Beer

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Beer

Postby Pumpkin&Piglet » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:55 pm

My husband is going to be brewing some beer, well Ale - is it the same?

We are confused as to what sort of bottles we'll need. Can we use any? We've got some swing top, we've got plenty of screwcap wine bottles - or do we need proper beer bottles?
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Re: Beer

Postby gregorach » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:10 pm

Swing top beer bottles will be fine. I'm not at all convinced about screw-top wine bottles though - I don't think the caps will take the pressure. Crown cap beer bottles are also OK, but you'd need to buy crown caps and a capper. A crown capper need not be expensive, but it is one more thing to buy, and the cheaper lever-arm cappers struggle with some bottles. (As I found out after amassing a lovely collection of Bitburger and Warsteiner pilsner bottles...)

Generally, brown bottles are preferred. The thinking is that some of the flavour compounds can be spoiled by exposure to light - although I have heard some argument about this, and I've never quite managed to get around to testing the theory myself. Best either stick to brown bottles, or keep them away from bright light.

The whole beer / ale thing can be complicated, depending on how anal you want to be about it. These days the two terms are used more or less interchangeably though... Usually people nowadays use "ale" to refer to British-style beers, rather than lagers, and then of course there's the CAMRA mob, who have their own ideas about exactly what is or isn't "real ale". Traditionally, "beer" referred to a fermented malt drink made with hops, and "ale" meant one that didn't use hops - but absolutely nobody uses the terms like that these days.
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Re: Beer

Postby gregorach » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:12 pm

Oh, actually... The super-cheap option for bottles is to use PET bottles (the sort you get soft drinks in) - they're definitely able to stand the pressure, but sometimes it's hard to get rid of the residual odour of the previous contents. And again, you want to keep them out of the light.
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Re: Beer

Postby merlin » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:04 pm

I brew my own, in terms of keeping the beer, I have been going from bottle to plastic keg for years. I like the idea of the bottles, it feels nice to open a bottle, but the residue can be a bit of a pain, depending on the recipe how lashed I am etc. Last year I tried the pet bottles that Gregorach mentioned., it works really well. Same sort of nice feeling opening a bottle, even though it is screw cap, but since the bottles I used were 1.5 litre it was a lot easier to avoid the lees. Now then, it was on the news here that it is really bad news to re use plastic bottles, especially for women?? They were talking about water bottles, since they are pet I suppose it is the same. Anyway, I agree with the lingering taste comment, and since the local advice is not to reuse they will become frost deterrents for the little ones next year.
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Re: Beer

Postby MKG » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:21 pm

The stuff which most people worry about is Bisphenol A, which is found in the stiff, usually opaque, water bottles so beloved of campers and hikers. However, the plastic used in those is polycarbonate. Bisphenol A is NOT found in PET and cannot, therefore, leach into anything from it. There is no research which has established anything like a dangerous level of leeching of any substance from PET. Antimony came the closest (but is of very low toxicity) but even that was found at less than one third of maximum acceptable levels.

PET bottles are safe to re-use and, as Dunc says, are ideal for pressurised drinks (which is why pressurised drinks are sold in them). You will NOT be poisoned.

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Re: Beer

Postby Maykal » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:20 am

I often use swing tops (Grolsch bottles, generally). Just make sure you sanitize the rubber seal properly, preferably by removing it and sanitizing it separately. Also, if you are going to bottle the beer, it might be worth (if you haven't already) getting another container, racking the fermented beer into it and mixing the priming sugar in that before bottling. It helps even out the amount of sugar going into each bottle reducing the chance of a bottle bomb. Also a lot less fiddly than trying to measure out tiny amounts of sugar into 40+ bottles.
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Re: Beer

Postby merlin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:04 am

MKG wrote:The stuff which most people worry about is Bisphenol A, which is found in the stiff, usually opaque, water bottles so beloved of campers and hikers. However, the plastic used in those is polycarbonate. Bisphenol A is NOT found in PET and cannot, therefore, leach into anything from it. There is no research which has established anything like a dangerous level of leeching of any substance from PET. Antimony came the closest (but is of very low toxicity) but even that was found at less than one third of maximum acceptable levels.

PET bottles are safe to re-use and, as Dunc says, are ideal for pressurised drinks (which is why pressurised drinks are sold in them). You will NOT be poisoned.

Mike


Thanks for that, I did think it a bit queer at the time, since they are selling water in the things. I will try to dig out the news clip to see if they say why.
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Re: Beer

Postby gregorach » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:57 am

Maykal wrote:Also, if you are going to bottle the beer, it might be worth (if you haven't already) getting another container, racking the fermented beer into it and mixing the priming sugar in that before bottling. It helps even out the amount of sugar going into each bottle reducing the chance of a bottle bomb. Also a lot less fiddly than trying to measure out tiny amounts of sugar into 40+ bottles.


Very good advice. :icon_smile:
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Re: Beer

Postby boboff » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 am

Wasn't the scare on PET if women drink from water bottles left in the sun in cars for weeks on end it makes them get cancer or something. It was something like that.
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Re: Beer

Postby merlin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:04 am

It was something like that, I have been unable to find it again though.
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Re: Beer

Postby GeorgeSalt » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:41 pm

Snopes has a summary on the stories that were circulating - link
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