Updated: Dec 7, 2021
This is an important question and an important step in your home brewing journey. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a complete novice. Choosing the right beer bottles for your homebrew is a vital step. And there are a few things to consider.
Plastic Vs Glass bottle?
Obviously we are going to be quite biased here at Sen5es. But we can also see the advantages of plastic. However in our opinions glass is always best.
Plastic bottles can often be cheaper to buy. But that cheapness also reflects how they look and feel. Nothing can beat the feeling of opening a nice cold beer in a glass bottle after a hard days work.
Glass is also naturally inert. This means nothing from within the glass will get in to your beer. Unlike plastic bottles where leaching of some not so nice chemicals can occur.
Crown top vs Swingtop beer bottle?
How do you choose between the two? I guess the best way to decide is to think of your end user and your target audience. Are you producing the beer for yourself, friends or are you hoping to sell?
If it's for yourself it may be worth investing in some nice Grolsch style swingtop bottles as you can reuse them over and over again without having to replace the cap. The same goes for if you are supplying them to friends, if you know the bottle will come back to you for your next batch of homebrew, why not invest in some nice bottles?
If you are looking to sell your beer it may be worth choosing a bottles with a crown finish as they are usually cheaper. Especially if you won't be getting the bottles back!
Which colour glass is best for beer?
This actually is an important decision. Beer isn't in brown bottles by accident. The brown glass actually protects your beer against harmful UV light.
According to Business insider there was an obvious reason why change needed to happen.
Beer was stored in clear glass and when left in the sun for too long, it started to smell "skunky" – like a skunk, literally. This was because the clear glass allowed UV rays to penetrate the beer and alter the flavour.
So brown glass was introduced to protect the precious beer inside. Think of it like sunscreen for your beer. It's important to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. Well it's also important to protect your beer!!
Using brown glass as opposed to clear or green will help give your beer extra shelf life and therefore stay fresher for longer.
What is the perfect size beer bottle?
This is another tough one to answer. I guess it all depends on personal preference. Ask yourself. Do you want to share your batch of home brewed beer? Is it all for you? Or again, will you be selling the beer?
If it's for you and only you. Maybe a larger bottle like a 2 litre growler would work best. It will look amazing and you will probably only need 1 or 2 bottles. However you will need to drink the beer fairly quickly to stop it going off.
Alternatively you can bottle your home brew in lots of smaller bottles. Most classic homebrew kits brew around 40 pints worth of beer. So if you want to use a 500ml bottle you would need 40 bottles. So if you are looking to give some away to friends and family, this is the ideal solution. We've started selling a ready made kit with a beer capper included. Check it out here.
The perfect glass bottle for home brew is whichever is best for your needs. Do you want something just for you or do you want some bottles you can give away?
These are the sort of questions you need to be thinking about when you come to decide which bottle is best for you.
We would recommend picking a brown 500ml bottle for your first batch and then broaden your horizons from there.
It's really down to personal preference but we hope this guide has helped inform your decision a little.
All the best
The team at Sen5es