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Old 04-22-2013, 01:15 AM   #1
Registered User
Jan 2013
The Hinterland of the South Shore, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,100
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I feel that I must confess a sin. I...I..bought 4 cases of empty beer bottles today so I can bottle my brews.

My brewing was getting ahead of me. I have 5 gallons of hard cider stashed under the sink, 5 gallons of beer ready to bottle, and another 5 gallons cranking away in primary. I deliberately did a lot of quick turnaround small beers and ciders for summer drinking, and it needs to get bottled ASAP if I am going to enjoy it when the heat hits. Everything I have bottled now won't be ready for a while.

My buddies also homebrew and need their bottles, and I really couldn't get through 4 cases of anything in a week or so. So I broke down and bought empties. Works out to about $4 per six pack after shipping. I think with these I can start a rotation where I'll be emptying and filling bottles at more or less a steady rate.

How many bottles do most of you (those who bottle anyway) have in rotation? With these additions I'll have over 200 in circulation.

And to forestall the inevitable "Why not keg?" question - no refrigerator space and personal preference. It's easier to store, age, transport, and gift my brews, plus having beer on tap in the house would be dangerous - sorta like to have bottlecaps to count to monitor my consumption rate.

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
I Sell Koalas
Cyclman's Avatar
Jan 2013
Aurora, CO
Posts: 6,212
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I trade one full for 6 empties, and have collected about 300 bottles. 2/3 full, 1/3 empty at the moment. I have 10G to bottle in the next month, think I have just enough. I'd rather invest in brew equipment than keg equipment, but I'll get there!
Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quote

Why does Happy Hour limit happiness to 1/24 of the day?

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:24 AM   #3
May 2012
Portland, OR
Posts: 1,267
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I bet I have 300 or 400, mostly bombers. I started kegging this winter, and am slowly getting more empties. I bought a lot of my bottles on Craigslist for cheaper than the HBS had them for -- but a lot of them needed some serious cleaning.
Oregonians: trade canned goods, homebrew, fresh produce, and more at!

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:33 AM   #4
coldcrash's Avatar
Nov 2011
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,637
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No shame in buying bottles as far as I'm concerned. Collecting/ de-labeling commercial bottles can be a pain in the a&$, even if emptying them isn't.

I keg, and I have about five cases of 12oz brown bottles in circulation (some styles lend themselves to bottle conditioning of course, plus I bottle from the keg for sharing/ trading).

And btw: +1 to the dangers of kegging vs monitoring consumption. Beer flows so freely from the faucet, especially when it's a 9% IIPA.


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Old 04-22-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
Sep 2012
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
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I too bought my first case of bottles from my LHBS. Since then I've collected another 2 cases through drinking. No shame in buying to get thing flowing.

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Old 04-22-2013, 02:41 AM   #6
Dec 2011
Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 199
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The only ones I've gotten from the LHBS have been 1liter flip-tops. I probably have 200 clear for emergency use and for my rice wine and other beverages. I have enough brown bottles to do about 15 gallons of beer. I like bombers more then the 12oz bottles though.

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Old 04-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
Mar 2012
spokane, wa
Posts: 1,971
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I somewhere between 300 and "oh crap i don't know".

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:55 AM   #8
Nov 2012
Covina, California
Posts: 362
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300-400 various sizes: 500ml flips, 375ml, 22oz, and12oz

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
Feb 2012
lawrence, ks
Posts: 599
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Couple growlers.
1 case of 1L flip-tops.
2-3 cases of 750mL Belgians.
1 case of 24oz corona bottles (for skeeter pee)
4-5 cases of bombers.
12+ cases 12oz.

I have so many bottles that need soaked and washed right now. My friends keep on giving me their empties. I have a bunch in water soaked cases by the trash barrel in case I decide to just toss 'em.
Queue: King Tut ale, BIG barleywine, Desire mead, .
Fermenting:Denny Conn's vanilla porter
Bottled: <1.060: AHS Aniv Wit, lemon wheat, Blonde rye.
<1.090: How Rye I Am, Rye wheat ale, spiced tripel, tripel w/orange, baltic porter, skeeter pee lime and lemon w/cranberry, Milk stout.
<1.110: Reverend clone, IIPA. Chocolate RIS, Bourbon Barrel Quad, chocolate RIS w/oak & whiskey
>1.110 OG: Double W (inspired) stout, Choco milk Czar, Mephistopheles (inspired) stout..

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
glenn514's Avatar
Jan 2010
Marengo, Illinois
Posts: 1,375
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I've got about 350 bottles in circulation...and I have not "purchased" a single EMPTY bottle! Right now, I've got a stout in secondary, and I've got plenty of empty bottles to take care of it. I don't brew often enough to run myself out of bottles.

Don't sweat the minutiae!

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