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Jloewe

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Seems like a dumb question. But after finishing up a few beers I bought from the store I was wondering if I could or should keep them for bottling my own home brew? I am new and haven’t bought bottles yet. Basic pop top bottles not twist offs. Figured it’s worth more than the nickel I get recycling. Plus next time I buy a sizer at the store kill two birds with one stone!
 

Rob2010SS

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When I was bottling, I kept them. You have to pay attention to one detail of the bottle though, if you're using the winged hand capper...

1597688870452.png


You need to pay attention to that circled area and make sure it looks something like that.

We bought these little stubby bottles one time to just try a different look. Check out that same area on this bottle...

1597688955344.png


Looks completely different and the caps hardly worked at all.

As long as the bottles look like the top example, you're fine. Just rinse them out good and run them through the dishwasher.
 

giftedeye2

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All my bottles were from beer me and my friends drank. Just soak them to get the labels off and make sure they're not twists. Grolsh is a good option if you want flip top bottles and like Kolsh.
 

Jonakr

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When I was bottling, I kept them. You have to pay attention to one detail of the bottle though, if you're using the winged hand capper...

View attachment 694291

You need to pay attention to that circled area and make sure it looks something like that.

We bought these little stubby bottles one time to just try a different look. Check out that same area on this bottle...

View attachment 694292

Looks completely different and the caps hardly worked at all.

As long as the bottles look like the top example, you're fine. Just rinse them out good and run them through the dishwasher.
Along with what Rob said, depending on how you store them, the tall thin ones take less space than the short squat ones. I save the short squat ones to do give aways where I don't care if I get the bottles back.
 

AJinJacksonville

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There are several hints and tips for cleaning, sanitizing, reusing bottles, etc. One of the best tips I found on HBT was soaking the bottles in a solution of Oxiclean and warm water to aid in the removal of the labels. I use about one scoop of Oxiclean in a cooler full of hot water...let it sit about a half hour. The majority will easily peel off. Then, just make sure you rinse all the Oxiclean out (handwash or dishwash), then sanitize, fill, etc.
 

RM-MN

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I have bought bottles and have saved bottles. Most of the pop off top bottles work well with my wing capper, Corona bottles do not. I have a few of the screw off top bottles mixed in accidentally and have had good luck with those sealing too although they are not recommended. I like having one or more Corona bottles in a batch so I can see what is in that batch but I am very careful to keep them out of the sunlight so the UV does not "skunk" the beer.
 

Senormac

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Just about all the 22 oz. size beers you buy at the store can be used after you drink them. 12 oz. size need to be more closely looked at. A good way to test is take a bottle you are thinking of using and just fill it with water and cap it. Caps are cheap. Then flip it around and check the seal. Look for leaks. If its not leaking you should be good to go with your brew inside .
 

modelafish

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About the time I started home brewing, I had bought some Miller Fortune beer. I liked the beer, and it had bottles that kind of reminded me of Michelob bottles. I bought several 12 packs and drank the beer just to get the bottles (dirty job, but someone had to do it....). My first batch of home brew was a wheat beer that I put in the Miller bottles. When it came time to try some, I found that it was very flat. The caps didn't seal because the lip of the bottle didn't allow the capper to grip the top and seal. So I drank 50 bottles of beer flavored "Kool-Aid".
 

BrewAgain

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If you don't have one yet, purchase a bottle washer. You attach it to a faucet and it blasts away any residue left. Works great on a laundry sink. Don't really need a bottle brush or chemicals to clean. You still need to sanitize the bottles.
 

Dancy

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There are some beers I buy that it is clear the bottles appear identical to bottles I’ve purchased new from my LHBS - I feel safe with those.
 

Kharnynb

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best bottles for homebrewing are swing-top ones, especially from german breweries, as they use a thicker walled bottle(weizen get's higher pressurisation).

second best are normal bottles that have a "mushroom" rounded spot to grab the capper on.
after that it's the ones that have a sharper, more geometric shaped neck end and last are the ones with just 2 "rings"
 

tieflyer

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My personal two cents is only use brown flip top or pop top bottles. Clear skunk beer, green not so much, but still allow light in to skunk it . Brown protects the beer u worked hard at crafting.

stay away from twist off bottles! Look at a pop top neck vs a twist off neck. Twist off is thinner and will not protect your hard work.
 

Alphadawg

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Who stores their beer in sunlight? If its in a box or fridge, does it really matter what color the bottle is? I mean, Corona doesn't go bad that quickly
 

jimyoung

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I mean, Corona doesn't go bad that quickly
It doesn't? I haven't had a good one yet...

But seriously, I've read that corona go through pains to use hop extracts and hop like compounds to reduce the problem. If that's true then the comparison may not work.

To get bottles, I dropped off a six pack of home made beer to a buddy, asked for them back empty (to train him to rinse, store) and said I wouldn't mind a few others. I've never needed to hunt fort bottles again!
 

Kharnynb

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It doesn't? I haven't had a good one yet...

But seriously, I've read that corona go through pains to use hop extracts and hop like compounds to reduce the problem. If that's true then the comparison may not work.

