I keg most of my batches but I still bottle some, especially if it’s a style that benefits from bottle conditioning or longer term aging. Or for exchanges.
I’ve got the Mark’s Keg Washer and I love it, but nobody in Canada has brought in the bottle washer attachment. According to Dave@Everwood they’re apparently not a big seller in the States so it’d be a risk to bring them in. Recently Noble Grape started selling a bottle washer, but it’s really just a rinser as it’s only got a garden hose connector. You can crank up the hot water, sure, but you’re not getting PBW or Oxyclean in there. I grabbed one of them during their no-tax sale hoping I could find a way to hook it up to my keg washer pump.
Sure enough, with a 1/2” MPT to 3/4” garden hose brass adapter from Everwood I was set. I also used a bus tray from Costco but a sink would work too. You do have to elevate the bottle rinser above the water level while keeping the pump submerged. A 12-bottle Fastrack was perfect for that. Fastracks were also perfect to drain one set while another set was washing. After that I rinsed them with fresh water from the tap using a regular tap-to-garden hose adapter.
In the end I washed 60+ bottles today without a whole lot of effort.
- Bottles with big collars (e.g., Stillwell, Cantillon, etc.) are a little annoying getting in and out of the holders. They work though.
- Stubbies “float” because they don’t engage the holders and are thus a little annoying, but they work.
- Some jets spray off-center so I tended to spend some time rotating them. Still way better than scrubbing.
- I used the pump that came with my keg washer. You could use any submersible pump as long as there’s an adapter for it to 3/4” Garden Hose.
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