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twyjad

bottles

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My favorite are Sam Adams bottles. But there are a lot of good ones out there. Just don't use twist offs.

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"Best" is a relative concept. What may work best for me may not work best for you.

Whether glass or plastic, they will hold your beer, allow it to carb if sealed properly (which is up to you, not the bottle), and keep the beer from getting lightstruck and skunking.

The main difference, then, is size. Do you have room for a whole case of 12-ounce bottles? Or several cases? Do you drink beer infrequently enough that you only want 12 ounces every couple of days? Or are you pressed for storage space, and think the 2-liter PET bottles would be easier to store? And will you be drinking that much at once, because once opened, they will probably go flat in a couple of days if unused.

What's best is what's best for you. They all will function perfectly well for the purpose of being beer bottles.

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I've had problems with the PET bottles deformation after a number of brews. I'd get the glass bottles if I had it to do over.

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still a rookie but for bottling I like the quart plastics. bought 16 of the 1/2 liters and ok but more work... I have never tried glass since the plastics are working just dandy. took 2 bottles of octoberfest and 2 of patriot to a fishing event yesterday and both were a big hit. :)

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I prefer glass. With plastic, as I am trying to clean and sanitize them, they tend to fall over easy when they are empty.

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Well... that too depends...
if you buy empty bottles, there you have that price.
if you buy bottles with free beer in them, well, that's a different buffalo ride

cost of empty PET bottles
cost of empty Glass Bottles
cost of the full glass bottles vs the cost of the other empty bottles + free beer.

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I have been saving brown plastic rootbeer bottles. Can find them cheap with free rootbeer of course and in all sizes. My favorite is A&W 16oz bottles but I do have Dad's 1 liter bottles as well. Only reason I haven't bothered with glass is because I don't have a capper and when I tried swing tops they did not carb well.

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the only problem with root beer bottles is that the root beer is really hard to get out. When you first get them, you'll need to wash in cold water, or the taste will fix. Then all your beers will have root beer back taste to it.

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Im enjoying these plastic bottles only because my whole house is tile and ive been known for my butterfingers

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I'm just making the switch to glass after only doing 5 batches. The bottles came with free Hoptimum and Sierra Nevada pale ale that had to be disposed of properly. Bought a press style capper, caps and bottle brush the other day. After having zero problems with carbonation on my last two batches, I made the move. The one thing I was worried about was scratching up the plastic when cleaning inside.

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Ive used all kinds. My notes on several beers indicate that a 1L pet provides the best experience with 22oz glass bombers being 2nd. I use whatever is on top of the empty pile. Even have a nice set of xmas bottle/growler things for around the holidays. Its not ideal perse since its glass with a plastic screw tops but its worked well. The caps are more loose now and Im gonna dip the tops in wax this year to ensure a good seal. But as mentioned,whether buying empty or with free beer or just saving pop bottles, its the cheaper or less expensive end of the brewing experience.

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+1 to the Sam Adamsbottles, I also like the bottles from New Belgium. Just ensure that they are not the twist offs. Friends and family have quickly jumped onboard to help and I have quickly amassed over 300 bottles and adding to it every week.

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@ DirtRacer- I thought I was the only one to use A&W and Dad's bottles! They work well for me too. I might be getting a capper since I have a good collection of 12oz glass bottles laying around. I gotta get them to work!

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"Jim Johnson" post=381621 said:

i've had to do mine the hard way 12oz at a time :drinking:

I am sorry Jim. You should not have to shoulder that burden alone ;)

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"twyjad" post=381558 said:

I guess what I'm asking... is what is cheapest in the long run?

That depends on what you pay for the bottles, no?

You can see the cost of PET bottles. You will need to replace the caps on them when they no longer hold pressure. Some say after 6 times, some say more. I put a slash on the cap each time I use it, and also have kept caps from soda bottles that fit to use.

On glass bottles, you can acquire the bottles with "free" beer, you can get bottles from friends, you can put an ad on Craigslist. I offered the $.10 deposit in Michigan to take bottles at the grocery store parking lot, allowing the person with multiple cases to avoid standing in line. Ended up with over 20 cases that way, too much for my needs. With glass, you need to buy caps and a bottle capper. A bench capper is easier to use, but more pricey, than a wing capper (links in my sig for one). And as mentioned by Dave, what size do you want to drink - 12 oz, 16.9 oz, 33.8 oz? Also bought a bottle tree and jet bottle washer (see sig) that really aren't needed with PET bottles since you can put the cap on and shake (and there are less of them to do).

