How to Clean Beer Bottles: The Narrow Neck Challenge
Making your own beer is fun but you know what’s not?
The cleaning up part.
How to clean beer bottles will determine how sustainable and hygienic your brewing is.
Today, there are hundreds of commercial beers on the market. Yet homebrewing hasn’t lost its appeal.
In this guide, I will help you make cleaning beer bottles easy and painless. Additionally, I will unveil the secret to make your brew last longer.
Taking care of your beer bottles
Yep, you heard right.
Brewing entails using utensils and tools that you need to clean after use. Specifically beer containers or beer bottles. Hygiene and sanitation are very important in brewing.
Cleaning beer bottles is crucial not only for the flavor but also to avoid contamination that can cause mold. Needless to say how bad mold is for your brew.
Now, how do you get mold out of beer bottles? Here’s how.
Introducing The Crown Choice Long Brush
When cleaning and sanitizing your beer bottles, you need the best beer bottle brush to clean it thoroughly.
You can use The Crown Choice Water Bottle Cleaner with Straw Brush Set to start it right.
The brush is 17″ long and fits inside narrow neck bottles and long neck bottles like wine and beer bottles. Making the cleaning the beer bottles a breeze.
The set includes a 10” straw brush.
It deep cleans your bottles as it reaches the bottom and corners of long bottles and small mouth bottles.
It works for stainless tumblers, Swell, beer bottle, EZ Cap bottles, pitchers, carafes, SodaStream and more.
Guide to Cleaning Brewing Bottles
You’re looking for the best and fastest way to clean your beer brewing bottles.
Reusable beer bottles are a godsend but it’s hard to clean them with regular brushes because they have a small opening. Regular brushes won’t fit and you might break them if you force them inside the bottle.
This cleaning guide will apply to regular bottles or flip-top beer bottles.
A note about flip-top bottles.
The ones you buy in stores would normally have crown stoppers. These are great. It allows the beer to prime and stops it from being carbonated.
It’s convenient and it seals your bottle well.
Additionally, you need to clean the stopper properly aside from the bottle. Since the stopper can sometimes be hard to clean, you will need to find the proper brush to do it.
Soaking Beer Bottles
Soaking is the first step. Let me explain.
You don’t immediately go into brushing as this won’t remove any beer residue.
What you need to do is to soak them first.
In case the beer bottles have labels, soaking will also do wonders, as you can easily remove these labels after 24 hours or less of soaking.
So how do you go about doing this?
Step 1. Put all the bottles in a gallon tub. Then, make sure it’s big enough to fit all the bottles so all parts will be submerged completely in water. If you don’t have anything big enough to fit your bottles, you can use the bathtub as a substitute.
C’mon, we all use the tub for that!
Step 2. Fill the tub with hot water until the bottles are submerged.
Step 3. Once the tub has been filled with water, add a cleaning solution like bleach. There are commercial solutions in the market like Oxyclean or Powder Brewery Wash (PBW) if you don’t want to use a bleach solution.
If you are using bleach, add 1-4 scoops for every gallon of water. If you are using commercial solutions, follow the instructions on the number of scoops per milliliter of water on the label.
Step 4. Let it soak for 24 hours to remove traces of residues.
How to Deep Clean Beer Bottles
Once soaking is finished, you’re now ready to clean your beer bottles.
Step 1: Use The Crown Choice long bottle brush or the scouring dishcloth. Bring your chair and a trash bin as removing the labels and going through each bottle may take time. Use gloves to prevent the cleaner from drying out your skin.
Step 2: Get your bottle. Dump half of the solution out of the bottle then shake it well for a few seconds.
Step 3: Brush the inside of the bottle. There are bottles with deeper residuals so you still need to use the brush to get the dirt softened during the soaking process.
Step 4: Now to remove the labels, you should notice that the labels easily peel off because of the initial soaking. You can use your brush, your nails, or your scraper to peel off the remaining labels.
Note: There are bottles whose labels are painted. Some of them peel off with heavy scrubbing but some are quite stubborn and do not peel off so easily. You can’t remove painted labels unless you use some chemical solution specifically made for removing them.
Also, traces of glue sometimes remain after the labels have been peeled off. Use a scouring dishcloth or anything abrasive to remove any remaining glue.
Step 5: Once you have scrubbed all your beer bottles, it’s time to rinse them with clean water. Run water inside and out and repeat the process until you don’t feel any soapy or slippery residues.
Note: You only have to do this once. Once you have done this, you can reuse your bottles not only for beers but for other purposes also.
Step 6: If you have bottles’ washers or dishwashers, you can also use them to rinse your beer bottles.
Sanitizing Beer Bottles
Sanitizing your beer bottles is one of the most important parts of cleaning your bottles.
It’s not just about the taste. You also don’t want any traces of bacteria or mold spores on your beer bottles.
There are different ways to sanitize your beer bottles. Follow the steps below.
Sanitizing Using Bottle Washer or Dishwasher
Step 1: If you have bottles’ washers or dishwashers, then it will take no time to sanitize your bottles. Just place the rinsed bottles in the dishwasher or bottle washer and then turn it on to high temperature.
Note about dishwashers.
1. Use a dishwasher for cleaning the outside of the bottles only. Don’t rely on it as the primary cleaning method for the inside.
2. Use the dishwasher ONLY after cleaning the bottles. The dishwasher should only be used for sanitation, not sterilization. Especially for narrow neck bottles. Using a dishwasher alone will not clean small mouth opening bottles.
3. Turn on the temperature to use hot water as it is better in killing germs and bacteria.
4. Put your bottles in the rack spikes.
5. Use the dishwasher rinse cycle without soap.
Warning: Be careful with very hot water and steam as this will warp some plastic tops. Check with your vendor, do your research first.
Note: Some dishwashers have sanitizing heat cycles. Which makes them great as heat also kills any pathogens remaining in the bottles. If you don’t have this, a regular rinsing on high temperature will do.
Step 2: Do use soap or detergent. Set your timer and leave it for around ten minutes.
Step 3: Once done, let the bottles drip dry. Place them upside down on a drying rack.
Note: Do not use a towel to dry the bottles. It might get contaminated. Just let it drip dry on the rack.
Step 4: When the bottles are dry, you can place them in spaces or containers that are not exposed to dirt or dust.
Sanitizing with a Commercial Solution
Another method of sanitizing your beer bottles is by using commercial solutions. John Palmer, an author of How to Brew, suggest the following:
Step 1: Rinse the tub you used to clean the bottles.
Step 2: Add hot water to the tub.
Step 3: Use one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
Step 4: Soak the bottles for 20 minutes.
Step 5: After soaking, rinse the bottles using boiled water. Some use tap water to thoroughly clean. But just to be on the safe side to kill bacteria and germs, use boiling water.
Step 6: Dry the bottles once sanitized
Step 7: Once the bottles are dry, keep them in a place or container where there is no dirt or dust.
After you are done, you can start brewing and using your clean beer bottles. Just make sure that you clean them after every use.
The Crown Choice Long Bottle Brush for Beer Bottles
Say no to shortcuts. Dishwashing is not the proper way to clean beer bottles. Use the Crown Choice beer bottle brush as the primary way to clean them.
Get The Crown Choice Water Bottle Cleaner for your reusable beer bottles.
It’s a total care brush set. It can thoroughly clean long neck wine and beer bottles. Click here and see how The Crown Choice narrow neck bottle brush set can help you save time and money in your brewing business or hobby.