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Really Old Bottles

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capsicum

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Hi all,

I recently salvaged some old beer bottles from friend's station. Some of them I dug from the ground near the ruins of an old homestead, so I'm guessing they're at least a few decades old. They're really heavy and have 'this bottle always remains property of the west australian glass manufacturers' around the bottom with some other symbols.

I thought it would be cool to put them to their original purpose and give the station owner some of my dark ale in them (he'll be stoked). Has anyone got any experience with using really old bottles or some glass knowledge? I'm worried about weathering of the glass causing weakness. I'll make sure the ale isn't too carbonated when I decant from the keg.

Don't worry, I'll make sure they're ultra clean.
 

dkaos

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The way they used to make bottles, I'd say they would be fine. Back then the glass was so much thicker you might be in with a chance!
 

petesbrew

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Maybe put in something like an english ale, porter or stout, etc, that doesn't mind lower carbonation (eg, less priming sugar)
 

capsicum

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Porter's a good idea, more traditional.

I'll pour from the keg, no priming sugar.
 

Tony M

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I collected a few dozen bottles from a station in the Murchison a few years ago and found them extremely difficult to clean because of the red dirt which had set like concrete inside them. Also, The end of one of my fingers is permanently numb from a deep cut inflicted by a shard of glass from a bottle which I broke in the washing operation. I found that they break very easily and unlike a modern bottle which shatters into reasonably civilised pieces, the old ones break into long sharp and evil shards with murderous knife edges.
Although they are twice the weight of a modern bottle, I doubt they are as strong, so don't over-prime.
I should add that apart from the incident mentioned above, I used my bottles successfully until I went to kegs about eight years ago.
 

capsicum

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difficult to clean because of the red dirt which had set like concrete inside them
Can you remember how you cleaned them? I'm having moderate success with CLR. Takes a fair bit of effort but they come up really nice.
 

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