But there’s another appliance you probably already have in your kitchen that’s sometimes overlooked. Dishwashers make bottling easy and painless. If you aren't using yours, you’re probably working too hard.
Sanitize your bottles
Tired of dipping all your bottles in sanitizer? You might be able to use your dishwasher instead. Many dishwashers feature a special sanitize cycle that is hotter and longer than the normal cycle and meets NSF/ANSI 184 standards for food safety. Running your bottles through this cycle is guaranteed to get you a 99.999 percent reduction in bacteria. Just make sure your bottles are clean to begin with, and don't use any detergent when you run them through!
Truth be told, my dishwasher doesn't have that specific sanitize setting, but it does create a great deal of steam. In my book, that’s sufficient, and I haven’t had an infected batch in five plus years of brewing and bottling. But your mileage may vary. Do this at your own risk.
Bottle your beer
Even if you don’t sanitize your bottles in the dishwasher, you can still use it to your advantage come filling time. Those little pegs that stick up on the lower rack are spaced just right to hold several rows of 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles upright for filling. Put your bottling bucket on the counter above the dishwasher, and knock your bottles out in no time. And when you’re done, any spillage is contained and out of sight when you close the dishwasher door at the end of bottling day.
Sanitizing and filling bottles can be laborious, but if you have a dishwasher and use it to your advantage, you’ll gain valuable time -- time better spent enjoying a homebrew.
Pictured above: Kenmore 24" Built-In Dishwasher with Sani-Rinse™
Podcast Episode 17: Jolly Pumpkin Founder Ron Jeffries Joins John Holl
Ron Jeffries the founder of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales sits down with Senior Editor John Holl for a wide ranging discussion on the nature of sour and wild, recipe development, and what brewers and drinkers should be doing to take care of their health.