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- Posted on
March 20, 2008, 10:36 pm
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My local brewery supply of bottles has dried up (they finally went to
twist offs!). I've been buying various microbrews in 6 packs at the
store. Is there any reason I can't reuse their bottles for homebrew?
The reason I ask is at the base of the bottle, there is raised letters
saying "Do Not Refill"...does that just mean they are not returnable to
the brewery or is there a safety reason they should not be used again
I have never tried it but I understood it to be that they will not
withstand the pressure of the carbonation process. On the other hand,
I have heard (not seen) that some people use plastic water bottles.
I have a keg system but I still bottle using flip-tops of the Grolsch
variety for some beers that I brew. High gravity beers just seem to
taste better when bottled versus coming out of a keg. Luckily, I have
an acquaintance that drinks Grolsch that has given me about 8 cases of
I was never forced to do it but I bet a local bar that serves Grolsch
might set aside empties for ya in return for a few filled with
use bottles from reputable, high-quality breweries. Of course, returnables
are best, but I re-use crimp-cap bottles all the time. Look at the glass,
the heavier it looks the better it is. There are some German swing-top
bottles that look bomb-proof (Mondschein?). Grolsche are great, as are
Fischer d'Alsace (same but bigger). European (especially german) bottles
are often thicker, experment with some brews and see how heavu the bottles
feel. I'd tell you which ones I use but the labels are long gone... I
think the larger bottles (18-22 oz) are generally better for re-use.
Never had a bottle explode.
I have always reused any bottle that had beer in it. I throw away
the twist off's but that is because I have so many regular ones. I
usually use the shorter green ones for 'give away' beer, if the bottle
doesn't come back I don't really care. (It's a carry over from
winemaking, I want my bottles back. I hate taking new labels off and
mine fall right off...)
I naturally carbonate with 1 ounce of priming sugar per gallon and
have never had an issue with bottle grenades. At least half of mine
are not returnable and some are pretty thin; the rest are swingtop
Grolsh. My capper is an antique too, it cost ~$2; it's at least 40
years old and we got it used when caps had cork inside them. I may
try some of the twist off's now.