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BeerInNJ

Cappers

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Looking to get a capper and I need opinions, here are my local brew stores stock with prices:

Cappper (Colona Bench) 28.50
Capper (Hammer) 6.00
Capper (pin set bench capper) 22.50
Capper (Red Baron) 12.00

Thoughts? What do you guys find the easiest and the most durable. I know a lot of people have the red baron but I hear its cheaply made.

A side question too: Do crown caps (oxygen barrier) really work? Is it worth the few extra dollars.

Thanks!

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I've got two wing cappers (one came with a kit after I already had the other). I've never had a problem with them.

I've never used a bench capper, but from what I've read, they can be worth the extra money they cost.

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Go with the bench capper. Difference is like night and day. I have used both.

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I think it's up to you. Lots of people here like bench cappers. I have zero complaints about my wing capper. I can't imagine going much quicker than I already do, and I've never broken a bottle. I would not at this point make the switch. However, if I had the space and extra money I certainly would.

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SenorPepe wrote:

However, if I had the space and extra money I certainly would.

That is what I'm waiting for as well. Never have broken a bottle with my wing capper, and I've only had a few "miscaps".

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I haven't bought either yet (wing or bench) but I've been looking at them. Anyone have the Agata bench capper? It seems to be the most popular one out there, at about 2X the price of a wing capper. My main concern with the bench capper isn't cost, but portability. It seems like the bench capper would require more space, which is a limiting factor for some of us. Anyone found issues with that?

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I have an older "Black" wing-capper (Black Beauty?) that is "ok" but I heard the red barron ones are a lot better for a wing capper.

But I am getting a bench capper this week for bottling this weekend, mine is way old and is creaking pretty bad, afraid it might break soon (I heard the black ones break more often, not sure if true but my LHBS stopped carrying them saying that was the case)

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@bpgreen @Gymrat @SenorPepe @genotype

Damn you guys are quick, thanks for the comments. At the price, I will most likely go with the wing capper then

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BeerInNJ wrote:

@bpgreen @Gymrat @SenorPepe @genotype

Damn you guys are quick, thanks for the comments. At the price, I will most likely go with the wing capper then

I'd take a look at the Colonna capper - if it's the capper/corker combo, it will allow you to cork belgian beer bottles. Bench cappers in general work with with a wider variety of bottles than wing-cappers - specifically the double-lipped bottles. I have an Agata capper, and couldn't be happier.

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I have the super agata, it works, but so did the wing capper. I went with it because I brew a lot of 5 gal batches and it speeds it up some with less effort. Is it worth the extra cash? Not sure yet, I'll see how long it lasts. Initial thought was it seemed a bit cheaply made for the price.

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BeerInNJ wrote:

A side question too: Do crown caps (oxygen barrier) really work? Is it worth the few extra dollars.

Thanks!


I recently purchased the MB bottling system and it has the black wing capper.

I'm capping my first bottles tomorrow, so I'll see how that goes :)

As for your side question, I did read on another thread that the oxygen absorbing caps become worthless if you soak them in One-Step no rinse.

That sanatizer is oxygen based and basically destroys or more likely overwhelms the oxygen absorbing property of the caps.

I don't have experience with Star-San to know if that's oxygen based or not.

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My wing capper pulled the tops off of half a dozen of my bottles. It also cracked a number in a way that I didn't see until after the bottles were empty. A scary thought. I bought an agape which sped my process considerably. It does not take much more space than my wing capper did. They are rather tall but not very wide. They really are worth the extra bucks and then some. They also don't need to ne mounted if that is a concern. They also make more bottles available as you don't need to be concerned what type of lips the bottles have. I really see no downsides to a bench capper other than price. But I sure had a lot of problems with my wing capper.

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My wing capper pulled the tops off of half a dozen of my bottles. It also cracked a number in a way that I didn't see until after the bottles were empty. A scary thought. I bought an agape which sped my process considerably. It does not take much more space than my wing capper did. They are rather tall but not very wide. They really are worth the extra bucks and then some. They also don't need to ne mounted if that is a concern. They also make more bottles available as you don't need to be concerned what type of lips the bottles have. I really see no downsides to a bench capper other than price. But I sure had a lot of problems with my wing capper.

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Gymrat wrote:

I bought an agape which sped my process considerably. It does not take much more space than my wing capper did. They are rather tall but not very wide. They also don't need to be mounted if that is a concern.

You could also get a piece of MDF or plywood and mount it to that if you're concerned about stability. I do this with my smaller bench-top power tools (sander, scroll saw, band saw) and clamp the mount to the bench during use. After use, I can then store the tool under the bench to save work space.

Gymrat wrote:

But I sure had a lot of problems with my wing capper.

Twice, even! :laugh:

Edit:
Even better: When I pointed out the double post, I forgot an HTML tag.

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Sorry about the double post. I have no idea why that happened.
I thought about an 8x8 piece of plywood at one time. But my capper is solid as a rock without it so I never bothered.

