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Better way to clean bottles?

I’m sure everyone thinks cleaning bottles is a colossal pain in the behind, but I’m wondering of anyone has a better way to do than using a bottle brush and scrubbing away? Do I need to bother scrubbing them every time I use them or is rinsing them several times good enough? I’ve cleaned bottles several times and it is by far the worst part of home brewing. I’ll maybe move onto kegging someday, but not for a while.

As soon as they’re empty, a good rinse should be sufficient. I would recommend a Jet bottle and carboy rinser if you don’t have one. Personally if I couldn’t get a bottle clean quickly with cleaner and a brush, I would recycle it.

Diluted bleach, PBW, Oxyclean, etc. are effective cleaners.

You’re right about bottles being a pain, main reason I went to kegging. :beers:

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My procedure for my own bottles that I pour is to give them a very quick triple rinse at the kitchen sink in cold water. When they go down to the brew room they get a hot rinse with the jet washer and then a cold rinse with the jet washer. (Water from the hot water heater has a terrible mineral taste, thus the cold rinse).

Bottles I may get from someone else are soaked in a PBW solution and scrubbed with a bottle brush on an electric drill. Hot and cold rinsed of course. Haven’'t needed to collect bottles from another source for many years. PBW is also a very quick way to remove most labels.

Does anyone need about 100 old style Pilsner Urquell bottles?

I use 5 gallon buckets with a strong bleach solution. I put about 20 bottles in each bucket, pour in about 1 cup of bleach, fill the bucket with cold water and then put the cover on. I leave them to soak for an entire week. I can get the nastiest mold covered beer stoned bottles perfectly clean this way. Most of the labels come right off. I use a jet washer at the sink to give them a good rinse. I also rinse the outside of the bottle as well since the bleach solution is strong. I then let them drip dry in my Fast Rack, and they are spotless. I haven’t scrubbed a bottle in quite a while.

Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll skip scrubbing bottles that I’ve used before unless obviously dirty. I’ll definitely keep scrubbing bottles I get from friends. Who knows how well they rinsed them. I’ll have to look into the jet washer.

Gosh, you must be desperate for bottles. Do you want my Pilsner Urquell bottles? Most of the labels have been removed and they are clean.

Scrubbing bottles is the bane of my existance. Well, maybe not quite that bad. But I certainly hate it. As many times as I’ve asked people who give me bottles to rinse it when they empty it, nobody seems to. So they all need scrubbed. I’ve done a few at a time here and there, but for the most part I let the empties pile up. Now the stuff I empty myself, I rinse clean pretty quick and there hasn’t been a problem.

Best idea I’ve come up with so far (and I have yet to try it), was to dump PBW solution into each bottle and let it soak overnight before hitting it with a jet wash to see if that will work.

Everyone knows I don’t like wasting time with unnecessary steps so here is how I clean bottles. I fill a big cooler with hot water and oxyclean. Throw a case of dirty bottles in and submerge them. Then I go to bed. The next day I get up and go to work. Then that evening or whenever I rinse them out with the jet wash holding the next one under the spray and just rinse out and stack upside down in a box. If the labels didn’t fall off by themselves I toss them out. I don’t own a brush and if your scrubbing bottles your doing something wrong.

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Maybe i’m screwing up but I just make a mixture of PBW, clean all of my bottling equipment then let the bottles soak in the PBW for a few minutes while I’m mixing up a batch of Star San, sanitize everything then soak the bottles in the Star San, let them dry, then bottle my beer. Never had a problem.

I rinse my bottles when I empty them and let them dry on a tree then store them until bottling day. I load them into the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle then bottle right at the dishwasher. Any spillage lands on the door and drains right back into the dishwasher. I’ve done over 40 five gallon batches this way.

Thanks, flars, but I’m all set on bottles. One of the my friends just dropped off 7 cases yesterday. I have the same problem as lil-blue-ford that I can’t get anyone to rinse out the bottles, even the ones with homebrew in them, and I don’t want to discourage friends from saving me their bottles by harping on them about it. I usually soak 4 buckets worth of bottles at a time. It’s pretty easy and bleach is cheap. As far as the ones I drink, I also do a triple rinse with water as soon as the bottle is empty.

I do a good rinse right after pouring and if I’m in the brew room I use a jet washer. Bottles that aren’t immediately thoroughly rinsed are soaked. I have a large rubbermaid tub that will hold about 15 gal of PBW solution. I put all bottles that weren’t immediately rinsed after pouring into this tub on a weekend then they sit til the next weekend when they are subjected to a thorough jet rinsing. I don’t remember the last time I had anything not come loose by that time, but I have long since passed the point of collecting bottles from others (too many years of brewing and sampling craft brew to ever need more bottles).

Don’t you rinse out the pbw?

I tell my friends bring me clean bottles or no home brew. Works well

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Wow electric drill that’s a great idea I’m gonna have to try that!

This is exactly how I do it, tho I mostly keg these days.

what do they look like-how big-what type top I don’t know much about bottles

Most of my bottles are repurposed from my years in Germany. .5L bottles with nice plastic crates for hauling around. I fill my big washroom sink with hot water and use a good dish soap, throw the whole crate in, and “sink”/ fill the bottles with the hot water-soap solution. After a few top-offs of hot water(leaky drain plug) and about an hour of soaking, I use my bottle brush attached to my drill to clean the insides and a wash cloth for the outsides. All lables peal off easily. Drain sink and bottles. I rinse all of the bottles about 3-4 times with cold water and place in the crate upside down to dry. Prior to bottling, I throw them into my sanitizer…

This is also one of the main reasons I started kegging! Haha.

We just do a quick rinse in the sink to make sure we get everything out, let them dry, and then store them. Before brewing, we just submerge them in SanStar for 2 min. Good to go, never had any problems.

Similar to others, I do the triple rinse. For 'those stubborn stains I don’t try to brush. I pour and an ounce or two of PBW solution in each bottle then zap them in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Remove it, swirl it around to wet the sides of the bottle. Be careful - when/if it reaches the boiling that hot solution of PBW could be a problem if it splashes on your skin or into your eyes.

That works every time.

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