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walkerzed

Bottle Sanitizing

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yes i do not have any brewing sanitize and wondering what i can use to sanitize my bottles with so i can bottle my beer?

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G'day Walkerzed

 

Mate you can buy SMB or sodium meta bisulphite, from your supermarket or home brew shop. Just follow the instructions but remember to rinse your bottles before bottling. There are other products on the market and I'm sure some of the other boys and girls will make suggestions. Like there are products that don't need rinsing. But for a start, SMB is very good for what we do. Cheers

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yes i do not have any brewing sanitize and wondering what i can use to sanitize my bottles with so i can bottle my beer?

 

I did an experiment a few batches ago where I sanitised most bottles and simply washed the rest with warm water and bottle-brush. My routine is to thoroughly rinse my bottle as soon as I finish the contents and put it aside upside down.

So, the one's that I did not sanitise were clean inside already, and I gave them another warm water rinse before bottling in the usual way.

I set aside these few bottles so that I knew which one's were which.

I can report that there was absolutely no difference between the bottles. I purposely put one of each in the fridge, and both tasted exactly the same.

There are wiser brewers than me who contribute to this forum and maybe I'm lucky with the bottles but there was no difference with any of mine.

Since then I have been slowly increasing the number of unsanitised bottles each brew and now I'm about 50/50.

I figure that if there is an infection it will be only in that particular bottle. On brew day I absolutely sanitise everything - my FV, spoon, scissors etc because I don't want any infection in the whole wort, but I can live with maybe a bottle being off.

Hasn't happened yet after three or four brews.

In answer to your question, if you absolutely have no sanitiser and you can't get some readily, give your bottles a GOOD warm water wash with a bottle-brush and see how you go.

Works for me.

Cheers.

 

 

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Yeah I tend to believe you if you rinse well after use and rinse well before bottling I don't think you will have many issues. You will still have some though as its 50-60 chances of an infection. I clean every ~ 3 uses with unscented napisan and before bottling always starsan solution it and I would still get on average 1 a batch that has a bottle type infection (Gusher or more heady than usual). Never had a full batch infection but the odd bottle infection I think you have to live with if you bottle.

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I don't think one of my bottles ever saw Starsan in the 4 years I was bottling entire batches. They got triple rinsed with hot tap water straight after emptying into the glass, then soaked in Napisan (towards the end of my time bottling it was pure sodium perc) overnight and rinsed out again with hot water, then stored in plastic storage boxes. On bottling day I simply filled and capped them. Not one infected bottle ever.

 

I still use the same procedure now for the surplus bottles I get from some batches after kegging and the same results, all perfectly fine. Not saying it's best practice, but it did and does work for me at least.

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My bottles get a rinse and a soak after drinking, then another soak and a Starsan before filling. Maybe overkill, but I want to be sure the beer is packaged safely.

 

I keep a bucket of sodium percarbonate solution, and after I empty a bottle into my glass I give it a quick rinse under the kitchen tap, and then pop it into my sodium perc bucket for a soak. When the bucket's full I rinse them all under the kitchen tap, allow to dry and then store. So all the bottles in my storage cupboard are either full of beer or sparkling clean.

 

On bottling day I fill a laundry trough with a fresh lot of sodium percarbonate solution and re-soak all the bottles I have selected for use that bottling session. I also have 10 litres of Starsan made up all the time that I reuse, so I'll fill a bucket with that.

 

After maybe a half an hour soak in the sodium perc I'll drain the bottles, rinse in the kitchen sink, dunk in the bucket of Starsan for a couple of minutes, then leave upside down to drain in my FastRack bottle draining rack. Which works really well by the way!

 

Once I have transferred the beer from my fermenter to my bottling cube and have it all primed and ready to go, I'll put all the bottles upright it a plastic box or on a couple of trays to catch overflow, then fill from my bottling cube. The caps are waiting in a bowl of Starsan, and as each bottle is filled I will pop one on. Then I (or usually my wife) will cap them all in one go, wiping each one down after capping.

 

The laundry trough of sodium perc doesn't go to waste. After harvesting the yeast cake, rinsing out the fermenter and giving it a clean with dish soap and a soft cloth, I soak it overnight in the sodium perc, along with my bottling cube, wand, hoses and taps etc.

 

Cheers,

 

John

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How long do you keep this sodium percarbonate solution that the bottles sit in after being poured into the glass? After a day or two it's pretty much just water...

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Eventually a bio-film develops in the bottles and it needs to be removed periodically; rinsing with Starsan will not remove it.

 

As long as you thoroughly rinse your bottles immediately after use, and periodically remove the bio-film with a soaking in a strong alkaline cleaner, or by mechanically scrubbing with a bottle brush, you may be able to get away with not sanitizing prior to bottling as the alcohol in the beer is protective. That being said, I still always sanitize them too.

