From the HBD Archive
From: meyer@tcville.hac.com (Mike Meyer)
Subject: bottles and breakage
Date: 1989-01-25 20:08:01 GMT

I've always been afraid to even attempt using screw-top bottles. I use a
bench capper, BTW.

Here's a list of the types of bottles we've used at Bitchen Breweries over
the last year. We've only had two explosions in over 1000 bottles. One
was a Moosehead bottle, which in retrospect seem a little wimpy anyway --
we don't use them anymore, even though the cause of the explosion was
probably inadequate mixing of the (dry, unboiled) priming sugar. (this
was an early batch) The other one was a Guinness bottle, one of my Toad
Spit Stout bottles, and I don't know why it blew, but suspect that the
bottle was simply weak around the capping rim, from the pattern of the breakage.

Heinekin (a bit wimpy for my tastes)
Moosehead (wimpy)
Steinlager (They work, but seem wimpy)
Christian Morelein (when they were plain longnecks, they've switched to
twistoff)
Samuel Adams (also good longnecks)
Coors, Bud, Lite (returnables)
Corona (I use these sparingly, to monitor color and clarity)
Becks (old ones are sturdier, new ones slightly shorter)
St. Pauli Girl (same as New Becks)
Anchor Steam (pretty shape)
San Miguel (a bit light)
Amstel Light
Guinness
Molson
Dos Equis (amber -- these are strong, but the glue is a bitch)
Carlsberg (good giveaway bottles)
Large Kirin and Sapporo (for when you can only drink one...)
Big Becks (21.x ounces, and built like a Buick)
Non-returnable 'longnecks' (A bit short, and not as strong, but okay)

I think we've used various and sundry others, but these are the ones we've
used in any quantity. If someone offered me 10 cases of empty clean
Mooseheads, I probably would use them without worry, but I don't seek them
out.

I've gotten bottles from friends, from waitresses, from dumpsters, from
the side of the road, and from beer I drink. We try to keep the majority
of our bottles as either Longnecks or Becks, so as to keep from having to
constantly readjust the capper, but the odd bottles are good for giveaway
beer where you just know the recipient isn't going to save them for reuse.

We always remove the labels, though I've seen those who don't. I think it
looks much better, lets you see the inside of your bottle when cleaning,
and doesn't give bad beasties a place to hide. Anyone think it is
unnecessary?

|Just to be on the safe side, you might want to do what I do: after bottling,
|put the bottles in case boxes and put the cases into a plastic lawn 'n' leaf
|bag. My theory is that if the worst happens, most of the broken glass
|will be contained by the bag, and maybe I'll have a little less mopping
|up to do..

We do this too, and it has served us well. The worst part of the explosion
thing isn't the spilled beer as much as the glass shards.

My bottle question is: has anyone ever used 2-liter plastic twistoff
bottles (or one-liter) with any luck?

Mike Meyer
meyer@tcville.HAC.COM

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