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-   -   Swing Top Bales - The Finish wipes off?!? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/swing-top-bales-finish-wipes-off-363539/)

Husher 10-25-2012 07:48 PM

Swing Top Bales - The Finish wipes off?!?
I bought a few new swing tops for some bottles i have from the LHBS.

They had a chalky rough feel to them that my old ones didn't have. I asked what they were made of and was told steel (kinda doubt it though).

Anyways. I quickly rinsed with vinegar to clean as the HB shop told me that would be find and there were no soft metals involved (like aluminum).

So There was a bit of bubbling off of them when immersed so I got them out of the vinegar quick and rinsed them off. They're clean enough, but if I rubbed them, it appeared the chrome wiped off on my fingers.

I decided to drop one back in and leave it to see what would happen. Seems the finish went black, and essentially dissolved. So what the hell are these things made off? And what is safe to clean with? I also use Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer. Why can't I find bales that are nice like the ones you can buy on beers at the beer store?

Husher 10-25-2012 08:17 PM

Actually, this is weird. After much of the bale went black, I rinsed out the vinegar solution (50%) and ended the experiment. Started worrying about fumes and whatnot and didn't want to die of cancer.

anyways, the black stuff wiped off! And the metal under was smooth! So, what the hell did I do? Should I do it again to my remaining bales!?!

eastoak 10-26-2012 03:44 AM

i wouldn't worry about it, your beer is on the inside of the bottle.

RobertRGeorge 10-26-2012 03:50 AM


Originally Posted by eastoak (Post 4533371)
i wouldn't worry about it, your beer is on the inside of the bottle.

Right on. I love swing top bottles and the bails on some of mine are probably 20 years old and extremely funky. I soak the bottles for a couple days in weak bleach solution and the insides are sparkly clean and I don't worry about the bails.

Husher 10-26-2012 12:42 PM

Well I'd like to wash the chalk off if only because if feels wrong. I just want to know if I'm killing myself in the process. I guess I could do it outside. it's still warm enough here.

RobertRGeorge 10-27-2012 01:38 AM

Probably just hit them with an SOS pad is what I would do. Kinda tedious but a fetish is a fetish.

Husher 10-27-2012 04:46 PM

I figured it out. Zinc. My dad once told me that galvanized steel was just steel coated in zinc, which rusts either white or transparent. The coating that I removed was a very rough coating of zinc intended to prevent the steel from rusting by ensuring the zinc rusted first. And now that I've removed the zinc on one of the bales, orange rust appeared within an hour of drying.

Spoke with a buddy with a chemistry degree and he agreed with my theory. The chalk is harmless since your body can metabolize zinc relatively easily, so I was paranoid about cleaning for nothing. Oh well, lesson learned. I still prefer the bales that have a nice chrome finish, from the bottles I bought with beer in them at the beer store. Wish I could buy those at the LHBS.

Hopefully this thread will be useful to someone else in the same boat. Cheers.

RobertRGeorge 10-27-2012 06:06 PM

Yeah, sounds right to me. Also, I have a bottle recycling center nearby and when I was collecting my swing tops I asked them to save any for me and they sold them to me for the price of the refund value. A great deal when they were four bucks each at the home brew store. I got 500s, 660s and liters.

By the way, any one else notice the new size of the Grolsch bottles? They're shrinking like candy bars.

Husher 10-27-2012 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge (Post 4537481)
By the way, any one else notice the new size of the Grolsch bottles? They're shrinking like candy bars.

I have collection of the pre-1982 variety. Keep em under a blanket to prevent skunking. You have that problem? Of does ambient light in a basement not enough to do skunking?

RobertRGeorge 10-27-2012 11:43 PM

When I moved I gave about 120 brown Grolsch bottles to my brewing buddy, in the original cases. I regret that because they're virtually unobtainable now. They also had the ceramic stopper which is easy to mark with a grease pencil. That's been replaced with plastic for a few years now. I've got a lot of green 500s. The new ones are 450 ml. 10% smaller, same price!

The brown ones were better for blocking light, but I kept them in the box anyway. I keep the green ones in the dark. I understand that it is direct light that does the most damage, sun or fluorecent, but keeping a blanket over them is cheap insurance for sure.

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