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Bottling questions

First time brewer here. I am preparing to start the bottling process, I was wondering if it is possible to bottle in growlers? I have a few i could use to supplement my lack of 12 oz. bottles.

On a side note is 3 weeks too long to let American wheat beer sit in the 5 gal. pvc carboy bucket during the fermentation process? I do not have a specific gravity tester.

I have not tried bottling in a growler. Most say no, some say yes. Try a google search on it.
It’s fine to leave your brew in a fermenter for three weeks. It’s a good standard without a hydromter. But do buy a hydrometer, they help a lot, and will let you determine abv.
You can probably get more 12oz bottles from a beer distributor, especially if you’re a good customer there. Mine lets me have empties for the 5c deposit.

I’ve heard that bottling in a growler is not a good idea. Supposedly the glass isn’t thick enough for the bottle conditioning and can turn into a bottle bomb.

On the flip side I’ve also heard of people who have done it without any problem.

I just don’t want to be the guy who has a growler explode and send shrapnel into my eyes when I pick it up, or have a huge mess, or lose 1/2 gallon of beer.

To me collecting bottles was the easy part, I’ve got a good little stockpile going now. What I did was grab a few sixers of the same brews that I was going to make. that gave me something to compare my homebrew to.

PLEASE don’t bottle in a growler. They are not made for pressure and are horribly dangerous if they explode. Research a little in this forum and try to find a post by ITsPossible about his experience–very scary. I hope he sees this thread and will chime in. No joke, this could be very dangerous. I had a bottle bomb in a regular 12 0z bottle and it threw glass all over the room. I’m really glad that you did ask before trying. Best of luck with the bottling and brewing.


I agree, my experience was the same…BOOM…and the growlers that didn’t pop were flat. Stick with 20 and 12 ounce bottles.

Thanks much for the replies, and warnings.
Definitely not worth taking the chance. I do have a bunch of older 12 oz. bottles ready to be taken in for deposit, but they were not promptly rinsed, so I was weary of using them for fear they would not come clean enough for use.

Soak them in hot PBW overnight and grab a bottle brush to scrub. Sanitize and use. They will be fine.

I’ve never experimented with growlers, so can’t comment on that. But if you’re still leery about using the 12 oz. bottles that weren’t promptly rinsed, just run to your LHBS if you have one nearby and buy new bottles. You’ll probably pay about 50 cents a bottle, kinda pricey, but then you can rest assured they’re clean and you won’t have any bad bottles in your batch. When I have new bottles I don’t even bother cleaning them. I just submerge them in sanitizer solution and let dry a little right before bottling. They might be a little dusty, but there will be no gunk in them so a thorough cleaning isn’t necessary in my experience.

If you choose to reuse the bottles you have, I 2nd what Loopie Beer said. Submerge them in a PBW or Oxiclean w/water solution and let them soak overnight, then scrub them out well with a bottle brush and rinse with plain water. Sanitize right before bottling (obviously). I have two coolers (and a bottle brush) that I use to clean bottles and makes it a breeze. One cooler is full of PBW/water, the other is full of plain water. Wash in one, rinse in the other. Put them in an empty (clean) dishwasher to dry if you don’t have a bottle tree or fast rack.

Thanks for the cleaning methods, I’ll give that a try tomorrow.

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