Are swing-top bottles good for homebrew?

I always preferred the appearance of swing-top bottles over regular bottles since, at least to me, they look much more stylish and are just better-looking overall.

However, are they really good for homebrewing and for conditioning your beer, or are there some disadvantages to using them?

In this article, I will go over why I use Swing-top bottles most of the time, what their pros and cons are, how to assemble them if they don’t come pre-assembled (or assembled the wrong why like it happened to me), how long the gaskets on them last, etc.

Are swing-top bottles good for homebrew?

If the gaskets in swing-top bottles are in good shape and seal the bottle properly, then they are just as good for bottle conditioning beer as any other beer bottle since they are reusable and can withstand the pressure generated form the carbonation process.

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty and find out why swing-top bottles are good as well as what their cons are!

Swing-top bottles are great for conditioning beer

There is absolutely no difference in a regular beer bottle and swing-top bottles except for the cap type that they use, which means that swing-top bottles are 100% reusable and don’t require you to purchase hundreds of crown caps over time, and in their thickness, since swing-top bottles are usually a bit thicker, making them even stronger.

When assembling mine, one fell off the table right on its side and it didn’t get damaged at all, so yes, they are very durable!

They don’t explode during carbonation

Since they are slightly thicker than regular beer bottles, they are capable of withstanding the carbonation forces generated inside the bottle during the conditioning phase and, although all beer bottles are designed to withstand this, it’s an additional layer of safety.

They are reusable and don’t generate as much waste

Since swing-top bottles are 100% reusable, they almost don’t generate any waste. You only ever need to swap out the gaskets if they dry out, and while this does depend on the quality of said gaskets, they generally last for a couple of years.

Basically, you won’t have to buy and throw out hundreds of crown caps every year when using these types of bottles.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with swing-top bottles and they definitely have their drawbacks, one of which happened to me just a few days ago.

What I don’t like about swing-top bottoms

The very nature of the way swing-top bottles work gives you some room for error when closing them, and you need to make absolutely certain that the top is set perfectly in the center of the bottle and that the gasket is actually creating a perfect seal, otherwise your beer won’t carbonate.

Gasket of bottle marked with the red square isn’t sitting perfectly on the bottle and may let CO2 out, resulting in an uncarbonated beer.

This actually happened to me with the last batch I brewed since I didn’t pay close-enough attention during the bottling process and three out of my twenty bottles hadn’t carbonated, which is way too many, and this doesn’t really happen with crown caps since they always seal the bottle off properly.

Another similar reason that you may not want to use swing-top bottles is because of how long the gaskets may or may not last, and once they are old, they won’t seal the bottle properly and the beer won’t carbonate properly, or at all.

Swapping out the gaskets isn’t that big a deal, however, but you may realize that they are too old once you find out that your beer did not carbonate and by then it’s too late.

Are swing-top bottles easy to clean?

Swing-top bottles are slightly harder to clean than conventional beer bottles because of the top itself, since it’s one additional part that needs to be thoroughly cleaned and because there are tiny gaps between the gasket and the cap where bacteria and other strange particles might end up.

However, submerging the entirety of the bottle in sanitizing liquid will do the trick, and as far as cleaning the insides of the bottle goes, it’s identical to cleaning a regular beer bottle.

Can you put swing-top bottles in the dishwasher?

Although it’s recommended to wash the bottles by hand and to clean the insides with a bottle brush, you can put swing-top bottles in a dishwasher which will further help clean and sanitize them. However, although many claim that the heat from the dishwasher won’t harm the gaskets, it’s still rubber, so I would recommend taking the top/cork system off before putting them in the dishwasher.

Since the gaskets are the only part of swing-top bottles that need replacing, I would recommend not doing anything that might harm them, and heat is one of those things you should avoid with gaskets in general to prolong their lifespan.

How to assemble swing-top bottles

Although I could write the instructions on how to assemble swing-top bottles myself, I think it’s much better if you just watch this 1.5-minute video that makes it extremely easy to understand:

In my case, the bottles that I ordered did come pre-assembled, but the person that assembled them clearly didn’t watch the video I just linked since the system was installed the wrong way and there was absolutely no way for me to actually seal the bottles.

So, I had to manually disassemble all 24 bottle caps and put them on the right way. Thankfully, this only took me like 5 minutes.

How long do swing top bottles last? (gaskets dry out)

How long your swing-top bottles will last depends on the gasket quality and how well you take care of them, since leaving them near a window in direct sunlight, for example, will drastically shorten the lifespan of the gaskets themselves.

Cheap swing-top bottles usually come with poor-quality gaskets that need to be replaced about once a year, but if you purchase high-quality ones, then those could last you up to three or even four years, depending on how well you take care of the bottles.

The good thing is that, even if you have to swap out the gaskets, they are extremely affordable and it’s also really easy to do.


So, would I recommend using swing-top/flip-top bottles, and the answer is yes. I usually fill up my swing-top bottles and once I don’t have any more, then I move on to the regular beer bottles, and this is because I don’t like having to use crown caps, plus I just love how swing-top bottles look.

Just remember that you will need to pay close attention when you’re closing the cap during the bottling process unless you want to risk the beer not carbonating because it didn’t seal off properly.

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