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Mr. Beer Deluxe Beer Bottling System, 740-mL
|Price:||$18.28 + $4.95 shipping|
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- Drink a home brew in as little as 14 days with this convenient brewer's essential set
- Includes eight 1-liter plastic PET bottles, caps, and labels
- Designed to provide everything needed to bottle a 2-gallon batch of beer
- Makes it easy to store and drink a home brew, to the delight of friends and family
- After a thorough cleaning and sanitizing, reuse the bottles time and again for additional batches of beer
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This convenient brewer's essential includes eight 1-liter plastic PET bottles, caps, and labels. Everything you need to "bottle" a two gallon batch of beer.
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These bottles were what I needed to get started. They are reusable, come with caps, hold about 3 typical beers, cheap, lightweight, shatterproof, sunlight resistant, 'carbonation confirming', marked for fill line, and disposable if necessary.
My biggest concern was that I was going to dread bottling lots of little bottles and then have to deal with and care for lots of little bottles. These are 3 bottles capacity each; 4 of them hold about a gallon/12pack. I quickly moved to using 1/2 gallon growlers so that I wouldn't have tons of plastic bottles around as I increased batch size and frequency. Mr Beer kits generally make lower alcohol beers, and I generally prefer the lower alcohol so that I don't have to sip it anyway, so I use the big growlers for most of the batch, and the last gallon or two goes into these plastic bottles. What I'm saying is that even though I upgraded to a different bottle, I'm still using these and there was no loss in investment. That makes them a smart move whether you use them because they are larger than typical glass bottles or if you need a smaller bottle for the last gallon or so in a batch. Either way, buying a new metal cap each time and having to buy a machine just to put the lid on your bottle just doesn't seem as good as these reusable screw caps. In the event of a disaster, these would probably make better water bottles than small glass bottles too.
As it's a bummer to open a big growler and find that the beer has not yet peaked - or in some cases carbonated - it's great to have a soft bottle that you can note how long it took to build pressure, how long the beer has had to absorb the CO2, and as samplers so that you can share your larger containers or fancy glass bottles right when that batch is at its peak. If you have guests over, you can also use these to sample out different brews, and then open a growler of whichever one is liked the best.
I imagine that these are good from the beginning of beer making, all the way up until a person starts kegging. Even then, it's nice to have more selection than just what's on tap. The only area where I don't like the idea of these bottles is that since they are plastic and not glass, they will supposedly allow the contents to oxidize over time. This makes them undesirable for long aged beers and any lacto beers (since you would want to heat sterilize your bottles after being in contact with Lactobacillus).
For those concerned with the security ring left on the bottle's neck, just cut it off. Since the caps are relatively inexpensive I use new ones whenever I bottle. Looks better when you are giving them as gifts. Cleaning? As soon as you finish the beer, fill the bottle 1/3 of the way with water, cap it and shake the hell out of it. Removes all the yeast and other remnants. Finally, I would recommend using the 1 liter sized bottles since bottling is the most tedious part of the brewing process.