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Old Screwtop 750ml bottles - keep or chuck?


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Hi Folks,


I'm just seeking guidance on this matter from the brewing sages that wander these parts. Many months ago I acquired a bunch of older brewing gear from a codger selling it off - part of this was 150 or so bottles, the vast majority of which are old ~750ml large stubbie screwtops. Generally they had Toohey's product in them or Fosters.


They're marked 'Not to be refilled' (which MAY make this a redundant query so apologies in advance) and are noticeably thinner glass and lighter than the Coopers longnecks.


When I bottled my first batch I was careful only to use several of these as I found my benchcapper (the Italian one) didn't cap them as securely as I'd have liked (it was watertight BUT I suspect perhaps not airtight).


I'm leaning towards disposing of these bottles - as I fear for their sturdiness & ability to be securely capped. Is getting of them the right decision or are they perfectly fine to use????


FWIW I've just a few days ago acquired ~160 Coopers longnecks so having bottles to use won't be an issue BUT if the screwtops are perfectly ok to use - I'd rather keep as 'backups' but if they're not, then I'd rather ditch them.


Thanks in advance for your guidance.


Cheers, Nick

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If it were me, I'd ditch the old screw top bottles.

They're clearly made with the intention of only holding force carbed beer from the brewery, & if as you say they seem thinner than the Coopers bottles, chances are you could be unlucky & have one or more of them explode if you put beer in there with sugar or carb drops to carbonate.


You could be lucky & brew away with no incident, but trust me, if you ever have a bottle blow up, besides the inconvenience of losing some valuable beer, the mess, & anxiety this will provoke (as you'll never know which bottle is about to blow until it does) is just not worth it.


It seems if you've already got 160 odd suitable bottles, there's no reason to hold onto a bunch of other bottles that could be problematic.


This time around in my brewing, I'm only using PET bottles, for pretty much the reason outlined above.

Sure, PET bottles can fail too, but when they do they're more likely to crack & develop a leak, rather than explode, leaving beer & glass all over the place.

That's an experience you can do without, believe me!

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As long as you look after them well, they shouldn't cause any issues. The problem is how well they were looked after by the previous owner. I used plenty of "no refill" stubbies when I was bottling (and still do with the surplus from kegging now) with no problems at all, however, these were all bottles that I'd bought new from the bottle shop and kept, rather than getting them off someone else. Some were twist tops, but I switched over to all pry-offs a couple of years back. If any appeared to get scratches or cracking in them, they were binned. These bottles all have a lacquer coating on them, if it gets compromised by scratching etc., then they should be tossed. Most of the beers originally in them are probably carbonated higher than we do anyway.


I wouldn't be too concerned about the lids appearing to not be on very tight - they actually tighten further when carbonation occurs. If they're watertight, they should be ok.


At the end of the day though, it's really your call. If you don't feel confident using them then don't.




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I remembered this thread from a few years back...


NO REFILLS??? ... Why Do They Write This?


I only have a handful of the screwtop longnecks left now & could probably ditch them if I wanted to. The vast majority of my bottles are the Coopers pry-off longnecks & a couple of dozen thick walled homebrew 640ml glass pry-off bottles.

At the end of the day though' date=' it's really your call. If you don't feel confident using them then don't. [/quote']






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Much thanks for the excellent and well explained thoughts.


I tend to think it's probably best that I get rid of them.......normally I'd not do this - as I'm a stingy sucker and I cleaned (they were ABSOLUTELY FILTHY when I first got them (dried beer dregs in all of them) plus removed every single one's labels! Which took me hours!!!!!)


BUT as was stated all it really takes is a single exploded bottle (though I bulk prime & plan to be VERY careful with 3 consecutive hydrometer readings before bottling)....and I'd kinda be kicking myself.


The nail in the coffin really is this great haul of ~160 Coopers longnecks I picked up last week (for the STEAL price of $25! Though again they're absolutely filthy! But just the exterior this time)


Worst case scenario I'll pop them on Gumtree for free to another local brewer to grab, best case I'll feel I've enough room & keep them as 'emergency' backups.


Thanks for presenting both sides of the argument ...


Cheers, Nick

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