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Beer and Wine Bottles

Elvis Elvis

Okay, your home-brew is finally ready to bottle. Now you need some beer and wine bottles to hold and present your homebrew. When it comes to bottling your home-brew, you have a number of options. Do you put your beer in bottles or kegs? Do you put your wine in a barrel? Where do you find that many bottles? What size bottle should you use?

First things first, you can always buy your beer and wine bottles from a retailer. The size of the bottle that you choose is up to you – how much do you want to drink at one sitting. Larger bottles will take up less space, but if you only want a 12 ounce beer you will be wasting some. You can always bottle in various sizes if you like.

Beer and Wine Bottles

Beer Bottles

If you don’t want to buy bottles (like me – why buy when I can save them from other beers I drink?), you have a few options. You can bottle your beer in any capable bottle. This means pretty much any bottle that came with a cap on it that was NOT screw top. I have tried the screw top bottles with poor success – about one out of four will work and the rest either don’t hold the carbonation or the glass breaks. The Grouchy-style flip top bottles are also very good. Soda bottles (if you can still find the glass ones) and also some types of champagne bottles are capable.

If you like you can also bottle in any plastic bottle that once held a carbonated beverage. These bottles and screw-top caps are made to hold the pressure that your beer will create when carbonating. Water bottles usually aren’t made to hold the high pressure, so I would not recommend these. You can even brew in 2 liter soda bottles if you like – this definitely saves room. Personally, I prefer glass to plastic for bottling. One advantage the plastic bottles have over glass is being able to test carbonation. You can feel how firm the bottle is getting while it is carbonating.

One thing to take into consideration is the colour of the glass or plastic bottle. Light can do bad things to your beer, so try to use the dark brown or green bottles. The clear bottles will work fine as long as you shield them from light as much as possible.

To bottle you beer you will also need to have a bottle caper as well as lots of bottle caps (these caps come with priming sugar that you need anyway when bottling). And, if you don’t have one already, you will also need a bottle opener.

Another great option for your beer is to use a keg – check out the beer keg page for more information.

Wine Bottles

Wine is a little easier to bottle since you do not have to be concerned about carbonation. However, like beer, you wine should be shielded from light if possible. You can buy wine bottles if you like, or just save ones over time from other wines you have bought. The size of the bottle is up to personal preference.

As with beer, you can put your wine in plastic bottles if you like. Really, you can put wine in any type of bottle as long as it has a good seal. If you are putting your wine into bottles you will also need a bottle corker an lots of corks. You will also need a corkscrew if you don’t already own one.

Another option for your wine is putting the wine in barrels. Check out the wine barrel page for more information.

Presentation

Brewing your own beer and wine isn’t just about making something good to drink or saving money – it’s also about showing off to friends and family! Once your home-brew is in the bottle, you need to make it look good. You also need to be able to tell for yourself what is in the bottle – you will be brewing more, won’t you.

You should always label your brew somehow. Using stickers or marking the cap will work. You can also make your bottle look professional with these home-brew labels.

How you store and serve your home-brew is also something you may want to consider. Check out some of these great ideas for presenting your home-brew.