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Better Bottle cleaning issues

I used a better bottle for lagering and didn’t get as clean as I had originally thought. There are a couple places in which there are “dried beer” stuck to the side.

I have tried soaking and using a wash cloth and swishing it around inside, but I’m having no luck.

Any other suggestions?

What did you soak it with?

PBW and warm water

How long did you let it sit? If over night I would think it would have taken care if things.

You could try an mild acid soak, household vinegar.

If that doesn’t work, you can try the active ingredient in Beer Line Cleaner.

I only let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour.

How much PBW should I be using per 5 gallons?

Is this at the top of the carboy, at the liquid line? If so, can you cap the opening and tip the bottle upside down? That way you only need 1-2 gallons of water.

1/4 to 1/2 cup for 5 gallons should be more than enough.

If you go to the Better Bottle website, and click the “Technical” tab (, you can download a pdf of a technical paper by Erich L Gibbs called “Washing and Sanitizing Home Winemaking and Brewing Equipment”. It gives a good overview of cleaning in general, and then also gives a step-by-step procedure for cleaning Better Bottles. In short, the recommendation is to use a specific brand of enzymatic laundry detergent to clean Better Bottles. I follow their procedure, with good results. Incidentally, the author (who is affiliated with Better Bottle) does not recommend PBW for the product.

I loaded it with PBW and let it sit for a few hours. Seems to have done the trick. I guess I just needed to have a little patience. At least I didn’t see the spots after I rinsed it out, but we’ll see how it looks when I get home and its had time to dry out.

I think too much PBW can actually eat through the plastic or something, but its what I have.

Is there legal issues with mentioning the product?

It’s Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear 2X laundry detergent.

Direct all legal challenges to bunderbunder.

[quote=“bunderbunder”]It’s Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear 2X laundry detergent.

Direct all legal challenges to bunderbunder.[/quote]
Now, you’ve done it. :mrgreen:

Being too lazy to read the article about cleaning something I don’t own, I’m more curious,
Is this Gibbs person or Better Bottle associated with Seventh Generation’s?

If so, It’s like the Betty Crocker cake mix saying you should ice the cake with Betty Crocker icing. Of course they would say that.

Seems unlikely the are affiliated but I guess anything is possible. I’d guess that it is more that the detergent has these properties:

  • Free of optical brighteners
  • Free of dyes & synthetic fragrances
  • Biodegradable laundry detergent formula

I did actually buy the detergent and it does work well. I just add enough warm water to cover the krausen ring when the carboy is flipped upside down, add some detergent, shake it up and let it soak. It works quite well but honestly so does PBW. I just go the detergent route since it is a bit cheaper than PBW and it matches their recommendations.

I’ve been known to wrap a wash rag around the end of a coat hanger and jimmy rig it into the carboy to get any stickies off the hard to reach parts.

I use the chlorine and fragrance free oxyclean. It works amazing well for cleaning fermenters along with pretty much anything that has something caked/burnt onto it pot pans etc. I get it at wally world

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