got some StarSan and have used it ever since.

    I would not rinse out the bottles after sanitizing, since the rinse water might not be sterile. The foam can be a little annoying, but it doesn't hurt anything.
     
  18. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    I used bleach for about 15 years. It works , but is a pain in the arse. All that rinsing. Starsan and no rinse brewing has been a big improvement.
     
  19. Sy6

    Sy6 New Member

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    Good point well made.
     
  20. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I remember reading some where that that the main issue with chlorine in brewing is how sensitive our taste buds are to it. Apparently we can taste most chemicals at concentrations measured in Parts Per Million, were chlorine can be detected at concentrations measured in Parts Per Billion. So if you use bleach; rinse, rinse and rinse a few more times otherwise you might still be able to taste it.
     

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