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Old 05-28-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
bsimonssays
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Default Reusable bottles

So I've been collecting pry-off bottles from commercial beers that I drink... Then one of my co-workers who homebrews tells me that some bottles are actually not reusable. He said that if the bottle says "No Refill" on it that its not a pure glass bottle and will not stand up to being filled again. Is this true? An example bottle that I have with "No Refill" on it is from Otter Creek brewery in VT.

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Old 05-28-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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My guess is you'll be fine.

I don't even check my bottles other than to make sure they're not screw tops.

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Old 05-28-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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The no refill is an admonition to commercial brewers that they should not refill used glass bottles for commercial re-sale. It has nothing to do with your using it for your own homebrew.

I'd bet everyone on these forums has re-used commercial beer bottles for their own use - I'm particularly fond of Guinness draft bottles because of their nice shape.

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Old 05-28-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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My guess is that it is a legal thing, if you put a true returnable next to regular bottle, the difference is amazing. The returnables are much more heavy duty. If you refill a regular pry off, the brewery wants no part of bottle bombs, or broken glass. I have cases of non returnable that have been used over and over. But I don't remember seeing "No refill" (but I don't check them all over either) I do see non-returnable on some bottles.

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Old 05-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Common sense tells me that if it could hold the pressure from the commercial brew then it can hold the pressure from my brew.

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Old 05-28-2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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My understanding is that bottles used to be able to be returned to the place of production so they could re-use them, and the labels came from that practice when they were transitioning to non-refillable bottles.

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Old 05-28-2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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And, to the good things that have already been said, don't forget that all these "disposable" or "no refill" bottles must still stand up to whatever sorts of transportation and handling they will encounter in the commercial pipeline. Compared to that, the handling my 500-odd longnecks, from a great variety of breweries, get kid glove handling from me, and, I suspect, from most homebrewers.
I'm in my third year of homebrewing and have reused some of my bottles 4 oar 5 times. In all this, I have had exactly two bottle failures (if you don't count the one I dropped on a concrete floor), and they were both from vertical cracks in the neck. The beer inside those two was flat, but perfectly drinkable.

My conclusion: commercial no-return pryoff bottles are plenty robust and serviceable. Brew on!

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:41 AM   #8
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Yeah. It sounded like crazy talk when he was saying it to me. The claim is that these bottles are actually a composite of plastic and glass and that they won't stand up to the re-use. Anyone heard of these composites before?

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:42 AM   #9
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Sounds completely made up. Glass recyclers seem to have no issue taking the bottles.

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:55 AM   #10
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Never had a pry off that I couldn't refill. I say put homebrew in it. RDWHAHB!!!

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