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Dishwashing bottles

I just left my LHBS and was looking at drying racks. The owner said he personally just washes his in the dishwasher with regular detergent with dry heat. Anyone else do this? Sounds like it would have a lot of time cleaning an sanitize. If you do, do you just use regular dishwashing detergent or something else? Thanks!

I’m paranoid (had one batch where a couple of bottles blew on me, so I suspect bottle infection). I have no faith in a dishwasher’s ability to squirt soapy water and rinse water thoroughly up a small bottle opening all the way up along the length of the bottle to effectively wash it. And soap/rinse agent could affect head retention. When I bottle, I severely overprocess, though, so mine is an extreme opinion.

My method- soak in PBW, triple rinse in scalding hot water, star-san soak, drip in dishwasher rack. For 50 bottles, it takes forever. I’ve since started kegging.

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THIS^^^^^ is correct

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Brown glass hides many flaws. Try getting some clear EZ-cap bottles and wash them in your dishwasher (done it). Check out all the residue left behind (it’s nasty)!

What about just for sanitizing them and using the dishwasher as a drying rack? How would I do that?

I sanitize in a bucket in my sink, then put the bottles in the clean dishwasher upside down (just stick them on the vertical tines). Then I fill bottles on the door of the dishwasher. Super clean, contained, and easy. If your dishwasher has a sanitizer cycle, I’d be curious to put a thermometer in there and see how hot it gets…

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A vinator and a bottling tree makes sanitizing bottles a quick process. All I do is make sure I rinse my bottles after use or oxyclean for 30 minutes and rinse a few times with water, and then star san in the vinator on bottling day.

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Where in the H. E. double toothpicks is Mueller Brau? I saw when he was bottling, he had a plastic tub full of beer bottles, soaking in star san,( and ice cubes too?). Pull one out, dump out the star san, fill with beer, fish a cap out, put it on! Sorta how I do my kegging process, except push out the star san… Sneezles61

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I tried the dishwasher once and could see it did almost nothing to get the stuff off the bottom unless it was positioned perfectly to catch a jet of hot water. So… I use the scrub brush with PBW let them soak for a day (recommended by another poster helping me) , and then on bottling day I set up a tub with starsan and they sit there then rotate into the drying rack (just long enough to drip out the excess), then they get filled and capped (caps sitting in their own little bowl of starsan). Over the past 5 weeks I think we have bottled about 144 12 oz bottles… and I am very much looking forward to the batch in the primary now going into my first Keg !

reading the original post I am now wondering if he was talking about putting bottles in the dishwasher or just the drying racks… oh well.

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I follow @Sgwink 's process. Vinator spritz, hang on the bottling tree till used. Same with a triple rinse after draining or Oxyclean if they weren’t rinsed. PITA so mostly keg. :grin:

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The dishwasher isn’t a bad idea to help sanitize bottles but the first step to clean them is to make sure you rinse them out well right after use. If you give them to friends, politely tell them to rinse them out and return or risk never getting another one.

The heat from your dishwasher is great but the chance of the water and soap actually squirting inside is not good plus as @uberculture said the soap and/or rinse agent hangs around and could affect head retention. Running them through without any soap would probably be better just to have hot water blast them. The rinse agent could still be a problem since most dishwashers have that compartment to dispense it for a long time. Best answer = keg kegs :grin:

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I started out using the dishwasher on the sanitize setting and found it to be a big waste of time. I did not use it for cleaning my bottles, just sanitizing. I no longer use the dishwasher. My method: Rinse thoroughly after drinking and place on the drying rack, if not rinsed right after use they get soaked in the sink with hot water and PBW( same way I remove labels). On bottle day they get sanitized with starsan using the vinator and placed in the drying rack until they get used for bottling. This is done about a half hour before capping and allows some of the starsan to drip out. If they get stored for awhile before bottling I just use beer cases and store the bottles upside down in the cases. On bottling day they just get the starsan rinse. I have not had any issues.

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So I’m really liking the vinator that everyone is suggesting. It has the convenience of a a dishwasher but the confidence of knowing that everything is clean and sanitized. Quick question, my process would be the use the vinator with starsan on cleaned bottles and placed in a drying rack. I will probably spray starsan on the racks in the dishwasher instead of buying a separate drying rack. Starsan says there needs to be two minutes of contact time for sanitizing. Is the squirting from the vinator sufficient enough? Thanks everyone!

Yep! That’s why they were designed! :wink: seriously they work great.

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Thanks! I’m going to get one of those. I’m also going to get a bottle rinser that attaches to my utility sink. Blast the bottles when I pour the beer out, use the vinator with starsan and let them drip out the excess in the dishwasher and bottle there. Thanks for all your help!

You can also use the bottle washer (http://www.northernbrewer.com/fermenters-favorite-bottle-washer) to rinse out the PBW/Oxyclean solution after cleaning. It’s much faster than filling with water and draining three times.

My Bottling Day procedure is:

  1. Soak in Oxyclean overnight
  2. Bottle brush
  3. Dip in water bucket to rinse solution off outside of bottle
  4. Rinse inside using Jet Bottle Washer (5-10 seconds)
  5. Use Vinator to coat inside of bottle with StarSan (5-6 squirts)
  6. Put on bottle tree
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I wouldn’t trust a dishwasher for sanitization one little bit. Ever seen the junk that collects and grows in the bottom? Are your racks as white as snow as the day you bought them? I think not. Yuck.

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You do not want to use soap of any kind inside your bottles. It can leave residue that spoils the head.
It should be clear from the responses you got that there are lots of ways to clean bottles, some better than others. The dishwasher does not clean the inside of the bottles all that well, but helps with the outside of course. IF the bottles are clean inside, and IF the dishwasher has a sanitize cycle, that cycle and the drying heat can sanitize pretty well in my experience.

After trying lots of methods, here’s what I do:

  1. blast the inside of the bottles clean with a bottle blaster (its great for glass carboys too).
  2. this maybe an optional step, but I run them thru the dishwasher, upside down of course, on sanitize cycle and heated dry, with NO soap or rinse agent.
  3. just before filling, sanitize with Star San and a Vinator.
  4. after vinator, let them drip a few minutes in a fast rack before filling

Its best if you rinse the bottles well just after pouring each beer and store them in the fast racks. A quick blast just before bottling day is then easy. No soaking needed.

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I have definitely decided not to use the dishwasher except for a drying rack and bottling area on bottling day. I sully rinse my bottle, homebrew or store bought, after drinking them. This time, I have been letting them soak in hot one to remore the labels and rinsing them out 3 times afterwards. I will have a bottle sprayer tomorrow and will use that again. On bottle day, I’m going to fill a vinator with starsan, pump a few times and then let it drip dry in a clean and sprayed dishwasher.

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