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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: the_pig on August 07, 2012, 08:46:19 PM

Title: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: the_pig on August 07, 2012, 08:46:19 PM
Hi All:

Here's another question from a newbie: You may have seen some of the aluminum "bottles" that various beers come in.  For example, I have one that originally contained a Bud Lite.  I used that bottle to package some homebrew and messed it up a bit with my hand capper (bench capper probably would have worked better), but the brew conditioned nicely.

It seems like aluminum has a variety of advantages: i.e. light-proof, lighter weight, unbreakable, etc.  Do any of you use aluminum bottles when you aren't kegging?  And if so, where do you get them?  (There's no way I'm drinking a couple of cases of Bud Lite!)

Thanks for any advice.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: euge on August 07, 2012, 10:35:44 PM
You might be able to purchase them in bulk online. However, I'm with ya on the bud light. My neighbor somehow got me to drink 4 of them on Sunday afternoon. Caught a slight buzz but it was like drinking soda water. But WTF they were free...
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: weithman5 on August 07, 2012, 11:47:32 PM
with you on the bud light but was out of town this weekend and had a few budweisers and enjoyed them.
i don't know about using those aluminum bottles i thought the caps were more twist on and completely different than a regular capper could do?, probably cheaper to get plastic brown bottles with twist on caps.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: the_pig on August 08, 2012, 08:42:56 AM
Thanks - and just for the record: I've knocked back plenty of Bud over the years.  But I do prefer a homebrew!

I've seen a variety of those aluminum bottles, including some that use standard, pry-off caps (Bud Lite, for example).  I can't seem to find an online supplier, but I will keep poking around and report back if I do.

I'm surprised that there is no homebrew supplier who carries them, as they seem to have some distinct advantages over glass bottles: unbreakable, light weight, complete light barrier, etc.  But then again, it's not like glass doesn't work...
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: tonyp on August 08, 2012, 02:08:49 PM
3rd google link when i searched for aluminum bottles

bottlecan (http://www.bottlecan.com/index.html)
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: euge on August 08, 2012, 06:47:28 PM
I'm wondering if they'd do 300 plain undecorated CCL cans? That's about 5 six gallon batches worth of bottle-cans. Would anyone spend... say 1 dollar a can?

A brewery might get them for dirt cheap but would have to buy 100's of thousands and have a permanent account.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: tonyp on August 08, 2012, 06:57:35 PM
good question, maybe we could do an AHA group buy to get better pricing if there are enough people interested to make it worthwhile.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: the_pig on August 08, 2012, 09:11:52 PM
Thanks for the link TonyP.  I actually found that too, but they looked like a large commercial supplier.  Maybe I should give them a call though - they might do smaller orders.

I was just surprised that none of the homebrew suppliers whose sites I've visited stock these things.  (Most homebrew suppliers sell glass bottles and growlers, etc.)  Maybe the aluminum bottles are not as practical as I am guessing they would be. 

But if anyone does find a supplier, I'd be happy to go in on a relatively small order to try them out.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: euge on August 08, 2012, 09:39:18 PM
Well just looking at the prices of bottles at the LHBS's in town and online I decided it was more cost effective to buy them with beer already in them! ;D
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: morticaixavier on August 08, 2012, 09:44:15 PM
Well just looking at the prices of bottles at the LHBS's in town and online I decided it was more cost effective to buy them with beer already in them! ;D

+1 I was saving all my bottles for a while, havn't purchased any empty bottles in a couple years now. But suddenly I realized that I was only bottling about 2-3 batches a year and I had about 10 batches worth of bottles sitting around. I have been recyling them since.

Although I do have a dream of replacing all my bottles with the anchor steam style bottle. they just look so cool and feel right in your hand.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: AleForce on August 08, 2012, 10:06:47 PM
I'd be interested in purchasing a few dozen... Was @ the local grocery store today and saw a 15 pak of Bud in 16 oz. aluminum bottles for $14 and purchased it to use the bottles later (only because I've been following this thread & wondering the same thing)...

I'll suffer thru the 15 bottles in the mean time, but if plain aluminum bottles become available I'll still be interested.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: the_pig on August 09, 2012, 11:44:44 AM
Hey AleForce: I only have limited experience (one Bud Lite 16oz that my wife drank), but based on that experience I suggest that you use a bench capper if you have one.  I used a wing/two-handled capper on the bottle I have and it worked.  But because the bottle (that I had, at least) doesn't have a flare on the neck (like most glass bottles), the wing capper didn't have much to grab onto.  As a result, I slightly mangled the bottle's rather soft neck.  The cap held though, the brew carbonated, and I did like the bottle.

