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Old 05-20-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
Meatyboy
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Default Swing Top Bottles.

I'm currently building a brew kit, and I'm thinking of going with Swing Top Bottles to ultimately save on money (caps) and time (capping). Has anyone had issues with them or love for them? Plus, anyone know of any affordable places to order them from?

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Old 05-20-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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I've never bottled beer, but they seem like they would be a good idea. I know that a buddy of mine has used them several times and likes them. From the looks of it you would save money (from not buying caps) in the long run. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say about the swing top bottles.

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Old 05-20-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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When i was doing 1 gallon batches, I used 7 old grolsch bottles because buying used grolsch bottles from the cheap bastard LHBS (you know who you are) for a buck fiddy each or whatever was much cheaper than buying a capper.

Grolsch is $3.80 per bottle in utah, and the new bottles are green, so this seemed reasonable to me.

I find that getting people to give back the bottle when i give them a free beer is annoying. So i bought a capper, used, for about $11, and a pound of caps for $4. In the future whatever i have over 5 gallons will go into recycled 12oz bombers to be handed out to friends and relatives with no expectation of ever seeing them again.

But in general i do like the flip-tops. I just plan to use them only for small experimental batches in the future.

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Old 05-20-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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When I started bottling, I thought they would be a good idea, and a lot of people use them and like them. However, they were too big of a pain in the butt for me. They don't store well compared to regular bottles since they have the swing tops getting stuck on everything. You'd think they'd be easier to cap, but a bench capper is WAY easier. I can be filling and capping at the same time with my capper. The gaskets can be reused, but they DO wear out, and when? I didn't want the uncertainty that a certain percentage of beers might have a failed gasket. I had the idea of using a permanent marker to tick how many times a gasket has been used and replace them after X number of uses.

Not trying to discourage you, just be aware of the downsides and work around them. They are cool bottles!

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Old 05-20-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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Yeah, swingtops are definitely cool but gaskets can wear out and it can be kind of hard to tell when it happens. Buying caps for your bottles should be one of the smallest expenses of brewing, they should be really cheap. I use both kinds of bottles personally, I just like having a variety. If I used all swingtop bottles I would be spending lots of money on them I think...

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Old 05-21-2012, 02:28 AM   #6
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I just scored 232 Grolsch 15.2 swing top bottles off Craigslist for $114. For me, I use both swing top and pry off bottles. The pry off bottles are for friends and family. The swing tops stay home. As long as you visually inspect the gaskets and flip em after each batch, you can usually get a good 5-6 uses out of them. I stopped brewing in 1998 and recently started back up. As I was digging out all my old brewing equipment, I found 8 still sealed Grolsch bottles that contained a 14 year old Irish Stout. Of course I had to try a few of em. They still had decent carbonation even after 14 years. Craigslist, ebay, your local craft beer bar, HBT Classifieds.

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:44 AM   #7
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I was lucky and a buddy of mine had a case worth of 750ml Grolsch bottles he handed off to me. They need gaskets, but they're cheap enough. Just ordered my kit today, hopefully it gets in before I have to hit the road again (Truck driver).

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Old 05-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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LOVE swing tops. I do 1 gallon so 6-7 16oz swingtops makes bottling a dream. I'm sealing them with one hand as I fill the next...maybe 4 minutes total to bottle. Never had an issue with carbonation, but I plan on putting a sharpie mark on any cap that doesn't carb correctly, then if I see it again, I will replace it (I have a decent amount so I'd say I've done 9-10 batches with the original gaskets)

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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I have a total preference for the swing tops. At my local HB club meeting someone had left a 32 oz swing top. It will make great for bring full of my homebrew. The gaskets are quite hardy. I bought one from a thrift store for a buck. The gasket was visibly toast-- completely dry and cracked. yet, it remained secured nicely to the bottle neck. BTW, those don't leave my house unless I am certain they will make their way back.

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Old 05-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatyboy View Post
I'm currently building a brew kit, and I'm thinking of going with Swing Top Bottles to ultimately save on money (caps) and time (capping).
Swingtops work well and are pleasing to look at, but I seriously doubt you will save any money using them due to high initial cost and having to replace gaskets occcasionally versus a 3 cent bottlecap?

As far as saving time, bottlecaps can be crimped on pretty quickly, so not sure about saving time. Best reason to use them is that they are "nice", and pleasing over crown caps.
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