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question for all you bottlers

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by JimSmetana, Apr 4, 2013.

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  1. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    So. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that once you have cleaned and used bottles once for your homebrew that as long as you give them a double rinse after drinking all you need to do is santize well before using again.

  2. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    As long as there isnt any crap sticking to the inside of them I think you are fine.
  3. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    As soon as I pour my glass I rinse my bottles. I do not like struggling with trying to get crap off the bottom of a bottle.
  4. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    As soon as you pour, rinse several times with hot water (shake it too). Make sure there's no crud on the bottom. Dry upside down. Once dry, I cover the top with a square of tinfoil. If my friends want to provide bottles, this is the standard, otherwise don't bring me bottles. On bottling day I soak them in starsan, empty, and dry on a bottling tree (feel free to pour the starsan all over the bottling tree).

    This method has served me well. It might be a little overkill, but once you've had an individual bottle get infected, you WON'T want it to happen again. On one batch (before I did it this way) I had a few bottles get infected (probably from bottles brought to me by a friend). I suspect the cleanliness standard wasn't high enough, so we jacked it up. Since then, no issues.
    cavedave likes this.
  5. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    This sounds great. These are MY bottles that I have washed and used once already for a batch. So as long as I rinsed WELL, starsan before bottling again is enough.

    Saves a whole step of washing again.
  6. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Yeah, I do re-use bottles from homebrew, and save new ones from commercial beers.
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Usually true. But visually inspect to make sure. Some yeast strains can pretty much glue themselves to the bottom of a bottle.
  8. jamescain

    jamescain Meyvn (1,002) Jul 14, 2009 Texas
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've never bought empty bottles. All of the bottles I use are commercial bottles. I just rinse them out and make sure there is nothing left inside them after I pour my beer and then flip them over and let them dry out. Then come bottling day its the same process as usual.
  9. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    +1 to this. It can be a lot, or as thin as milk on the bottom with the more flocculant strains so you need to double check.
  10. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,069) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I use hand me down bottles and I NEVER assume a damn thing. Even if they look perfect, hell, even if they are my bottles from the last batch they all get an overnight soak in water and pbw. No matter what. As soon as you start to become lax and skipping steps in your process is when something slips through the cracks. I don't know about anyone else here, but I feel there are so many variables that I can't control that can ruin my beer that I'm not going to self sabatoge by being lazy with the processes I can control...
    /end rant
    Reneejane likes this.
  11. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    Sure. For first time use.

    But these are my bottles that I already used for a batch of HB. Just was wondering if I needed to wash again if I rinsed well. Or if Starsan was good enough.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,065) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It is not my intention to change your process; you should continue doing what works for you and what you are comfortable with.

    I personally never clean my bottles. My process is to rinse them out with water (both commercial bottles that I intend to use and my homebrew bottles). I then simply sanitize them prior to bottling. I have done this process for 305 batches (I bottled my 305th batch last night) and I have never experienced an infected bottle.

    JimSmetana likes this.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,065) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Starsan is good enough.

    JimSmetana likes this.
  14. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I have used mine 3 times over. I let them soak in the bucket with a cleanser and the sanitizer. After the initial soak I scrub with the bottle brush and rinse with hot ass water. Works every time no issues so far.
  15. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    Thanks Jack. I will do it your way!:slight_smile:
  16. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,069) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I had a batch that had one exploding bottle while the rest were carbed fine. I blame it on lazy sanitation. On bottles that I had hand rinsed after use. I let them take a starsan bath and skipped my bottle scrubbing regiment. Never again.
    10 batches in with one exploding bottle that I blame on contamination. For me this thread is just like the dry hopping in primary threads. I am glad it works for others, but it doesn't work for me. :sunglasses:
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Good god, man. Ever consider kegging?
    mikehartigan and Reneejane like this.
  18. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    hahah, yes, indeed, get a keg!
  19. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    yeah, I wash my bottles, because not only am I worried about contamination, but, I enter my beer in contests, and ALSO, I do not want flavors from past batches mixing in with teh current batch. Rinsing and sanitizing just I can't imagine be sufficient for me. But, yes, OMG, dear lord, yes, I keg, washing bottles sucks, filling bottles sucks. You can still bottle if you have a keg, so if you want bottles, just fill them from your keg, or you can still naturally carbonate them, but it's so much more enjoyable to bottle 6 or 12 at a time, than 2 cases. Plus, then you can serve volumes in variable quantities, say you have a RIS, and you awnt to pour out 8 or 10 oz, or a light beer than 16 will do you well with.

    I run mine through my dishwasher. And then I sanitize with star san (my dw does not have a sanitize cycle), but seriously, if you are bottling, here's the greatest time saving trick on the planet:

    remove your labels, put your bottles in the dishwasher, run the cycle, run the sanitize cycle, put your bottle on the door, fill it while it's sitting on the door. repeat. When you're done, close teh dishwasher (all the spilled beer rolls into the dishwasher and run it on light wash to have a clean dishwasher, clean floor, and a place to hold your bottles while you're working.

    But, for my non-santitizing kenomore portable dishwasher (yes, there is such a thing), I just used a smidgeon of bleach and then run it on light wash (I think it's like 1/8 c.) but, now I keg, because yeah bottling sucks.
    boddhitree likes this.
  20. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Also, Jack aren't you an extract brewer? Hall holy s... that many batches would cost a fortune vs. all grain.
  21. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Disciple (347) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I do a hot water rinse right after pouring a homebrew. Put my thumb over the top and shake well. Upside down drying and into the box upside down. Before I soak in starstan the day of bottling I give a quick inspection and rinse to make sure it is clean and has no cracks. I soak 8 at a time while I prep 8 more. Seems to work well for me.
    JimSmetana likes this.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,065) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I also do all grain; I have an all grain Kolsch lagering right now.

    No matter how you brew it is lots cheaper than buying commercial. I bottled a Dubbel yesterday which was an extract with specialty malts batch. If I bought a Trappist Dubbel those two cases would cost me well over 200 bucks!

    At times I have over a dozen batches of homebrewed available to me (and I like to drink them all depending on my mood). I don’t have the resources to have a 14 tap system in my house; therefore I don’t keg.

  23. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    you can get minikegs.
  24. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    eyeball them. Make sure there's no mold on the bottom (prevented from properly drying your bottles). If they're clean, all I ever do is sanitize them.
  25. BushDoctor

    BushDoctor Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2007 New York

    Agreed, I have noticed some strains gluing themselves to the sides of the bottle as well, it is not easily noticiable.
  26. Andrewelaban

    Andrewelaban Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2012 Ohio

    I always bottle condition. Finding a surplus of used bottles isnt to hard for me. Always give it a good rinse, run through the dishwasher, then sanitize and bottle brush just in case!
    williamDbar likes this.
  27. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    There is only one thing you should EVER do after sanitizing your bottles; Fill them with beer.
    cavedave likes this.
  28. Heatwave33

    Heatwave33 Devotee (456) Sep 13, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

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