### Author Topic: How many carbo drops?  (Read 2007 times)

#### nvshooter2276

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 194
##### How many carbo drops?
« on: September 23, 2023, 05:23:57 pm »
I have read that the bottles used for store-bought beer are not strong enough for homebrew. I measured a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottle to be 6.8 ounces. I am loathe to give my Mr. Beer screw-top bottles to my friends who want to drink my beer; I worry that they'll trash the bottle after drinking the beer and I'll lose the buck-something apiece for each bottle. It's not the price of the bottle that concerns me; it's the inability to buy more of them. Upon every website where I look to buy them, they're either sold-out, backordered or no longer available. So I'm wondering how many carbo drops would I use for a homebrew in a store-bought, twelve-ounce glass bottle? I have a pill cutter, so I can do halvsies of the Mr. Beer drops. I also have smaller carbo drops that I calculated would require eleven drops per liter; they're from BSGCRAFT.COM. I calculate four of the smaller ones for a twelve-ounce bottle-- if that bottle is one made to hold the pressure of a homebrew. I suppose I could use three and just suffer the slings and arrows of the complaints that my beer was too low in carbonation.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 05:27:19 pm by nvshooter2276 »

#### Richard

• Senior Brewmaster
• Posts: 1071
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2023, 08:24:30 pm »
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

#### nvshooter2276

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 194
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2023, 12:32:36 am »
Available for shipping now:

https://www.morebeer.com/products/beer-bottles-12-oz-amber-long-neck-case-24-1.html
I don't want to buy new bottles that will more than likely be trashed after my friend's roommates drink the beer I gave to him. If only I was to drink the beer I make, buying new bottles wouldn't be a concern; I'd not throw away something for which I paid that could be used multiple times. But Ralph's roommates don't care about the source of the bottles. Nor do they care that they are drinking-up the store-bought beer that he buys. Ralph tells me that his roommates drink his beer, eat-up his food and don't even bother to put the dirty dishes in the sink after the crime has been committed. So, no way I'm going to have a six-pack of morebeer bottles (for which I paid) fall into the hands of low-class clods like Ralph's housemates.

#### Slowbrew

• I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
• Posts: 2870
• The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2023, 05:52:11 am »
Sounds like Ralph needs new friends.

As for bottles, the old rule of thumb was twist-off bottles are not strong enough to survive being recapped using a "normal" homebrew capper.
Bottles that require a bottle opener can generally be reused.
The issue isn't the pressure in the bottle for standard beers.  Rather the problem is the capper crushing the neck of the bottle.

I have never purchased new bottles for my brewery.  Years ago (25 years, to be exact), I bought craft beer by case and just cleaned them up and have refilled and capped them 100's of times.  I haven't bought a lot of beer for quite a while so I can't speak to today's market much. The bottles I have seen lately that can be recapped look like they would last for ages.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

#### Drewch

• Brewmaster
• Posts: 746
• Just this guy, you know?
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2023, 06:48:23 am »
I have read that the bottles used for store-bought beer are not strong enough for homebrew. I measured a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottle to be 6.8 ounces. I am loathe to give my Mr. Beer screw-top bottles to my friends who want to drink my beer; I worry that they'll trash the bottle after drinking the beer and I'll lose the buck-something apiece for each bottle. It's not the price of the bottle that concerns me; it's the inability to buy more of them. Upon every website where I look to buy them, they're either sold-out, backordered or no longer available. So I'm wondering how many carbo drops would I use for a homebrew in a store-bought, twelve-ounce glass bottle? I have a pill cutter, so I can do halvsies of the Mr. Beer drops. I also have smaller carbo drops that I calculated would require eleven drops per liter; they're from BSGCRAFT.COM. I calculate four of the smaller ones for a twelve-ounce bottle-- if that bottle is one made to hold the pressure of a homebrew. I suppose I could use three and just suffer the slings and arrows of the complaints that my beer was too low in carbonation.

I have reused craft beer bottles numerous times without issue. I like the slightly distinctive shape of Boulevard's bottles.
The Other Drew

Home fermentations since 2019.

