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Thread: Bottle cleaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    410

    Bottle cleaning

    I was wondering what everyone uses to clean and sanstize their bottles? Last night I scrubbed and cleaned with b-brite, rinsed and let them dry. Tonight I plan on using c-brite to sanitize the bottle and then bottle tomorrow night. Is there an easier way of doing things?

    Also, any easy way to clean labels off of bottles?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    110
    I'm still a total newbie but as for the labels, that I have looked high n low for. I did 25 in two seperate sittings. I let them soak in hot hot water for a looong time, couple of hours atleast. But I replaced the water as needed to keep it hot. I threw some bleach in for good measure (not to sanitize of course). Then when I was ready to peel the labels I added more hot water and a lil soap. For the most part labels peeled right off, a lil scrub with a sponge and all the left over glue came off. Fastest and most efficent way I've peeled labels so far. But -not all labels should be treated equally! Sam adams peels off like a champion. Sierra Nevada peels of very pleasantly. Great lakes brewing will give you a head ache. I will, without a doubt, take that kind of thing into consideration before I save up bottles for my next batch. Also, I've tried this only once but I've gotten word from a more experiance Home brewer, isopropal alcohol works well. My buddy and I got the wipes, it was kind of a pain. But I would be willing to bet if you saod them in a light ration of Rubbing alcohol to hot water youd be peeling labels off like a warrior.
    Star san seems to be the main cleanser I've seen up and down these forums and others. I've used a few different ones, some iodine one which was a pain to measure and now Ive got some poweder by L.D Carlson company. Got it free with some purchase of ingredients, doesnt seem too bad for now.
    Graduate of Geology.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by sully626

    Also, any easy way to clean labels off of bottles?
    If u find one PLEASE share! Lol.
    Bottled - Saison
    Fermenter - Belgian Pale Ale
    Secondary -
    On Deck -
    Future Brew -

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    273
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaimez
    If u find one PLEASE share! Lol.
    Well, I've only done three batches of label scrubbing, but I was told, and have found, that PBW is CRAZY good at it. I soaked the bottles for maybe 10-15 minutes in the solution, and the labels generally sloughed off easily, leaving a lil glue residue that came off with a light wipe from a rag.

    -Nate

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    225
    I drink a lot of Sam Adams AND michelob. Sam comes right off. But the mich labels are a pain. I'm actually soaking bottles right now in my mash tun with dish soap and boiled water. The residue is the pain. Gona try some Goo Gone after the soak.
    Bottled - Saison
    Fermenter - Belgian Pale Ale
    Secondary -
    On Deck -
    Future Brew -

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,015
    I've cleaned labels off at least 20 cases of beer now, and I can tell you a hot soak in oxyclean treated water is the way to go. Cleans the stainless sink too.

  7. #7
    I run my bottles through the dishwasher, no soap though. And I make sure to clean them after use thoroughly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,015
    Quote Originally Posted by Velkyal
    I run my bottles through the dishwasher, no soap though. And I make sure to clean them after use thoroughly.
    +1. All I do is put some hot water in a bottle right after use and shake it with my thumb on the end. I do that about 4 times then store upside down until I'm ready for the dishwasher at bottling time. Then after about 3 - 4 cycles of doing this, I scrub brush them with oxyclean and hot water then in the dishwasher as usual. I also make sure the heated dry button is on. After doing it once years ago similar to the way you did Sully I decided there's got to be a better way or I'm done with this homebrewing thing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    410
    So from what I gather, I need to use 22oz bottles so there are less of them to do and move to kegs asap. It looks as though I am in for the same grind for a while, alas I have no dishwasher and have no extra money since picking up this hobby to hire one . I shall try the PBW for the labels, and I am going to try and do a 6-12 pack every few days to catch up so I am not doing so many all at once.

    UGBrewin, I have definitely noticed the differences with the labels, I found Redhooks labels to be reasonably easy and DFH to be the worst for me because of the adhesive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    225
    I just peeled labels of 48 bottles. They soaked Overnight in my mash tun with VERY hot water and Dish soap. All but one bottled came right off. Even the Mich bottles were easy.

    The one that didn't come right off was from a local brewer here in Indiana. The beer wasn't bad at least!

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/390/27903
    Bottled - Saison
    Fermenter - Belgian Pale Ale
    Secondary -
    On Deck -
    Future Brew -

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by sully626
    So from what I gather, I need to use 22oz bottles so there are less of them to do and move to kegs asap. It looks as though I am in for the same grind for a while, alas I have no dishwasher and have no extra money since picking up this hobby to hire one . I shall try the PBW for the labels, and I am going to try and do a 6-12 pack every few days to catch up so I am not doing so many all at once.

    UGBrewin, I have definitely noticed the differences with the labels, I found Redhooks labels to be reasonably easy and DFH to be the worst for me because of the adhesive.
    When I was processing, I had the PBW in my bottling bucket, and when loaded, it held something like 6 bottles or so fully submerged. It went so smoothly that as I took a bottle out, I'd put a replacement back in, and the grind turned rather smooth. (On a side note, my lady and I were having some problems getting ancient paint off some door hardware...soaked in PBW, came right off. This is like brewers duct tape!)

    -Nate

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    5,075
    All I ever used was hot water and dish soap with a one to two hour soak, and thing else was really just a waste of money and time....by that time, labels that were going to come off would come off, and those that wouldn't would take some work....a kitchen scaper wokred wonders, followed by a scrubber to take care of the glue. Cleaned the like a charm everytime.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,101
    Quote Originally Posted by Undergradbrewin
    Star san seems to be the main cleanser I've seen up and down these forums and others. I've used a few different ones, some iodine one which was a pain to measure and now Ive got some poweder by L.D Carlson company. Got it free with some purchase of ingredients, doesnt seem too bad for now.
    Neither StarSan, nor Iodophor are cleansers. they are sanitizers, and only work on equipment that has already been cleaned, with a proper cleanser.

    I use PBW on my bottles (when I do any, mostly keg now, but I keep bottles around for competition and gifts). I like Mad's idea of dish soap. Heck of a lot cheaper, and easier on the hands.
    -Beerking
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    21
    I'm also new to brewing and bottling. I started with a Mr. beer at Christmas and now I have four primaries in six secondaries and needless to say I need a lot of bottles. I have friends collecting bottles for me and even having them rinsing them out but I got really tired of doing small batches in 5 gallon buckets. I went to Home Depot and got a Rubbermaid container that holds approximately 55 bottles and installed a bottling spigot with a hose attached so I can have the tub next to the sanitary sink in the basement and drain it without having to move it. I found the easiest way to do this is to stand up the empty bottles in the tub first and fill each bottle with a hose from the sink before filling the tub that way the bottles don't float all over the place. I found that Oxiclean free with a soak overnight the labels just seem to fall off and leave no glue residue. The only exception I found are the foil labels on the necks of the Becks bottles. But they are loose enough to peel off. I also used the jet bottle washer and I think it is great. Another thing I have that is a big help is a bottled drain board. I made this board out of three-quarter inch plywood, drilled 60 holes 1 3/4 inch in diameter, used a quarter inch round overbid in my router to round over the edge of the holes and put three-quarter by 4 inch legs on all four corners. I measured the spacing for the bottles as they sit in a loose case so there is tight as possible and the board is not that big.

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