I started with 8 one liter PETS, got 8 more in a kit I got on Craigslist. Added two sets (16 each) of the 1/2 liter PETS from Mr. Beer (bought for 1/2 price due to stacked coupons in the old days). Then I decided a few months later to transition to glass and now use the PET bottles to show the batch is carbonated (1 per batch) and am gradually freeing them up. Might sell them someday.

You can easily figure out the costs and compare them in a spreadsheet. As Dave mentioned, how much you drink and how often would greatly impact costs. We drink 4 or so beers a week, maybe 6 sometimes. So it takes 1.5 months to drink a case of beer. I currently have 10 cases of glass bottles plus the PET bottles, with 3 cases of glass empty right now and 1 batch or so of PET bottles empty - but today will be bottling 5 gallons using nearly all of the glass bottles. Those 11+ cases of beer, across 14 types, is plenty for me.

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I use all kinds of bottles, but if you're going strictly by cheapest it would be plastic soda pop bottles that friends gave me. All the others have some cost.

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I've used Sierra Nevada bottles that I either emptied myself or was given from family members. I simply put them in a large storage tub, filled with hot water, added Oxiclean Free, and the labels were easy to remove the next day. I found this to be a very tedious job but once it's done, it's done. I have a collection of over 90 bottles currently which keeps me sustained for the time being. To my knowledge, as long as they aren't twist offs, you can use the bottles.

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I've had really good luck with going to recycling stores and purchasing cases of pry off empties. Beverage recyclers get paid more because they clean them. So your getting a case of clean empties for $2 or less. Caps are pennies.

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If we want to get to the nub of things, I'm wondering if we need to talk cost, both short-term and long-term.

Using glass bottles requires other expenses, such as bottle caps (a regular expense, but not over-the-moon) and a capper (a one-time expense, depending). If you're going glass, you need to decide whether to get a wing capper or a bench capper. Bench cappers are more expensive initially, but once you move into doing five-gallon batches, it becomes a necessity. The initial cost of my own bench capper has probably been absorbed in the many batches I've already capped, not to mention the many more I'm going to cap. It's negligible.

PET bottles are not without their hidden costs, as well, though. The caps don't last forever, so even though you won't be buying them for single-use purposes, as you would with metal bottle caps, you still need to monitor their use, and there's always the possibility that one or more of your plastic bottles will be filled with flat beer because you wanted to stretch that bottle cap just one more batch when you shouldn't have.

Then there's the question of time. Screwing a cap onto six or seven plastic PET bottles takes much less time than any method of capping glass bottles. For me, since this is my hobby, my obsession, and my therapy, I don't mind spending the time. I like spending the time, because when I'm working, I'm as busy as I gotta be, but when I'm doing homebrewing activities, I'm as busy as I WANNA be. Some don't see it this way, and that's their prerogative. I will gladly spend the time bottling and labeling my beer, thank you. It's time well spent, since it keeps me sane.

But it may be a consideration for some. I've seen posts where guys have calculated what their brewing costs per hour are vs what their time is worth per hour. No thanks. The hours I work are what earns me my money. The hours I brew are free. And free time is priceless.

What it comes down to, once again, is personal preference. Which bottles are best? I don't know. I know what I prefer. Which beer is best? No beer is best, except that beer which satisfies you at that particular moment. Which movie is best? If I'm in the mood for comedy, I might choose the Marx Brothers. If I want action, probably Die Hard. If I want serious drama that makes me think, maybe Citizen Kane or Casablanca.

There is no "best". There's only what works for you.

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When I used the PET bottles I bought new caps everytime I filled them. That way the seals were in tact an I wasnt transporting an open container if I wanted to take them somewhere.

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In my (very limited) experience, 1 liter PET bottles are inexpensive, convenient and do a great job of holding the beer, but 12 or 16 ounce glass seems aesthetically nicer and I never finish a liter the same day i open it. I love the Grolsch-style swing tops, but they're expensive to buy, and the ones that come with free Grolsch are green instead of brown. I don't like the capping part of bottling in glass. I like 1/2 liter PET bottles for size and convenience.