 

Cheers!

 

Christina.

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Mine got soaked after every use once I built up enough empties to make it worthwhile filling the laundry tub. Stopped the crap ever building up in the first place.

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Yeah, that would be ideal. After a good cleaning, sanitizing may not be necessary, which was your experience.

 

I find soaking bottles in an alkaline cleaner, and all the rinsing, a pain....I don't have a laundry tub so I have to mix the Napisan up in a brew bucket and siphon the solution into each bottle for the soak. The bottles then take up space on my kitchen counter for the next 24 hours. This is why I only do it after every third use.

 

Cheers!

 

Christina.

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That's why I switched to kegs. I only have to clean and rinse one thing per batch, not bloody 60 odd. lol

 

It really was a pain in the arse to be honest. Not enough to make me stop brewing, but it definitely tipped me over the edge of switching to kegging. Luckily I had the space available and also the funds available to do so.

 

I can't even remember the last time I soaked and rinsed bottles, I have been using them for surplus after kegging on some batches... there probably are enough built up now to make it worth filling the tub again lol

 

 

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I just rinse my bottles a few times after drinking them, make sure they look clean.

 

Brew day I mix up 5 l of Iodophor, rinse all the bottles in that, doesn't take long, then pour the iodophor solution into the FV, swirl it, and chuck in everything like spoon, scissors, thermometer etc.

 

I just work on the principle of who knows what pissed or had a dump in my bottles between emptying them and brew daylol

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Interesting read as I think I go a bit overboard with my bottle cleaning and Im wondering what part of the process I can dump to reduce the time spent.

 

I normally rinse my bottles out after Ive used them (but occasionally come across the odd one later on that has some sediment in it and therefore hasn't been properly rinsed)

Then they go on a bottle tree on the back deck - here they are exposed to the weather so they can get dirty, on the outside at least.

The night before bottling day I rinse each out again and plunge a bottle brush in to each then have a quick look to make sure its clean - then they go into a big plastic tub which is filled with Sodium perc and hot water and soaked overnight.

Next day I rinse them out again and then have one of those bottle squirtey things (cant remember the name) which I put non-rinse steriliser in (not starsan but another keg King product) and give each bottle a squirt inside - then back in the tub ready to go to the garage for bottling. very labour intensive!

I didn't use to Sterilise as I thought the soaking overnight in Sodium perc was enough - but another brewer told me that they were still not sterilised and I could get off-flavours as a result. So I added that in to my process.

the only thing Im thinking of doing is getting more larger bottles (660 ml) and less stubbies when bottling to reduce the time.

I wont go to kegging as I like to have numerous brews on hand and age some - but the bottling is certainly a time intensive job

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You can still have numerous brews on hand and age some with kegs. Plenty of guys with 5 or 6 tap keezers around. Three taps is enough variety for me at once but the kegs in waiting do get some ageing while the 3 on tap are gradually consumed.

 

Anyway, your bottle cleaning process sounds about the same as mine except for spraying them with sanitiser after rinsing out after soaking in perc. As I said above I never bother with that and have no off flavoured bottles or infections or anything... it may not be best practice but it's been one thing I've been able to skimp on without consequence.

 

I do Starsan my kegs though, because I could handle losing a stubby or two but 19 litres is another story. The kegs get rinsed with hot water then sodium perc'd and this solution is also run through the tap that the keg was on, to clean it, the beer line, and the workings of the liquid out post on the keg. Then the keg is rinsed in hot water again, and filled a little to run through the line/tap to rinse it out as well. After that I pressurise the keg with CO2 and leave it sit sealed up until its next use when it gets sprayed with Starsan before filling. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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Payno, there is another thread somewhere on the forum that states quite adamantly that we do not in fact sterilize our bottles or gear. What we do is sanitize, but not sterilize.

 

Thoughts behind that are simply that a home brewer is not going to have the proper facilities to sterilize as does a commercial operation.

 

Over many years of brewing, even back when home brew was home brew, I have never had an off batch. Yep I've had a few that foam up a bit when opened and in the first pour, but they have always been nice to drink, equal to the ones that don't foam.

 

My Father in Law used to brew and all he ever did was wash in warm water before brewing. Like most of us, he always rinsed out his bottles once the last drink was poured.

 

Just think about this sterilization for a moment. You sanitize/sterilize your bottles and equipment, then they sit there in your brew room/ garage/laundry or wherever until you either put your wort into the FV and throw your yeast, or you fill all your bottles, same thing. It is all sitting in an environment that cannot be sterilized. Microscopic bugs can and will get in. But given that we are generally not storing our product for massive periods, the risk of an infection blossoming is slight. Having said that, I know that even members of this forum have had to tip a batch, but I think we over think the whole process.

