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StretchNM

Bottle Capper

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I received my bottle capper and some caps. Tomorrow when I bottle the MRB 1776 Ale, most of the brew will go into 16oz flip-tops, but I plan to put some in a few 12oz bottles that I've been saving. So I took a few caps and practiced with some Sam Adams bottles. The capper works well, but I didn't put anything in the bottles to see if they leaked.

 

When you guys use your bottle cappers, do you just press once or do you then turn the bottle 1/2 turn or so and press again?

 

Thank you

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4 hours ago, StretchNM said:

I received my bottle capper and some caps. Tomorrow when I bottle the MRB 1776 Ale, most of the brew will go into 16oz flip-tops, but I plan to put some in a few 12oz bottles that I've been saving. So I took a few caps and practiced with some Sam Adams bottles. The capper works well, but I didn't put anything in the bottles to see if they leaked.

 

When you guys use your bottle cappers, do you just press once or do you then turn the bottle 1/2 turn or so and press again?

 

Thank you

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I've only ever crimped it once whether using the hand or bench capper.

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Yesterday after I took that photo, I cleaned those caps in soapy water, rinsed, OBW, rinsed, and air dried. Today 8 of them sat in sanitizer before I capped my six bottles. I did 8 just in case, so if something happened I wouldn't be rushing to get another cap in to the solution. I also had an extra sanitized 12 oz bottle on standby.

 

I'm going to make a wooden piece of 1X with 2 holes in it - 1 to fit 12oz bottles (and their slightly varying diameters, i.e. Sam Adams vs Coors) and 1 to fit the 16oz flip-top bottles. This will clamp to the countertop (eventually to a bench) and will prevent any sliding.

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32 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

Yesterday after I took that photo, I cleaned those caps in soapy water, rinsed, OBW, rinsed, and air dried. Today 8 of them sat in sanitizer before I capped my six bottles. I did 8 just in case, so if something happened I wouldn't be rushing to get another cap in to the solution. I also had an extra sanitized 12 oz bottle on standby.

 

I'm going to make a wooden piece of 1X with 2 holes in it - 1 to fit 12oz bottles (and their slightly varying diameters, i.e. Sam Adams vs Coors) and 1 to fit the 16oz flip-top bottles. This will clamp to the countertop (eventually to a bench) and will prevent any sliding.

you don't need to wash your new bottle caps. just sanitize them. also, not everyone has a bench capper, although, having one myself they are very nice. @Shrike's advice about the wet dish towel is spot on. that's what i did when i used a wing capper.

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Thanks Jdub, I wasn;t sure, so I washed them anyway just in case a mouse or something peed on them at the warehouse. And then on to sanitizing - Even my dish towel was soaked in Star San and wrung out before it went on the counter. I mopped my floor with it. Made my daughter's cat stand in the tub up past his ankles - even dipped the last 1-1/2" of his tail in. I brushed my teeth and used it as a mouthwash. Next brew session, I'm filling a humidifier with the stuff just for the kitchen. I was thinking maybe I'd try Star San solution as my brew water. Take no chances.....have no fear. (Although I do admit to being scared a little with the foam remaining in each bottle before filling. The priming sugar was dissolving quickly sitting in that 1/4" of Star San in the bottom of the bottle.).

 

Don't be Scared ™ (I tell myself, again and again)

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Rinsing the caps is smart.  Washing them in soap, not so much.  Washing them period is overkill.  I dump mine in a strainer, rinse them off, dump in bowl of Star San.  

 

Dipping the bell of the capper in anything is a good way to rust things out.  Totally not needed.  No part of the capper touches anything that matters.  Cap is on bottle rim, that's it.

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I mate the caps up with the bottles when I sanitize them, put sanitizer in the bottle hold the  cap on it and then invert the bottle letting a little sanitizer get out and over the  top of the bottle and around the bottle/cap seal area. Then I stand the pair up to sit for the 10 min.

Then when I fill them I have the caps right there.

I have a bench capper but I don't wash it - it does not contact any beer related surfaces.

 

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Here's my process.

