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Old 10-17-2006, 12:48 AM   #1
vanz72's Avatar
Sep 2006
Green Bay, WI
Posts: 13

I have a question about the useage of used twist-top bottles from commercial beer to use for home brewing. I read that it is not recommended to use these, that it is preferable to use the old returnable type bottles that require a bottle opener.

The reason I'm asking this is I have a bunch of old Leinie's bottles and the caps that I have been saving up for putting my beer in. I stopped by some liquor stores to buy off some returnable bottles, which I thought would be cheaper than getting new ones. They all told me that most brewers converted to the twist on variety and nobody bothers to bring back the returnables that still do exist.

My question is why they recommend against using the twist tops. Maybe it is a seal integrity issue. Wondering if any of you have any insight on this.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-17-2006, 12:53 AM   #2
Jul 2006
Lexington, Kentucky
Posts: 150

It's hard to get a good seal on twist-off bottles.

I wish Goose Island didn't use twist-offs. I always seem to have a bunch of those empties around.

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Old 10-17-2006, 12:56 AM   #3
Brewsmith's Avatar
Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
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Yup , it's the seal. I know some people around here use them with no problems but I have never used them. Any bottles from Sam Adams, New Belgium, Pete's Wicked, Bridgeport, Deschutes, Redhook, Stone, Mendocino, Flying Dog and most other micros work fine.

Just buy some beer and consider that you have free bottles for homebrew.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #4
chillHayze's Avatar
Mar 2006
Columbus OH
Posts: 1,589
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Some on this board use the twist offs. They will work but you might get a few flat beers in a 5 gal batch from what I have gathered.
Every little thing is gonna be alright.

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Old 10-17-2006, 01:10 AM   #5
May 2006
Dallas, Texas
Posts: 345

On a lot of twist off bottles the neck is weaker. This means that you may break some bottles during bottling and have to throw out the beer since you don't know if broken glass got in the beer.

I thought I could make it work by twisting the original caps back on the bottles, but that doesn't get a good seal.

I'm sorry, but you'll probably find that you just need to pitch those bottles and get some regular bottles.

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Old 10-17-2006, 01:55 AM   #6
Aug 2006
Posts: 46

i had to use 2 or 3 on my last batch and they carbed fine but they were harder to cap
my 2 cents
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #7
Oct 2006
Posts: 387
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Are the pet bottles from coopers good to use? I have the originals that came with my kit but I also have lots of Sam Adams and Corona to use. Which is best?

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Old 10-20-2006, 11:11 PM   #8
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

I have used the regular "canadian" bottles which I understand to be a little heavier than the American bottles. I have no issue with them losing carbonation using the right caps. I no longer use very many as I keg and also have a large selection of corona bottles, but I'm drinking a stout ATM that just came out of one of my twist top bottles and it is perfect.
Like was mentioned though, you need to be careful bottling as they are prone to breakage around the neck when bottling. I have had 3 break when bottling in the 20 years I have been brewing and I have only used corona bottles and kegs for the past 2 years. All the previous brews were done using the twist-off type bottles.
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:42 PM   #9
JimiGibbs's Avatar
Dec 2005
Asheboro, NC
Posts: 326
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In this month's BYO, Mr. Wizard addresses that and basically says it can be done but the key is to use a bench capper and not the common hand held kind that crimps around the neck. Also, he says carbonation level is a factor and not to use twist offs on high carbonation brews. This was the first time I had heard anyone say it was OK and I'm still not convinced I'm going to try it ....
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:49 PM   #10
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rod's Avatar
Dec 2005
Posts: 1,216
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i agree with boo boo
i think our canadian beer bottles are heavier
the only time i had a twist-off bottle break on capping it was a miller lite i weighed some bottles on my digital scale and found canadian, sleeman, blue bottles all weighed 9.2 ounces empty but miller lite bottles weighed 6.8 ounces which is 1/3 lighter - no wonder they break.
i have bottled probably 300 twist-offs in the last year(not a drunk??) with a wing type capper with no problems.
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