General Category > Kegging and Bottling

Clean your bottles !

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I discovered last night during a bottling session that my previous routine of rinsing a bottle out after opening a beer is woefully inadequate. I started inspecting the bottles with a light and half of them were still very dirty. They had a film that covered the inside, a ring at the top, yeast spots, or all 3. Mind you I have been reusing these bottles for years and entering, and winning many competitions with beers in these bottles. I am surprised all the beers were not infected. Most of them were higher alcohol Belgian beers so maybe that helped keep infection down.

After coming to this revelation last night I proceeded to put hot PBW in each bottle, shake it vigorously, then clean it with a bottle brush before rinsing it and giving it a few sanitzer quirts (from my bottle tree attachment). So, at least the two batches of beer I bottled last night a were in nice clean bottles.  ;)

Joe Sr.:
I've seen this in some of my bottles recently, too.  They look clean on a cursory inspection, but not under a good light.  These were champagne bottles that had held a variety of strong Belgians and/or saisons.

Sadly, I really only noticed when I put one that I thought was clean on a bottle washer and stuff kept coming out.

A good long soak brought them nice and clean.

Hmmm interesting... I've always poured a beer and rinse the bottle. I get the bottle about a quarter of the way full, cover the top with my thumb, and shake the bajeezus out of it, then rinse again. The bottles got into a "dirty bottle" stash before that pile gets out of hand... Then they will get soaked from anywhere from 6-24 hours in oxiclean. They get rinsed again and dried. Before bottling, I sanitize my bottles in the dish washer with high heat. I've never had any issues, and I've never thought about using a brush... Maybe I will now after reading this.

Joe Sr.:

--- Quote from: fmader on July 26, 2013, 01:39:56 PM ---Then they will get soaked from anywhere from 6-24 hours in oxiclean.

--- End quote ---

This should take care of the film. 

Typically, I rinse clean and let them dry.  Check them and sanitize prior to bottling.  The oxyclean soak isn't something I've typically been doing bottles that appear visually clean.  It appears to be needed more regularly.  FWIW, the beer that left the film had been bottled for years and the saison definitely had gotten oxidized and funky.

Triple rinse after pouring is my method. Fill it about a quarter of the way, shake, empty, repeat 2 more times. Seems to work well.


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