From the HBD Archive
From: ferguson%X102C@HARRIS-ATD.COM (ferguson ct 71078)
Subject: Bottling in 2 Liter Pop Bottles
Date: 1989-07-19 16:57:45 GMT

It is my contention that the most labor-intensive aspect of
homebrewing (for most of us, anyway) is bottling. Kegging was not
really an option for me because I just can't spare that much room in
my refrigerator for a keg.

I have heard it is feasible to bottle in champagne bottles. Some
champagne bottles have a lip on them that will accept a bottle cap and
some bottle cappers are high enough to cap a champagne bottle.
Unfortunately, I was not able to lay my hands on a suitable supply of
empty champagne bottles and I had no desire to drink sufficient
quantities of champagne to collect my own supply.

I heard of a homebrewer who bottled in 2 liter pop bottles and decided
to try it myself. About three weeks ago I bottled my first batch in
this manner and after consuming two bottles I have concluded that the
approach works great. The bottles are very well carbonated and are
holding pressure quite nicely. Aside from the labor reduction, there
are several side benefits of this bottling approach that I think net
readers might be interested in:

o You can squeeze the plastic bottles and get a "feel" as to how
well carbonated the brew is. When fully carbonated, the bottle
is as hard as a rock.

o 2 liter bottles are as easy to clean as regular beer bottles. I
have one of those bottle washers that attaches to a faucett and
has a valve on the tip (as described in a recent HB digest). It
works fine with 2 liter bottles because the bottle length is only
a little longer than a 12 oz beer bottle. Nicer yet, most pop
bottles are clear so you can *SEE* trash in the bottles when you
clean them.

o I believe the rupture strength of 2 liter plastic bottles is
higher than for a glass bottle. I cannot confirm this claim but
feel confident it is true. I have seen 2 liter pop bottles
pressurized to about 150 psi without rupturing (don't ask how I
know this because it involves a long and bizzare story about my
dad and his bottle rockets). I have no idea what the rupture
strength of glass bottles is but I doubt it is as high. The
advantage to homebrewers is that you can add more priming sugar
for better head and better carbonation retention for partially
consumed bottles.

o The bigger bottle doesn't stir the yeast sediment as much when
pouring. The result is cleaner pours. The transparent bottles
allow the sediment to be more easily observed during pouring.
Also, the yeast sediment is thicker and has a more "pastey"
consistency and tends to cling to the bottom of the bottle
when pouring.

Has anyone else tried bottling in 2 liter bottles that can confirm my
findings or warn of possible hazards? Does anyone have any data on
the rupture strength of 12oz. glass beer bottles?

Chuck Ferguson Harris Government Information Systems Division
(407) 984-6010 MS: W1/7732 PO Box 98000 Melbourne, FL 32902
Usenet: uunet!x102a!x102c!ferguson

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