Can I Reuse Store Bought Beer Bottles For Home Brew?

Question

Can I reuse beer bottles that I have from other store bought beers as home brew bottles?

The only downfall that I see is that most home-brewers who use bottles use 20oz. bottles and therefore need far fewer to get their 5-10 gallons of home-brew bottled.

Answer

Absolutely, where I live I can get used bottles at the reclamation center for $.05 each. I get the 22 oz. size since it’s easier to bottle 30 vs 50+.

I also found that the reclamation centers are helpful and will separate the bottles from others, and will allow me to take the time I need to reject those with embossed labels, odd shapes, or overly moldy insides.

I soak the used bottles in a 30 gallon garbage pail with strong bleach sanitizer and then wash and rinse until clean. I scrape the labels with a drywall knife blade and then scrub with a Scotchbrite pad. I then soak them in a second sterilizing barrel. I then run these bottles through the dishwasher just before bottling.

30 bottles = .05 X 30 = $1.50 and if you’re lucky enough, you might get the boxes too!

Once I’ve gone through the initial process, I recycle my bottles and it’s very easy and quick to repeat again.