Back to Shopping at

Keeping sanitized bottles sanitized

I usually put my bottles in the dishwasher with the heated cycle to sanitize them. I use flip top bottles (Grolsch bottles). Will they stay sterile if I close the tops? I am thinking as long as they are sealed they should be fine. I will just spray the tops with Star San before opening to fill. I would love to have a large number of bottles ready to go. What are your thoughts on this?

They won’t really ever be sterile, just sanitized. I would make sure they are dry before capping them to save for later. Some brewers just cover them with Saran wrap and store them away after sanitizing so your Grolsch bottles would be much better protected.

I wouldn’t try it but would bet that if you washed the bottles out with a decent no-rinse cleaner and let them dry, they would be fine. The finished beer will have a 5% ABV and hops both good at fighting an infection.

Just my grumpy old man opinion.
I’m not a believer that a dishwasher can reliably clean or sanitize a beer bottle. The bottle mouth is too narrow compared to the bottle body to get a thorough spray inside. Too many food particles lurking in crevices, seams, and the grinder in the drain to consider the inside of a dish washer sanitary.

There is no guarantee that a bottle will remain sanitized long term with possible contaminants floating in the air before you can seal the bottle.

I do what many brewers do to have a clean bottle to sanitize and fill. Triple rinse the bottle as soon as the beer is poured. I use my jet washer. Store upside down to drain and dry. Once dry store upside down in a beer case or other box. On filling day sanitize with Star San solution and fill.

Bottles that have been returned by friends with dried gunk inside need a soak in PBW solution and then brushed to clean before rinsing and drying. A bottle brush installed in a battery powered drill makes the job quick and easy.


Thank you for the replies, I was hoping I could get away from brew day sterilizing and bottling. I guess that’s the price I must pay. Thank you for your help.

1 Like

Sanitizing on bottling day is quick if you don’t use the bucket soak method.

This makes sanitizing bottles on bottle day a lot faster. Fill with starsan, give it a couple squirts, and set in a drying rack upside down and you’re ready to go. Then pull the center pump section out and put your bottle caps in the solution.


I’m a dishwasher/sanitizer guy.
I’m not expecting the spray to get into the bottles. After all, they’re clean before I load them.
I use the ‘high heat wash’, and the ‘heated dry’ option , with no detergent or rinse aid, of course. I haven’t checked a temperature, but if I open the washer door right when the cycle is finished, the bottles are too hot to handle. But yes, I probably should do a temp. check.
I’m also going to be of those guys who say " It’s always worked for me". I hate those guys. :wink:

1 Like

Absolutely LOVE my Vinator!

Before i went to kegs, i would add a tablespoon of bleach in the wash cycle. Never had a problem.

I think I will order me a Vinator. Looks just like what I need. Thank you everyone for helping this Madbrewer.

I used to do the dishwasher step like you do without soap and on the sterilize setting but it just took too long for me on bottle day. I just make sure my bottles are cleaned well before storing upside down back in the box and on bottle day I just sanitize with the vinator. Haven’t had a bad one yet doing this. Sometimes I end up using the bottles that are sitting in my drying rack as well instead of ones stored in the box. If the bottles are looking like they need a better wash I soak a bunch in a sink full of PBW and hot water, rinse well and set aside to dry then package them up.

I’m definitely with you on the time thing. With our old dishwasher that crapped out last year, a complete cycle would take maybe a hour. The new replacement takes h o u r s . But it does have a 4 hour delay setting, so I can load it and set it before I go to work, and the bottles will be ready when I get back home. I tend to bottle on a Wednesday or Friday when I get home fairly early.

It takes exactly one batch with a couple of bottle bombs to make a brewer paranoid enough to overclean bottles. My batch with a couple of bombs did the dishwasher sanitizer process. Ever since, I do a pbw soak, double water rinse, and star San soak. Every bottle, every batch. Takes forever, but that’s life. I’m set up to keg, now, though.

I wanted to wash (sanitize) all my extra swing top bottles. I have like 200 all together, I have been saving for years. In the good ol days you could goto the local liquor store and buy “bar bottles” for $1.20. They were great. Heavy duty box and heavy duty bottles. Just pay the deposit. Unfortunately the year I started really brewing they stopped selling deposit bottle beer in my area ( I assume they stopped all over). Yeah I am cheap lol but they were great bottles. I don’t mind spending one day just putting my bottles thru the heated cycle of the dishwasher because it would cut the time on brew day. I guess I might still do it, but I will get the Vinator and hang dry them for bottling day. After all I do not want a batch to die from contamination. Just to be safe.

I with Jim on this one, I’ve done over 50 batches using rinse after use then bottle right out of the dishwasher. Yea the sanitize cycle gets really hot. I do visually inspect each bottle before loading the washer to confirm they are clean. I also add 1 tsp of oxyclean to the detergent tray.

I suppose it kind of depends on your dishwasher. Mine is a cheapie plastic one, free from Ikea with my kitchen remodeling. The trap is usually gunky. A nice stainless clean dishwasher might work better.

The vinator and a bottle tree. Easiest part of bottling IMO. The rest pretty much sucked whether it was the stupid springy bottle wand thing or the stupid EXPENSIVE blichmann beer gun with that stupid little rubber stopper that falls off.

This reminds me of the leaks I had one time with my spring tip bottling wand. I reinstalled the spring upside down after a cleaning.

I’m one of the rinse after emptying, dry and store the empties upside down and use the vinator with starsan on bottling day. I just throw the bottle caps in the vinator. Squirt a bottle, let it drip a minute, fill it, fish out a cap, cap it, and repeat.

Empties that don’t get rinsed right away get washed good. Was doing a sink scrub, but now I’m going try a PBW soak.

1 Like

My SOP has been to triple rinse all beers I plan to save the bottles from and store them upside down in an empty beer case using 6 pack holders. Over Christmas I de-labelled 100 of them that I’d been saving up for the two batches I was planning to bottle off the tap. When it came time to fill, I submerged 12 bottles at a time in a fresh bucket of starsan and let them sit for about 5 mins. Then I’d pull a bottle, dump the starsan, fill, dip the cap in starsan, and cap. Haven’t had any issues using this method over the years.


1 Like
Back to Shopping at