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FedoraDave

Oxygen caps?

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I've been puzzling over this for a while.

Lemme 'splain...

For Christmas 2011, I made a batch of spiced porter. Brewed it sometime around late June and let it condition until the holidays. It went over real big.

For Christmas 2012, I did the same thing. Bad things happened. The bottles were gushers. You couldn't open one without re-enacting the famous Gene Kelly title number from "Singin' in the Rain". At first, I attributed this to the flood we had in the basement that fall. But other batches weren't so affected.

So I've puzzled over it, and I wonder now....

Could the extended conditioning time have required those oxygen-absorbing bottle caps?

Thoughts? Speculations? Experiences?

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Couldn't have been the caps. All those things r supposed to do is suck up oxygen. If it were anyone but you, I'd say either it was not done fermenting or was overcarb'd. I don't see you doing this though, so I'm stumped.
:gofish:

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Agreed Dave. I would think that it is more likely a small infection than oxygen.

If it was an oxygen issue i would expect the typical wet cardboard flavor rather than gushers.

Along those lines though...has anybody bottled the same batch with these caps and regular caps and tasted them at the same time to see if there is a difference?

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"Kealia" post=332231 said:

Agreed Dave. I would think that it is more likely a small infection than oxygen.

If it was an oxygen issue i would expect the typical wet cardboard flavor rather than gushers.

Along those lines though...has anybody bottled the same batch with these caps and regular caps and tasted them at the same time to see if there is a difference?

I bottled a batch with both types of caps and it aged 18 months before I started drinking them. At 2 years there was no difference. They didn't make it much past the 2 years mark. It was a very strong american barley wine. It was 12.5% ABV and 100+ IBUs. So maybe I just couldn't taste the difference.

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Well, I'll chalk it up to some kind of infection. The beer wasn't bad; it's just every bottle was a gusher.

But on a similar note, are the O2-absorbing caps recommended for batches that require extended conditioning? Or just when would you use them?

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I was told to use them on extended period brews. I have them on all my bottles I plan on conditioning longer than 6 months.

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I use them for all my bottles - I think the price difference is like 50c per 144 caps vs. regular. I've yet to taste wet cardboard, even on beers bottled 2 years ago.

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I have never used them, but often thought about it.

My long term brews haven't seemed to suffer though...

Dave: I did four lagers with the old seasonal pilsner, one in each of four LBK's last year.
The only difference was the yeast and the prep day.

Two I did on one day were fine, two done on the other day were gushers.

No off flavors, just gushers... Every bottle.

Maybe my process varied...

Still not sure why, but it did seem like there were a few more hop particles in the gushers...

More nucleation sites maybe?

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I had this conversation with my man Carl at my LHBS regarding the Oxygen caps a few weeks ago and if it is was worth the extra cost. He said that the only reason to use them is if you have a brew that you know you will be in the bottle for 2 or more years otherwise it really has no effect on the brew other then being a placebo effect for the brewer. He also said that most people use them without really understanding how to prepare them and end up soaking them in One Step or Easy Clean or some other Oxy based cleaner that basically negates any advantage you would get from using the Oxygen Absorbing Caps. The caps activate as soon as they become wet and "dunked" in Iodophor or Star San just prior to capping the bottles.

Also at one of the Home Brew Club meetings I attended one of the bottles of home brew that we were going to sample was a gusher as you described Dave and it was attributed to a bacterial or wild yeast infection and cited as the most common cause of gushers.

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So louie, all this time I've negated my caps, they are no good for oxygen? I soak all mine in one step before using every time. LOL, go figure.

Oh, your saying: *1 beer, 2 beer, 3 beer, Floor!* you must be a light-weight, takes me 3 and a half beers to hit the floor...hehehehe

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When I used them I didn't sanitize them at all. Caps have not be exposed to anything that would infect beer. They have nothing on them that would attract bacteria. The only reason I sanitize my regular caps is simply because I always have. And it makes them come out of the crimping bell a little easier.

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"FrozenInTime" post=332329 said:

So louie, all this time I've negated my caps, they are no good for oxygen? I soak all mine in one step before using every time. LOL, go figure.

Oh, your saying: *1 beer, 2 beer, 3 beer, Floor!* you must be a light-weight, takes me 3 and a half beers to hit the floor...hehehehe

You must be drinking those session brews! ;) I tend to drink the high gravity beers with lots of kick! :party: :laugh:

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Sorry I'm just a dumb has been cop, but if you don't get them wet how do they "activate"? Is there enough moisture rising during conditioning to activate the caps?

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Had the same thing happen to a porter this past year. I too doubt it was the caps. I use the for all the brews expect for the hop forward ones. The O2 cap seem to suck the hop flavor right out of the beer. Have not had the problem with the kegged versions or the ones bottled with the standard cap

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"k9dude" post=332379 said:

Sorry I'm just a dumb has been cop, but if you don't get them wet how do they "activate"? Is there enough moisture rising during conditioning to activate the caps?


I would assume that if you put them on dry, all you would need to do is tilt the bottle once to get it wet.

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"BlackDuck" post=332401 said:

"k9dude" post=332379 said:

Sorry I'm just a dumb has been cop, but if you don't get them wet how do they "activate"? Is there enough moisture rising during conditioning to activate the caps?


I would assume that if you put them on dry, all you would need to do is tilt the bottle once to get it wet.

Thats how I did it.

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"haerbob3" post=332396 said:

Had the same thing happen to a porter this past year. I too doubt it was the caps. I use the for all the brews expect for the hop forward ones. The O2 cap seem to suck the hop flavor right out of the beer. Have not had the problem with the kegged versions or the ones bottled with the standard cap

Yikes! If that's true then that is a very unfortunate side effect for sure.

Edit: Did you mean aroma?

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Mostly aroma but some of the hop flavor as well. BYO recently did an article about this I just thought I was getting even crazier!!

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"haerbob3" post=332450 said:

Mostly aroma but some of the hop flavor as well. BYO recently did an article about this I just thought I was getting even crazier!!

That doesn't sound good. I just purchased my first bag of oxygen barrier caps by accident several weeks ago. They are not very expensive, so I didn't notice I had grabbed the wrong ones till I got home.

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There was something on I believe Basic Brewing Radio were they had emailed the manufacturer of the oxygen absorbing caps and the manufacturer said that it was indeed fine to sanitize the caps. Getting wet does activate them but they take a couple of days to absorb all the oxygen they can so it won't ruin them to sanitize them.

I am trying to look for the episode but don't seem to be able to find it. I have seen a few people say StarSan was fine but things like OneStep use oxygen to sanitize are probably less than ideal.

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I always sanitize my bottle caps, even though the owner of my LHBS refuses to let me buy oxygen absorbing caps, he swears they're a waste on money. Who am I to argue?

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I had the same thing happen with an IPA I did about 10 months ago using these caps. The beer was really good within the first two months, then all of a sudden started gushing.

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I purchased the O2 absorbing caps this evening...only because the LHBS didn't have a package of the regular gold caps. When the owner of the shop said "make sure you reseal the bag as soon as you're done" I made a mental note, but really didn't know what the heck he was talking about. Now, reading this thread it makes sense; if the caps absorb moisture from the air, they are activated.

Now the question is; sanitize or not. If one step using oxygen to sanitize it would remove the desirable effect of the caps. But the better question is, do I care?

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since most of the beers I brew are hop forward I will not use them any more for what little bottling I do. I will mostly be using flippies. The ones I bottle as gifts are going to get the cheap caps. Since I do the bottling from the corny the bottles are purged with CO2 so do not need them

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