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Bottles & Capper Suggestions?

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In an effort to speed up my turnaround I would like to use a combo of the PET bottles that came with Mr. Beer and regular glass bottles with a capper. Seeing as how it seems bottles cost the same empty as they do full, I'd like to re-use full glass bottles from beer, like Trader Joes brand ($5.99 a 6 pack!) etc.

Any suggestions on a specific capper that will work with used beer bottles? Are there different types of used beer bottles that will not work with cappers? I would LOVE a specific recommendation of capper & beer brand to buy that will be guaranteed to work, which I can then ask for as a Christmas present this year. :-)

Any other necessary items like a bottle cleaning / drying system? Thanks in advanced for helping!

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If you haven't already purchased a capper, I would recommend getting a bench capper as opposed to a wing capper. I wish I had known about the bench capper before taking my first steps and getting the wing capper.

With a wing capper, you will definitely want to avoid bottles with the screw tops. Some have reported being able to successfully use screw top bottles with the bench capper.

As for re-purposed bottles, I've had luck with many. I did not care for re-using Heiniken bottles as they didn't seem to work very well with my capper. I had a "Bass Ale" bottle break on me and never tried that one again. I've also had bottles from "Real Ale Brewing Company" break on me, so I stopped using those as well. I've had much success with "Sam Adams" bottles, "Soparo" bottles, bottles from "Belgium Brewing" such as "Fat Tire" and "Ranger IPA".

You can Google and find a nice list of bottles that can be re-used. For any that you decide to go with, it might be worth it to sacrifice a few caps and try capping them once or twice before trying it for the first time with your brewed beer in the bottle. It is very heart-breaking to dump out a bottle of beer because the neck broke while bottling.

Again I might add....many that have used the bench capper have reported fewer occurrences of broken bottles.

Good luck and let us know which way you go. And...welcome to the forums and the obsession.


[Edit: I missed the last question. I would definitely look into getting a Avvinatore Vinator for sanitizing your bottles. One of the best investments I made. A bottle tree, such as the one made by Ferrari, comes in very handy for cleaning and sanitizing.


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