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Mold in home brew bottles

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Samburt, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Samburt

    Samburt Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2019

    I recently made a batch of home brew. The only bottles I had available were emptys which habe been sitting in my basement for months or close to a year. They all had mold growing on bottom of bottle. I rinsed then all vigorously with hot water until they looked clean, didnt use soap or anything else **regret this now**.. Just wondering if I should be concerned, if the type of mold that grows in bottom of beer bottles can make you sick? If so how sick? 3 days after drinking first bottle and my stomach feels not so great but could be a coincidence.

    Anyone have any advice or input?
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,496) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I'd be more concerned about off flavors in the beer than I would about getting sick. Very few pathogens harmful to humans can survive in beer. If the bottles looked clean and if you subsequently sanitized them properly, I wouldn't worry at all.

    OTOH, if your tummy feels "not so great," consult a doctor, not homebrewers.
  3. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (524) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Well, you're on the ride now, but in the future, use bleach.
    I suspect that whatever 'mold' was in the bottom of them would only be capable of creating off flavors, and probably been a pear like flavor that you may actually enjoy. I really doubt what you have 3 days later is related to the beer or anything residual.
    NorCalKid, riptorn and GormBrewhouse like this.
  4. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (380) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Ah. Mold. There are plenty of TV attorneys who will gladly tell you about the dangers.

    Though it is well known that beer is inhospitable to dangerous bacteria bugs and flora, that is related to the stuff that can actually grow inside the beer. The mold that grew in those empties is probably not the same as the alcohol evaporated, the pH changed and there was a nice medium for mold to flourish.

    You can not "kill" mold, not in the traditional sense. You can wash mold however. Even bleach will just make the mold white and clean. It needs to be removed and disposed.

    Don't drink moldy beer. It's not good for you. All that said mold is ubiquitous and your body is dealing with mold all day indoors and out. Though we do not typically ingest mold.

    Some mold is more dangerous than others but mold is not regulated because it is completely normal for mold to be everywhere. So called "Black Mold" which we have been told to be fearful of, is not a scientific thing. Inhale enough spores and it will make you ill. Some varieties of mold can be quite toxic in small amounts (toxicity = dosage).

    I don't know. Don't drink moldy beer.

    I am stating again here, mold is ubiquitous and persistent. It is not dirt or yeast. Removal is the remedy. Soap, vinegar, hot water, all that does is wash the surface of the spores.
    #4 billandsuz, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    NorCalKid, riptorn and PapaGoose03 like this.
  5. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,315) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    As a homebrewer who bottles your beer, you should have a bottle brush to help remove the caked-on residue that exists. Soap and hot water are good to use along with the brush, but a good rinse to rid the bottles followed by a sanitizer solution is the way to go.

    For the future, a good rinse of your bottles right after drinking the beer and followed by inverted draining until dry will help prevent this in the future. If I find caked mold when I'm ready to reuse the bottle, I discard those bottles.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,843) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Some friends and neighbors have provided to me bottles that were pretty nasty looking with mold growing on the bottom of the bottles. I have soaked those beers with bleach and some water for a day or so and then I 'blasted' them with my bottle washer. This method has always worked for me. I have never experienced any mold issues with my bottled beer afterwards.

  7. Samburt

    Samburt Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2019

    They taste amazing and dont want them to go to waste. Will drink them all and take more caution next time. Thanks for replies everyone.
  8. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (410) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    +3 to bleach, brush and or bottle washer. If some residue remains, repete above procedure.

    Can't comment on the atomic ills.
    LuskusDelph and riptorn like this.
  9. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (126) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    When possible I rinse my bottles immediately after the pour, swishing to loosen any sediment from the bottom and then rinse again. It's as much a part of my regimen as taking that first whiff when opening the bottle.
    Little else to add except to emphasize that it's imperative to sanitize....in case you didn't.

    Congrats on them tasting amazing....the whole process amazes me.
  10. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (380) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Oh yeah. One other thing is always mentioned whenever we discuss bottling.

    Go to Corney kegs. "I liked bottling my homebrew better than kegging" was said by no one ever.
  11. minderbender

    minderbender Aspirant (205) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    My personal opinion (and I emphasize it's just that, a personal opinion) is that it's not worth it to use moldy bottles. Sure, new bottles are expensive, but getting rid of mold is a labor-, chemical-, and hot-water-intensive process that will never leave you with quite as much ease of mind as you get when you start with clean bottles.

    Also, depending on your drinking habits, it can be pretty easy to accumulate suitable bottles simply by retaining them after drinking. If you search around, you can find brands that are known for having easy-to-remove labels. (My personal favorite is Weihenstephaner, but there are a lot of others.) Just make sure to rinse and air-dry the bottles promptly after drinking the beer so that you don't end up in the same boat.
    NorCalKid and SFACRKnight like this.
  12. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (99) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    For the record: I really do enjoy bottling my beer over kegging it.While I get that it is "one bottle", I hate the hassle I have every time I keg...

    To the OP: Chuck any moldy bottles you find. If they are all you have an you must use them, bleach bath, scrub, bleach bath, scrub, rinse, then final sanitize.
    SFACRKnight and GormBrewhouse like this.
  13. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (736) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    If you had done this initially (a year ago), you might have been able to get away with a hot rinse.
    Always easier to clean right away than later.
    GormBrewhouse and SFACRKnight like this.
  14. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,315) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Too late to edit and add the bolded words above.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  15. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (524) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Meh. I don't have the room, nor desire to go and make the room for a corny tap set up.
    I can share bottles a whole lot easier and also travel with them a whole lot easier, and don't need to invest in any additional refrigeration to handle bottles.
  16. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (105) Jan 10, 2018 California

    I hate bottling. That’s why I quit the hobby, restarted, then bottled again, almost quit again, then kegged. But if ya gotta bottle, just buy new bottles. No worries included.

    Look into kegging. More investment into the hobby but worth it.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  17. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (375) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I suppose it's too late now, but...
    I've run across that issue here and there. When I did, I'd bleach, scrub, rinse, usually scrub and rinse again, then sanitize. I don't think I have much issue.
    These days I don't brew quite as much, and I have enough bottles stocked that if I see mold or other gunge at the bottom, I just dump that bottle. I usually rinse pretty well after I empty a bottle - obviously I may forget here and there, so most of the time I just need a quick rinse and sanitize when bottling.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.