When you brew at home you’ll need to take a lot into consideration, from what malt products you’re going to use to bottling beer and how you’re going to do just that. Before you choose a method though, you’ll need to first choose your beer bottles – and make sure you inspect them properly before using them. Over time, the bottles you use for storing your beer can become chipped, scratched, or otherwise damaged, especially if you’re using the same beer bottles over and over again. If the bottles are damaged in any way, they could potentially explode during the brewing process while they’re being sterilized or put under extreme pressure. Because those chips and scratches affect the pressure inside the bottle, it could end up ruining the entire bottle. To avoid that, inspect the beer bottles properly by using the method below. First start by looking at the bottles the same you would look for clean drinking glasses – by holding them up to the light. It’s here that minor damages will be most apparent. Make sure you pay special attention to the mouth of the bottle for cracks, and the sides of the bottle for small cracks. Once you see that all parts of the bottle are smooth and damage-free, then check to make sure that they’re completely clean. Small water spots aren’t such a big deal, but grime that gathers in the bottom of the bottle is. This is a common area for bacteria and mildew buildup and, because it’s at the very bottom and on the inside, it’s one of the most often overlooked. If there is mold or other dirt inside, another cleaning and sterilization may be required. If however the dirt cannot be removed, or you notice damage on the bottle, it must be thrown out. Inspecting your beer bottles for damage or dirt may seem like a minor task when you first start bottling your own beer. But taking a few minutes to ensure your bottles are in good condition will save you a lot of time, and beer, in the end. Another blog post that may be of interest is, "How To Bottle Your Beer: Tips On Bottling Beer".