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Beanie

Couple of questions

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Hey everybody, still new to this homebrewing hobby of mine and I had a couple of questions that I could use some help with:

1)  How many uses can you get out of a Mr. Beer LBK before it's time to toss it out and replace it?

2)  How many times can you use glass bottles before it's time to send them to the recycle bin?

I'm sure that these questions have been asked before so if you could direct me to those links as well that would be much appreciated.  Thanks for the help.

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Ask all the questions you may have! I say that as long as you are cleaning them good, and taking care of your brew stuff it will last for years. I have done about 15 batches in each of my LBK's and been using the same bottles and I have not had any issues yet. 

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Robert is right; glass bottles that aren't broken will last longer than any of us. Glass is essentially a rock and the only thing that is likely to happen to it is breakage. You should inspect them for cracks and chips before using them; a careful look while sanitizing them is a good idea and doesn't take long. For cleaning bottles the bottle washer faucet attachment, available from MB and every LHBS in the known universe, works well. PET bottles and the LBK, being plastic rather than mineral, will not have quite the life of a glass bottle but there's no reason to stop using one if there's no damage. The caps can wear to the point that they don't seal well, which is a good time to replace the caps. When you fill a bottle and cap it you should give it a squeeze to make sure it's sealed. If not, snug the cap, try a different cap, or use a different bottle and cap. One new PET bottle, not from MB, refused to seal with either of two caps, but that's rare. Some people find that with PET bottles it's worthwhile to snug each cap a few days after bottling, but I haven't found any that needed it, partly because I'm mostly using glass these days. Not that glass is necessarily better, but a 12 ounce bottle is a convenient size and I like the aesthetics of a glass bottle. 

I know I went on too long. Sorry.

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As far as LBK ... the "lip" that goes in slightly over the top hole is key to the LBK ventilation working properly.  Inspect it before each use ... but if you don't grab the LBK by that lip, and you should not, it should last indefinitely, IMO. 

I had a defective LBK once ... the lip didn't meet ... I got a bunch of flat beers ... and one day realized why, inspecting the LBK.  Mr. B had been very good cust svc wise on other things, so I just ordered another one, they were cheap enough.

The four LBKs I still have I just keep recycling.  It's the spigots that fail.  I give each one a good inspection before using, and keep a bucket under the spigot just in case.  Some folks use turkey roaster trays to put LBK in, "just in case".

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Regarding glass bottles, I have found the one thing that causes them to fail (other than dropping them on the driveway) is the wing capper.  It puts stress on the lip as it pulls the bottle into the cap unlike a bench capper that pushes the cap over the bottle.  Since I have went to the bench capper I have had zero bottle failures.

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Yooper, I had no idea that could happen. I have been using a wing capper, I think it might be time to switch to a bench capper. Thanks for the info!

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On ebay I found a stainless steel thing that one puts in the chuck of one's drill press. With the drill press unplugged and the thing installed, one has a bench capper. It works like a charm and cost a whole lot less than a bench capper. So far I've had 3 bottles break while using the wing capper, none with the drill press thing.

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hiya beanie!

re glass .. if you are using recycled bottles always make sure they are NOT screw top glass bottles. if you try to cap a screw top threaded bottle you get breakage... or worse!

there are tons of good sites out there for info and help on your adventure into brewing...   beerborg dot com slash forum is a good one.

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i have been told (no first hand knowledge) that their certain bottles a wing capper won't work on.  so i got a bench capper to avoid any possible problems.

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