Do you love home brewing and have several liters of beer stored in different containers? Finding suitable containers to store beer can be tougher than you can think. Thankfully, you can use your regular beer bottles for storage purposes. All you need to do is clean the bottles thoroughly so that it is ready for reuse.
If you want to use your old beer bottle to store beer, you need to wash and sanitize it thoroughly. Since beer tastes better in a glass bottle, it is necessary to sterilize it thoroughly before you can reuse it. A clean bottle can enhance your beer-drinking experience manifold.
What To Do Before You Start Cleaning Your Beer Bottle?
You should not start cleaning a randomly chosen beer bottle blindly. There are certain things you need to do before you start the cleaning process.
1. Understand Your Beer Bottle First
It is very important that you find the function of your beer bottle because different types of beer bottles will demand different cleaning techniques. If you use the appropriate cleaning technique, it will help retain the original purpose of the bottle.
2. Remove the Bottle Labels
Before you start with the cleaning process of your beer bottles, remember to remove the labels from them. Keep a trash bin nearby where you can quickly dispose of any solid residue, such as labels, while you wash. There are many ways of getting rid of beer bottle labels.
First of all, you can soak the bottles in a container filled with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Keep the bottles submerged for around 20 minutes, and then peel off the labels gently. You will notice that they come out easily.
Secondly, you can also use olive or vegetable oil to get rid of the labels. Massage the oil over the bottle’s surface and let the oil penetrate the labels for a few minutes. After almost 10 minutes, gently scrape off the labels with your nails or a plastic scraper.
Thirdly, you can also use a label-remover solution that can save you time. It is an efficient way of getting rid of beer bottle labels without putting in much effort. Read the instructions on the solution carefully before you apply it on the beer bottle.
Is Vinegar Suitable For Cleaning Beer Bottles?
Using vinegar alone might not help in getting rid of beer bottle labels. However, if you can use it with baking soda, the combination is perfect for the job. Here are the steps you need to follow to use the combination of baking soda and vinegar to remove bottle labels.
- Fill half of the bottles with warm water and let them soak for some time.
- Add a maximum of two tablespoons of baking soda to the water in the bottle. The baking soda will get rid of unsightly stains and grimy buildup.
- Fill the remaining half of the bottle with vinegar. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will create a fizzy cleaning solution.
- Let this solution remain in the bottle for around 15 minutes. This will help remove any debris and dirt from the bottle. Then, close the bottle’s mouth and shake it vigorously. This should help clean the insides of the bottle. You may also use a kitchen brush for this purpose.
- Pour out the solution and rinse the bottle with warm water till it is completely clean.
Steps To Sanitize Your Beer Bottles
Cleaning your beer bottles thoroughly is not enough. You also need to sanitize the bottles to get rid of any lingering bacteria inside the bottles. Sanitizing your bottles can keep you safe from contaminations and ensure proper hygiene for you.
You will require water, bleach, and a bottle for the sanitization process. Follow the steps below for the purpose.
- Firstly, you will need a tablespoon of bleach and a large container filled with water. Create a bleach solution by thoroughly mixing the powder with the water.
- Place the cleaned beer bottles inside the container with the bleach mixture. Ensure that the bottle remains submerged in the solution for at least 20 minutes. This should be long enough to remove any remaining bacteria. Rinse the remaining bleach solution.
- Once the rinsing process is complete, shake the bottle to get rid of water droplets. Let it dry by placing it upside down on a dry towel.
Other Methods of Cleaning Beer Bottles
Apart from using baking soda and vinegar to clean beer bottles, there are also other methods you can use.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Another strong cleaning agent for beer bottles is hydrogen peroxide. Combine the chemical with water and let the solution stay in the bottle for around 10 minutes. It will dissolve any gunk or dirt and also kill bacteria from the insides of the bottle. You may also brush the interior using a kitchen brush. Once done, empty the bottle and rinse it properly.
Everybody knows that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Bacteria cannot stay alive for long in boiling water. For this process, you will need a utensil big enough to allow the beer bottles to remain submerged. Fill a large utensil with water and heat it till it starts boiling. Once the water starts boiling, place the bottles inside the utensil and leave them submerged for around 10 minutes.
The boiling water heat will get rid of any bacteria from inside the bottle. You can also use a brush to scrub the insides, after which you wash the bottles with warm water to get rid of any remaining residue. Later, wipe the bottles dry and shake off any water droplets.
If you are a home brewer, you should know how to thoroughly clean and sanitize your old beer bottles. You can use any of the above methods for cleaning the bottles properly and later sanitize them using bleach. If you are wondering whether you can use vinegar to clean bottles, the answer is yes, you can. However, you need to combine it with baking soda to clean the bottles thoroughly.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.