The Growler Question

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BeerKangaroo, May 31, 2012.

  1. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) Alaska May 30, 2011

    Veteran BA's or anyone who knows about growlers,

    I want to make sure I'm doing this right. After purchasing two growlers the other day, one has been consumed already so I googled how to properly wash out a growler. Let me get this right: step 1) thoroughly rinse out with hot water twice; step 2) let it dry upside down. Do this immediately and not let it dry without rinsing it after several hours after the entire beer from the growler has been consumed.

    Trusting fellow BA's on this one just to make sure I'm doing this right? Any feedback? Any extra thoughts?

    Thanx ahead of time.
  2. this is what i have always done and it seems to work. although i rinse with hot water probably 3 or 4 times instead of just 2. then once thoroughly dry, i re-seal the growler so no dust or bugs get in there
    CaptJackHarkness likes this.
  3. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Savant (365) Illinois Jan 13, 2012

    That's exactly what I do and have never had any problems. However, after you rinse twice and let dry, if it still smells like beer repeat the process. Very simple and easy. Stick to that.
  4. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Champion (795) North Carolina Feb 16, 2011 Verified

    I just rinse until it doesnt smell like beer.
    KAF likes this.
  5. I give it a quick rinse or two, then stick it under the faucet on super hot water and just let it run for a couple of minutes. Then let it soak for a bit in case any old beer is clinging to the sides, then empty, rinse a couple of more times, and it's good. Always just smell if you're unsure.

    The key is to get to it immediately - if you kill a growler and let it sit around for a bit you're in for a stank-ass growler that is tough to clean as the beer dries on.
    cavedave likes this.
  6. So is the point to not use any soap?
  7. If you let the growler sit too long Oxyclean works wonders but make sure to rinse it out a few times after that as it will leave a slimey residue on the glass after the first dump of the growler. Since I am a homebrewer and use growlers both for filling and for yeast starters i am in the habit of using oxyclean followed by a starsan rinse but thats because I have both on hand already.
  8. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    fat or oil based detergents (most dish soaps) can leave a residue on glass that will kill the head.
    LiquidTable likes this.
  9. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Florida Oct 30, 2010

    On this line of thought, I had a 1 gal growler of Cigar City Florida Cracker white ale break in the back of my SUV this past weekend.

    I cleaned the carpets, and even pulled up as much of the carpet to get to the metal underneath as possible. My truck still smells like stale beer. My wife wants to pour vinegar into the places we could not get to. WOuld that work?
    It is starting to come through the AC too....
  10. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (845) California Nov 16, 2009

    afrokaze and BeerKangaroo like this.
  11. Yeah, it's bad, as kzoobrew stated, and also unnecessary. If you must, pickup something from a homebrew shop. But as long as you get to it quick you'll be fine with just water.
  12. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,065) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Verified

    rinse hot water repeat, repeat again, always works 4 me
  13. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) Alaska May 30, 2011

    hey guys, thanx for the feedback.
  14. Jparkanzky

    Jparkanzky Initiate (0) Ohio Apr 5, 2011

    I put really hot water inside half-full, place cap on, shake like hell, pour, repeat about 4-5 times, then run hot water in it for a few minutes, dry upside down, put cap on, and place it on the shelf.

    I always fill it with hot water and put the cap on and shake/dump it a couple of more times before I leave for a place that I think I'll get it filled at.... just in case any tiny bugs were trying to grow in there since the last time I cleaned it.
  15. Rback

    Rback Aficionado (210) New York Feb 26, 2012

    I only allow bugs in my growler if they are less than 2 weeks old & still hopping otherwise the flavor they provide mellows too much for my taste.
    afksports and cosmo4u like this.
  16. The whole hot water thing is perfect. Never soap or detrrgent as others have said. If you want to be thorough, do the hot water rinse 3 or 4 times, strongly agitating the water, then sanitize with starsan, or I prefer good old fashioned iodophor.
  17. NiceTaps

    NiceTaps Advocate (500) New Jersey Nov 21, 2011

    I rinse mine the same way the thread is going - 3 or 4 times with hot water, allow it to dry thoroughly, then cap it.
    And I better do it correctly. The tender at the local growler station takes the bottle, opens it, and checks the smell before filling. Now that's a BA.
  18. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Savant (290) Nebraska May 25, 2005

    do you guys never wash your glasses with soap either
  19. When storing your cleaned growler do not snap it shut like someone posted. You can trap moisture and it will grow mold. I just rest the lid over the hole. You could plug it with a paper towel if you are really worried about dust. A good beer store will rinse your growler with sanitizer and rinse with water before filling so I don't worry about dust.
    elgiacomo likes this.
  20. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Correct. Either soap or beer can touch a specific glass, but never both.
  21. I rinse with hot water but also use the one step rinse sanitizer you can buy at homebrew supply stores for cleaning brewing equipment and bottles. Never had any issues
  22. Would baking soda be possible? That works really well
  23. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    I try to avoid it when I can. As stated previously, fat or oil based detergents are not ideal the problem is trying to find a non fat or oil based dish soap. White vinegar works wonders when cleaning glassware, great for removing mineral deposits from hard water too.
    trginter likes this.
  24. GoGators

