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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Swing-top bottles vs. regular bottles
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:27 AM   #1
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Default Swing-top bottles vs. regular bottles

I have been wanting to give home brewing a crack for a while now. I've finally purchased one of those "starter" kits and am going to try out the recipe that comes with it just to get my feet wet.

I've been saving Grolsch-style bottles for a little while (I have about 7 green pint bottles and 10 brown pint bottles) thinking they'd be more convenient to use... plus I love the "thomp" when they open. I was going to continue collecting these bottles, however, now I'm reading that they can't hold the pressure for bottle conditioning (I wasn't going to do second fermentation my first go around). I've also read that they *can* be used but you have to replace the gaskets every go around.

So, my 2 questions are:

1. What are your experiences with flip-top Grolsch style bottles?
2. When buying new gaskets, are there different sizes/materials that work better? Where would I get them?

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Old 06-10-2008, 02:35 AM   #2
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if they hold preassure on the shelf, why wouldnt they hold the preasure during bottle conditioning?

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Old 06-10-2008, 02:40 AM   #3
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I've used them for a few years without any issues. I have heard of folks having trouble with loose tops but that has not been the case for me and I have several cases I use.

The gaskets only need to be changed when cracked or old and gunky. I can't remember exactly but it's not more than a couple of bucks for a new package of them.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:41 AM   #4
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The real Grolsch bottles (with the ceramic tops) seem to hold a seal better than some people's experiences with the homebrew store ones, which usually have a plastic top. There's been some discussion that the seams of the plastic lids may interfere with the rubber gasket, and you may need to sand them down to eliminate the seam. I haven't had that problem, but the explanation seems plausible.

Flip-top bottles can hold the pressure of bottle conditioning without problems... the seals can wear out but that's more on the order of every 5-6 batches. Just make sure the gasket is well centered when you seal them for bottling and it should be OK. I've used 1L flippies for 3 batches now and only had one that didn't hold a seal, and that was because I was careless in centering the gasket when I closed it up.

You should be able to get replacement gaskets if you need them at almost any homebrew store, and they're available at almost every online store I know of.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:30 AM   #5
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I've been using Grolsch bottle for over a year now with no problems. I replaced the original rubber gaskets with new plastic ones. I've got some gaskets that I've used for 15-16 batches (a year's worth), and they're just starting to look like they might need to be replaced. I get varying "pops", but I haven't had any flat beer yet (some bottles/gaskets do seem to hold a seal better than others).
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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I have over 400 Grolsch bottles (and a bunch of assorted other swing-tops) and never once had a problem with a bottle not carbonating fully.

Having said this, I am pretty much only using crown caps now, if I bottle. Cleaning and sanitization is a bit easier.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:35 PM   #7
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I have tried upside down, honey seal and plastic wrap seal. The only thing it did was to deposit beer all over the floor.
I then got some Italian Lemonade bottles. You can see the seal does not have a hole in it:
They worked so much better than the brown ones I purchased. However they were clear glass. I started painting them and then came up with the great idea of just swapping the cages over.
I can't find replacement seals without a hole in them.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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Gaskets should last 5-10 batches without issues. They can last longer but I wouldn't risk it too far down the road. I hated the cheap rubber replacements and actually found new swing-top heads on ebay for super cheap, not that they are expensive but when you compare it to the rubber gasket...

Anyway, I started getting issues in three straight batches and switched to a bench capper. This was years ago.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:14 AM   #9
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Obviously experiences vary but the reason I started kegging- which you will move to if you like the hobby- is because all my beers were flat or infected because of bad seals. PET bottles are a hell of a lot cheaper and you have less bottles to fill.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:34 AM   #10
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I've been using grolsch flip-tops for a year and a half without issue. It seems the gaskets vary in quality depending on location. I'm in Alberta, and the gaskets that came with are a heavy plastic-like rubber. I recently got a batch from BC, and curiously they came with a lighter weight foamy rubber. Useless for repeat usage and didn't carb well. Needless to say, I went back to the bottle depot, got a new batch, switched the seals and returned. Zero cost involved.

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