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A few months back, BYO had an article about hard sodas including hard ginger beer. It talked about the necessity of using strengthened bottles with caged tops (ie. like champagne bottles) due to level of fermentation that happens in the bottle.

Would EZ-Cap/Grolsch-style caps be sufficient? The bottles these come with also appear to be thicker than my re-used crown cap bottles.

I fancy making some hard ginger beer and perhaps even try hard dandelion & burdock, but probably not if I have to invest in a few cases of special bottles!

  • This question is old I know, but for anyone coming by, Trader Joe's often sells a soda labeled "Ginger Brew" in swing-top bottles. They are quite hefty, and could certainly take the pressure if you can get through enough bottles of it to make a batch – bendl Nov 8 '17 at 17:36
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If it recommends a Champagne bottle, then an flip top bottle would be risky.

Not so much as the style of cap, but for the thickness of the bottle glass. Champagne bottles are rated for about 90 psi, while others are a fraction of that.

Champagne use cork and cage, some use lambics use cork and normal cap.

This video best illustrates the difference between a Champagne bottle and a normal bottle. Warning very graphic. Idiot with slingshot v. champagne bottle Maybe a fake vid but makes a good point.

I would bottle it into two liter soda bottles, as an alternative

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  • Years ago I did make some regular ginger beer. One of those kits that is more a list of instructions than a kit of ingredients. I used soda bottles (can't remember if they were glass or plastic) and I did have an explosion - the screw cap stripped its thread. Very messy. I quickly moved the other bottles into the garage and put them in a bucket with another bucket over the top! The plastic bottle might be strong enough, but I'm wary of screw caps. However they are easy to release the pressure with... (cf. @Mr_road's answer) – winwaed Jun 21 '16 at 12:53
  • I think the combined answers are the real answer, but marking this one as the answer due to the bit about bottle thicknesses. – winwaed Jun 21 '16 at 12:59
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I'm a bit late to the conversation, but I also recently started brewing my own Ginger Beer using a Ginger Bug and bottling in the Grolsch-Style swing top bottles. I've had very good success with this method, and got curious as to the pressure capabilities of the swing-top style vs. a crimped top, as I would like to continue experimenting with commercial yeasts on some batches.

I am using the EZ-Cap bottles and their YouTube Channel shows one of their quality tests at 120psi for a swing top, so that gives me more confidence to continue using those bottles for all of my brewing needs. I know the crimped style is just throwing away a cap, but the swing top bottles don't even have that waste. Those rubber seals will last through numerous bottling sessions before needing to be replaced. Bonus that no special tool is required to close and open them.

https://youtu.be/1LwjQfQ2zFs

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I have always bottled my hard ginger beer in soda bottles, and released the excess CO2 every day for the first 3 days then drunk it all on the fourth or fifth day.

If you were to ferment it out completely then prime as you would a beer, then you can use any beer bottles you like.

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  • Combined with @Evil Zymurgist, this might well be the answer. I did make a regular ginger beer many years ago and thinking back I think I must have done something similar, even though a screw cap did strip its threads. I'll have to remember to release the pressure every day. The downside to your schedule is I'm going to have ~5 gallons of alcoholic ginger beer that needs drinking at the same time! :-) – winwaed Jun 21 '16 at 12:58
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IMHO and experience, the best bottles to use for "shorter term" conditioning of ginger beer (and related "fast ferments") are plastic PET bottles. The screw tops are sufficiently strong and the actual PET bottles are incredibly strong. If the worst happens and the bottle explodes - they are not as dangerous as glass bottles! The only problem with a PET bottle is that the CO2 can slowly diffuse through the plastic over a period of (say) 1 year. If you plan to drink any brews within 3 months of making them, PET bottles are very good and I would recommend their use above using glass of any description.

Having said that I make red fizzy wine from grape juice. After primary fermentation I mix 24 litres of the base wine with 450g of dextrose. This produces a great deal of secondary carbonation in the red fizz and I use robust 500ml flip top bottles used for "Hovels" beer. They look more like mini-Champagne bottles and have a slightly domed base and thick glass bodies. I have tried using modern style Grolsch beer bottles and they have taken the full pressure similar to Hovels bottles. So flip top closures can and do hold a good deal of gas pressure over many month. However it is generally supposed that flat bottomed beer bottles with thinner glass walls are not suitable for high pressure applications - so proceed with caution when using standard beer bottles to make highly carbonated brews.

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