Home Brew Bottles – Plastic Or Glass?

Brewing your own beer is a wonderful hobby for anyone who enjoys drinking beer, and people have been doing it since the beginning of time. By brewing your own beer, you can use whatever ingredients you prefer, and make the beer to your own taste preferences. Transferring your brewed beer is a very important task that requires a clean area, the right tools for the job, and some time. While it may seem like it costs a lot for the initial ingredients and equipment, once they are purchased, the financial savings are significant when compared to buying a special micro-brew at you local beer distributor.

When brewing your own beer, the ultimate question will be whether you should use plastic containers, or glass containers to store, and drink you beer. Each container has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is really up to personal preference.

Glass beer containers are more sturdy than plastic, and can be reused many times. They do the best job of protecting the natural flavor of the beer, because they do not allow any oxygen, or other gases to affect the beer. It can also be stored for a much longer period of time in glass, than in plastic. Additionally, many people feel beer looks more appealing in glass than in plastic.

However, some notable disadvantages to glass containers are, that they need to be carefully inspected to ensure that there are no chips, or cracks in the glass, and thinner glass is more prone to damage than thicker glass. A glass bottle is at risk for exploding if too much sugar is added during the fermentation process. Darker glass is better than a clear, or light colored glass, because sunlight can affect the flavor of the brew. Many people feel that a green colored glass will impose a skunky flavor to the beer over time.

Plastic beer containers are much more affordable than glass. You can even recycle properly cleaned two-liter soda bottles to as a container, and there is even a CO2 device that will enable you to convert a regular plastic bottle into a draught tap.

Some of the disadvantages to to using plastic beer containers are that the beer can not be stored in the container for a long period of time because carbon dioxide can actually pass through the plastic material, thus allowing oxygen to enter. If not used soon enough, the beer will become oxidized, and flat. In addition, because plastic is clear, it will allow in ultra-violet light that will change the flavor of the bottle if it is exposed to any sort of sunlight.

Regardless of the type of container you use, it is of the utmost importance that they be properly cleaned, and sanitized, otherwise, it is possible for bacteria to remain on the surfaces, which will destroy your batch. You should also avoid using twist on caps because they are hard to seal tightly, and any little leak will let in the air, thus destroying the flavor. Also, no matter what type of container you use, always store your beer in a dark, cool location.

According to a federal law that was passed in 1978, the homebrewer is allowed to brew 100 gallons of homebrew per adult, per household, up to a maximum of 200 gallons of homebrew per household. The average homebrew batch is 5 gallons, which is about 640 ounces, so be sure you have enough bottles available. If you are using 12 gallon bottles, then you will need about 53 bottles. For a 16 ounce bottle, you will need at least 40 bottles. A 22 ounce size bottle will need at least 29 bottles.

You can try both plastic, and glass bottles to see which one you like best. If you still can’t decide which to use, you can alway forgo the bottles altogether and use a keg system. Then you can drink out of your favorite mug, or whatever glass to choose. A keg will save you time during the sanitation process, as well as in the bottling processes, as it is obviously much easier to fill one large container than many bottles.

This post was written by

JasonJason – who has written posts on Brew Plus.
Jason Connors has been home brewing since 2002. Currently enjoying making mead the most, but have done beers and wine.

Email  • Google + • Twitter