pre-bottling blues

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pre-bottling blues

Postby Jaeger111 » Wed Oct 24, 2001 3:54 am

I need to sanitize my bottles, (96 12oz brown glass) i was wondering if i could just sanitize them well,
and then fill or half fill them with a water/iodophor solution, cover each one with either a rubber stopper
or plastic wrap, and then store them? this way when i go to bottle
all i need to do is shake up the solution inside, empty the bottles,
airdry, and then fill. once a bunch of bottles are empty, i could just
re-sanitize and repeat. would this work in warding off nasty bacteria?
what should i seal the bottles with during the period of time when they
are in storage? thanks
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Bake your bottles

Postby Push Eject » Wed Oct 24, 2001 12:07 pm

Fellow brewers at my club use the following method with a square of aluminum foil loosely over the bottle. Just smash the foil down tightly when done and they say your bottles will stay sanitized for quite a while.
(the following from howtobrew.com)

Dry heat is less effective than steam for sanitizing and sterilizing, but many brewers use it. The best place to do dry heat sterilization is in your oven. To sterilize an item, refer to the following table for temperatures and times required.

Dry Heat Sterilization Temperature & Duration
338
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Dishwasher??

Postby andytv » Wed Oct 24, 2001 1:05 pm

In my brewclub, we minimize pre-bottling preparation by storing the clean bottles in a bleach/water solution, afterwards we throw them in the dishwasher (unfortuneately most washers will only hold about 48 bottles).

There are some important steps though;

1) run the dishwasher w/o soap ahead of time to clear out any bacteria and residual soap.
2) don't use any drying agents.

When we are planning to bottle, we will sometimes load the washer the night before, spraying down the inside walls with a water/bleach solution, and setting the washer on a timer.

Bottles are clean and dry and ready to go the next day at the right time.

We have had some "gushing beers" in the past, but I don't think that they were related to dirty bottles since the bottles usually soak in a sanitizing solution for at least a week before they hit the washer.

Let me know what you think.
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weakened bottles?

Postby Jaeger111 » Wed Oct 24, 2001 5:36 pm

if you baked your bottles in this way, would the bottles be weakened enough to explode during conditioning? does this process weaken the sructural integrity of the bottles? i am using normal 12oz brown glass bottles taken from a local recycling center. have you or your fellow clubmembers ever had bottles break under this method, or any increase in bottle explosions during conditioning? thanks

-Corey
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Only if you rush it

Postby Push Eject » Wed Oct 24, 2001 6:12 pm

One clubmember did break a few bottles once years ago, but she admitted to heating the bottles up very quickly (just putting them into a pre-heated oven instead of letting the bottles slowly come up to temperature WITH the oven) and then she promptly filled them with 70 degree beer while still quite warm thus breaking a few more.
The key seems to be SLOWLY warming them up and SLOWLY letting them cool down. No shocking temperature changes. Never heard of any blowing during conditioning. Much like fermentation >>slower is better<<. :)
Hope this helps!
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How about Kegging?

Postby Don McCollister » Wed Oct 24, 2001 9:23 pm

unless you are shareing these 4 cases of good ole homebrew, wouldn't it less time consuming to just transfer the 10 gallons into a couple of corney kegs?
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If you use this method...

Postby Fraoch » Thu Oct 25, 2001 1:02 am

As a glass blower I must stress the importance to heat and cool glass very slowly.You will be able to take the temp to 400f quite safely as annealing temp for lead content glass is around 420f. For soda glass a temp of 450f is quite safe. If you are using brown bottles your glass will almost definately contain some lead to stabilise its structure. keep your oven closed during the cooling as a chill wind etc will weaken the glass. If you do do this method and take the temp to annealing you are actually realigning the molecular structure and therefore restabilising them but do not try to cool any faster than as slow as poss.Just to add, all I do to sterilise my bottles is warm with water immediately after drinking, fill with hot water and rinse then flush with boiling. A squirt of Sodium metabisulphate solution in the bottom and then crown sealed will create a sterile partial vaccuum with fumes from the solution acting as an extra measure. I have never experienced difficulties wit this method and they remain sterile till opened when a rinse with cold water and a drain by upturning is all thats required.
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sadly, no kegging for me

Postby Jaeger111 » Thu Oct 25, 2001 2:42 am

i was originally thinking about just kegging it,
but i don't really want to spend the extra money.
when i can simply run down to the recycling center
and pick up 200 bottles for free. plus i don't have
space to keep a whole corny keg chilled. maybe someday though.

