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Dishwashers do great!

Submitted by: Many sites! This isn't originally my idea, even though it is pretty elementary. on March 11th, 2004

For all you folks who work in the kitchen. Hot steam is a very effective heat sterilizer. After hand washing, I just put everything into the dishwasher 30-60 minutes prior and run it through a rinse/heated dry cycle. The steam will sterilize everything and all you have to do is pull it off the rack as you need it!

One word of advice though. Stay away from rinse agents like jet-dry. I've heard the chemical residue in the rinse can compromise your beers foaming ability. I have it on good advice, it will ruin the head.


10 Comments Posted
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Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 15th 2004, 05:27 am
I also use this method...

Couple more benefits:
You don't have to worry about your bottle tree being sanitized (how can it be if it's exposed to open air?). Not an issue with a dishwasher.
Less time. Unless you really enjoy rinsing each bottle with a sanitizing solution.

Words of advise:
Make sure your dishwasher doesn't have any food debris hanging around on the bottom...you'll probably find some near the drain.

Run the dishwasher through one cycle - with nothing in it of course - to be sure any foreign agents, including any residual dishwashing detergent, is washed away.

You must use the "Heat dry" setting, and not air dry.

Comment by: cope1915 reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 15th 2004, 09:48 pm
I've heard of a number of people who do this and it seems to work for them. I choose not to based on a study in Zymurgy a few years back. They "sterilized" bottles in the dishwasher, then took a swab from each of them and plated it out. In over 90% of the tests, bacteria grew in the culture from the "sterilized" bottles. I'm just not willing to take that risk after all the energy I've put into the beer by the time I get to bottling. Do it if you like, but be aware of the risks.
Comment by: DConn reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 16th 2004, 04:48 am

Yeah, I believe I read the same thing a while back, and to combat that risk
I have added a couple of tablespoons of no rinse sanitizer to the cycle for a little insurance. Forgot to mention that before.

I have had no signs of infection with the two batches using the dishwasher method. In fact, I was having infection issues with batches bottled before using this method. To each his own...

At this point I'm more worried about fermentation temps. Gonna build a Son of Fermentation Chiller soon - maybe even modify the design to hold two carboys. Will post pics when completed. Thanks Ken Schwartz.
Comment by: cope1915 reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 22nd 2004, 10:12 pm
What kind of sanitizer? Iodophor, for instance, loses its effectiveness in more than lukearm water. Anyway, glad it works for you.
Comment by: DConn reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 29th 2004, 05:07 am

I use One Step No Rinse. I don't believe heat disables this solution, but of I'm sure someone here will tell me otherwise...
Comment by: cope1915 reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 16th 2004, 04:05 pm
Did they let them go through a complete heated drying cycle? That's where the steam and microbe killing should happen. Also, you still have to hand wash the bottles clean as dishwashers won't do that well at all. Were ther significant numbers of bacteria on the bottles? More than could be expected from chemical sanitization?
Comment by: Kenyth reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 26th 2004, 05:12 am
I usually wash them, send them through the dishwasher, and then bake them in the oven. Thats all i got.
Comment by: MaxSemerau reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Mar 26th 2004, 05:25 am
I used to do the rinse and bake in the oven but eventually found it easier to drown the bottles in iodophor solution and empty just before bottling. Just get an assembly line going and before you know it you're done.
Comment by: rob reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Dec 29th 2004, 05:37 pm
I agree with Rob. I'm a strong believer in cleaning after, sterilizing before. After you drink your brew, clean bottles with brush and clean in diswasher and then store. This will help prevent any bacterial growth. Prior to bottling immerse bottles in iodophor solution and allow to dry just before filling. Think about how to coordinate transfer to minimize your beer's exposure to open air.
Comment by: Ratman reply to comment
Re: Dishwashers do great! Dec 9th 2005, 03:44 am
The dishwasher you are using makes a HUGE difference. The same is true with dishwashers as with everything else in life: You get what you pay for. I'm not saying you need an expensive dishwasher if you are bottling beer, but the cheaper/older/etc., your dishwasher is, the more likely it is that you are going to need a sanitizer. Mine is more modern, and it works just fine. Water temps over 180 degrees are desirable for effective sanitation. Heat dry works quite nicely. If its over truly over 200 degrees, whatever is inside will likely wind up dead.
Comment by: K-Dog reply to comment