Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Postby ESB-ME! » Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:38 pm


New to the forum, new to brewing. 4 Batches under the belt, and I think I'm hooked for life. Just got an all grain set up and will attempt a batch this weekend.

My question is about bottles. Do I need to use the returnable bottles, or can any bottle that was originally a "pop" top be used? I got a good deal on bottles when I first started so I bought a few cases to get off the ground, but now I am short on supply and not looking to lay out any cash.

So what do the experts say?

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Almost any bottle will do

Postby KBrau » Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:35 pm

I am not sure what you mean by "returnable bottle" versus "pop-top", but you can use whatever kind of bottle you would like. For capping, the best bottles are those that were not a twist-off top. Twist-offs don't really seal all that well from manual capping. Also you will find that depending on what capper you use some bottles will work better than others. I find Sam Adams style to be the best all around for recapping with a hand capper. Bench cappers will be successful with a wider variety of bottles. Some people even bottle their beer in plastic PET bottles (like soda bottles). Although I personally don't care for plastic bottles becuase they are harder to keep sanitized and don't look as nice.

What I used to do (before I lost the patience for bottling) is go to a beverage store and ask to buy the empty bottles. They would let me rummage through cases of empties and pick the ones I wanted. I think they charged me around a nickel a bottle. Just remember to always properly clean and sanitize any bottle that you plan to re-use for your beer. Hope this is helpful.


P.S. Congrats on going all-grain. You are going to like the results.
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Postby ESB-ME! » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:00 pm

By "returnable" I meant those bottles that you can return to the liquor store in the case that they came in(only the mega-breweries offer these). A lot of bars use them as they are cheaper as long as you bring back the glass. They look a little different then a standard long neck and someone told me they were the only bottles you should use for Home Brew. Any way if Sam bottles work, I can get a ton of them from my neighbor.
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