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Reusing PET products

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Just getting into the swing of the homebrew journey & so far so good.

 

Wondering about the number of times it's OK to reuse PET bottles (Tthe brown ones) and wondering about how many times I can reuse the plastic screwtop caps. I note that 1 packet my son got for me from somewhere says they are for one use only.

 

Any thoughts?

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HI C41587,

 

I've used mine Three times so far. Pretty sure as long as you clean and sanitise them you will be fine, also I use the caps as well, but if your unsure, just buy some new ones.

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

 

Jon

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Use them as many times as you can. The new PETs on the market, with the 5 feet instead of four, are a bit of an unknown quantity - except to say that the are a better product than the old ones....I'm up to brew number 6 with a couple of them and they are going strong...I also have a few that are just sitting with product inside - they are holding pressure quite nicely and it's been 14 months since they were filled.

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I agree. I have re-used my first lot of PETs from the original kit twice and have had no problems.

 

 

 

As for sanitising, I rinse after each beer is finished (cold water) and then two hours before I brew a new batch I place a quater of a Milton Tablet (baby bottle steriliser you buy from chemist or supermarket) in each bottle and top with cold water. I also put half a tab into a small icecream container and soak the caps.

 

 

 

Before I bottle I rinse each bottle and the caps with cold water to get rid of the amonia smell from the tablet. No probs with three brews in these PETs.

 

 

 

I also know other brewers who don't bother with the steriliser solutions and they have had no probs either. What ever floats your boat I :) guess! :)

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I just had an interesting event with a Pet Bottle. As I was putting it into my bar fridge it toppled from the shelf - they are unstable with their 5 feet - onto my cork tile floor, a drop of some 500mm. (cork tiles are very forgiving usually). The base of the bottle split and spewed grog everywhere.

 

The bottle had been;

- Reused approximately 5-6 times, with new caps each time.

- Bottles always hot water rinsed under tap 4-5 times immediately they are emptied.

- It had been conditioned at 18-20 degrees for 2 weeks.

- It was a brew of Mexican Cerveza, recipe unmodified, primed with the regulation 2 carb drops.

- FG of batch had stabilised over 2 days, with bottling on the 7th day.

 

Interestingly, though, it was the last beer bottled in the batch. I know this because I always "paper dot label" the final one out to establish any different level of carbonation or taste.

 

I noticed as I put it in the fridge it was quite hard when squeezed a little; maybe a bit more so than usual.

 

Summary;

I can only assume the pet bottle might have picked up some yeast residue from cake when filled which slightly caused over carbonation in a potentially weakened bottle through 5 times re-use.

 

I am now a bit worried about my 90 odd pet bottles and am considering coopers glass tallies, which are definitely more consistently carbonised and in my humble view, the beer pours and tastes more consistent (arguably better) from them.

 

 

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If it's unstable it means the bottom is starting to bulge out.

 

I rinse mine in cold water only after hearing that hot water can weaken them a bit.

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Extra yeast won't cause extra carbonation, it's extra sugar that does that or a possible infection fermenting more sugars than the yeast would normally.

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I just had an interesting event with a Pet Bottle. As I was putting it into my bar fridge it toppled from the shelf - they are unstable with their 5 feet
PET bottles' date=' when rocking on their base, are an indicator of overly high pressure beer. You will never know this with glass bottles - BANG!!

 

Relieve the pressure in the bottles by unscrewing the lid slightly then tightening. Do this several times over the course of a week or so to normalise pressure. [img']wink[/img]

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I have used pet bottles for 11 yrs and only replaced lids about 4 -5 times. When it is time to replace them i go through and do the lot.

 

Happy Brewing

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I've been re-using my older brown PET bottles for over 4 years and most are still going strong. I make sure they are cleaned out properly each time and check the lids with each use to ensure no signs of wear. I haven't had to replace that many lids either.

