Where the Bejebus do you get your Bottles?

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Stevoster

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I've asked in a few pubs but they get refunds on the returnable bottles and wont let me pay them for bottles as they have no way of putting the money through their accounts. Major pain! Did you guys just go on major binges before your first brew or is there a better way? I read somewhere that you can't use single-use beer bottles for brewing as they wont take pressure. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Steve.
 

Brew-Happy

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Do you have a recycling center near you? I have been considering this as a way of getting bottles. Not sure if they would let you root around the bins.

Any thoughts from others on this? Not to hijack.
 

Eskimo Spy

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I buy mine from the local homebrew shop. I get two and half cases for cheap. Of course, I'm about to go the corny route, so the bottles are going to sit and collect dust, too bad you're overseas. Of course, it's not too bad for you!
 

Revvy

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I drink, therefore I collect! 99 percent of the beer I buy are the right type, plus I get some from my neighbor. It really isn't that difficult to collect a few cases of bottles once you start homebrewing.
 

BrosBrew

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Make this a community effort. Just host a party at your place and say the only condition is that everyone bring a 6 pack of microbrew then set up a bin for the bottles to go into. A great way to throw a party and meet the or reunite with the neighbors.
 

BearsWickedBrew

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I've never heard of a single use beer bottle. My first homebrew is fermenting as we speak. In the meantime I've been trying to collect (and by collect, I mean drink) as many non-twist off 12oz brown bottles of beer as possible. I am not looking forward to having to take off the paper labels.
 

HairyDogBrewing

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It's better to avoid twist-off (threaded) bottles.
They might not seal as well.

Also, some imported bottles use a different cap diameter.

Ask friends and family to save bottles.
Tho mine all drink from kegs or cans.

If all else fails, homebrew sites and stores will sell you empty bottles.
But I'd rather buy full ones.
 

BearsWickedBrew

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I drink, therefore I collect! 99 percent of the beer I buy are the right type, plus I get some from my neighbor. It really isn't that difficult to collect a few cases of bottles once you start homebrewing.

Revvy- when you say "right type" do you mean that there is such a thing as a single use beer bottle?
 

Laurel

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Between batches when the pipeline runs dry, I buy beer. I just make sure to get beer that comes in non-screw-top bottles. Costco has pretty good deals on cases of beer(not much more than empty bottles, and this way you get beer!). It also helps that I can't seem to keep much around, so I only have about 3 batches worth of bottles at any one point.

I'm about ready to start moving to corny kegs though, saves space!
 

BrosBrew

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Revvy- when you say "right type" do you mean that there is such a thing as a single use beer bottle?
twist offs are single use as they cannot be reused for home brew, unless you have a bench capper, and even then it's not great.
 

KCStokes

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Getting bottles was the easiest part for me. Drinking two cases between myself and my roommates in the month that the beer is in the fermenter....not a problem.
 
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Stevoster

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Hey! Thanks guys. I guess I'll have to get boozin'. At least now I have a great excuse for the missus! ;)

I want to get 500ml bottles but I've only ever seen them for cider over here. All my Guinness has been on draught. Gallons and gallons of lovely lovey draught.....

As I mentioned in another post - my beer has been in secondary for 2 weeks yet I haven't any bottles apart from a few miller bottles in my recycling pile. The most annoying thing is that I had a BBQ a few months back and had crates and crates of green Carlsberg bottles.

That's a good idea about rummaging in the recycling bin! Wonder how to go about that.....
 

BearsWickedBrew

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I meant non-twist offs....

Oxyclean soaks are the easiest way to get labels off...

You don't really want green or clear bottles unless you like that skunkiness of certain beers. Bleh!
Whew!...Alright, I am good then. I was afraid you were going to mention something like the quality of glass (aside from color).
 

bearkluttz

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Personally i raid the recycling center... i had a homeless guy ask me if gas was really such a problem that i had to return bottles to make ends meet. Gotta clean the heck out of 'em but its free and worth it.
 

