New Or Used Bottles?
Using new bottles saves time cleaning bottle labels and insures you have a completely clean and ready to sanitize bottle. I know of some homebrewers that use new bottles for every batch while some use new bottles for competitions and others buy new bottles and re-use time and time again.
Used bottles have the advantage of being cheap or free. De-label, clean and sanitize.
Getting a Deal on New Bottles
Tip: Shop Around
Prices and availability can vary wildly. If you want cases of new bottles, shop around to get the best deal.
Shipping can be expensive
Bottles are heavy and cases of bottles are relatively large. Sometimes they’re large enough to fall under dimensional shipping, which adds cost based on size.
Tip: Don’t discount calculated shipping
Because of potentially high shipping costs, some retailers exclude cases of bottles from free or flat rate shipping programs. What counts is the total cost per bottle delivered to your door. Don’t ignore a retailer solely because shipping is an additional cost.
- Beer Bottles at MoreBeer
- Bottles at William’s Brewing
- Beer Bottles at Adventures in Homebrewing
- Bottles at Keg Connection – cases of bottles usually fall under Keg Connection’s Flat Rate Shipping – availability can be an issue.
- North Mountain Supply – ABB-CC-24 12 Ounce Long-neck Amber Beer Bottles – Case of 24 – Includes Crown Caps – via Amazon
- New offerings pop up all the time – search Amazon for “beer bottles” – to shop around
Tip: Make Friends With The Fine People at Your Local Beer Bar
Head over to your local beer bar and make friends with the bartender. Typically used bottles can be had for free or extremely cheap. When I first started brewing I did this and was able to get loads of heavy, reusable German and Belgian bottles to clean and re-use. I would love to see more people do this, these reusable bottles are generally very well made and some are beautiful.
Tip: Make Friends With Your Local Brewery
Have a great local brewery that bottles? They most likely buy large quantities. Along those lines their per bottle charge cost is likely much less. Make friends with the brewer and you may just find yourself getting a great deal brand new beer bottles.
PET Bottles weigh a lot less than glass bottles. Often these will have more favorable shipping terms vs their glass counterparts, sometimes, qualifying for for free shipping programs.
- Kegland PET Beer Bottles – 500 mL (Case of 24) B281 – via MoreBeer
- Search Amazon for “PET Beer Bottles” to shop around
De-Labeling Used Bottles
Soaking bottles in warm PBW – Tips and Tricks + Quick Pick usually makes quick work of removing labels. This is especially true of the returnable bottles mentioned above. Breweries tend to use easier to remove adhesive when they’re planning to clean and re-use bottles themselves.
If you have a label or bits of adhesive that are being stubborn, Put a little bit of PBW right on a label or adhesive that’s giving you problems and scrub. The grittiness of the PBW combined with it’s full strength application generally dissolves the label and adhesive in short order.
PBW can be rough on your hands when diluted. That’s even more true when it’s undiluted. I recommend using protective gloves when dealing with PBW.
Related: Tapcooler Counter Pressure Filler
Related: Can Seamer Reviews
- Hands on Review: Kegland Cannular Bench Top Can Seamer
- Hands on Review: Oktober Design SL1 Can Seamer
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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application. Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application. Always read and follow manufacturer directions. top:bottledeals tag:tpr