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Old 02-25-2008, 10:55 PM   #1
Fenix26
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Default Bottles and Caps

hey everyone, I'm pretty new to home brewing, I'm in college and I don't have a whole lot of money to spend. I have a question about bottles and caps.

I am going to brew my first batch of beer soon, but I don't have any bottles yet.
With the capping device that is on the way, am I able to recap bottles such as, Bud Light, Miller, Becks etc.. or do I need authentic home brewing bottles to do stuff like that?

Thanks

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Old 02-25-2008, 11:01 PM   #2
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Any bottles will work, but screw tops are not very good. They tend to be thin around the top and will break, or else not hold a seal.

A good one to use is Sam Adams. Those bottles are great, and the labels come off easy.

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Old 02-25-2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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Do a search, lots of info about that. Basically a wing-style capper (whats typically included in a kit) will not seal twist off bottles well. A bench style capper will do better with twist offs in a pinch. Nothing wrong with re-using bottles with pry-off style caps.

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Old 02-25-2008, 11:13 PM   #4
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I got my first two cases of bottles dumpster diving in a college town. And you got time. Even if you brewed Saturday and your airlock is slowing down, you got plenty of time.

Just drive around looking in recycle bins at the curb for pry off type bottles. Honestly, I didn't have to leave my block to come up with 52 bottles. Skip the screw tops.

Once you got your 52 bottles (60?) --> don't bring them in the house until they are cleaned up. I can fit about 16 bottles in a five gallon bucket, but what you are going to find near campus is bottles of backwash and cigarette butts. If you can possibly afford it, get an outside bucket.

First thing to do is pour all the liquid out of each bottle at the site where you find it. Once you get them home, lay them out in the sunshine for a couple days. Then immerse in OxyClean (half scoop to five gallons) for 48-72 hours. When you pull them put of the OxyClean rinse them real good and feel free to leave them in the sun some more.

Eventually you will have 50-60 bottles with several days of drying out and 2-3 days in OxyClean. These bottles can come in the house for rinsing, disinfecting, and getting filled up with beer.

Get as many pry offs as you can before you settle for screw tops. Prime is low enough that lots of college students are buying beer like rock stars.

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Old 02-25-2008, 11:30 PM   #5
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You can also go to some local bars and talk to the bartenders or owners. When I used to bottle a lot, my local bar used to put aside the pop-top bottles for me on $2 bottle night.

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Old 02-26-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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I don’t know if you have redemption centers where you live. You can usually get bottles for the deposit. I got my first 50 from the local brewery. They just gave me a bunch of bottles that had bad labels or half filled. Just make sure that they are pop tops.
If you can get oxi-clean for de-labeling, but if you cant afford it an ammonia solution works good too.

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Old 02-26-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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The advice I would give you is to get bottles at least from someone you know. You just don't know where they've been otherwise. I wouldn't think it would be hard to find bottles on a college campus. Just go to a party and start collecting the empties, and wash them when you get back to your room/apt/whatever.

When I needed bottles for my batch I ultimately went to a party and put out the case for recycling. I'm not in college anymore, not by a long margin, but it worked.

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenix26
hey everyone, I'm pretty new to home brewing, I'm in college and I don't have a whole lot of money to spend. I have a question about bottles and caps.

I am going to brew my first batch of beer soon, but I don't have any bottles yet.
With the capping device that is on the way, am I able to recap bottles such as, Bud Light, Miller, Becks etc.. or do I need authentic home brewing bottles to do stuff like that?

Thanks
the cheapest non-twist bottles ive found are at trader joe's. their house beer is called 'froogle', isn't bad, and means you don't have to break down and buy empty bottles...the idea of that always tore me apart.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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also, regarding college, it hasn't been that long but we drank VERY few bottles of beer: cans and kegs. This is mostly because we were poor bastards...I don't think I drank three cased of bottled beer in 4 years of school.

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Old 02-27-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
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Be very careful with respect to your bottle selection, especially if using a butterfly capper.

I've actually pulled the necks off more than a few of the cheaper glass bottles when capping. (Nothing shattered, the bottle just came apart in two pieces!)

I've shattered a number of bottles using the same type of capper as well.

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