Boston Brew Guy

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I've never heard of a single use beer bottle. My first homebrew is fermenting as we speak. In the meantime I've been trying to collect (and by collect, I mean drink) as many non-twist off 12oz brown bottles of beer as possible. I am not looking forward to having to take off the paper labels.
I just Soak then for an hour in oxyclean. The lables and glue come right off.
 

Kevin Dean

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If you have a liquor store or two that you go to frequently enough for them to know you, ask them if they have some.

The store I got to is run by a really friendly asian man and he collects Grolsh bottles for me. :D Those I pay $.20 each for. :) He told another customer who drinks Grolsh, and so he saves his bottles and every now and then gets a free case of beer off what he makes. Everyone wins. :D
 

noisy123

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Have you checked the grocery stores? Round these parts some of them sell returnables and are amenable to selling them for the return deposit.
 

BrianP

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In states with a bottle return, you can buy them from friendly liquor stores for the deposit. They usually have s*itloads of them in the back waiting for distributors to come get them. Just buy a fair amount of beer while you're add it to return the favor. I've picked up multiple cases that way. Plus I've drank my share of commercial beer "for the bottles".
 

EvilTOJ

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Our bottle return places crush up glass. I am in dire need of bottles again, so I've actually been scrounging in bar's bins and propositioning strangers for their bottles at recycling stations. I feel so.... dirty.
 

PeteOz77

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I prefer the 750ml (25 ounce) bottles, as I only need to sanitise and bottle 30 or so per batch. If I drop past the recycling bins at the local drop off, or tip, I can find between 20 and 200 of these. Soem are screw caps (Never had a sealing problem with screw caps) and some are crown seals. I also find a lot of really neat bottles of different sizes for my beers and my spirits.

I am pretty vigilant about showing up there once or twice a month, especially after big night of sports etc when the bottle number seems to be a LOT greater. I will eventually get rid of the screw tops and keep the crown seal bottles when I have enough of them. As I said, I don't have a problem with the screw tops, but teh crown seal bottles are a lot heavier glass, and are actually designed to be used over eh?
 

Loweface

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Try NUIG around rag week... 1000's of free bottles :D

I've just saved all my 330ml bottles over time or gotten a batch worth from a party. The labels come off tuborg bottles and stella bottles very easy. Heineken not so easy, and budweiser or Labatt Ice both have foil with is a pain...

Where is Galway are you?
 

cubbies

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I have said this a million times, but I will say it again:

Talk to your local Micro!

First of all, many micros have bottles that dont get used. Either it doesnt fill properly, or doesnt cap properly, or the label goes on upside down etc. Typically these bottles are just recycled as cleaning and sanitizing the bottles cost more to them than it does to recycle them. Often they will be happy to sell these to you at cost.

Most microbreweries are understanding of homebrewers (many started that way themselves) and are willing to cut you a break. If they dont recycle their misfires, often they will sell you their bottles at cost.

I bought my bottles from a local micro here...two cases of 22oz and two cases of 12 oz for $11.

If you dont have a local micro...move. Just kidding. If no local micro, drink microbrews, check craigslist, buy from LHBS etc.
 

EvilTOJ

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That's exactly how I get my 22 oz McMenamins bombers, cubbies. I asked if they ever saved them, and they said no, but I was free to rummage through their glass bin. I score about 10 to 20 a week :D
 

Tonedef131

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One of my local breweries let you have all the bottles you want, but you have to clean them and delabel them. It just so happens most of them have not been rinsed and their labels suck to get off. So usually I just recycle what I drink. If the labels don't fall off after an hour long oxyclean soak I usually throw them out since they are going to be a pain to get off. Dark Horse are the only ones that I usually have to do that with though.

Worst case scenario I get a case of brand new empty bottles from Bell's general store. They sell them for $3 per case and it is worth it to not have to delabel them.
 

Revvy

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One of my local breweries let you have all the bottles you want, but you have to clean them and delabel them. It just so happens most of them have not been rinsed and their labels suck to get off. So usually I just recycle what I drink. If the labels don't fall off after an hour long oxyclean soak I usually throw them out since they are going to be a pain to get off. Dark Horse are the only ones that I usually have to do that with though.
Just leave them longer in oxyclean, like overnight or even a couple days...I've never had any bottles where after a long soak in oxyclean the labels didn't slip off....Come to think of it, most of mine take at least a couple hours of soaking....