I guess what I'm saying here is that there's no one best because you may not prioritize things the same way I do, but if they were less expensive brown glass swing-top bottles would be my first choice. In the world I actually live in 12 oz. glass and 1/2 liter PET are what I use most.

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One thing to note regarding capping bottles. Many people use a wing capper, which you hold in both hands, place in the proper location, and then swing the wings down to cap the bottle. Prior to my buying a capper, I noted that people said sometimes a bottle breaks, sometimes the bottle tips over. Due to my great coordination and physical abilities :laugh: , I bought a bench capper instead. You put the bottle in the center, pull down on the handle, say the secret word, and let the handle go. The Super Agata (see my signature for a link) automatically adjusts to bottle height when you have several different sizes and was only around $10 more than the non-Super Agata.

I would be very annoyed if I broke a bottle or spilled a bottle. SWMBO would be really PO'd if a bottle spilled on her floors or into her drawer (a Borg member did that...). Therefore, bench capper. :laugh:

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I just filled my bottles on Saturday... one of the bottles is way harder than the rest. Thoughts? Plastic bottles

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If bottle priming uneven sugar. If bottle or batch priming, more trub/yeast in that bottle. Leave them alone for 4 weeks... They'll be fine.

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If you are using a wing capper, be careful of Corona and Sol bottles.

The flange below the top is not quite wide enough for the capper to grasp properly and I've gotten a few non carbonated brews as well as breaking a few necks off from trying to get the pressure I needed.

Solved that problem with a bench capper. Everything except twist offs are good now!

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To this day everytime I walk into the brewroom I'm faced with looking at 100 empty 1 liter PET bottles that I haven't used since going to glass and kegging. Most of my bottles are Sierra Nevada styles that I had to manually empty but I've found them the easiest of all to remove the labels from.


I paid up front for a good bench bottle capper never bothering to get a winged capper at all, the bench capper to me is an indispensable piece of packaging equipment when you're regularly capping cases of beer.

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A wing capper works best for long necks. And since all other glass bottle styles look terrible, I have a wing capper.

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I use glass exclusively; mainly 12 oz, but a few 16 oz flippies. I have been using the same wing capper for over three years with no problems at all. I have only broken one bottle in that time.

Many people do like the PET bottles. It really comes down to personal preference. I just like glass better, and my favorite harvested bottles are Sam Adams. The labels come off easily and they cap very well.

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"RickBeer" post=381926 said:

One thing to note regarding capping bottles. Many people use a wing capper, which you hold in both hands, place in the proper location, and then swing the wings down to cap the bottle. Prior to my buying a capper, I noted that people said sometimes a bottle breaks, sometimes the bottle tips over. Due to my great coordination and physical abilities :laugh: , I bought a bench capper instead. You put the bottle in the center, pull down on the handle, say the secret word, and let the handle go. The Super Agata (see my signature for a link) automatically adjusts to bottle height when you have several different sizes and was only around $10 more than the non-Super Agata.

I would be very annoyed if I broke a bottle or spilled a bottle. SWMBO would be really PO'd if a bottle spilled on her floors or into her drawer (a Borg member did that...). Therefore, bench capper. :laugh:

I have poured beer in my wifes drawers

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"dbrowning" post=382319 said:

"RickBeer" post=381926 said:

One thing to note regarding capping bottles. Many people use a wing capper, which you hold in both hands, place in the proper location, and then swing the wings down to cap the bottle. Prior to my buying a capper, I noted that people said sometimes a bottle breaks, sometimes the bottle tips over. Due to my great coordination and physical abilities :laugh: , I bought a bench capper instead. You put the bottle in the center, pull down on the handle, say the secret word, and let the handle go. The Super Agata (see my signature for a link) automatically adjusts to bottle height when you have several different sizes and was only around $10 more than the non-Super Agata.

I would be very annoyed if I broke a bottle or spilled a bottle. SWMBO would be really PO'd if a bottle spilled on her floors or into her drawer (a Borg member did that...). Therefore, bench capper. :laugh:

I have poured beer in my wifes drawers

ummm.... :dry: :blush: :S :whistle:

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"docpd" post=382316 said:

I use glass exclusively; mainly 12 oz, but a few 16 oz flippies. I have been using the same wing capper for over three years with no problems at all. I have only broken one bottle in that time.

Many people do like the PET bottles. It really comes down to personal preference. I just like glass better, and my favorite harvested bottles are Sam Adams. The labels come off easily and they cap very well.