Member at large of the Central Alabama Brewers Society, the League of Drews, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

#### Skeeter686

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 114
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2023, 06:57:33 am »
I like the slightly distinctive shape of Boulevard's bottles.
I do, as well.  🙂

And I've also heard that breweries are shifting to thinner bottles as a cost cutting measure (bottle cost and freight as well).  I don't bottle much lately, but I have been inclined to start weighing the different bottles in order to weed out the lightest (and, presumably, weakest).  However, I haven't started this yet, so no insight to share at this time.

I am curious if anyone else has done any analysis.

#### denny

• Retired with too much time on my hands
• Posts: 27358
• Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2023, 08:41:09 am »
I have read that the bottles used for store-bought beer are not strong enough for homebrew. I measured a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottle to be 6.8 ounces. I am loathe to give my Mr. Beer screw-top bottles to my friends who want to drink my beer; I worry that they'll trash the bottle after drinking the beer and I'll lose the buck-something apiece for each bottle. It's not the price of the bottle that concerns me; it's the inability to buy more of them. Upon every website where I look to buy them, they're either sold-out, backordered or no longer available. So I'm wondering how many carbo drops would I use for a homebrew in a store-bought, twelve-ounce glass bottle? I have a pill cutter, so I can do halvsies of the Mr. Beer drops. I also have smaller carbo drops that I calculated would require eleven drops per liter; they're from BSGCRAFT.COM. I calculate four of the smaller ones for a twelve-ounce bottle-- if that bottle is one made to hold the pressure of a homebrew. I suppose I could use three and just suffer the slings and arrows of the complaints that my beer was too low in carbonation.

What you've read is in error, then. There is no difference in the bottles.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#### Richard

• Senior Brewmaster
• Posts: 1071
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2023, 02:55:11 pm »
Available for shipping now:

https://www.morebeer.com/products/beer-bottles-12-oz-amber-long-neck-case-24-1.html
I don't want to buy new bottles that will more than likely be trashed after my friend's roommates drink the beer I gave to him. If only I was to drink the beer I make, buying new bottles wouldn't be a concern; I'd not throw away something for which I paid that could be used multiple times. But Ralph's roommates don't care about the source of the bottles. Nor do they care that they are drinking-up the store-bought beer that he buys. Ralph tells me that his roommates drink his beer, eat-up his food and don't even bother to put the dirty dishes in the sink after the crime has been committed. So, no way I'm going to have a six-pack of morebeer bottles (for which I paid) fall into the hands of low-class clods like Ralph's housemates.
But in your original post you said
Quote
Upon every website where I look to buy them, they're either sold-out, backordered or no longer available.

I showed you where you can buy them but now you say you don't want to. I don't understand what you are after.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

#### Slowbrew

• I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
• Posts: 2870
• The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2023, 03:42:18 pm »
Available for shipping now:

https://www.morebeer.com/products/beer-bottles-12-oz-amber-long-neck-case-24-1.html
I don't want to buy new bottles that will more than likely be trashed after my friend's roommates drink the beer I gave to him. If only I was to drink the beer I make, buying new bottles wouldn't be a concern; I'd not throw away something for which I paid that could be used multiple times. But Ralph's roommates don't care about the source of the bottles. Nor do they care that they are drinking-up the store-bought beer that he buys. Ralph tells me that his roommates drink his beer, eat-up his food and don't even bother to put the dirty dishes in the sink after the crime has been committed. So, no way I'm going to have a six-pack of morebeer bottles (for which I paid) fall into the hands of low-class clods like Ralph's housemates.
But in your original post you said
Quote
Upon every website where I look to buy them, they're either sold-out, backordered or no longer available.

I showed you where you can buy them but now you say you don't want to. I don't understand what you are after.

I'm obviously not the OP but  I read his comment about bottles not being available, was that he was looking for Mr. Beer bottles. I could be wrong.

