View Full Version : Sterilizing my bottles...

11-02-2007, 02:07 AM
I have around 20 750ml wine bottles that I removed the labels from, cleaned, and saved. I plan to use them for bottling my first JAO. My question is....Before bottling, if I stick the bottles in the dishwasher, will that sterilize them efficiently for their purpose? The other day I opened up the dishwasher before it was finished doing it's thing and.....holy crap, was it hot! It has to be hot enough for sterilizing, right?

11-02-2007, 02:57 AM
Number 1: forget about sterilization unless you have an autoclave or a good source of gamma radiation. The best you can hope for outside of laboratory or hospital conditions is santiization. But, sanitization is good enough for 99.99% of us.

I regularly use the dishwasher to sanitize my bottles for both beers and meads before bottling. Just make SURE your bottles are absolutely clean (no gunk on the bottom or sides) before you put them in. And, I like to use oxy-clean (generic) instead of soap or wetting agents. Just make sure you use the "high heat" cycle to reach the temps you need. Soap will leave residues and the oxy-clean adds an additional sanitizer (perchloric acid?) beyond the heat.

11-02-2007, 05:04 AM
Word. :cheers:

11-02-2007, 11:56 AM
I use the bottle brush and very hot water wearing rubber gloves to scrub them out and rinse. I let them dry, I then give them a good swirl of StarSan and let that sit for a few minutes wet. Then I bottle. There may be some bubbles inside the bottles, but don't worry about them. They are nothing like soap suds and won't affect the flavor. Don't rinse the StarSan out!

My problem with washing bottles in the dw is if you wash anything else in there the food particles seem to end up inside the bottle. My dw has a rinse only which might work and then turn the dial to the dry cycle.


11-03-2007, 01:15 AM
(Assumed: bottles are already clean at this point)

I use potassium metabisulfite in water to sanitize (other various food-safe sanitizers would do fine), then turn them upside-down in the dishwasher drying rack. I don't wait for them to be totally dry, that's not required or even desired. Then I bottle. It's about as good as you'll get with normal equipment.

I suppose one could use the dishwasher and heat. I wouldn't want to bottle my mead into a hot bottle, though, and it would seem that letting it sit long enough to be cool again would just take longer than I have patience. Not to mention letting things sit to cool provides opportunity for airborne contaminants to find their way back, slim a chance as that may be.

11-03-2007, 06:44 AM
You can sterilize your bottles, if you really want to…(perhaps if you plan on aging a select few bottles for a long while). The oven temperatures and times to sterilize glass have been listed below.

Dry heat Sterilization:
338F (170C) for 60 minutes
320F (160C) for 120 minutes
302F (150C) for 150 minutes
284F (140C) for 180 minutes
250F (121C) for 12 hours
-Source: How to Brew by John J. Palmer, p.24 :icon_study:
Link: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter2-2-3.html

Just make sure you put the bottles into a cold oven and then heat it up slowly. Once the time is up (Which starts when you hit the desired temp) you let the bottles cool down in the oven.

Make sure the bottles are clean to begin with.