    GoGators Advocate (715) New Jersey Aug 5, 2010 Verified

    Not washing glasses with soap? Sometimes I think we all think too much about these things. I just got into the growler fills myself so will avoid the soap, based on what has been said here but have never had a problem with glassware and always wash with dish soap. A good long rinse seems to work fine.
  25. nc41

    nc41 Champion (770) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Verified

    Every place I get Growlers from they just swap them out. I bring in a dead one they give me a fresh one filled, I've never had to reuse my own growler.
  26. MichPaul

    MichPaul Champion (770) Michigan Jan 28, 2012 Verified

    Wow that is VERY cool! I've only ever filled my growler up at Founders and it seems like they have just filled it up and handed it back. I don't mind though, it's all tasted good coming out of the thing! I've just rinsed mine with water as well. Growlers don't seem to do much for price savings though, so I haven't filled mine up in quite some time. I love a growler full of Breakfast Stout though!
  27. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Ultimately it is personal preference. I will say that the no soap argument does have some legitimacy, it is what the Brewers Association recommends. Cleaning
  28. I used to do this until one morning the growler exploded, sending hot water and glass everywhere. I'm not joking. Just a word of warning.
  29. I just wash everything with soap to be sure. I've never found it to affect the head and still get really nice lacing with a lot of beers. I just rinse out the soap a ton of times to make sure it's as gone as it can be. I'm a bit of a clean freak, so if it's affecting my glasses, oh well. Never have had a problem though.
  30. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Savant (350) Oregon Jun 3, 2005

    Man, if I lived my live with that level of obsession and attention to detail, I think I might miss quite a bit of what was going on around me.
  31. elgiacomo

    elgiacomo Savant (470) Georgia Jun 28, 2007

    I agree. Closing the cap can also trap off odors too. I work at a store that fills growlers and we've seen that even if they've been rinsed multiple times with scalding hot water until any beer smell is gone, allowed to fully dry and then capped back shut, more often than not, a day or two later the beer smell will have re-appeared. Now, we always recommend leaving the lid off after rinsing/drying and so there are no off odors at all. No worries about dust since we rinse and sanitize before filling.

    Also, don't forget the rinse off the cap! We see this a lot. Super-clean growler but a cap covered in moldy beer...

    Doesn't hurt to wash the outside of the growler with soap and water from time to time too as they can get pretty grimy over time from fingerprints and such.
  32. I would use homebrew sanitizer.
  33. Being a homebrewer does have it's advantages for these situations. I don't worry about soap in my glasses any more though, just rinse well.
  34. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,060) New York Mar 12, 2009 Verified

    I don't, I scrub and use hot water, no soap. Soap residue is bad.

    As for growlers I add one step after rinsing, which is to use star san after a thorough hot water rinse.

    In NYS every growler filler is required by law to have a capability to clean rinse growlers brought in for fill. I always take them up on it.
  35. cosmo4u

    cosmo4u Savant (405) New York Nov 18, 2010 Verified

    agreed. Ive never walked into defiant or cable bev. without them giving my growlers a good cleaning before the fill!
  36. howopeeps

    howopeeps Aficionado (245) Ohio Mar 7, 2011 Verified

    What about storing a filled growler. In the fridge or cellar
  37. ive also read about the "no-soap" on glassware many times, but honestly just can't be bothered by it and haven't noticed any ill effects....not to say it's not true, it just doesn't bother me

    what about dishwasher soap? is that fat/oil based? i seem to remember that it might be different that liquid dishsoap? my sturdy pint glasses go through the dishwasher (delicate stuff is handwashed), so i might be following the "no soap" rule by accident. and if that is the case, ill switch to sprinkling some dishwasher powder into my growler instead of liquid soap when it needs more power that just hot water
  38. Simple. Rinse with hot water 2x and dump. Make sure you clean the cap. Fill again with hotter water, cap and shake like you are in a 7.2 earthquake. Dump and rinse. Dry upside down. Take a small piece of paper towel and put over the opening, and cap loosely for storing (over paper towel) any condensate left will be absorbed by the paper towel. no chance for mold. I've been doing growlers at my store for almost 5 years, this seems to be the method that works for most of my regulars.
    If it's a dirty, nasty one, run it through the dishwasher, then try the above. Or make it into a lamp. Or throw it at your nieghbors car, (if it is deserved) it makes a nice dent, and leaves a mess for them to clean up!
    ufmj likes this.
  39. Boy, that escalated quickly! :p
    BellportBeer likes this.
  40. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) New York Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    Even though I have glasses that are for my use exclusively, I do use a little soap on the lip of the glass and rinse it immediately with hot water then with cold water.