Author Topic: Bottling prep  (Read 4027 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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Bottling prep
« on: May 12, 2013, 04:30:10 PM »
I have 2 cases of 22 oz bottles (new) that I'll need to clean and sanitize by next weekend. Please share your best practices and can I clean ahead of time? I don't have a bottle tree so drying is a concern. Do I need to fully submerge all of the bottles in star san or just spray with a bottle?

Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 04:56:08 PM »
my newest routine:

night before bottling- I make and chill priming solution, put all bottles into dishwasher and run sani wash without any detergent.

morning of bottling(I'm up really early)- sanitize caps and a spoon and tubes, rack star san into clean bucket to sanitize racking cane and tubes, pour priming solution into 1st bucket, rack beer into 1st bucket with priming solution and mix gently and let sit for 30 minutes. bottle away.

it's worked very well for me. but if you don't use dishwasher you do need to completely cover bottles with sanitizer. I used to have a full 5 gallon bucket of sanitizer and just drop in 12 bottles at a time for recommended contact time, star san a couple of minutes idophor 5 minutes if I remember correctly. since I've been mixing star san with distilled water I only make 2.5gallons and have it on hand for about a month month and a half. have had very high success doing this.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 04:59:41 PM by sparkleberry »
cheers.

rpl
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Offline euge

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 04:57:47 PM »
Submerging is best.

If you have a "sanitize" cycle feature and a dishwasher doing bottles is a snap. Just rinse them as you go or in batches like I usually end up doing. Store upside down in boxes. Then load them up and run them through a sanitize cycle on bottling day. No dishwasher? Submerge in one bucket and drain upside down in another. They stack up really easily that way.

Rinsing as you go is the key IMO. Don't let the gunk dry and mold in the bottles.
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 05:01:25 PM »
+1 yes! rinsing bottles well after use makes bottling much easier.
cheers.

rpl
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 05:03:38 PM »
I only bottle and have had only a few bad bottles over the last 3.5 years of brewing. maybe one day I'll get a keg system, but I'm probably in the minority here because I really like the bottling process. it took a little time to refine my process but it works fine for me.
cheers.

rpl
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Offline skrag6713

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 06:26:17 PM »
I would seriously consider getting a bottle tree and sulphiter and a jet bottle washer.  makes bottle washing a snap!!

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 06:30:22 PM »
I have 2 cases of 22 oz bottles (new) that I'll need to clean and sanitize by next weekend. Please share your best practices and can I clean ahead of time? I don't have a bottle tree so drying is a concern. Do I need to fully submerge all of the bottles in star san or just spray with a bottle?


Don't use all 22 oz. bottles. Put at least a 6 pack or three in 12 oz. bottles for the few beers that you'll inevitably want to sample before it's fully conditioned. At the very least, have one 12 oz. (Or smaller)bottle for the end of bottling which will inevitably end up short of 22 oz.
I use an old dishwasher rack to dry bottles. Clean ahead of time, sanitize right before bottling. A little star san residue is no problem. I would skip the cleaning on the new bottles and just sanitize, but that's just me.
Don't forget the priming sugar like I did on my first batch! Well, I didn't forget it. I added it, boiled the caps, got distracted, boiled off all the water and burned the caps, had to wait til the next day to get new caps by which time the yeast consumed the priming sugar, and then bottled unprimed beer. Then I drank 2 cases of flat stout and loved it!

Offline flars

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 09:57:34 PM »
I have 2 cases of 22 oz bottles (new) that I'll need to clean and sanitize by next weekend. Please share your best practices and can I clean ahead of time? I don't have a bottle tree so drying is a concern. Do I need to fully submerge all of the bottles in star san or just spray with a bottle?
My procedure with new bottles;
Dish washing soap and bottle brush on electric drill.  Removes manufacturing oils and warehouse dirt/dust. 
Rinsed with jet washer on faucet.  Store bottles upside down with bottle mouth on clean plastic wrap in carton.
On bottling day;  Few tablespoons of starsan solution in each bottle from gallon jug using a small funnel.  Shake well to fully wet inside.
Dump starsan from bottles into bucket for sanitizing other equipment.
Bottles are turned upside down in a drip rack I made by drilling holes in a board.
Bottle caps are sanitized in starsan solution.

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2013, 10:30:47 PM »
Rinsing the bottles out as you go is key. Makes cleaning much easier.

Once my bottles are clean, I throw them into the oven at 250* for an hour. You can do this the night before, so they are all cooled. I do it in the morning, and while they are in the oven, I boil my priming sugar, and cool it, rack the beer into the bottling bucket, and whatever various things I need to do. Once the hour is up, I open the oven door up, and they cool quickly. Less than a half an hour. By the time they are cool, I am ready to go. In 2 1/2 years, never had an issue with infections.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 05:44:53 AM »
For used bottles, clean them, put foil over the opening, and then bake for an hour at 375. Turn the oven off and take them out the next day, they will be sterile.
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Offline FLbrewer

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Bottling prep
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 07:04:22 AM »
Is there a need to sanitize (in the dishwasher) new bottles? Also, do I need to sanitize the cap crimping tool? How to go about placing the cap on the tool without possibly infecting with your hands?

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 07:16:44 AM »
All bottles should be cleaned and sanitized, new or reused.  I drop my bottle caps in star san and then cap.  If they are wet, they are sanitized (let them soak for about 30 seconds).  There's no need to sanitize the emily capper. 

I place the sanitized cap on the bottle, doing several at a time, and then do each one with the capper.
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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 08:58:47 AM »
If I were looking to buy a bottle tree, I'd probably get this instead. I have a red bottle tree and it takes up space and only holds 45 bottles. An inconvenient number since a 5 gallon batch is ~52 12oz bottles.
http://thefastrack.ca/homebrew/
 
Otherwise, a spray with starsan will sanitize a clean hard surface, but spraying inside a bottle is hard. The submursible spray pumps are great for this. It's made to go on a bottle try, but I just put it in the sink.
http://morebeer.com/products/sanitizer-injector-red-bottle-tree.html
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 09:04:23 AM »
For used bottles, clean them, put foil over the opening, and then bake for an hour at 375. Turn the oven off and take them out the next day, they will be sterile.

+1 for the oven method. I don't bother with the foil. I rinse the night before bottling day, pop them in the over and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or an hour or you know, whenever I remember to get up and turn off the oven. and leave them in there till bottling time. that oven and everything in it should be pretty close to sterile at that point.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Bottling prep
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 09:22:52 AM »
For used bottles, clean them, put foil over the opening, and then bake for an hour at 375. Turn the oven off and take them out the next day, they will be sterile.

+1 for the oven method. I don't bother with the foil. I rinse the night before bottling day, pop them in the over and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or an hour or you know, whenever I remember to get up and turn off the oven. and leave them in there till bottling time. that oven and everything in it should be pretty close to sterile at that point.
The foil I'd for longer term storage. I do a case of bottles at a time in the oven, so not all get used soon.
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