Why use swing top bottles and where to get them
Swing top bottles are rapidly gaining popularity amongst home brewers. The only problem is the initial outlay. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of using swing top bottles, explain how best to use and maintain them and provide a link through which you can buy them.
So, to start with, what are the advantages of swing top bottles?
The really great thing about them is that they are able to withstand huge pressure and so are ideal for bottling carbonated drinks such as lager. However you do need to make sure you buy the Grolsch style swing top bottles. These are usually stated as such and are capable of withstanding high pressure. They will have ceramic stoppers whereas some inferior bottles will use thinner glass and plastic swing top stoppers. The good quality bottles will easily withstand secondary fermentation and so won’t break.
Another advantage of swing top bottles is that they are easy to clean. If you rinse them straight after use then you can sterilise them by washing them in the dishwasher; something you can’t do with PET bottles of course. Alternatively you can wash them thoroughly and sterilise before use as normal.
Ease of use must play an important part as well. Fill them up, snap the top over, job done. No caps and cappers needed. This saves on money over time, recouping the initial outlay. You may have to replace the rubber washers from time to time but they are quite cheap.
Finally I’d say one big advantage is that they look good. If you have friends around and offer them a beer, imagine how much better it looks in a swing top bottle over a PET bottle.
Amber, green or clear?
Amber or brown glass is the best colour to prevent light effecting your beer. If you do use green or clear swing top bottles, try to store them in a dark place.
So what are the cons of using them? Only really the initial cost I think. If you are on very good terms with a local publican then you may be able to acquire a few there.
Otherwise you can buy swing top bottles here: –