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What's the correct procedure for nice clean bottles before bottling is the dishwasher good enough. And will my beer taste ALOT better if I leave it for longer.

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Comment by Cain Harland on March 3, 2016 at 10:06am

I would be pretty suppressed if the dishwasher got much of its spray inside a beer bottle so probably not good for cleaning the inside, the heat may sanitize them though. Its worth drawing the distinction between cleaning (removing filth) and sanitizing (killing as many micro organisms as possible) and its much harder to effectively sanitize something thats dirty so clean first. For me the time to clean bottles is immediately after use then you just have to sanitize on bottling day.

With no extra gear, you want to fill up a vessel (kitchen sink, large bucket or whatever) with a solution of some kind of sanitizer (iodophore, star san, bleach if your desperate) submerge each bottle to fill then empty and leave upside down to drain (in spaces between bottles in crate works).

When you get sick of that I highly recommend one of these

The question of leaving your beer longer really depends on the style. If your bottle conditioning there will be a minimum length of time for the yeast ferment your priming sugar and clean up after its self (2 - 3 weeks) but after that a really hoppy IPA might be at its best almost immediately but an imperial stout might be better after 6 months and at its absolute best at 1 or 2 years.

Comment by Sam DT on March 3, 2016 at 1:25pm

Just to add to Cain; if you weren't diligent with your rinsing after drinking or have picked up a couple of dodgy old crates  give them a soak in some sodium per-carbonate (about $8 per kg on trademe) before you sterilise them.

Use 30g/5L and soak over night or even for a couple of days - it'll tear through any dreg scum, mould, old ciggies etc. and leave you with a nice clean surface to sterilise.  You can do it with cold water but if you're in a rush hot water works faster. Great for cleaning frementers etc. as well.

Don't use normal dish washing liquid or dish washer powder/tabs to clean them with as it'll destroy the head retention in your beer.

Comment by Sarah Mohawk on March 3, 2016 at 6:12pm

Seconded Sam's comment about Sodium Percarbonate. That's the only thing I use to clean. It's cheap, lasts ages, and I've never had an infection due to cleaning issues. But you should make sure to rinse properly otherwise it may leave residue.

I usually half fill a 30L bucket with sodium perc diluted, submerge 5 bottles, empty out into bucket, scrub with bottle brush, rinse repeat. For other stuff you can fill a spray bottle with sanitiser and apply it where you need, it will help conserve it. Lots of people recommend doing this if you use star san too.

Comment by Kyle Ostermeyer on March 3, 2016 at 6:47pm
Thanks for the info totally taken on board

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