Bottle sanitizing question

Hi All
I keep clean, washed bottles In a covered plastic tote.I was wondering as it,s covered if I could go ahead and sanitize the the bottles( I use Star San ) put a couple paper towels in the bottom to soak up the excess and store them up-side down till bottling day…I will bottle in 2-3 weeks…Thanks…Tank :cheers:

If it’s 2-3 weeks, I’d sanitize them day of again. I put star san in a spray bottle and squirt a bunch in each botle. Let it sit then swish it around and pour out.

Agreed because starsan is only effective as a sanitizer when wet.
They might stay sanitized as they’ll be in a closed container, but why risk a ruined batch?
Remember Sanitized is NOT Sterile.

I probably overdue it myself, I mainly just rinse my bottles out and scrub if the have trub stuck to the bottom. Day before bottling (or day of if I forget) I run mine in the Sanitize cycle I have on my dishwasher. I then spray about 12 bottles at a time with starsan, pour them out, and fill. So far so good.

I do the same as above. I have a bunch of old used bottles. What I do every time I drink one is rinse it quickly with hot water and swirl the water around, then rinse once more and let it dry. They sit open to air for a bit. On bottling day, I toss them all in the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and let them go. I then spray some star san in them, swish around, and let them drip dry. Maybe overkill, but I haven’t had any infected bottles yet.

The problem I run in to is when I go to parties with your bottles and people don’t rinse them after they use them. The yeast cake at the bottom when dry is super tough to get off. I’ve tried washing them in the dishwasher and it doesn’t always work. The bottle scrubber can’t always get down into the corners of the bottle to get rid of the gunk. I’ve thrown bottles away that were like this.

You can bake them in the oven as well to sterilize them. I would only recommend this if they are CLEAN though, because if there is any gunk inside it will impart a burnt smell that just does not go away. With a set of clean bottles, cover the top with a small piece of tinfoil and put in the cold oven, turn on the oven (How To Brew has a chart for temperature and time) and start the timer when it reaches the target temp and then leave in the oven when done to cool off slowly. This will keep the glass from breaking due to temperature shock (slowly heating and cooling). Then, as long as the tinfoil stays on the tops, they will be ready to use without the need for spraying or rinsing with star san.

I’m just starting out and collecting empties from a handful of friends. What is the best way to get the empties clean? I’m assuming that it would be wise to scrub down and soak in a bleach/water mix, rinse well, then run through a dishwasher sanitize cycle, then use the Star San before bottling?

For the first time around, I would soak mine in oxyclean (or PBW) with hot water and use a bottle brush to clean the insides well. Most labels will slide right off. A course sponge will take care of any left over glue. Then a few rinses with hot water. Then just sanitize before bottling.

For future uses, I always made sure to rinse bottles out well (after pouring into a glass of course). Then sanitize again before bottling.

But now I keg because I HATE the bottling process and having beer on tap at home is just the greatest thing ever. Start kegging. You won’t be disappointed.

You can soak with a solution of warm water and PBW. I’ve had success with that. If there’s gunk really stuck to the bottoms see if a bottle brush will remove it after a good soak. If not, I just toss them in the trash. Bottles are pretty cheap so it’s usually not worth the hassle or risk if they are really dirty inside.

+1 on kegging though. Expensive to start but my time is valuable and bottling takes up a lot of time :slight_smile:

Don’t bother taking bottles from people if they have been laying around awhile. I make if worth peoples while if they give me clean bottles.

Ammonia & warm water works well to remove tough labels like the foil ones. I don’t recommend it for sanitizing though. Old school was to dunk your bottles in a bleach & water solution then rinse well. The sanitize part worked with that but then you had to rinse so any equipment for rinsing had to be sanitized. Now days I also use starsan the (very) few times I’m not kegging.

Honestly I don’t think your method of sanitizing then storing the bottles in the plastic tote would be a problem. The only issue might be after the Starsan wears off any remaining moisture on the paper towels could grow mold. So as said, why risk it?