I normally require people who think I should provide them with a supply of beer is make them aquire bottles, caps, ingredients and then schedule a morning to come over and brew the beer. If they don't want to do that, they don't need homebrew that badly. I believe in charity but not entitlement. I may also be an first class A-hole in their mind but I can live with that.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

#### jeffy

• Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
• Posts: 4251
• Tampa, Fl
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2023, 04:31:47 pm »
Homebrew can go into just about any beer bottle, but twist-offs need more pressure when capping.
You may have read that bottling homebrew is not a good idea because homebrewers are not measuring the sugar, both residual and added, as concisely as pros. Too much could lead to excessive pressure and what's called bottle bombs, but that could happen with any bottle.
I suggest you find a local homebrew competition and snag the bottles after judging is finished. That's how I get most of mine.
Also, bulk priming is more accurate if you ask me.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

#### Semper Sitientem

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 151
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2023, 05:34:28 pm »
I’ve use store-bought beer bottles for years without any issues. They’re mixed into my inventory so I don’t even know what’s what anymore. I use carb drops on occasion (one per 12 oz.) but found them to inconsistent - either carbed properly or slightly over-carbed. This led me to weigh a sample. I found the range was from 2.7-3.2 grams, which explains my results. I’ve also found that table sugar works just as well = one rounded 1/2 tsp. Per 12 oz.

BTW, not sure how a pill splitter works, but the best way I’ve found to split carb drops is with a hammer and chisel. One  dry soft tap and they split perfectly.
Confidunt in cervisia nobis

Scientists believe that the universe is made of hydrogen, because they claim it’s the most plentiful ingredient. I claim that the most plentiful ingredient is stupidity. - Frank Zappa

#### Drewch

• Brewmaster
• Posts: 746
• Just this guy, you know?
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2023, 07:12:40 pm »
I’ve use store-bought beer bottles for years without any issues. They’re mixed into my inventory so I don’t even know what’s what anymore. I use carb drops on occasion (one per 12 oz.) but found them to inconsistent - either carbed properly or slightly over-carbed. This led me to weigh a sample. I found the range was from 2.7-3.2 grams, which explains my results. I’ve also found that table sugar works just as well = one rounded 1/2 tsp. Per 12 oz.

BTW, not sure how a pill splitter works, but the best way I’ve found to split carb drops is with a hammer and chisel. One  dry soft tap and they split perfectly.

I think the OP was referring to the smaller carb tabs like these:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/479243044

These would split easily with a pill cutter.
The Other Drew

Home fermentations since 2019.

Member at large of the Central Alabama Brewers Society, the League of Drews, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

#### Bob357

• Brewmaster
• Posts: 915
• Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2023, 05:23:38 am »
I seldom give out beer other than having a couple on tap for visitors. I do give out a lot of my fermented hot sauces to relatives and friends though. When they get the first bottle(s), I make it clear that if they want more, they have to return the bottle(s). No clean and empty bottle(s) means no more hot sauce. It'd be easy enough to apply that to the beer you give away.

As for craft beer bottles, I used them for several years before moving on to kegging and never had a problem. Almost all beer bottles that take crown caps are safe up to about 3 volumes of CO2, just like the ones you buy new. PET bottles do offer a bit more wiggle room for people who are in the habit of bottling beer without being sure fermentation is complete or don't properly calculate and accurately measure the priming sugar.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

#### neuse

• Brewer
• Posts: 352
• New Bern, NC
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2023, 09:11:24 am »
I looked around for PET bottles thinking it would provide some extra safety factor in case of over pressure. I had the same results as the OP - none of the suppliers I checked with had them. After reading about cleaning the bottles, I pretty much decided to stay with glass anyway. Apparently, PET bottles don't do well if washed or rinsed in hot water - they can deform. So I decided glass is the better way to go to be sure they get cleaned thoroughly.

#### nvshooter2276

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 194
##### Re: How many carbo drops?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2023, 03:41:23 pm »
Yes; the smaller BSG carbo drops require more per the volume to be carbonated. I weighed a bunch of them to determine the average weight, then compared that to several of the larger Cooper's carbo drops to get a "disparity ratio" between them. I found eleven of the smaller BSG drops would be needed to equate to 2½ of the bigger drops, which is the number needed for one-liter bottles. I bottled my last batch in one-liter Diet Pepsi bottles. Allows me to drink almost three twelve-ounce bottles in one sitting. I pour the beer into a two-liter pitcher so as to do it in one pour and avoid stirring-up the trub at the bottom of the bottle. Also works well for beers that come out with a huge head; the extra liter gives it some place to go.