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I just started brewing my first batch (yay!) and want to set up for bottling while I wait. My question is simple: Can I start using Swing-Tops like Grolsch to bottle my beer?
I've heard varying reports about skunking my beer with the green glass, or that the seal is imperfect. Do you think it would be any harder to clean the glass inside these reusable bottles? I would consider capping my own beer although I'd rather save the expense until I learn a little more about brewing.

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4 Answers 4

I have used swing tops in the past without issue. If you are worried about the seal you can buy replacement seals, which should probably be done every once in a while. I don't think it's necessary every time. I have bottled 2 batches using some Fischer bottles and had zero problems with the seal.

As far as the green bottles go. If you keep it out of the light you should have no problems. Beer Advocate has a good explanation as to why the green bottles will not be a problem.

Skunked beer: http://beeradvocate.com/articles/527

Fischer bottle: http://www.enveloop.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/fischer-beer-660-ml.jpg

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Good to know about buying replacement seals, and thanks for the green bottle advice. It's good to know that the swing tops have worked in practice for others! –  BrewNoob Dec 29 '09 at 16:12
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I've bottled some of my beer in swing top bottles. I like them pretty well but they are difficult to scavenge (rare) and expensive to purchase. So if cost is your motivator buying a capper (check craigslist) and caps, and fishing bottles out of a local pub's dumpster (ask permission and wear gloves!) will probably be cheaper.

I had one seal fail on me, so you definitely want to get new seals from time to time. The beer in the failed seal bottle didn't skunk, it just simply didn't carbonate. I drank it anyway and it was fine, just flat.

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Worst case scenario = flat? Sounds acceptable to me. Unfortunately fishing bottles out of the dumpster isn't the easiest option for me: without a car in Brooklyn, it would be hard to bring new bottles back. Fortunately, my first batch is in a tiny 2 gallon jug, so I won't need to buy too many swing tops. –  BrewNoob Dec 29 '09 at 16:15
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I have a few cases of the swing top bottles in a 1 ltr size. I have been using them for years now without any issues. Every batch I make we use 1 of these bottles to store for at least a year and have had no problems when finally cracking one open.

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I use old Grolsch bottles all the time, with no problems. I keep them in a box (out of the light) when priming, then they go into the fridge when ready, or the basement.

I get many re-uses out of the rubber gaskets, but do inspect them for cracks/tears that may prevent a proper seal.

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