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glass swing-top bottles

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I have been using mr. beer since about 2003, in 2005 I bought 3 cases of the swing-top bottles and I love them! But here lately I have run into some problems with them. Some of them seem real weak when you flip the metal thing down to seal or up to open. I just brewed some American Ale and put it in the fridge last Sunday, I tried one Sunday night and it was fine, a nice pop and it was foamy as new beer will be sometimes.
Tonight I decided to try another, the flip was real weak and it barely gave a little hhsss when I opened it, no foam, it was flat as lemonade. I tasted it, it tasted alright, but I poured it out and went and got another. Same thing, but this one was a little harder to flip, but barely a hiss, and it was flat with no foam. I drank it anyways and it brewed, cause it had a nice kick....
I live in an old house, so it gets chilly..I keep my bottled beer in a room with an electric heater on 70F to carbonate, so I don't think that is the problem and I've stored my beer to be carbonated in here before with no problems...
What I am wondering is, if anyone else has ever had this problem, and is there any way you can bend or whatever it takes to tighten up the latches on the flip tops...

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I haven't had this problem (yet) but as I understand it, occasionally the wire needs to be squeezed tight and the rubber gaskets need to be replaced regularly after a few uses to ensure an air tight seal. Otherwise, the loose bale and poor seal from a worn gasket wiill allow CO2 to escape, making for flat beer.

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"philm00x" post=353436 said:

I haven't had this problem (yet) but as I understand it, occasionally the wire needs to be squeezed tight and the rubber gaskets need to be replaced regularly after a few uses to ensure an air tight seal. Otherwise, the loose bale and poor seal from a worn gasket wiill allow CO2 to escape, making for flat beer.

+1

Pull the wire cage off, squeeze it a bit to tighten it, then put it back on the bottle. This should fix the loose seal.

I have used my Grolsch swingtops with original gaskets as many as 8-10 times without any issues. I inspect the gaskets for cracks and make sure they are still flexible, but have not had to replace one yet in over a year of brewing. I have a bag of replacement gaskets in my brewing supplies just in case, but they haven't been necessary yet. Because they are rubber, I'm sure they will crack and harden with age, so I keep a close eye on them, but haven't yet had to replace them.

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"philm00x" post=353436 said:

I haven't had this problem (yet) but as I understand it, occasionally the wire needs to be squeezed tight and the rubber gaskets need to be replaced regularly after a few uses to ensure an air tight seal. Otherwise, the loose bale and poor seal from a worn gasket wiill allow CO2 to escape, making for flat beer.

Yep, this.

I just bottled in mine over the weekend but before I did I spent $1.25 for new gaskets at my LHBS.

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Can you experienced brewers tell if a new swing-top bottle is UNLIKELY to be suitable for carbonating beer? I'm considering getting these from Ikea for $3.99 (that's not bad, right?) and they use silicon washers so theoretically they should last longer than rubber ones. But when I played with them at the store, it didn't take much effort to lock the swing-top which kinda made me worry about their airtightness. Thanks.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40227983/

Forgot to mention that the top is hard plastic - not the ceramic types you find on Grolsch. Not sure if that make a huge difference.

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Not sure those are made to hold carbonated bevs.

Would not be a good thing to find out three weeks in to conditioning.

SHATTER!

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Man, that would not be funny. Like 6 weeks of waiting to taste the fruits of your labor isn't painful enuf let alone to find it all over shattered glass...nope, they must be cheap for a reason.

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Well, my rubber gaskets are still soft and not cracked, but they do have a little bit of a wear ring indented on them....not bad for 7 yrs I guess. I didn't know you could buy replacement gaskets for them? I will try bending the metal clasp and see if I can order new gaskets...thanks all

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after a few years, it's not really a bad idea to replace the bails. they don't cost that much and easy to replace.
But I've gone off flippies. I've 12 cases of them sitting in the shed.

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anyone know where I can get gaskets or bails and gaskets? I didn't see them on the mr. beer website.

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Rebelbrewer.com & northernbrewer.com are also good sources. I'm sure they are available on Amazon & E-bay etc. etc. & so on. :cheers:

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"Tippsy" post=353843 said:

Man, that would not be funny. Like 6 weeks of waiting to taste the fruits of your labor isn't painful enuf let alone to find it all over shattered glass...nope, they must be cheap for a reason.

At $3.99 per bottle that's not cheap by my standards; Mr. Beer sells brown swing-top bottles for $29.95 for 12, but 12 of the Ikea bottles would be $39.88. I'm not sure what Grolsch bottles with beer included would cost, but not much more.

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"pspearing" post=354425 said:

"Tippsy" post=353843 said:

Man, that would not be funny. Like 6 weeks of waiting to taste the fruits of your labor isn't painful enuf let alone to find it all over shattered glass...nope, they must be cheap for a reason.

At $3.99 per bottle that's not cheap by my standards; Mr. Beer sells brown swing-top bottles for $29.95 for 12, but 12 of the Ikea bottles would be $39.88. I'm not sure what Grolsch bottles with beer included would cost, but not much more.

I was paying about $10 for four Grolsch bottles with beer, so that's $2.50/bottle, or roughly $30 for twelve...similar to the Mr Beer price, but you get some free beer with them! I have absolutely NO IDEA why anyone would ever buy bottles of any type that didn't come with some free beer in them, unless they were extremely cheap!!

For 12 oz bottles, I can buy 12 bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for $12.99, that's about $26 per case. Mr Beer sells a case of empty bottles for about $18 plus shipping...I'll pay the extra $8 for a case of SNPL every single time!!

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Hey thanks! JohnDubya

I already have 3 cases of Mr. Beer swingtop bottles I bought in 2006 or 2007, that was onsale for Father's Day for $14.95 a case, if I'm, not mistaken. :chug:
They just now seem to not hold a seal, the seals are not cracked, but have deep indentions (wear rings) and the bails are weak. I have read I can tighten them, so I am going to do that, and I have ordered new gaskets. I can't find the soft plastic type that is on there now, I think they might last longer than the rubber ones. I am starting to wonder if they slowly leaked... the first bottle I opened, was pressurized and foamy, every other one has been flat, but good alcohol content. So it's got to be the seals/bails...

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Just saw Grolsch swing-top bottles with FREE BEER for $8.49 for a 4-pack at Giant Eagle. That's $25.47 for 12. Granted they're green instead of brown, but that suggests that the profit margin on empty bottles is substantial.

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Completely off topic, but are you from the Pittsburgh area pspearing? I grew up there and moved to WI in 1995, but when I saw Giant Eagle on your post it just got me thinking.

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I'm in Akron (Ohio). Giant Eagle has moved into Northeast Ohio in a big way.

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Well guys, I found out Mr. Beer does sell the gaskets/rubber washers..... they are .25 a piece. I told them they should list/show them on the website.... it might seem a little expensive, but I think they are a firmer, more durable washer than the vulcanized rubber ones..... mine lasted 7 years before I had problems with them!

They also told me the new Cooper's yeast they use takes a little longer to ferment... I noticed where I used to could get my keg done in a week, now it takes 2, but they also said this was for carbonation also. The lady told me you should carbonate for 3 weeks.....

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