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Following up on my FV sanitising thread, i dont sanitise my bottles. Just wash out and drain. The reason being that the alcohol that has developed should take care of any nasty bits. As long as you wash straight up.

 

I go from one extreme to the other. Making sure my FV is cleaner than a hospital operating room, to just washing my bottles clean but not sanitising. Its hard work baby sitting 30 biggies if you dont need to.

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Payno' date=' there is another thread somewhere on the forum that states quite adamantly that we do not in fact sterilize our bottles or gear. What we do is sanitize, but not sterilize.

 

Thoughts behind that are simply that a home brewer is not going to have the proper facilities to sterilize as does a commercial operation.

 

Over many years of brewing, even back when home brew was home brew, I have never had an off batch. Yep I've had a few that foam up a bit when opened and in the first pour, but they have always been nice to drink, equal to the ones that don't foam.

 

My Father in Law used to brew and all he ever did was wash in warm water before brewing. Like most of us, he always rinsed out his bottles once the last drink was poured.

 

Just think about this sterilization for a moment. You sanitize/sterilize your bottles and equipment, then they sit there in your brew room/ garage/laundry or wherever until you either put your wort into the FV and throw your yeast, or you fill all your bottles, same thing. It is all sitting in an environment that cannot be sterilized. Microscopic bugs can and will get in. But given that we are generally not storing our product for massive periods, the risk of an infection blossoming is slight. Having said that, I know that even members of this forum have had to tip a batch, but I think we over think the whole process.[/quote']

 

Good post mate love it. One thing i would like to know though. How do brewerys sterilise instead of us just sanitising? Is it something we cant do on a smaller scale?

 

Cant be that hard surely. Are they using chemicals we cant get hold of? Just curious.

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I suspect some people may recoil in horror here, but once I have enough empty bottles I fill my FV with water and then half a cup or so of unscented bleach. After a few days, I add a splash more and then use the FV to fill each pre-rinsed bottle with the bleach solution and put the lids on. I chuck them in a big bucket until bottling day making sure they are all sideways or down facing to give the lids a soak. The FV I put away until the next brew day when I give it a rinse with hot water and a Starsan spray.

 

On bottling day I clean and sanitise the laundry tub, and then unscrew all the lids with the hot water running. A couple of rinses out with hot water removes all trace of chlorine smell and I've never had a chlorine taste in a beer.

 

Seems to work well for me.

 

Coopers FAQ on this here

 

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I suspect some people may recoil in horror here' date=' but once I have enough empty bottles I fill my FV with water and then half a cup or so of unscented bleach. After a few days, I add a splash more and then use the FV to fill each pre-rinsed bottle with the bleach solution and put the lids on. I chuck them in a big bucket until bottling day making sure they are all sideways or down facing to give the lids a soak. The FV I put away until the next brew day when I give it a rinse with hot water and a Starsan spray.

 

On bottling day I clean and sanitise the laundry tub, and then unscrew all the lids with the hot water running. A couple of rinses out with hot water removes all trace of chlorine smell and I've never had a chlorine taste in a beer.

 

Seems to work well for me.

 

Coopers FAQ on this here

 

I do something similar if I don't brew right away after bottling. I fill the FV to the top with 1/2-1 cup of bleach and water and let it sit till I brew. Then I rinse it then pour in idophor solution.

 

I don't put the bleach solution in my bottles though.

 

Most times I bottle and then brew immediately so I don't use the bleach and let the idophor sit in the FV until I fill it.

 

If it works, why not? I never had a chlorine smell either.

 

Maybe rinsing the bottles in the idophor is overkill, and it takes some time, but I do it while boiling my sugar solution for carbonation, then let it cool, so I would just be sitting around anyway, so may as well rinse bottles instead of being lazy.

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I triple rinse each bottle after use. Storing upside down. Then brew day comes and i put my bottle brush in my drill. Fill each bottle about 1/3 of the way then high speed brush each one for about 10 seconds. Drain. Then fill a 9 litre bucket with iodophor solution put my bottle washer/sprayer/atomizer in the bottom. Pump each bottle onto it 5 times. Then stack upside down in a clean storage container

P ut the caps in a bowl and fill with iodophor. After bottling wipe and rinse fv and pour the iodophor into fv ready for next days pour of wort and pitching if yeast..... works for me

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i put my bottle brush in my drill. Fill each bottle about 1/3 of the way then high speed brush each one for about 10 seconds.

 

Come now' date=' come clean. You don't really fit the brush to the drill to clean bottles, you just want to use the drill to irritate the wife[img']lol[/img]

 

I bet you do it when her soapies are on.lol

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