Although the non-returnable bottles are virtually sterile when received by the manufacturer, they must undergo a relatively simple rinsing. The bottles often contain particles called “case dust,” which cause foaming problems during filling since the dust particles act as nucleation sites. The cleaning is accomplished by turning the bottles upside down and spraying inside and outside several times with hot water (85°C, 185°F) before returning the bottles to the upright position for filling.
Types of Bottle Rinsers
Generally, there are two types of water rinsers that can be found in the brewing industry: single-file and rotary.
Single File Rinsers
Most craft breweries use twist rinsers. These use a set of belt drives to feed the bottles into a set of rails which twist and invert the bottle as it passes over a set of spray nozzles which spray into it.
A rotary rinser has a rotating turret containing many separate rinser valves. As the turret turns, containers are individually inverted by grippers onto one of the many valves. The valve opens up, and the nozzle sprays water into the inverted container, typically for a predetermined distance or time as the turret rotates.
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