Plastic or Glass Bottles?

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Neil Whittaker

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I keg most of my beer, but need to bottle for sharing with friends and taking to home brew club.
After research, I decided that it was plastic bottles was for me. I own a pressure fermenter (fermizlla), and use a carbonation cap to fill the bottles, effectively like each one is a mini keg. Never owned a beer syphon in my life. Love NEIPA's and mine store very well in my coopers bottles.

What i'm trying to get at is; look at your current equipment, also where you see yourself in 1 years time and use that info to guide your choice.
 

Andy_K

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I’m a newbie and bottled my first brew yesterday in brown glass.

Love the suggestion though of one bottle in plastic and one in clear glass. I’ve never seen that mentioned in any of the books I’ve read.
 

Satellitemark

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My bottles are free from my local pub, usually 500ml brown bulmers or rekorderlig once they have been through the dishwasher which also takes the labels off and then sterilised I can't see how they could be any cleaner !
Recently as the pub has been shut I've bought a pack of 24 X 500ml Cooper's plastic bottles and they have a batch of Hammer of Thor in, they were easy to use and clean , it's still conditioning so I haven't tested the beer yet but have no reason to worry about it.
I always pour my beers so I doubt if the plastic bottles will affect me or spoil the experience.

I prefer the feel of a cold glass bottle coming out of the fridge but that's probably just my anticipation of what's to come !

Mark
 

dwhite60

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Trust me, if commercial brewers (at least those with some self-respect) thought that PET bottles (which are rather cheaper than glass) were good enough for beer, they would use them in preference to glass. A handful do but it's generally only those at the bottom of the market or in special situations like festivals etc. where the lack of shelflife is less of a problem.
Miller did bottle some products in plastic in the U.S. for a while. They may still be, I don't buy their products so I don't know

I'm sure if a big brewer did go to plastic it would become a point of attack for the other big brewers. One, "Who wants to drink their beer out of plastic bottles?", like we're hearing here. Second point would be, "Selling beer in plastic bottles is environmentally irresponsible".

I've got thirty, 740ml Coopers bottles and have not had a lid fail to hold pressure in the three years I've owned them. I'm still using the same caps too. I have some one liter soda bottles I've been using about that long too, with the original caps, with no problems.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Id say your probably right about the big cask breweries using steel such as Timothy Taylor's wychwood, black sheep, marstons, etc but the smaller ones definitely lean towards poly pin.
It really varies - I've probably seen casks from pretty much all of the 40-50 breweries nearest me, and the majority are still on steel. There's a handful that have mixed fleets, who started with second-hand steel and have since added new plastics, but it's not that common. I'm open to the idea that there is some regional variation though.

poly pin.
We're not talking polypins. This conversation has been about casks - specifically 9-gallon firkins - made out of plastic by the likes of Brewery Plastics Ltd (formerly CypherCo). They are a different thing to polypins.

A pin is a unit of volume = 4.5 imperial gallons = 36 imperial pints = 20.46 litres.

So traditionally a polypin was a plastic pin - what homebrewers would know as a 36-pint pressure barrel.

More recently, some breweries refer to 20-litre bags-in-box as polypins, although that seems to be more of a southern thing from what I can tell.

The PE in HDPE and PET is the same thing Polyethylene . The HD is high density or thicker and the T is Terephthalate.
And the terephthalate means we are talking about something that's completely different from a chemical point of view :
1593793903079.png
(PET) versus
1593794045863.png
(PE)

Completely different.

Miller did bottle some products in plastic in the U.S. for a while. They may still be, I don't buy their products so I don't know

I'm sure if a big brewer did go to plastic it would become a point of attack for the other big brewers.
They're not going to go exclusively plastic (because plastic is not as good despite being cheaper - critically from their POV the shelflife is less) but most of the multinationals package small amounts in PET for specialist purposes like festivals and other outdoor events where glass is banned on licence grounds, although probably less than they used to. For instance, this wholesaler offers Bud, Stella and Desperados in PET, Carlsberg is another common one. It also allows them to offer weird sizes that wouldn't fit in their canning lines - ISTR Heineken doing a 400ml PET at the Olympic Stadium, which presumably was the least/most they thought they could sell for a fiver (!)
 

Scottyburto

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It really varies - I've probably seen casks from pretty much all of the 40-50 breweries nearest me, and the majority are still on steel. There's a handful that have mixed fleets, who started with second-hand steel and have since added new plastics, but it's not that common. I'm open to the idea that there is some regional variation though.



We're not talking polypins. This conversation has been about casks - specifically 9-gallon firkins - made out of plastic by the likes of Brewery Plastics Ltd (formerly CypherCo). They are a different thing to polypins.

A pin is a unit of volume = 4.5 imperial gallons = 36 imperial pints = 20.46 litres.

So traditionally a polypin was a plastic pin - what homebrewers would know as a 36-pint pressure barrel.

More recently, some breweries refer to 20-litre bags-in-box as polypins, although that seems to be more of a southern thing from what I can tell.



And the terephthalate means we are talking about something that's completely different from a chemical point of view :
View attachment 28625 (PET) versus View attachment 28631 (PE)

Completely different.



They're not going to go exclusively plastic (because plastic is not as good despite being cheaper - critically from their POV the shelflife is less) but most of the multinationals package small amounts in PET for specialist purposes like festivals and other outdoor events where glass is banned on licence grounds, although probably less than they used to. For instance, this wholesaler offers Bud, Stella and Desperados in PET, Carlsberg is another common one. It also allows them to offer weird sizes that wouldn't fit in their canning lines - ISTR Heineken doing a 400ml PET at the Olympic Stadium, which presumably was the least/most they thought they could sell for a fiver (!)
I bow to ur superior chemical knowledge and I've probably picked up incorrect slang in regards poly pin being a called a plastic firkin!

I still maintain a lot of it is down to perception, and marketing. I think there's more truth to enjoying a drink in the correct glass. There's a reason "smart price" and their like are in plain packaging.

Heineken will be 400ml at Olympic Stadium for licensing cause it's exactly 2 units and most sports venues aren't allowed to sell premium strength beer on draught for that reason. Not saying that licensing and multinational breweries don't cook up mutually beneficial legislation.
 

Chico1980

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Personally I find that my one PET bottle per batch (the rest are glass) doesn’t give me the same head retention or carbonation as the glass bottles. I’ll continue using the one PET bottle as it’s a useful aid. But all my matching glass bottles were great value as I bought them full of beer, drank them, cleaned them, then refilled them.
 
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