To get bottles, I dropped off a six pack of home made beer to a buddy, asked for them back empty (to train him to rinse, store) and said I wouldn't mind a few others. I've never needed to hunt fort bottles again!
I think it's the same as export heineken, they intentionally make it taste somehow off....
 

wsmith1625

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It's nice having matching bottles and +1 on what Kharnynb said about bottle quality. Despite that good info, I still used to use some bottles that were a PIA just because I liked them. Anchor Steam bottles are stubby and look like blown glass. Really pretty, but don't fit six pack holders well and don't match the rest of my bottles. Also, Dogfish Head has a unique neck that my capper always had a hard time grabbing. I made it work and used them anyway because they were also cool looking. I never had a bad seal or anything, but had to work a little harder with those bottles.

Don't buy new bottles. Drop off your six packs at my house and I'll empty them out for you so you have them ready for your next brew. :p
 

Senormac

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Who stores their beer in sunlight? If its in a box or fridge, does it really matter what color the bottle is? I mean, Corona doesn't go bad that quickly
Although I agree with the reasons for using brown glass bottles, I think this is a valid point. None of my hb bottles ever sit in direct or even indirect sunlight.
 

tieflyer

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Who stores their beer in sunlight? If its in a box or fridge, does it really matter what color the bottle is? I mean, Corona doesn't go bad that quickly
No one intentionally stores their beer in sunlight but accidents do happen. Boxes aren’t light tight and there are light bulbs in some refrigerators. I wood rather he get in the habit of using brown bottles instead of any old bottles. Plus if u loan out some homebrew u don’t want them skunking it before trying it and then homebrew gets a bad rap.

I agree about company’s using hop extractS but I don’t. I use the real thing.
 

tieflyer

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I’m just old fat and ugly but I’d rather do things as best I can since I’m putting in time and money for a good craft beer.
 

ncbrewer

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Who stores their beer in sunlight?
I get pretty paranoid about skunking. Possibly as a result of my paranoia, I haven't had the problem yet. But from what I've read, it can happen pretty fast. On bottling day, just having them sitting out after filling, and waiting for the caps to be crimped and then rinsed, dried, and put in the cartons, I feel they could be skunked slightly just from the indirect sunlight coming in through the windows. So I use all brown bottles.
 

3 Dawg Night

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Also, Dogfish Head has a unique neck that my capper always had a hard time grabbing. I made it work and used them anyway because they were also cool looking. I never had a bad seal or anything, but had to work a little harder with those bottles.
You could also use a bench capper, which doesn't use the lip/ridge underneath the cap. The counterforce is the bench pushing back on the bottom of the bottle.
 

MikeCo

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I was surprised to hear on a Milk the Funk podcast recently, that a brewer for a small craft brewery (Saint Somewhere Brewing) on the show insists on bottling his saisons in green bottles because "light-strike" is a flavor that should be in saisons in his opinion. Saison Dupont has historically used green bottles. What's not clear to me is whether green bottles always mean a bit more light-strike than brown, or if they need to be exposed to some level of light to get that flavor he is talking about. If I were bottling saison, I would be inclined to use brown bottles to avoid it myself.
 

Senormac

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Anyone else notice that 22's seems to be going away ? Cans are taking over at the markets around here. Save them bottles while you can !!
 

devilssoninlaw

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Good idea to start saving bottles before you even start, that's what I did. I have more than enough bottles now and when I pour a beer I rinse the bottle out at least a couple times and let it dry upside down before storing it upside down in 6 pack carriers.
 

ncbrewer

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When I started brewing, beer generally came in returnable bottles. I bought several cases of heavy wall, high quality bottles for the cost of the deposit. Those were the days.
 

Shalenkur

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Hey I just bottled again tonight for the first time in 3 years using an assortment of bottles I have saved, probably 6 different brands. I noticed the Samuel Smith pint bottles are a much darker brown glass than the other brands! Also the caps go into them very nice and smooth with a winged capper! I'll be drinking more Sam Smith I think!
 

D.B.Moody

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Good idea to start saving bottles before you even start, that's what I did.
One of the things I liked about this hobby was that first I had to drink two cases of beer. :)

Most of my bottles are brown, and most of those are old school returnables. I have two Corona that cap okay, but my favorite clear bottles are Sam Smith's. Almost all my batches have nine bottles labeled. I don't usually label more, because I don't enjoy removing the labels; I just enjoy designing them. I use the clear ones for that because I can see the beer. The absolutely best bottles are Grolsh. I've used some often enough that I'm now replacing a rubber gasket here and there.
 

Surly

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Seems like a dumb question. But after finishing up a few beers I bought from the store I was wondering if I could or should keep them for bottling my own home brew? I am new and haven’t bought bottles yet. Basic pop top bottles not twist offs. Figured it’s worth more than the nickel I get recycling. Plus next time I buy a sizer at the store kill two birds with one stone!
Not at all a dumb question. And really, is that not the reason many of us here than to assist?

My offer is this from experience: When you reuse a cardboard six pack container be careful. Even when not wet they become fragile with use. Once they get wet from bottling practices they get downright tragic in how they treat our beer. I am in the process of building some plywood cases for storage purposes. Then I will find a pattern for six packs and make a few of them up as well.
 
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