If you survive the Bud Lite, let us know how it works.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: beersk on August 09, 2012, 01:25:23 PM
Well just looking at the prices of bottles at the LHBS's in town and online I decided it was more cost effective to buy them with beer already in them! ;D

+1 I was saving all my bottles for a while, havn't purchased any empty bottles in a couple years now. But suddenly I realized that I was only bottling about 2-3 batches a year and I had about 10 batches worth of bottles sitting around. I have been recyling them since.

Although I do have a dream of replacing all my bottles with the anchor steam style bottle. they just look so cool and feel right in your hand.
Well, you know what to do...

I recycle mine too as I rarely bottle anything anymore.  I'll bottle a 6 or 12 pack off the keg once in a while to give away, but that's about it.  I usually use Odell's bottles or Sam Adams' bottles as I like the style of them, especially Sam Adams' bombers.
It'd be nice to get a huge stock of Samuel Smith's bottles and use them.  Actually I think I did have one at one time, but for some reason decided to get rid of it since I never bottled anymore.  Damn! Guess it's time to buy some Sammy oatmeal stout...
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: euge on August 09, 2012, 01:41:24 PM
Thinking about this... Now the bottle-cans have some sort of liner like any other can does I'm assuming. Good for a couple uses but I'd start to worry about the plastic eventually breaking down.

Thoughts on this?
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: beersk on August 09, 2012, 01:43:20 PM
Thinking about this... Now the bottle-cans have some sort of liner like any other can does I'm assuming. Good for a couple uses but I'd start to worry about the plastic eventually breaking down.

Thoughts on this?
Good call.  That puts a real damper on the whole idea...
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: erockrph on August 09, 2012, 02:33:39 PM
Thinking about this... Now the bottle-cans have some sort of liner like any other can does I'm assuming. Good for a couple uses but I'd start to worry about the plastic eventually breaking down.

Thoughts on this?

I'd especially be concerned if you heat-sanitize your bottles (such as in the dishwasher) that the plastic might melt and/or break down.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: Hokerer on August 09, 2012, 04:37:02 PM
Thinking about this... Now the bottle-cans have some sort of liner like any other can does I'm assuming. Good for a couple uses but I'd start to worry about the plastic eventually breaking down.

Thoughts on this?
Good call.  That puts a real damper on the whole idea...

Even more of a damper when you consider that, beer being acidic, that lining almost certainly contains BPA
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: euge on August 09, 2012, 04:41:25 PM
Thinking about this... Now the bottle-cans have some sort of liner like any other can does I'm assuming. Good for a couple uses but I'd start to worry about the plastic eventually breaking down.

Thoughts on this?

I'd especially be concerned if you heat-sanitize your bottles (such as in the dishwasher) that the plastic might melt and/or break down.
I do use the sanitize feature on my DW. Well guess it's gonna stay glass in my brewery. Shame since the features of a metal container are intriguing.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: AleForce on August 09, 2012, 05:29:42 PM
Hey AleForce: I only have limited experience (one Bud Lite 16oz that my wife drank), but based on that experience I suggest that you use a bench capper if you have one.  I used a wing/two-handled capper on the bottle I have and it worked.  But because the bottle (that I had, at least) doesn't have a flare on the neck (like most glass bottles), the wing capper didn't have much to grab onto.  As a result, I slightly mangled the bottle's rather soft neck.  The cap held though, the brew carbonated, and I did like the bottle.

If you survive the Bud Lite, let us know how it works.
Noted... I've got a few kegs with a little bit of beer (a barrel aged RIS, an Irish Stout, a Triple IPA and an Apricot Ale) in them that I may bottle with these to test out and empty the kegs.  This was the first time I bought a Bud product since 1989 when I was serving in S.Korea...
Title: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: ajk on August 10, 2012, 12:00:27 AM
Heineken comes in aluminum bottles now. Goes down easier than Bud, especially since it's not skunked.
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: weithman5 on August 10, 2012, 01:11:00 AM
for me the bud is better, but everyone different
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: a10t2 on August 10, 2012, 02:30:02 PM
Even more of a damper when you consider that, beer being acidic, that lining almost certainly contains BPA

But only if you care about BPA. ;)
Title: Re: aluminum "bottle cans"
Post by: Pi on August 17, 2012, 05:53:05 PM
Heineken comes in aluminum bottles now. Goes down easier than Bud, especially since it's not skunked.
I use the green Heineken bottles for beer i'm giving away since i have a friend who drinks alot of Heineken and the plastic labels dont come off when you wash.
I went to a Roger Waters concert at the Verizon center and the aluminum Bud bottles were everywhere which gave me the idea. I do alot of backpacking and boating and like the idea of non-glass bottles. also much lighter than glass. I'll try a case of these and see how long they hold up.
In the meantime, if LHBSs can get generic-looking aluminum bottles I would be all over it.
And as far as the BPH thing, how long does beer have to be in contact with the plastic to absorb a measurable amount of BPH?