 

I have a bottle tree and a vinator (bottle rinser).  Mine tree doesn't have the right top to put the vinator on it, but that's fine for me.  I put the vinator on a plate.  I fill it with some StarSan, then hit each bottle with 3 pushes, and put them on the tree to drain.

 

When I'm ready to bottle, I pull 8 bottles off the tree and put them on the counter, fill them with my bottling wand, then place a cap (that was in a bowl soaking in Star San) on top.  When 8 are filled, I cap them.  

 

58d79c0935a47_thumbnail(1).jpg.7b8607dd4e5c439999e142eac91c0eb2.jpg  thumbnail.jpg.e9ac704e8d89260d063aa8c752a50196.jpg

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Thanks RickBeer. I wonder if I could make a tree out of say an oak base and tower, then some protruding oak dowels to put the bottles on(?). Maybe it would become unsanitary or start harboring bacteria, I don't know.

 

I have to admit - after starting this hobby and hearing from you guys, I think I could be developing a little obsessive compulsive disorder (OBW). After that first batch of (sour?) American Ale, I just don't want to take any chances. If it really does get to the point I have to gargle with Star San, I will probably just go back to store-bought beer.

 

ON EDIT: I almost forgot - I have seen these horizontal bottle drainers where you just stand the bottles upside down with their necks through holes and there's a drainage tray underneath. I know I could make that out of wood, and to where no part of the mouth or lips (oh those wonderful lips [stop it Stretch! Concentrate!] would touch anything. Easy. I'm going out to the shop. Be right back.

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(I yelled at myself - "What the *ell is a "vinator"?!?!") Ok @RickBeer I went and researched both of those items. $15 becks each. Not bad but it sure is adding up. Mama won't be happy (I can fix that). Good thing MrBeer has a 25% off sale going on.

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Here's my process.

 

I have a bottle tree and a vinator (bottle rinser).  Mine tree doesn't have the right top to put the vinator on it, but that's fine for me.  I put the vinator on a plate.  I fill it with some StarSan, then hit each bottle with 3 pushes, and put them on the tree to drain.

<,......>

@RickBeer When you use the vinator, does it cut down on the amount of foam in the bottle? I mean, is there less foam than if you had funneled some sanitizer in and shook it around a little? I know we're not supposed to fear the foam, but it scares me.

Thanks

 

By the way, just an FYI, when you click on one of those pictures in your post (tree and vinator), a window opens showing a smaller version of the photo. Pretty cool. :)

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22 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

@RickBeer When you use the vinator, does it cut down on the amount of foam in the bottle? I mean, is there less foam than if you had funneled some sanitizer in and shook it around a little? I know we're not supposed to fear the foam, but it scares me.

Thanks

 

By the way, just an FYI, when you click on one of those pictures in your post (tree and vinator), a window opens showing a smaller version of the photo. Pretty cool. :)

Stretch,

 

I use a vinator and don't worry about the foam, I just let it ooze out of the top of the bottle when it is filling and then I cap on top of it.

 

Dawg

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33 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

@RickBeer When you use the vinator, does it cut down on the amount of foam in the bottle? I mean, is there less foam than if you had funneled some sanitizer in and shook it around a little? I know we're not supposed to fear the foam, but it scares me.

Thanks

 

By the way, just an FYI, when you click on one of those pictures in your post (tree and vinator), a window opens showing a smaller version of the photo. Pretty cool. :)

 

Don't know what to tell you.  Don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam.  

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17 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

Stretch,

 

I use a vinator and don't worry about the foam, I just let it ooze out of the top of the bottle when it is filling and then I cap on top of it.

 

Dawg

That's what I did, @BDawg62, I just let it push out the top and then wiped it off before sealing.

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10 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

Don't know what to tell you.  Don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam.  

I have learned my lesson, Rick. Believe me, I do not fear. I am fearless. Without fear. Plus, I just do what BDawg62 said (and probably you and others do), I let it push out the top.

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1 minute ago, StretchNM said:

I have learned my lesson, Rick. Believe me, I do not fear. I am fearless. Without fear. Plus, I just do what BDawg62 said (and probably you and others do), I let it push out the top.