-Corey
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Keg-o-licious

Postby Push Eject » Thu Oct 25, 2001 6:37 am

I have to admit my wife and I got our kegs on sale at our local homebrew shop and we both love it. If you have a spare fridge and the room it makes life sooo much better. Now we only bottle a few of every batch for competitions.
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more ideas

Postby Jaeger111 » Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:08 am

i was thinking about kegging, and how much easier it would make my life, and how the only thing really stopping me is space/lack of refrigeration. i'd rather not spend $500 on a new fridge, so i was thinking of alternatives. i seem to recall reading about people building their own refrigerators out of some plywood, heavy insulation and refrigerator parts from a junkyard. has anyone ever seen/heard of it being done? are there any resources i can consult on how to do this? i figure this is the best way for me to refrigerate kegs because it is cheap, and i can customize it to my space (or lack thereof). what do u guys think? thanks

-Corey
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We're not worthy

Postby Push Eject » Thu Oct 25, 2001 12:27 pm

I think if you successfully pull that one off I will buy you a case of your choice! Take plenty of pictures.
(Here's an interesting idea: http://www.brewrats.org/walkin.cfm)
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Home made chiller????? Check this

Postby Fraoch » Fri Oct 26, 2001 1:25 pm

Take a gander at the following for a home made chiller and one mans quest for the perfect brew temp.
http://www.asciimation.co.nz/beer/
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Diswasher Use Can Be Inconsistant

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:56 am

Storing bottles in bleach solutions for more than 2~3 days will not always keep them sanitary. Bleach solutions can break down after this point.

Some of the only practical ways to long term store bottles sanitarily for longer are in sealed vessels using iodophor, which will sedimentate and look bad, but stays sanitary or chlorine dioxide (Starzene & Oxine among others), which does not degrade either.

As a washing and rinsing method, dishwashers are completely inadequate when it comes to bottles. There simply are not enough jets in any diswasher to reach all the surfaces inside the bottles to either wash or adequately rinse them.

You mentioned that you sanitize them, then place them in the dishwasher prior to brewing. Here again, you are risking contamination. The temperatures are not hot enough in a residential dishwasher nor for long enough of a duration to ensure sanitization of non-directly exposed surfaces. Of more risk is entraining enteric bacteria and other bacteria from left over and accumulated food particles in the blind spots of the washer. Simply because the surfaces appear clean does not prove enough. Most dishwashers recirculate portions of the wash water during their cycles. There are many blind spots in the piping and pumps as well as the orfices in the jets that can accumulate bacteria that become temperature resistant over time. This is where the danger comes from.

The simple tried and true method still works best... clean em', store covered and dry, completely cover them in sanitizer the night before or day of, dump them out, inspect and fill. You will rarely run into problems using this method and it is the minimum of fuss.
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Used 'fridges cheap & plentiful

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:39 pm

I don't know where you live, but in my area there are constantly ads for used refridgerators for $75~100 USD by individuals and those who pick up unwanted units from homeowners who have gotten new ones. This would, by far, be less trouble and expense than re-inventing the "wheel".
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Been There, done that

Postby Freon12 » Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:49 pm

I have taken used units from the junk commercial pile that were replaced due to to phase out of R12. I used a replacement type refrigerant(mp39)to operate them in my garage. You can also get single door "low boy" units being phased out of fast food resturants which are big enough for a half barrel, but not tall enough for some Corni kegs(26"). I have also installed many remote type units that can be any size using used walk-in cooler panels. This takes some skill and some tools. I can answer any technical refrigeration questions you may have including Glycol chillers. It sounds like work, and is, and can be outside the scope of many brewers. But a custom size 32f storage for beer can be built with some effort and/or some cash.
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