Author Topic: Using old bottles  (Read 2146 times)

Offline Zaxxle

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Using old bottles
« on: March 10, 2017, 11:40:51 PM »
New brewer here!

I have been cleaning out old beer bottles and using them to bottle my homebrew. I just read that the glass most breweries use is only intended for one use and will degrade over time.

Has anyone had an issue using old bottles repeatedly?
About how many times can i use them safely? (forever was my original thought lol)
What is a good site to buy sturdy, bottles I can use indefinitely?

thanks!

-Zaxxle

Offline GS

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 12:36:49 AM »
Where did you read that? Glass "degrades?"



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Offline Bob357

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 12:42:35 AM »
For the several years I bottled I had no problem with used bottles. Probably reused some as many as 10 times. Most of what I used were Sierra Nevada stubbies and long necks from Widmer Bros., Redhook and New Belgium.

I must say that The stubbies Redhook uses now look pretty flimsy compared to most. If the bottle looks to be of good quality it probably is. I would stay away from the thin looking glass and be sure to ferment your beers out before bottling.

I don't believe glass degrades, but there are lower grades of glass bottles.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 12:59:59 AM »
While the glass may not degrade, it isn't meant to be used over and over forever. That said, it's fine under normal circumstances.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 03:44:05 AM »
Don't sweat it.  I'm a relative newbie and I've got bottles with 40 batches in them.  There are folks on this forum that have bottled 10 times as much or more....though many have whimped out and gone to kegs.  ;D
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Offline GS

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 06:47:36 AM »
Unless you are making a highly carbonated belgian, you'll be fine.

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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 01:58:45 PM »
For the several years I bottled I had no problem with used bottles. Probably reused some as many as 10 times. Most of what I used were Sierra Nevada stubbies and long necks from Widmer Bros., Redhook and New Belgium.

I must say that The stubbies Redhook uses now look pretty flimsy compared to most. If the bottle looks to be of good quality it probably is. I would stay away from the thin looking glass and be sure to ferment your beers out before bottling.

I don't believe glass degrades, but there are lower grades of glass bottles.

ive used the redhook stubbies for probably 3 or 4 brews now. Seems to be no issues.

Offline oginme

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 02:09:57 PM »
While the glass may not degrade, it isn't meant to be used over and over forever. That said, it's fine under normal circumstances.

^^This^^.  Glass will not 'degrade' naturally, but will become stressed over time.  Small flaws in the manufacture can cause fracture points.  I've used bottles many times over but inspect them when cleaning and often toss anything I find with air bubbles or signs of stress.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2017, 02:15:10 PM »
I bottled many bbl of beer. I, knock on wood, have never had a bottle failure. I used short SN bottles. I also had about 20 cases of Stone bottles. I loved that I could drink and not remove labels. I still have them and still use them when I give out brew.


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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2017, 04:49:43 PM »
I think you are generally fine to reuse, but...I would advise carefully inspecting each and every bottle before refilling. Check particularly carefully around the lip of the bottle, which gets a lot of stress from the capper and will often show little chips or cracks on close inspection.

I was having issues with a bottle bomb or two in each batch, and traced it to "worn out" bottles as well as lingering crud in some that kicked off a secondary fermentation. By eliminating both, I cut out the problem.
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Offline Zaxxle

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2017, 06:59:51 PM »
cool thanks guys! for those interested, It was a Brew Your Own article.

Offline MagicRat

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2017, 06:30:01 AM »
Haven't had a problem reusing but over 20+ batches I've had maybe 3 times when the lip of the bottle was stressed enough to break off when capped.


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Offline hangdog10

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2017, 01:19:42 PM »
This is more geek info than you probably need, but..... weigh a bottle on your hop scale. The ones you buy from the a LHB shop will be in the 8 oz range. Bottles from breweries will be in the 7 oz range. Anything under 7 oz I toss. They just feel too light and fragile. They are probably fine, but why chance it. Otherwise, just reuse them over and over.

Offline Zaxxle

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Re: Using old bottles
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 12:04:15 AM »
how does the 8oz test stand up to things like different bottle styles. Like the bottle from firestone walker is a short little guy.

Offline Stevie

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Using old bottles
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 01:23:37 AM »
I don't believe the 8oz test. In the Bay Area many breweries get their bottles from the same manufacture in Oakland, California Glass. Often times the bottles I would buy form MoreBeer, and other shops all the way up to Sacramento and Folsom, were in overrun cases and all from California Glass.

ETA - I'm sure variation exists, I just doubt it's a brewery vs homebrew shop distinction.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 02:14:32 AM by Stevie »