NwMaltHead

Hand Bottle Capper

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Has anyone used the hand capper sold by Mr Beer? Wondering how good it is. Looking to use glass from here on out, now that I know the measurements for carbonating.

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I've used it, with 10 batches, and it works fine. However I would suggest you practice on a few bottles of water before you do full bottles of beer. The downward action on the handles if not coordinated can kick the bottle to one side and you'll loose a full bottle of beer.

 

But I'm really anxious to try out the bench capper that the in-laws bought me for Christmas.

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Never in my 15+ years in brewing have I ever had negative issues with those cappers. In all the homebrew shops I worked at, I don't recall any returns on that product due to defects or operational failures either. They're very reliable as long as you take care of them. As brybry pointed out, you might want to cap a few bottles just to get used to it. Bench cappers are easier and faster, but more expensive and less portable (not that you'll have any reason to carry a capper around...lol).

Cato, NwMaltHead, brybry and 1 other like this

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Thanks alot guys! I plan on getting a bench capper in summer after I upgrade to 5gal partial mash operation. Got a lot of 22oz empties sitting around, figure I'd put them to use.

MRB Josh R likes this

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Adding another voice to the chorus here.  I started using the MrB hand capper two years ago and have been very satisfied with it.  It has been a real workhorse for me.  I was never happy with the PET bottles that came with my starter kit, and since I had four cases of 22-oz glass bottles from my time brewing at a local brew-on-premises shop, I decided to order a capper and give it a try.  Turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made in this hobby.

MRB Josh R likes this

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yeah, i also use a wing capper.. i use a kitchen towel under the bottle when capping, to help with any issues of the bottle sliding around when capping.  never has a spill, just a couple near misses before the towel was used... 

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Bench capper also requires a dedicated space, which I simply don't have right now.  I've used bench cappers at the brew-on-premises shop that I've frequented for at least 10 years, and agree that they are superior to wing cappers.  However, the wing capper does all that I require of a capper at the moment; never had a bottle slide, never spilled any beer (spilled beer is a tragedy of epic proportions), never had any damage worse than a bent cap that had to be tossed (one every two or three batches, a ratio I'll gladly accept).

 

Of course, I've just jinxed myself and when I bottle my ESB in two weeks I'll break a bunch of bottles and spill half the beer ...

slym2none likes this

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1 hour ago, cowboykyle said:

yeah, i also use a wing capper.. i use a kitchen towel under the bottle when capping, to help with any issues of the bottle sliding around when capping.  never has a spill, just a couple near misses before the towel was used... 

If I hadn't received a bench capper for Christmas I'd use the towel, greta idea.

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I acquired a capper this last summer when I bought a bottling bucket and an additional hydrometer, and bottling wand. the capper works great! the only issue I have on occasion is I reuse bottles I buy in the liquor store, and sometimes I may crack the top of the bottle during capping, but I may be pressing down too hard.

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The downfall of the bench capper is that if you have bottles of different sizes you will be adjusting for each size. My acquired bottles are 70% standard longnecks and 30% ish other sizes. For this reason I never got one but the reviews have been good. If you have all the same bottles the bench capper is probably the best option. If varied, you might want to consider a winged capper so you're not messing with the settings constantly.

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I'm with you RickBeer. Bench capper. It doesn't take up much room.The base is roughly 6 in. by 8 in. When I bottle,I set up like an assembly line.Grab sanitized bottle,fill from fermenter or slimline,drop in Domino Dot,put on cap and pull handle. Easy as that.Never had a bottle break or slip off. Best choice for bottling IMHO. I've got one like in your picture.It's adjustable to fit any sized bottle.

 

Edited by Garson
update

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Bench capper for me. 

 

Pull down handle and release, turn bottle 180 degrees and pull down handle again.  Never had a loose cap or broken bottle.  Takes up no more space than it takes to cap with a wing capper.

RickBeer likes this

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I've been using the Mr. Beer plastic bottles for my first 8 batches...until my son gave me some 12 oz glass bottles for Xmas.  Made a run over to the local brew store and just figured I'd go for the bench capper.  Worked very well after just practicing a few times with water in the bottles.  From what I've read and heard, the bench capper is just a little easier to use and a little less effort to get the same capping force as the winged cappers.

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Yeah they both have their pros and cons. Bench cappers are great for people doing batches larger than 2 gallons since wing cappers can become a pain in the ass to use after awhile when bottles 50+ bottles of beer. But wing cappers are sufficient for folks with limited space and small batches.

 

Just steer clear of these cappers if you see them: Beer-Bottle-Capper.jpg

 

We used to get them returned to our homebrew shop quite a bit in the past. I never used them myself, but they didn't sell very well. They're a bit flimsy and seem like they would break easily. The most common issue with them was the riveted joints breaking off during bottling. The last thing you need is to have a broken capper in the middle of bottling.  

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Also keep in mind that there are 2 different crimping bell housing sizes for the cappers. The 26.5mm size is the standard size, but there is also a 29mm size for some European bottles. If using those bottles, you will need that bell along with the proper size caps (the bells are threaded and screw right off). These bottles are far and few between in the US, but if you come across any and wonder why your caps won't fit, now you know.

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24 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

Also keep in mind that there are 2 different crimping bell housing sizes for the cappers. The 26.5mm size is the standard size, but there is also a 29mm size for some European bottles. If using those bottles, you will need that bell along with the proper size caps (the bells are threaded and screw right off). These bottles are far and few between in the US, but if you come across any and wonder why your caps won't fit, now you know.

 

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NwMaltHead and nozzlenut like this

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On 12/30/2015 at 2:40 PM, brybry said:

The downward action on the handles if not coordinated can kick the bottle to one side and you'll loose a full bottle of beer.

I use a piece of that rubberized drawer liner material under my bottles when I hand cap.  Works great.

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I have both a bench and hand capper.  I have used the hand (wing) capper a couple of times just to do it, but I like the bench capper much better.  I bought a used "vintage bench capper" off of ebay similar to this one: Link

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So I have the winged capper from Mr.beer. After starting to brew several batches I realized that saving bottles is obviously easier than buying hundreds of bottles. The only problem is my capper slips when I try to bottle beers with SN or Lagunitas bottles. I know some cappers come apart to switch the handles around for the smaller bottles, can I do this with my winged capper as well? Anyone have a link for directions? 

 

Thanks guys!!!

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