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PET Bottle fill and caps

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I did the search before I posted.
Book says fill the PET bottle 2 inches from the top... top of bottle OR the top ring under the cap?
I have been filling the bottles to the bottom of the neck about 3 in from the top.
I might have been under filling?

Next the caps. I read 5 uses. Some of my caps have been though about 10 brews. How do you control the 'uses' ? I started to mark them with permanent marker with a line on the side of the cap. When I get 5 lines I toss the caps.
Have not had any leaks yet.
I guess caps are cheap enough to buy more :)

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FedoraDave wrote:

Easy solution:

Bottle in glass bottles, and use a bottling wand.

Perfect every time. ;)

I keep hearing people talk about the wand. How does it work?

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The wand works wonderful. Fill to top of bottle,remove wand, perfect head space.
The only thing easier is when you move to kegging :)

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I don't think it's a big deal how far from the top you fill. Sometimes the last bottle is only 1/2 full or so and it still turns out. As far as the caps go, I've used some a dozen times without a problem.

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Guest System Admin

+1 to glass and the magic wand!

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What do you guys think of the taste between glass bottles and PET bottles? I've only done WCPA in PET bottles, and the batch didn't come out too good.

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I use the wand but I stop the fill before the bottle is 'full'


I just read I should let the fillwand fill to the top
Will try that with water in the keg and see if it over runs the bottle, there is no auto shut off.

Going glass and caps is not for me at this time. Keeping it simple and low cost.
I might invest in another keg to do batch conditioning later this fall.
I am doing fine with the pet bottles at this time.

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losman26 wrote:

What do you guys think of the taste between glass bottles and PET bottles? I've only done WCPA in PET bottles, and the batch didn't come out too good.

I can't tell the difference in taste. I use the glass bottles because they look good (with labels too) when I give them away to people.

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I started with the PET bottles and fill them to just over where the narrowing starts...I guess that's about 3 inches from the top. Never had a problem. I also have several old swing-top Grolsch bottles that I use, and I use glass bottles as well. My bottling days typically use all types of bottles, especially since I got a Bench Capper for Father's day. I can't tell any difference in taste between glass and PET bottles, and still use at least one PET bottle per batch to check on carbonation.

I would actually like to get a bunch of 22 oz glass bottles without writing on them. I have some Arrogant Bastard bottles, and love that size, but the painted labels are distracting.

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bgthigfist wrote:

I would actually like to get a bunch of 22 oz glass bottles without writing on them. I have some Arrogant Bastard bottles, and love that size, but the painted labels are distracting.

Here's a couple of links I found...

http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingcart/products/22oz-Longneck-Beer-Bottles-%28case-of-12%29.html

http://www.mountainhomebrew.com/browseproducts/Beer-Bottles-22oz.html

http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_Bottle22oz.cfm

http://www.ebrew.com/beer_bottles/beer_bottles_22oz.htm

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Guest System Admin

After looking at the above bottle links, I think I might try a case of the flip top 16 oz bottles. I dont have to mess with the capping process. Not too expensive to try a case.

Also found 12 and 16 oz PET bottles, a case of them is not too much to try. Would make it nice to take HB camping.
As was suggested before, I should rack and batch prime to reduce bottle turb.

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vmaxept wrote:

After looking at the above bottle links, I think I might try a case of the flip top 16 oz bottles. I dont have to mess with the capping process. Not too expensive to try a case.

Also found 12 and 16 oz PET bottles, a case of them is not too much to try. Would make it nice to take HB camping.
As was suggested before, I should rack and batch prime to reduce bottle turb.

FYI, Coopers sells 740ML PETs, which I like very much. If you think 22oz glass is the right size, then these are pretty much spot on. They look nice too. They come 15 to a box, 2 boxes = 3 LBKs worth of brew.

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marblejones wrote:

I never even heard that Mr. Beer caps cant be used more than five times?


It's not specific to the MB caps, any twist on caps have a limited life. Same with fliptops, I swap the rubber seals out on mine roughly every 5 batches as well. No matter how you bottle, you're either needing new caps, new twist tops or new seals, or you risk flat beer. Luckily all of the above are cheap.

Cheers!

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@vmaxept

No need for a special auto shut off. The wand has a spring loaded tip that shuts off when you lift it up.

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I pretty much agree with these guys. Bottle in what makes you happy. I use mostly 12oz. glass because sometimes I come home and I just want 1 beer. Or I can trade them with others without losing a big chunk of my batch. The caps for the PET bottles are good for more than 5 uses, but because the plastic threads inside can strip more easily, you can lose carbonation. If you take good care of your bottles and caps, there is no reason you can't use them 10 times before you have to replace them.

As others have said, I often bottle in several types of vessels as it gives me more options when it comes to imbibing and transporting. You can begin to mix a small amount of other bottles into your bottling routine for a small cost to see how you like them.

Another great way is to buy cases (or just 12-packs or whatever) of beer from the store. It's a good supply of glass bottles and they come with free beer inside!!! I usually write off the expense as research for trying some new style that I want to make. ;)Here is a list of some pop-top bottles that you can find in most areas.

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Really? Only 5 batches from a cap? I know they will wear out eventually, but I was thinking 2-3+ times that many. (I'm only guessing...I'm only on batch 2)

Have any of you experienced brewers "pushed the limits" on the use of PET caps? It would be interesting to hear some real-world experience on how long they will last.

On a side note, I would think you could "reclaim" the seals from pop bottle caps and replace them in the MrB caps? After all, it's the plastic seals inside the caps that wear out, not the caps themselves. The caps will probably be around long after any of us are! :blink:

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WHEN I was using them, I'd change them out after 5 uses. Considering the time frame, that was about a year. But then, I'd just replace them from a soda bottle cap. They work.

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Hi,
I have 39 brewes with oet bottles and caps reused several times. Bought a bottling wand a year ago and never used it. Just fill to about 2 inches from top without wand and great beer using ALWAYS 3-2-2 on all brews.

Great beer no problems and LOVE BOTTLINg its my thing

Dudley

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Dudley wrote:

Hi,
I have 39 brewes with oet bottles and caps reused several times. Bought a bottling wand a year ago and never used it. Just fill to about 2 inches from top without wand and great beer using ALWAYS 3-2-2 on all brews.

Great beer no problems and LOVE BOTTLINg its my thing

Dudley

I'll tell you what, I'll brew all the beer you want along side mine, if you come over here and bottle all of it :).

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