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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).

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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.

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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.

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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 ...

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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
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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.

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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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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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13 hours ago, joshua.j.grissom said:

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!!!

 

I haven't had that problem with Lagunitas, but have with some others.  I end up clamping down, turning the bottle 90 degrees, and clamping down again.

I've come to discover that some bottles just don't work well being re-used.  My prime example would be Abita.  I could never get them to work.  One day I walked in to my LHBS and they had an empty bottle of Abita on the counter with a sign saying "Don't re-use!"  I wished I'd seen that first; it would have saved me a lot of grief. :)

 

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On 9/19/2017 at 11:59 AM, Shrike said:

 

I haven't had that problem with Lagunitas, but have with some others.  I end up clamping down, turning the bottle 90 degrees, and clamping down again.

I've come to discover that some bottles just don't work well being re-used.  My prime example would be Abita.  I could never get them to work.  One day I walked in to my LHBS and they had an empty bottle of Abita on the counter with a sign saying "Don't re-use!"  I wished I'd seen that first; it would have saved me a lot of grief. :)

 

So, an older thread but since I recently got a MB wing capper, do you have to double crimp all bottles or just the odd one every now and then? I've only tried one bottle with water so far and it seemed fine with just the single crimp. Right now saving up my Dos Equis bottles and will check one of those as well.

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34 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Do NOT use green Dos Equis bottles!

Ewww, thanks for the warning Rickbeer, and I should have prefaced Dos Equis Ambar! My beer inclinations are more towards Vienna lagers, red ales, and have read on here about lightstrike. Hehe, I don't know if they still make Moosehead, but after drinking one years ago, I still can't do green bottles of any type.

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

So, an older thread but since I recently got a MB wing capper, do you have to double crimp all bottles or just the odd one every now and then? I've only tried one bottle with water so far and it seemed fine with just the single crimp. Right now saving up my Dos Equis bottles and will check one of those as well.

 

I rarely have to double-crimp.  As you get experience using it you'll just know the "feel" of a cap getting seated properly.  When I first started using the wing capper I'd turn pretty much every bottle upside-down to check for leaks.  Now I just zip right through them.

A tip:  wet a towel and put the towel on the counter.  Put the bottle on the wet towel.  It keeps the bottle much steadier while capping.

As a side note, my wife got me a bench capper for Christmas, so I've moved on up...  :)

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22 minutes ago, Shrike said:

 

I rarely have to double-crimp.  As you get experience using it you'll just know the "feel" of a cap getting seated properly.  When I first started using the wing capper I'd turn pretty much every bottle upside-down to check for leaks.  Now I just zip right through them.

A tip:  wet a towel and put the towel on the counter.  Put the bottle on the wet towel.  It keeps the bottle much steadier while capping.

As a side note, my wife got me a bench capper for Christmas, so I've moved on up...  :)

Thanks Shrike! 

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2 hours ago, Cato said:

Ewww, thanks for the warning Rickbeer, and I should have prefaced Dos Equis Ambar! My beer inclinations are more towards Vienna lagers, red ales, and have read on here about lightstrike. Hehe, I don't know if they still make Moosehead, but after drinking one years ago, I still can't do green bottles of any type.

Dos equis bottles have a very small lip on them. My capper barely makes it down that far. Look at one of sam adams bottles and compare. Youll see what i mean. Might want to stay away from dos equis bottles 

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29 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Dos equis bottles have a very small lip on them. My capper barely makes it down that far. Look at one of sam adams bottles and compare. Youll see what i mean. Might want to stay away from dos equis bottles 

Thanks, Creeps McLane! Looks like I will have to start drinking some Sam Adams or similar, bottle capper would not crimp the Dos Equis at all!!

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On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 7:48 AM, Shrike said:

 

As a side note, my wife got me a bench capper for Christmas, so I've moved on up...  :)

 

Seems someone on here posted about the Super Agata and I've been trying to figure an angle.  SWMBO was going to let me get the Agata and I sat there looking at it and then said "nope, I need the Super Agata, it's a must have".  I thought that would spur someone to search and buy it, no such luck.  Now, how many flip tops do I need to buy before she decides a bench capper would be cheaper...hmmmm

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@Creeps McLane @RickBeer This has been answered 1000 times but I’m asking again. I have domino dots (1/2tsp) and mr beer drops (1tsp). If the recommendation for 12 oz glass is 3/4 tsp what do y’all do? Cut them in half? I just ordered some glass. Thanks

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10 hours ago, Jdub said:

@Creeps McLane @RickBeer This has been answered 1000 times but I’m asking again. I have domino dots (1/2tsp) and mr beer drops (1tsp). If the recommendation for 12 oz glass is 3/4 tsp what do y’all do? Cut them in half? I just ordered some glass. Thanks

 

 

I just use one per 12oz bottle.  3/4 tsp gives a little too much carbonation, IMO.  I use two dots for 16oz and 1/2 liter bottles.  

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3 minutes ago, Shrike said:

 

 

I just use one per 12oz bottle.  3/4 tsp gives a little too much carbonation, IMO.  I use two dots for 16oz and 1/2 liter bottles.  

So if I want normal store bought type of carbonation you thing one dot (1/2 tsp) will be enough per 12 oz bottle?

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11 hours ago, Jdub said:

@Creeps McLane @RickBeer This has been answered 1000 times but I’m asking again. I have domino dots (1/2tsp) and mr beer drops (1tsp). If the recommendation for 12 oz glass is 3/4 tsp what do y’all do? Cut them in half? I just ordered some glass. Thanks

You can use a pill cutter. Thats what i used to do until i broke it. Those carb drops are hard as hell. Listen to @Shrike. I don’t bottle anymore. 

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35 minutes ago, Jdub said:

So if I want normal store bought type of carbonation you thing one dot (1/2 tsp) will be enough per 12 oz bottle?

 

There is no such thing as "normal store bought type of carbonation", because every type of beer has a different level of carbonation, referred to as volumes of CO2.  An English bitter or a brown ale would have a very low level of carbonation, whereas a wheat beer would have a much higher level of carbonation.

 

In addition, temperature matters.  CO2 likes cold.  If a beer's highest temp during fermentation is 65, you use slightly less sugar than a beer that had a highest temp of 75. 

 

You can see these things on a bottle priming calculator such as this one: http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc

 

That said, a new brewer doesn't need to worry about types and temperature at the start.  People generally find that Mr. Beer levels of carbonation are high.  I recommend you figure it out for yourself.  For some bottles, use 3/4 tsp.  For some, use 1/2 tsp.  Mark them, but hide the mark.  Then compare blind and see what you prefer.


You can either use a pill splitter, or simply put in table sugar for the 1/4 tsp.

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22 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

There is no such thing as "normal store bought type of carbonation", because every type of beer has a different level of carbonation, referred to as volumes of CO2.  An English bitter or a brown ale would have a very low level of carbonation, whereas a wheat beer would have a much higher level of carbonation.

 

In addition, temperature matters.  CO2 likes cold.  If a beer's highest temp during fermentation is 65, you use slightly less sugar than a beer that had a highest temp of 75. 

 

You can see these things on a bottle priming calculator such as this one: http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc

 

That said, a new brewer doesn't need to worry about types and temperature at the start.  People generally find that Mr. Beer levels of carbonation are high.  I recommend you figure it out for yourself.  For some bottles, use 3/4 tsp.  For some, use 1/2 tsp.  Mark them, but hide the mark.  Then compare blind and see what you prefer.


You can either use a pill splitter, or simply put in table sugar for the 1/4 tsp.

 

 

Rick is wise.  That's what I did and how I found that 1/2 tsp is what I prefer.

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