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I have around 4 boxes of 24oz's and 4 boxes of 12oz's.

I started brewing roughly 8 months ago and have purchased these bottles over the 8 months.

When I open the bottles to pour a brew, I've had them occasionally break in the past.

However, I've noticed that this particular batch I must have broke 6 out of 24 12oz bottles when I opened them.

The glass from the top of the 12oz just splinters everywhere (luckily it never gets in the brew).

Is this common or am I doing something wrong?

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Sounds like you're using some crap bottles, or you are over-carbonating, or you're going Captain Caveman on the caps. I'd recommend pouring the beer through a fine-mesh strainer so you keep the chewables out of your pint glass. –  Scott Feb 5 at 5:46
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6 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You're doing something wrong.

I've broken exactly one 22 oz bottle in 10 years of homebrewing, probably due to overcarbonation, not opening mechanical stress.

(Also, if I broke glass anywhere near liquid, I would toss it all categorically. I can not fathom how you think opening a 12oz bottle of beer that splinters "everywhere" does not get "in the brew". shudder)

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You are not capping twist-off-lid bottles are you???

If you are using an old style Hammer Capper for your caps it could maybe damage your glass if your bit too heavy handed. Buy/try a lever capper.
Have you tried using a different bottle opener style. I had experience of bar that chipped the majority of the glass bottle from a wall mounted opener, I soon went else where.
You could try slightly opening the cap one side for a hiss, then using the opener on the other side to remove the cap.

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I'm not using the twist-off-lid bottles. I've started doing the technique you mentioned previously which seems to work better. –  Matthew Moisen Feb 7 at 19:40
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You may be adding too much priming sugar, and the extra pressure from the gas can weaken the glass, or cause it to crack in place. When you open the bottle, it releases the pressure and allows the pieces to separate.

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If you have been heat sterilizing the bottles in your oven or otherwise. Its likely the glass has gotten brittle.

If you have been re using commercial craft beer bottles those are not truly intended to be refilled and sealed. The glass is slightly thinner than new bottle purchased from the LHBS.

However, I used to refill Sam Adams bottles all the time and never had then breaking like you describe.

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I have had bottles break, though mostly from over priming and they break at the base, but also from wear and tear and just defective (had one break long ways... along a line on the bottle). My first question though, is do you buy bottles empty? That might contribute to wear and tear in shipping and handling. I certainly enjoyed emptying full bottles back when I first started :-)

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The only bottles I've ever had break were from over carbonating when I first started years ago. This is likely from bottling too early and/or priming with too much sugar.

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