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Has anyone used mason jars to bottle in? What were your results if so? They are being sealed like when you can, so I'm especially curious if they hold pressure well.

(I know they are clear, and that presents risks as far as light exposure is concerned.)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Mason jars are designed to retain a vacuum seal, not keep outward pressure in. Chances are it may hold the pressure up to a certain point before the actual seal on the lid fails, but the glass itself is not tempered glass, and therefor is not designed to withstand the pressures of bottle conditioning. Bottle conditioning inside of mason jars may easily result in... jar bombs. I would advise against it.

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You can run mason jars through a pressure caner. Given that, is the pressure from bottling still a concern? That certainly makes sense about the seal. – mpurkeypile Jan 17 '14 at 17:37

Don't Do It
The Mason Jars can withstand the pressure inside a pressure cooker, because the jars are usually sanitised with lids open (so steam goes everywhere) in the pressure cooker. The pressure is surrounding the glass, on the inside and the outside of the jar, acting ON the glass, the system (within the cooker) is balanced.
With bottling, the pressure of CO2 is HIGH inside the jar and LOW outside the jar, the system is not balanced. Pressure moves outwards smashing the weak unsuitable glass to balance the system.

If you really want to see for yourself, place yeast + sugar water in the jar and place inside a box somewhere of suitable temperature and away from everyone and everything!

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Couldn't find the compressive strength of glass compared to the tensile strength of glass, but a mason jar would probably be able to withstand higher pressure acting on the outside (as in canning, or under vacuum) than pressure acting from the inside, even if the compressive and tensile strengths are the same.
As far as the light is concerned, just put the containers in a dark place.

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I have actual experience with this... For a period of time I was "bottling" with mason jars off the fridge taps for co workers (the ease of filling is still tempting). I was finding that after about 4 hours unrefrigerated (I don't have any data on long term refrigerated storage) the lid would peak outward and crease about from the center to the band (the part that screws on). The band did seem to keep the sealing compound flush with the rim of the jar enough to keep the beer carbonated, but I assume this would not be true for long term storage. The take-away here is, short term... ok, but your going to toast the lid every time... long term, I wouldnt do it!

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I have a friend who, against my firmly worded advice, bottles in mason jars. He uses two lids to avoid this problem. No bottle bombs yet... – Tobias Patton Jul 3 at 13:58
@TobiasPatton thats a great idea! – Ryan Shdo Jul 6 at 17:01

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