Sam adams is my favorite
Ive tried a lot of others and some ar good some ok
And some I threw away
Sirra nevada bottles work ok
Modelo is ok
Dont like abita bottles
The rest are hit and miss
Ive tried at least 1 of 47 different beers over the last 3 months
How well they cap has a big influence over whether I buy that beer again
I wont buy a bad beer again regardless of the bottle, except grolsch in a mix 6 for 7.99
And I will buy beer I likeno matter what container its in
I have only bottled 464, but have never broken a bottle
And threw away one cap cause I wasnt certain it sealed properly
I did have one that didnt carb and assume thats because I didnt get a good seal
I dont mind wing capper at all
Even on 5 gal batch
I do like to bottle 2 or 3 22oz and now and then a 1 litre flip top from each batch

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My favorite to use, and that i have the best success with are Weyerbacher Merry Monks. With soaking in oxyclean for an hour or 2 gets all the glue and labels off. Plus, i prefer them over Sam Adams bottles, as some have the Sam Adams logos on the bottles, and if you make your own labels, it kind of takes away from your own creation. Plus you get to drink delicious merry monks B)

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I picked up 24 glass bottles at the local Home brew store. The only reason... they were cheaper than the 6 that came with my Smithwick Irish Ale and the 6 Loose Cannon IPA from Heavy Seas. Of course the bonus was the free adult beverage. The labels on the Smithwick tend to come of far easier then with the Heavy Seas. I also have the 740 ml bottles that came with the kit and a couple of Dad's root beer bottles

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I use the 1L and .75 L PET bottles. Occasionally I will use the 12 oz glass and I have an old  bench capper.  I have tried the twist offs and they seemed to work OK ( I did 3 only - I was using 30 year old caps and even then all kept their pressure.) I have a couple of the swing top also I sometimes use. No problem with those.

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I have yet to use my plastic PET bottles. I keep saying I am going to, but never do - I have only bottled 12-oz glass bottles. My IPA will be done late next week, but at 7.5% ABV, a 750mL bottle might be too much. I am brewing a blonde next, only about 5%, so maybe I'll use those then. The 1L bottles I have, I might not ever use.

 

 :(

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I have yet to use my plastic PET bottles. I keep saying I am going to, but never do - I have only bottled 12-oz glass bottles. My IPA will be done late next week, but at 7.5% ABV, a 750mL bottle might be too much. I am brewing a blonde next, only about 5%, so maybe I'll use those then. The 1L bottles I have, I might not ever use.

 

  :(

One thing about plastic, you can drink part of it, then put the cap back on and have the rest the next day. Loses very little pizzzaz.

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You have a point - if we can do it with soda, why not beer?

 

OK, I'm going to put the IPA in the 750s next Friday! I even have a pack of carb drops to use, might as well do it here!

 

(And yes, I know, 2 drops to the 750 bottle!)

 

 ;)

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That might be a reason for the higher carb Mr Beer recommends, it will retain carbonation during more bottle openings - I also open bottles several times - especially with the stronger beers.

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been bottling in the PET bottles that came with the kit but plan on transitioning to glass, just scored a large number of vintage stubies.

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been bottling in the PET bottles that came with the kit but plan on transitioning to glass, just scored a large number of vintage stubies.

Sweet.  I have 2 cases of stubbies. The type I have is a little tricky to cap as the neck ring that the capper grabs is smaller than standard.

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Yeah, with opening larger bottles a few times - maybe over a few days even, the carbonation will decline as you keep releasing the pressure and the air space gets bigger.

 

Of course there is a simple solution - drink it all once it is open :lol:, but I do not always want to do that.

 

So even if accommodating this is not a MR B higher carbonation reason, it works for me.

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That might be a reason for the higher carb Mr Beer recommends, it will retain carbonation during more bottle openings - I also open bottles several times - especially with the stronger beers.

 

Mr. Beer started with 1 liter bottles, then went to 1/2 liter bottles, then 3/4 liter bottles.  The recommendations aren't tied to having the carb last over more than one day.  You can see in various charts over time how the recommendations are tied to carb drops though.

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Yeah, I started when the kits had 1L bottles. I liked those, and was disappointed when they went to .75L.  I missed seeing the 0.5 L bottle kits.

So I have a mix of 1.0s and 0.75s. I can live with that. 

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