(These darn kids nowadays, no patience ;) )
 

stever

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Just leave them longer in oxyclean, like overnight or even a couple days...I've never had any bottles where after a long soak in oxyclean the labels didn't slip off....Come to think of it, most of mine take at least a couple hours of soaking....

(These darn kids nowadays, no patience ;) )

I have never had to leave my bottles in oxiclean for more than 10 minutes, the labels peel right off then I hit them with a green scrubby pad to remove any left over adhesive.
 

Glibbidy

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I have amassed many over the years. When I switched over to ten gallon batches, I used to hit up our local brewery for shortfills. They always obliged. I ended up with free beer and free bottles:cool:
 

Tonedef131

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Just leave them longer in oxyclean, like overnight or even a couple days...I've never had any bottles where after a long soak in oxyclean the labels didn't slip off....Come to think of it, most of mine take at least a couple hours of soaking....

(These darn kids nowadays, no patience ;) )
Nope, left the Dark Horse bottles in the sink for almost 3 days and if anything they just kept getting messier. Get yourself a six pack of Crooked Tree and then try getting the labels off. You might get through one, maybe, but there is no way you will think it is worth it to do anymore than that. When it takes me longer to remove the label than it did to drink the beer I draw the line.
 

paul_h

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I saved many 750ml bottles as long as 8 years ago. I like to plan ahead :D
Most home brew shops sell bottles for $1 each. While my batches are brewing I buy good beer in 750ml bottles by the carton. I think I've bought at least 3 cartons since I joined here, so that's 36 of them.
The old bottles collected over the years were about 120.
Plus I've bought some cheap PET bottles. Nothing is wrong with PET is you are not going to age them more than 6 months. HB shops sell them for less than $1ea and you don't have to worry about a capper. Coopers even gave them away in their HB kit here.
PET is good for beginners, don't have to worry about bottle bombs, can easy feel the bottle carb up, if you over carb or bottle to early you can easily release pressure and reseal. You don't have to worry about cappers, it's easy to see the yeast when pouring as it settles in the 'feet', no chance of chips and breakage.
I bottle in a mix off 8 year old twist top 750ml bottles, coopers crown seal 750ml bottles bought recently, 750ml brown tinted PET bottles and 500ml crown seal german lager bottles (collected them when I wasn't HBing too, a six pack at a time over a year).
All in all I have enough bottles for 6 x 20L batches.

edit: also check your local classifieds, lots of brewers collect and then give up or switch to kegs, so there must be private sellers out there with bottles to sell.
 
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I buy mine from the local homebrew shop. I get two and half cases for cheap. Of course, I'm about to go the corny route, so the bottles are going to sit and collect dust, too bad you're overseas. Of course, it's not too bad for you!
I'm in Bedford and will need more bottles soon. I can pay you a little something for them and will come pick them up. Message me if you want to get rid of them.
 

GunnerMan

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Bought 3 cases of 22 ozfrom LHBS for first brew. Yesterday I found someone taking 3 bags of bottles to the recycle center at work so I asked him if i could have em. he said hell yes, so I scored about 70 12 oz bottles there.
 

hammacks

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AH the 10cent deposit makes bottle hunting a little trickier and not likely free but..

I did get about 50 various bottles from a party store for 6 bucks. Unfortunautly almost all of those can not be capped with my wing capper (Corona, Heiny, and Jarritos pop) because the distance between the top and ridged where the capper grabs is to short to force the bell well over the cap. Oh well, guess they are going back.

I came up a couple Red Stripe and Sierra Nevada 22's (24's?) though.
 

juse

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Check craigslist. I just got about 50 12oz bottles from the free section. To be cool, I told the guy I would bring him a couple of the brews from my next batch. Everybody wins, once again - free bottles, free beer, new friend.

You could even post that you need bottles, it's very likely someone has some they'll part with just to come get them.
 
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