What are PET bottles anyway?
PET bottles, or Polyethylene terephthalate bottles as they are known in the science world, are one of the most common types of bottle used amongst home brewers. The reason being that they are easily obtainable, lightweight, easy to store and almost indestructible. Most fizzy drinks these days come in PET bottles. If you want to start keeping your home brew beer in them then you just need to start saving them up.
I have even known home brewers to buy a whole load of value branded fizzy water and throw the contents away just to get the cheap bottles. However that seems a bit wasteful to me. You could maybe buy the still water, which also comes in PET bottles most of the time, and use the contents to brew your beer. Now there’s food for thought.
The pros and cons of PET bottles
The real advantages of PET bottles are that they are extremely strong. They will easily withstand the pressures of secondary fermentation, you can brew ginger beer in them, you can drop them or even chuck them around during brewing and they will not break. I have even dropped a full one on more than one occasion and it has bounced. Try that with a glass bottle of your favourite brew! Maybe not.
They are pretty easy to clean as well. I would say that it is best to rinse them out immediately after use, but having done that, a quick swish round under the tap and dunk in steriliser before use and they are ready to go. One thing you can’t do is to put them in the dishwasher as you can with swing top bottles. I’m not sure that they would melt, but they would just bounce around under the pressure of the water jets.
The only real disadvantage of using PET bottles is the look. A swing top or glass top bottle looks good when you are entertaining friends and family. If you want to use PET bottles and want them to look a bit better then consider buying a set from the suppliers below. A brew of 24 matching bottles of beer in PET bottles still looks the part. Also the green screw caps provide a better seal than some of the lesser fizzy drink bottles. The caps are also tamper proof, having?a seal which is broken on the first use. However they can be reused again and again.
Amber, green or clear?
Amber or brown bottles are better as they prevent some light affecting the beer. If you decide to use green or clear PET bottles for making red wine or beer, ensure that you store it in the dark as light can have an adverse reaction on some of the ingredients and may cause off flavours. However, having said that, I have used clear bottles for years and never had a bad brew yet.
You can buy PET bottles here: –