From the HBD Archive
Subject: Bottles
Date: 1992-03-19 16:01:47 GMT


> I have a question that is burning....

> I have some srew on bottles. A few are the Ballantine Pale Ale
>bottles. Can I use these to bottle when I brew my first batch? Or is
>bottling screw on bottles very iffy? Has anyone done this successfully??


A fair question. A common response is "no no," usually followed by:
"And never use nonreturnable bottles 'cause they're not strong enough."

I took the liberty long ago of disregarding the second piece of advice.
I'd guess that the majority of the bottles I use are nonreturnables--the
glass is visibly thinner than the glass which returnable longneck bottles

As for screw tops, I bottle 2 or 3 screw top bottles several batches ago.
I wanted to see how it would work. I used good old fashioned crown caps
and my double handle capper and a little extra care. I had no problems.
I'll grant that my sample size was small, but I can't come up with a logical
explanation of whjy it wouldn't work IF you don't break the bottle while
capping--but that's a concern no matter what sort of bottle you use.

Back to the nonreturnable bottle issue: Over in r.c.b., I asked for
stories from people who've had problems using nonreturnable bottles.
No one has given me any horror stories yet. Let's just think about it for
a minute: beer, soda pop, champagne--they're all carbonated, so the bottles
in which they are sold are meant to handle carbonated beverages. Now,
if one takes reasonable care in brewing, the beverage one creates is not
going to be significantly more fizzy than what one buys in a store. Unless
the glass is weakened by sitting around with commercial beer in it, there
is no porblem with using the bottle for homebrew. If you're prone to
glass grenades, I sugggest you change your brewing practices. If you are
worried that a batch may go explosive without warning, I see no need to
fear nonreturnable bottles more than returnables.

The only reason I bring all this up is that I've seen complaints that it's
getting harder and harder to find returnables, and/or people have a lot
of old bottles laying around from those 6-packs of Bass or Pete's or whatever
and they'd like to put the bottles to use.

Have at it!

- --Danny

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