P.E.T. Plastic Beer Bottles - Food Grade Plastic Beer Bottles for your Hombrewing Needs
I've been using P.E.T. plastic beer bottles since first brewing with my Mr. Beer Kit a few years back. They're easy to use, require only the twist off caps that come with them, are just as easy to clean and disinfect, come in a nice large size, and unlike glass beer bottles, can help you determine the carbonation inside without opening the beer by becoming hard from its original softer disposition.
History of PET
During the early part of the 20th century, plastics polymers evolved from natural rubbers to highly specialized synthetics resins - ballooning into hundreds of categories into the 1950s. PET was invented in 1941 by Calico Printers Association. Polyethylene Terephthalate became popular in the 1950's as a textile fabric because of its moisture resistance, strength and wear, which made it a good option for replacing natural wool, cotton and silk. By 1973, the PET plastic bottle was patented by Nathaniel Wyeth.
Since its patenting, it's been used in wide industries such as cosmetics packaging, juice and carbonated soft drinks, as well as plastic beer bottles.
Science of PET Plastic Bottles
Polyethylene Terephthalate is a linear thermoplastic long-chain molecule consisting of repeating units of terephthalate, ester, ethylene and ester. It is made from a bluish white resin consisting of terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol through poly condensation.
Production of PET Plastic Bottles
Provided in 0.05 gram resin pellets, PET bottles are made by injection molding or stretch blow molding. In injection molding, molten PET is injected into a cavity then rapidly cooled. In Stretch Blow Molding, a hot preform is both stretched and formed at the same time, stretching to various directions and increasing the strength in the PET molecular structure, where they act united as opposed to individually, making for a stronger bottle.
PET Plastic Beer Bottles for the Homebrewer
It seems logical that with so many plastic soda bottles and other juice and fluid containers made from PET, there would be plenty of beer bottles made from plastic available. But creating a plastic bottle for beer has several challenges.
Broken down into three groups, PET beer bottles need higher barrier performance in both oxygen o2 and carbon dioxide co2 barriers. Unlike soda and other juices, PET plastic beer bottles require additional coloring to protect beer from ultraviolet radiation damage, which results in that familiar skunk smell. Finally, the bottles need to be stronger, resulting from the co2 pressure from bottle refermentation and carbonation, usually from yeast cells reacting to priming sugar during the final stages of bottle conditioning.
Their advantages continue to be worth the consideration: Ease of use, twist caps that come with the bottles, carbonation identification, price, and continuous reuse. But just drink up quickly and save your special aging brews for bottles - these tend to lose carbonation in about a month or a a bit longer.
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