 

Cheers,

Pete

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I've reused PET bottles at least 8 - 10 times with no problems with bottles or caps. Coopers include new caps with new bottles so no need to replace them between times with cheap replicas (white caps) that are inclined to not seal as well as Coopers.

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I have PET's that have been used around 60 times, with the same cap, so generally I think they have pretty good longevity and durability.

 

I have had quite a few though that have failed. These ones have developed micro-leaks in the bottom, even at relatively low carbonation levels, and also a few that have actually blown the bottom right out of the bottle! surprised

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Over the past 12 months, I've used the same PET bottles for 22 brews. In that time I changed the caps once only because the sides of a few were bulging out a bit, probably from being tightened too much. But at $2 a pack from Big W, who cares? I've never had a leak from any bottles so far, all Coopers brand with 5 feet.

 

But now I'm kegging! biggrin

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I just had an interesting event with a Pet Bottle. As I was putting it into my bar fridge it toppled from the shelf - they are unstable with their 5 feet
PET bottles' date=' when rocking on their base, are an indicator of overly high pressure beer. You will never know this with glass bottles - BANG!!

 

Relieve the pressure in the bottles by unscrewing the lid slightly then tightening. Do this several times over the course of a week or so to normalise pressure. [img']wink[/img]

 

I've seen this suggested elsewhere on the forum, can't find it now.

I've noticed when I have tight PET bottles - carbonation - I have decided not to unscrew to release slightly. I have not yet had a 'warm blowout" while conditioning. I find when I put them in the fridge to get cold for drinking, the bottles release to a reasonable pressure, obviously due to gas contraction.

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Having done about 15 brews in pet bottles I  noticed a dirty film was developing on them. I have always rinsed thoroughly when the bottle was empty and thought that would do - apparently not.  I figured that I shouldn't use a bottle brush as that would scratch the lining. I decided to try using 1/4 of a dishwasher pill in each bottle filled with hot (not boiling) water. Agitated then left overnight, emptied and thoroughly rinsed several times. Result - sparkling clean.

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1 hour ago, Spursman said:

decided to try using 1/4 of a dishwasher pill in each bottle

Thta's a lot of pillss......

 

Bleach works just as well for me.

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@Spursmanif you want to get the same result from a method that may be a tad easier is just use some napisan or a similar product. They  have similar active ingredients to dishwasher tablets but is a power and much cheaper. Many of us here use it is our steriliser/soaking agent as it has a high % of sodium percarbonate.

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Just now, Ben 10 said:

Bleach works just as well for me.

So, is it unscented? I have always steered clear of bleach due to the high chlorine content, not sure why, but it is possible to get non-chlorine bleaches which are a sodium percarbonate solution anyway.   

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Just now, MartyG1525230263 said:

So, is it unscented?

Yep, I go the plain....

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2 minutes ago, Ben 10 said:

Yep, I go the plain....

Great, and do you use it for all your sterilisation, do you use it as a spray surface steriliser and soaker as well? 

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I use the bleach to remove build up.
I use no rinse sanitiser (phosphoric acid based) as the main thing.

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I've been using the 5 footed PET bottles and lids for 2 years. I estimate I've used them between 5 to 10 times each. I haven't had to replace any bottles yet. When I've suffered a 'soft' bottle I simply ditch the lid of the offending bottle, as it is the most likely culprit to the failure, IMO.
I rinse my bottles and lids as soon as possible after consuming the beer, most times with hot water at the temperature you'd wash dishes at by hand. For cleaning, I soak in the bath overnight in sodium perc based laundry soaker. Shake out and rinse and dry on the bottle tree in the sun if it's around.

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57 minutes ago, MartyG1525230263 said:

@Spursmanif you want to get the same result from a method that may be a tad easier is just use some napisan or a similar product. They  have similar active ingredients to dishwasher tablets but is a power and much cheaper. Many of us here use it is our steriliser/soaking agent as it has a high % of sodium percarbonate.

Thanks for the suggestion.  Missus has nappy san stain remover-is that the same? Also how much powder per bottle.

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