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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Using Grolsch/Swing-Top Bottles
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Using Grolsch/Swing-Top Bottles

I was just given some Grolsch/Swing-Top Bottles. They range in age from a few weeks old to several years old. My questions are about how to clean them and use them:

  • Remove the gaskets to clean the lids and gaskets separately, or leave them together when cleaning?
  • Replace the gaskets every time or "as-needed"?
  • If "as-needed," how do I tell if they need it?
  • Soak/warm water/boil the gaskets, then install them onto the lids when bottling, or just leave them on the lids at room temperature when bottling?

Anything else I should know about using this style of bottle?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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I strictly use ONLY Grolsch flip top bottles. Some of the ones I use are OLD!! I love cracking open one of those old nostalgic Grolsch bottles and drinking my homebrew from it. When I am done drinking the beer I immediately rinse it out with hot water and let it drain out. Then I remove the swing top and store them seperately. I do not remove the gaskets from the swing top and on bottling day I will throw all of the swing tops and gaskets in a pot and boil them for about 10 minutes. Leave them in the water and carefully grab the metal part only and be careful not to touch the gasket area when capping the bottles. Lastlt be sure there is nothing on the bottle where the gasket will seal. I have never had any issues with these bottles. I love the POP when you open it up.

Hope this helps!!

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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Keep them out of direct sunlight as they are clear green.

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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I use those and Fischer bottles all the time. All I do is rinse them with water after I've finished pouring the beer out of them and dry them upside down. I usually store them on my bottle tree upside down. On bottling day I use my bottle rinser filled with sanitizer, give it a couple of pumps, dip the swing top in the sanitizer, and place it back on the bottle tree to let some of the sanitizer drain out.

Have done this for a couple of years and haven't had a single bottle get infected or have had to replace anything.

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fxdude View Post
I use those and Fischer bottles all the time. All I do is rinse them with water after I've finished pouring the beer out of them and dry them upside down. I usually store them on my bottle tree upside down. On bottling day I use my bottle rinser filled with sanitizer, give it a couple of pumps, dip the swing top in the sanitizer, and place it back on the bottle tree to let some of the sanitizer drain out.

Have done this for a couple of years and haven't had a single bottle get infected or have had to replace anything.
Pretty much what I've been doing too... I think boiling the tops is excessive... I put the bottles together when I get a new case, sanitize them before filling (I also spray my bottle tree with StarSan before I put bottles onto it. I usually have a towel soaked in StarSan right there to dab the tops with before I fill them (just to be 100% sure they get hit with enough StarSan). Fill, close, set aside, wipe any excess brew from them before putting them back into their box for carbonating...

For when to replace the gaskets on them... I think you'll be able to tell when they need to be changed. I've not filled mine enough times to get to that point. I believe it's recommended to change them after every 5-6 batches... Considering how cheap they are (about $.08 each when you get 100 at a time) it's almost funny. Far cheaper than caps when you factor in how many uses/batches you get out of the set... You're basically ahead of the game after just two batches in the bottles.

I would be careful with what color the glass is. The ones I've been buying are the brown/amber glass (not green, that's for certain)... Still, I store them in boxes and even do what I can to block the sun from shining onto the boxes. Not too difficult in my place, where I store them.

If you have more bottles than you can use, I'd be more than happy to take some off your hands.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:11 AM   #6
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If the gaskets are cracked, brittle, discolored, dry then you should replace them if they look fine, leave em be.

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Old 03-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #7
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+1 for Grolsch bottles. Very convenient.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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Also, realize that most newer flip tops that hold the gasket are plastic. If they're really old they might be ceramic. The ceramic ones are indestructible. I had a bunch of newer (plastic tops)bottles get mixed in with my old ones. Needless to say sanitizing your bottles in the oven at high temps left a very bad smell for weeks. I think in the end remove the metal and tops and treat them with care.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:36 PM   #9
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Also, realize that most newer flip tops that hold the gasket are plastic. If they're really old they might be ceramic. The ceramic ones are indestructible. I had a bunch of newer (plastic tops)bottles get mixed in with my old ones. Needless to say sanitizing your bottles in the oven at high temps left a very bad smell for weeks. I think in the end remove the metal and tops and treat them with care.
Great reason to NOT boil the tops... StarSan will do a great job on sanitizing them... I make sure that the tops are in StarSan just as the bottles are (I use enough sanitizer in the bucket to cover the bottles as they rest for a moment in it)... Even a quick spray of sanitizer before you fill the bottle would work (after they had a dunk in the sanitizer pool)...
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:53 PM   #10
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and its very difficult to tell which ones are ceramic and which ones aren't. So everyone in the pool!!! I'm a freak when I sanitize stuff which would make you laugh if you ever saw the inside of my car. I don't even think Starsan would put a dent in cleaning some of my older cars. Nothing like the pop of opening a flip top bottle.

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