 

I fill a bottle from the bottom up, with a bottling wand.  I pay no attention to what comes out of the top, because it doesn't matter, since the foam causes zero harm by the time you go to drink the beer.  You couldn't stop it from coming out the top regardless. 

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21 hours ago, StretchNM said:

Mama won't be happy (I can fix that). Good thing MrBeer has a 25% off sale going on.

 

Homebrewing is a hobby.  Hobbies cost money.  While homebrewing beer can produce a high quality product for less than one would pay for a commercial product, it takes a great deal of volume to amortize the equipment to actually brew for less per bottle than retail.

 

I find that many people often overspend.  An extract brewer should not have to spend more than a few hundred dollars to have all the equipment they need, a bit more for an all grain brewer.  Just for yucks, I looked at what I've spent (thanks Quicken) since I began 7 years ago:

 

$378.71 in equipment, which includes bottles

$103.46 in consumables, which includes bottle caps, grain bags, Star San, glue sticks for labels, Oxiclean

$1,835.68 in ingredients.  This began with Mr. Beer HME cans, then extract batches, then all grain starting last year.  This includes some items still in inventory.  

 

I have brewed roughly 128 batches totaling 308 gallons or 3,283 bottles.

 

Just on ingredients, that's $6.71 per 12 pack.  Add in consumables, and it's $7.09 per 12 pack.  Add in equipment and it's $8.72 per 12 pack.  

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21 hours ago, StretchNM said:

@RickBeer When you use the vinator, does it cut down on the amount of foam in the bottle? I mean, is there less foam than if you had funneled some sanitizer in and shook it around a little? I know we're not supposed to fear the foam, but it scares me.

Thanks

 

By the way, just an FYI, when you click on one of those pictures in your post (tree and vinator), a window opens showing a smaller version of the photo. Pretty cool. :)

@StretchNM, you can always use the MRB sanitizer on your bottles. I use Star san for my ss fermenters, but not on my LBK's or when sanitizing my bottles.

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3 hours ago, RickBeer said:

 

Homebrewing is a hobby.  Hobbies cost money.  While homebrewing beer can produce a high quality product for less than one would pay for a commercial product, it takes a great deal of volume to amortize the equipment to actually brew for less per bottle than retail.

<,........>

@RickBeer Thanks Rick. Just to add a little, off-topic but comparable when speaking of hobbies:

I've reloaded for shotgun since 1979 so I could afford quail and dove hunting, and shooting clays. I was a young buck back then and didn't see the big picture. SO then I got back into reloading in 2008, but added metallic handloading (rifle and handgun). Like beer brewing, we can save money over the cost of store-bought ammunition (or beer), but what we find in handloading is that we shoot so much more! There is equipment and tools, and load development to build loads for each bullet for each firearm (all unique), so by the time it's all said and done, we've spent way more money than we would have had we relied on commercial ammo. But again, we shot much more and..... fed our passion for the hobby. I like to say I handload so I can keep shooting AND keep handloading. :)

 

I expect and am prepared for the exact same thing in brewing beer. Because of a serious health problem I went through a few years ago (that still is a part of my life), I would have a beer every so often. But now already I'm drinking a minimum of 1 a day. I'm saving money, but I'll spend more on beer and brewing this calendar year than I've spent on store-bought brew in the last decade (of course, that's just me. Others will vary because they used to drink more and so haven't increased their expenditures quite as dramatically).

 

So I'm thinking - yes I'll save money over buying at Walmart or Albertson's, but I'll drink more beer than I ever have just so I can keep brewing. :)

 

ON EDIT: I already took care of mama's unhappiness. Just like with my handloading passion, she's good now. 

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4 hours ago, Cato said:

@StretchNM, you can always use the MRB sanitizer on your bottles. I use Star san for my ss fermenters, but not on my LBK's or when sanitizing my bottles.

Thanks @Cato, I never even thought of that. MRB's and One Step have no foam (NOT that I fear the foam, you understand. No, no, I have a deep appreciation for the foam). :)

 

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