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I'm currently using the colonna bench capper(on loan from my brother-in-law). It works incredibly well. I'm short on space and it isn't a hassle at all. I was wondering about capping import bottles. I have some Newcastle and Grolsch bottles I'd like to use but I'm not sure about the caps. I know it's somewhat off topic but do I need different caps or should I just toss the bottles and call it done? I want to make a Northern Brown and experiment with light shock to see how it affects flavor(ala Newcastle) Thanx!

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Light struck hops taste like skunk. That's why I only like New Castle on tap.

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Gymrat wrote:

Light struck hops taste like skunk. That's why I only like New Castle on tap.

It's also a myth that breweries bottle in clear or green bottles because they want you to drink skunky. They expect people to know better and to keep them out of the light.

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I just got the black wing capper today. Does anyone know which brands of bottles work best with it, besides the glass Mr B bottles???

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Just bottled 44 bottles with the standard MB black wing capper. Not a problem at all. My first time bottling in glass. Capper worked like a charm, very smooth operation.

Only time will tell if the sealed and hold as well as they capped. :)

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Brew-tality wrote:

I just got the black wing capper today. Does anyone know which brands of bottles work best with it, besides the glass Mr B bottles???

Anything with a 29mm cap... which is pretty much any pop top bottles you'll find in the 12oz variety.

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The Red Baron capper is the one with the spring right? I have a wing style capper (no idea the brand) without a spring. I'm really curious what purpose the spring?

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I may be a little late to the party, but I'll toss in my dos pesos as well.

I used a wing capper when I first started out, and was brewing at the pace of one LBK-sized bottling session a week. It was a little tedious, but it was okay.

After a year, I bumped up my production and started making 5-gallon batches in addition to using two or three LBKs. Sometimes I'd be bottling two LBKs in one weekend, or the fiver, which yields two cases of beer.

I moved up to a bench capper, and I won't go back. Much faster and more efficient. A lot of guys dread and loathe Bottling Day, but I actually enjoy it, because it's such a breeze with the bench capper.

Yes, it's more expensive initially, but it's also a labor-saving device, and as russki pointed out, it works with double-lipped bottles, which you can't use with the wing capper.

Yes, it requires some space, and that's the biggest consideration, IMO. You either have to mount it permanently somewhere, as I have, or else you have to have a place to store it when not in use.

But once you see one in use, or use one yourself, you will want one.

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@fedoradave thank you!

Update on this topic:

Picked up a red Barron Wing capper last night at my local lhbs store for 11 bucks, can't beat the price. Was bottling my second batch today abd decided I was going to to use 12 oz bottles and also took my extreme laziness into consideration. I used 2 of the liter pet bottles and the rest the 12 oz bottles. With santitizing and priming, the 12 oz bottling takes forever. May have to start buying more rogue and stone 22oz bottles. Never mind my complaining, but the wing capper was great. I love any item which doesn't come with directions. Although time consuming, the wing capper does the trick.

Dan

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devildude19 wrote:

I'm currently using the colonna bench capper(on loan from my brother-in-law). It works incredibly well. I'm short on space and it isn't a hassle at all. I was wondering about capping import bottles. I have some Newcastle and Grolsch bottles I'd like to use but I'm not sure about the caps. I know it's somewhat off topic but do I need different caps or should I just toss the bottles and call it done? I want to make a Northern Brown and experiment with light shock to see how it affects flavor(ala Newcastle) Thanx!

Grolsch bottles usually have the flip-tops, which are reusable, no need for a capper. I'm not sure about Newcastle in particular, but there are some European brews that use a larger cap. You can get a different bell and caps to use for those, but if you only have a couple it may not be worth it.

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Jacylrin wrote:

devildude19 wrote:

I'm currently using the colonna bench capper(on loan from my brother-in-law). It works incredibly well. I'm short on space and it isn't a hassle at all. I was wondering about capping import bottles. I have some Newcastle and Grolsch bottles I'd like to use but I'm not sure about the caps. I know it's somewhat off topic but do I need different caps or should I just toss the bottles and call it done? I want to make a Northern Brown and experiment with light shock to see how it affects flavor(ala Newcastle) Thanx!

Grolsch bottles usually have the flip-tops, which are reusable, no need for a capper. I'm not sure about Newcastle in particular, but there are some European brews that use a larger cap. You can get a different bell and caps to use for those, but if you only have a couple it may not be worth it.

I think Grolsch sells some 12 oz bottles that are pry off tops. I haven't seen them here, but when I was on a project in Springfield, MA, I saw two different sizes and the smaller ones were pry off tops (I didn't check to see if they were double lipped, because at the time, I was using PET and flip tops exclusively).

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@ bpgreen, yeah I found pop top Grolsch bottles at a local grocery store. I suppose I'll try one of each and see if they carbonate properly. 24 oz. is a small sacrifice for a worthy science experiment MUAH-HA-HA-HA!!! :evil:

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