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Old 02-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #31
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So for the folks that HAVE to sanitize their caps...... Just have dip your caps in sanitizer right before placing them on the bottle. This way they are sanitized and activated. Problems?
As long as you are leaving enough time for the sanitizer to work before it potentially touches your beer. (~30sec-1minute for most).
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:38 PM   #32
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As long as you are leaving enough time for the sanitizer to work before it potentially touches your beer. (~30sec-1minute for most).
I thought about that. If you dip it in the sanitizer, set it it on the bottle, and cap it, shouldn't the sanitizer do it's job on both the cap and the rim of the bottle even if it is immediately placed on the bottle? Providing you don't tip the bottles within 30 seconds or a minute?
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #33
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Really good discussion in this thread. I was searching for this because I was listening to the recent Brewing Network Sunday Session about bottling and some of those dudes were advocating using oxy caps without sanitizing. They made the point that it is crucial to clean and sanitize bottles, but the caps come very clean and shouldn't present any contamination issues if handled properly.
I have no specific opinion on whether or not you should sanitize your caps, but I plated swabs from a few caps a while back. Two stayed clean, one showed mold contamination, and one showed both mold and bacteria. They ain't that clean

Whether or not that would impact a beer is of course a different question. I've done entire batches forgetting to sanitize bottles, carboys, tubing, and just about everything else we're supposed to sanitize and didn't have an obvious infection. Then again, I've also had a gusher or two over the years.

As others have mentioned, the O2 absorption happens over hours and days, not minutes. I clean everything else, and I'm not sure what the downside is to sanitizing caps. It just strikes me as a brewing "best practice" (to borrow science jargon).

And of course, there's a lot of middle ground between perfect sanitation and raging infection. Just because you don't get bottle bombs doesn't mean that your beer wasn't (perhaps only slightly) negatively impacted by cap-borne intruders. Then again, that doesn't mean it was, either. At the end of they day, everybody has their own sense of how much trouble quality control is worth.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #34
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I thought about that. If you dip it in the sanitizer, set it it on the bottle, and cap it, shouldn't the sanitizer do it's job on both the cap and the rim of the bottle even if it is immediately placed on the bottle? Providing you don't tip the bottles within 30 seconds or a minute?
My current procedure is to just place a non-O2-absorbing cap (sanitized for a long time) loosely on top of the bottle as soon as I fill it. When I'm done filling the entire batch, I then press the caps on. The theory behind this is that just loosely placing the cap on the bottle keeps stuff from coming in, while allowing CO2 coming out of solution in the bottle to push the O2 out (CO2 being heavier than O2?). So by the time I cap, it's mostly CO2 in the headspace.

Under this scenario, using O2-absorbing caps, I could wait until I fill the bottle to quickly dip the cap in the sanitizer (Star San). By the time I actually press the cap on, both the cap and the neck have had enough time for the sanitizer to act.

Anything wrong with this?
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:31 AM   #35
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This seems to be the most "official" O2-absorbing thread I could find on HBT. Nice to hear the manufacturers recommendations.

Two points for posterity for this zombie thread:

* There are field reports of decreased carbonation from using these[1]. Can anyone comment?

* Funny enough, most styles meant for long aging actually benefit from o2 exposure (e.g. barleywine with the sherry notes) , or have enough melanoidan antioxidants to be fine anyway (e.g. imperial stout). The only real use-case I've heard of is in slowing the loss of hops flavors/aroma, but I still haven't seen much evidence one way or the other for this...

[1] http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/r...0/category/22/

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:47 AM   #36
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My current procedure is to just place a non-O2-absorbing cap (sanitized for a long time) loosely on top of the bottle as soon as I fill it. When I'm done filling the entire batch, I then press the caps on. The theory behind this is that just loosely placing the cap on the bottle keeps stuff from coming in, while allowing CO2 coming out of solution in the bottle to push the O2 out (CO2 being heavier than O2?). So by the time I cap, it's mostly CO2 in the headspace.

Under this scenario, using O2-absorbing caps, I could wait until I fill the bottle to quickly dip the cap in the sanitizer (Star San). By the time I actually press the cap on, both the cap and the neck have had enough time for the sanitizer to act.

Anything wrong with this?
Old thead, but interesting. I assume you are bottling from a keg then, since i don't think you will get too much CO2 from flat beer while your botteling.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #37
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I have heard recently that there are actually negative effects from using these caps but I haven't heard any real explanation why. Since they absorb it's possible that they might absorb CO2 and make the beer less carbed. Also, I am assuming that they might absorb hop aromas too? Again just brainstorming here.

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Old 01-06-2013, 01:12 PM   #38
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I have heard recently that there are actually negative effects from using these caps but I haven't heard any real explanation why. Since they absorb it's possible that they might absorb CO2 and make the beer less carbed. Also, I am assuming that they might absorb hop aromas too? Again just brainstorming here.
Most probably the OXY caps contain the same, or similar, chemical (iron) as standard oxygen absorbing packets used for food preservation. These packets include some water to allow the chemical oxidation reaction (formation of rust) to take place and are sealed airtight to prevent the reaction from beginning until they are opened and the contents (iron and water) are exposed to oxygen.

Quote from patent " an oxygen absorbing layer consisting of an oxygen absorbent dispersed in a resin."

Unlike the food storage packets which also contain a small amount of water the oxy-caps use DRY iron which must first be moistened to become activated, thus they must be wet first. The reaction is also SLOW so the few minutes they spend in a sanitizer should not have any real effect on them.

The following is OMO.

They absorb OXYGEN and nothing else. As long as your bottles are stored upright the beer does not contact the absorbant layer for any length of time there should be no problems with off flavors from the cap.

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #39
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I just want to say that thank god the alcohol doesn't kill everything because if it did, we wouldn't have bottle fermentation cuz the alcohol would kill the yeast.

Also about capping the bottles and then tipping them upside down to wet the cap to activate it, wouldn't that help the oxygen absorb into the beer helping it to oxidize quicker?

Think I'll continue my old practice of sanitizing the caps.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:25 PM   #40
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I have also wondered about the inverting since I would agree that it would let some of the 02 into the solution. I have always sanitized my caps, seems to me it's not worth the risk to not do it. I know this has been thoroughly discussed in this thread but it's just MHO.

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