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If you’re brewing beer from home, the final step will be bottling your beer for storage or gifts. Choosing the right kind of bottle is essential here. You need something that compliments your brew without compromising the shelf life.
Here, we’ll give you a breakdown of what you need to know about beer bottles. After that, you can choose the beer bottle that fits your needs and preferences.
Different Kinds of Beer Bottles
Beer bottles aren’t created equal. There are a few styles from which you can choose. The style that’s best for your brew will depend on your personal preference. Each bottle type has its strengths, and none will compromise the flavor or preservation of your brew.
Long-Neck Glass Bottles
Long-neck glass beer bottles are popular because they’re the classic look. These are the bottles you get from the store or the bar and a lot of brewers like the style.
With these bottles, you’ll have the satisfaction of popping the top with a bottle opener or lighter every time you go in for a new beer. If this is what you’re looking for in your beer bottles, then these glass bottles are what you want.
We recommend these bottles to people who already have some experience bottling beer. They’re glass, after all, and will shatter if you drop them. You also won’t be able to test the carbonation level in the beer, so you have to trust that you completed the process correctly.
If you take care of the bottles, they should last you quite a while. You’ll eventually have to replace them, and you might drop one here or there, so they could end up being costlier in the long run.
Using these bottles also requires additional tools. You need a bottle capper and a significant number of caps. These caps are one-time use, so it’s important to buy enough so that you don’t run out after a single brew.
PET bottles are best for people who are just getting started brewing at home. These bottles provide substantial room for error since they usually won’t break after a drop. If you’re worried about spending too much money on beer bottles, choose PET bottles, they’ll give you multiple uses and help you store your brew in large quantities.
The bottle caps for PET bottles are reusable as well, so you don’t have to worry about running out of caps as you do with long-neck bottles. Their durability means cleaning them is easier as well. If they become slippery from the soap and fall on the floor, it’s not the end of the world. They won’t break, and you won’t have to spend a half hour cleaning up shards of glass.
The PET bottles are twice as large as long-neck glass bottles, so if you want the most beer bottle oz PET bottles are one of the stronger selections.
Swing Top Glass Bottles
Swing top bottles represent the classic style of bottles, and they’re quite convenient for homebrewers. Since the bottle seals itself, you don’t have to worry about buying replacement caps as you do with traditional glass bottles.
These bottles give your brew a classic feel and have the practicality to match. Their drawback comes in their durability – the same as other glass bottles. If you drop them, they will break.
Beer Bottle Color
The color of the bottle you choose is even more important than the style of bottle. Each of the styles listed above has strengths that outweigh their weaknesses. Glass bottles are more prone to breakage, for instance, but that won’t affect the product inside.
The color is a different story entirely, though. Here, we’ll cover the three colors of bottles you can find, and why some are better than others.
Clear Beer Bottles
We’ll start this analysis with the bottle you should stay away from the clear beer bottle. A clear beer bottle is a direct route to skunked beer. The biggest factor in keeping a beer fresh is light, and clear beer bottles let all of the light through.
You can probably find clear bottles at a discount that might make them attractive. Stay away from these deals! Using clear bottles will make for a product that won’t last as long as you need it to.
Amber beer bottles
Amber is the most popular color of beer bottles and one that you’ll commonly find while searching. These are probably the best option, though there’s nothing wrong with green beer bottles either.
If you’re worried about your beer going bad, choose amber beer bottles. This color is best for protecting your brew from UV light.
Green Beer Bottles
A green beer bottle is more of a niche item, but some brewers prefer to stand out from the pack. Some people will tell you that green beer bottles will make your brew spoil faster. This might have been true a while ago, but producers can now coat their bottle with sufficient UV protection.
A green bottle will probably serve your needs as well as an amber beer bottle, so the choice is yours. If you want to add a little variety to your brews, choose amber for a particular recipe and green for another.
Growlers are must-own products for anyone who is serious about brewing their own beer. A beer growler gives you the opportunity to share your beer with your friends. It also takes some of the hassles out of bottling beer, since you can bottle a larger amount at one time.
Although bottling beers is a popular way to store brew for homebrewers, using kegs is often a preferable option. Bottling your batch can be a chore if you’ve been brewing for years and create large quantities at a time. Storing them in kegs is easier and can mean the beer will keep for longer if you save it correctly.
Once you’ve stored the beer in a keg, you can fill growlers any time you want to bring some beer along with you. You can give them as gifts, and instead of filling six bottles you only have to fill one growler.
There are a few different kinds of growlers you can purchase, and the glass growler is the most popular. It’s light and easy to carry and is see-through, so it’s easy to fill. You’ll know when you’re running low, and when it’s time to refill your growler.
If you’re buying a glass growler, stay away from the clear option. Amber options are always better, as we discussed in the regular bottle section. Even if a clear bottle has some UV protection, it won’t keep as long as the beer you keep in an amber bottle.
The drawback of glass bottles comes in their fragility. They’ll keep for a long time if you clean them and treat them correctly but can break if you mishandle them. They aren’t as durable as some of the other options but make a good-looking gift if you’re giving away your brew.
Stainless Steel Growlers
Stainless steel growlers are one of the other popular options for homebrewers. These are far more durable than glass growlers, and you won’t have to worry about them cracking or breaking.
If you’re taking your brew with you on a camping trip, for instance, a stainless-steel growler gives you much more security. These growlers can be even lighter than their glass counterparts, and there’s little chance of them spilling or cracking in your camping bag.
The drawback of these growlers is that you can’t see through them. They can be hard to fill, so you have to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overflow.
We recommend buying a few glasses and stainless-steel growlers for your homebrewing needs. They’ll provide you with some options to give away as gifts, and a few you can keep for your personal need.
While ceramic growlers look great, they aren’t especially functional. They’re relatively difficult to find because they aren’t very popular. Their lack of popularity is probably because they hold the downside for both steel and glass growlers.
You can crack or break these growlers, and you can’t see through them while you fill. Ceramic growlers might look cool on the shelf, but we don’t recommend using them for bottling beer in any practical form.
A Variety of Bottles
If you can’t decide on which beer bottle you like the best, buy a few different ones and see how they feel. If you have butterfingers, a PET bottle is better than a glass bottle. PET bottles will survive a few drops, where glass bottles will shatter.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. As long as you stay away from clear bottles, the type of bottle you choose won’t make much of a difference. Now that you’ve selected the bottle that’s right for you fill them up and show off your brew to your friends!