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jdem

Re-using bottles

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i apologize for putting up multiple posts recently, but I have a lot of questions and this is a new but epically fun hobby for me. I noticed on the Mr. Beer website that they say you can use any bottles that at one point held a carbonated beverage. This was a convenient thing for me to learn because I do regularly buy soda bottles. As I have been reading more, i have learned that plastic bottles like this can become ineffective after a certain point. then, i saw that the Mr. Beer website sells plastic caps. 

My actual question is if what goes wrong with the bottles is the bottles themselves or just the caps? The caps are way cheaper to replace. Thanks!

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Most guys will tell you the caps go bad and don't seal up tight after so many uses. I've been using plastic Coke/Pepsi bottles for 5 years and never had a problem. What they do to their caps is a mystery to me.

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it isnt that the caps WILL go bad..but CAN if made poorly.  Zephyrhills carbonated water bottles for example. the old ones are great! sturdy plastic used for bottle... good threads on them... caps work great. the NEW manufacture has the bottle with thinner plastic. the threads  sometimes don't look cut very well.  add to it the fact that the caps from the small bottles , while they look like the caps from the bigger 1 liter bottles, don't fit the same.


logically this could happen with other bottle manufacturers too..


 

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interesting. good to know. and how do i really know when everything is carbonated? like how hard should the bottles be? is it the same for all beers or all ciders? and is should it carbonate for 2 weeks or 4? I've been reading different things

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3 weeks in the LBK, 4 weeks in bottles at room temp.  3-4.  That's the rule.  

Bottles will be rock hard.

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welp, guess ill have to do the 3 weeks in the LBK next batch because these are already bottled. now room temp as in what? I live in SoCal and its been hot as hell. Is it a good idea to try and buy some sort of temperature control unit? 

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jdem said:welp, guess ill have to do the 3 weeks in the LBK next batch because these are already bottled. now room temp as in what? I live in SoCal and its been hot as hell. Is it a good idea to try and buy some sort of temperature control unit? 

Not for bottle conditioning.  Temp control for fermentation is very important though.

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Have you considered using glass bottles? You can easily re-use any pry off bottle. Just need a wing or bench capper and some caps. Glass will hold the carbonation longer and the bottles can be re-used pretty much forever.

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You mentioned you buy pop on a regular basis.  Save the caps and when you get enough for another batch you can simply pitch the old ones and then start saving again.  That way you wont have to ever worry about caps going bad.  The bottles most likely will never go bad.

I am in the glass bottle camp since, well, that is an honest bottle of beer of 12oz (although I do a lot of kegging too).  However, when starting out plastic is good as you can gauge when the beer has carbonated by squeezing it.  I do still bottle sometimes in 2L for tailgating.  Plus, everyone thinks its ginger ale so they leave it alone lol.

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I started with glass and went plastic.  i'll probably go back to glass one day when I can afford a bench capper. the wing capper I have is crap.

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While I don’t have a lot of experience using plastic soda bottles, I do use the LT PET and 16oz plastic bottles (from Miller Light).

The 16oz are double walled plastic and do go bad. I’ve had the inner wall crack and seen condensation forming between the walls where the crack is. So just inspect the plastic bottles prior to sanitizing to ensure there are no issues.

*I’ve reused caps and really never had one go bad. I finally tossed the ones that came with my initial MrB kit just because they had been in use for about 5 years (I only do 3-4 plastic bottles per batch), but they still seemed to hold the carbonation well. 

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I use mostly glass, but with my few plastic bottles that get used, for trub bottles and test batches, I get at least a few uses from a cap.  When a bottle is under-carbed, I just throw it out a grab one from a Coke bottle. 

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