Home brewing is full of decisions. One of the biggest of them is how to bottle the finished beer or ale. For years glass bottles were the standard brewed at home beer bottle solution, even sometimes, the only solution, but lately, more and more people are turning to plastic bottles for their home brewed beer. In 2005, the first major beer company began using plastic PET bottles for their factory made beer and the others weren’t far behind. Now, you can find your favorite name brand beers in these durable plastic bottles in grocery stores, convenience stores and major events all around the world. So it isn’t surprising that home brewers would follow the trend, using plastic for their preferred brewed at home beer bottle. In fact, there probably isn’t a home brewing related website, book or forum that doesn’t suggest trying plastic PET bottles instead of traditional glass for your home brewing needs.
Why the sudden rise in popularity? The simple answer is that PET bottles are safer, less expensive, easily reused, and much lighter than their glass counterparts. The only real advantages to glass bottles are their long term storing capabilities and the aesthetic value of glass. But, even the best glass bottles can break, resulting in a sticky mess of beer and dangerously jagged pieces of broken glass. Some establishments and events don’t even allow glass bottles for that very reason. PET bottles don’t have that problem. They’re made of strong durable polyethylene that protects your home beer bottle from breakage so that your beer can be stored, shipped and consumed without risk. PET bottles even decrease the risk of exploding bottles or ‘bottle bombs’ because you can easily tell when the carbonation in a bottle is starting to get too high.
It makes sense that the fewer of your home beer bottles you lose due to mishaps, the less you’ll have to spend in replacing them but that isn’t the only way you save when choosing a home beer bottle made from plastic. These lightweight bottles are often less expensive right from the start. Cooper’s sells them in packs of 15 740ml (25 ounces) complete with bottles and caps for about twenty dollars a kit. They come with simple screw on lids eliminating the hassle of fumbling with metal caps and making them completely reusable. That’s great news for any home brewer on a budget.
A Plastic Home Beer Bottle is Reusable, Recyclable and Easy to Sanitize
The amber colored polyethylene makes an especially great home beer bottle because it keeps out damaging light, protecting the flavor of your brew and providing a more authentic look. The thick plastic allows for more pressure, so they handle excess pressure wonderfully. Similar to a soda bottle, the plastic of these easy to bottle at home bottles seems to get firmer as the carbonation increases so that it’s easy to tell when your brew may be building too much carbonation and too much pressure. With a capped glass version of the home beer bottle, you don’t have that advantage. I’s much more difficult to tell when a glass home beer bottle is nearing dangerously high pressure levels, making it all too easy to lose precious beer bottles, not to mention the beer you put such care into creating.
Another advantage in using the PET home beer bottle is the weight difference. Twelve ounce glass bottles typically weigh between 250 to 280 grams, nearly ten times more than the average PET bottle which weighs in at a surprisingly low 30 grams. 250 grams may not seem like much but any home brewer can tell you how quickly it adds up when you’re brewing five or six gallons at a time. If you’re going to be carrying your bottled beer yourself, or you just want a safer, less expensive option, you may want to consider giving plastic PET home beer bottles a try.