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Old 12-08-2005, 07:09 AM   #21
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I always rinse the sanitser off the caps. I use chlorine bleach.

But I'm thinking its your seals. You say it's mostly with the new bottles? What kind of capper do you have? Some cappers cap tighter than others or at least can handle a more varied size of lip. I use a cast iron bench capper than caps so damn tight even my twist off bottles seal perfect. In fact I usually use a "beverage tool" to twist them off.

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Old 12-08-2005, 01:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
REAL ale is flat, warm and it's best if you don't ask for the recipe. 90% chance it's a seal problem.
I kind of agree/disagree with you in that my definition of flat. I consider something to go flat. If it starts out flat (still - uncarbonated) then it can't go flat. But that's just the way I think.

Rewster: When you set your bottles up for conditioning where do you do this? On the floor? On a shelf? What's the temp of the room? If your room is cooler then try placing those suspected bottles high on a shelf.

I've mentioned it before that I have lots of plastic milk crates for some of my bottles. I line the bottom of the crates with several (3-4) layers of cardboard which insulates the bottles from the plastic and the heat/cold transfer between them.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:11 PM   #23
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Default re- ocurring problem

I'm wondering to, about your capper. I had one that I thought was a good one till one night I was trying to cap up some bottles and it just wouldn't work anymore so i had to make a mad dash to a "closed" HBS to pick up an new one. that cured the problem. I hope you find your problem soon this doesn't seem that difficult.
Of course not long after this incident above I went to kegging my beer.
Now I only bottle enough for give aways if needed.

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Old 12-09-2005, 12:21 AM   #24
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Could be the capper. It's plastic with plastic hinges. Only the "bolts" inside the hinges are metal. It came with our first brewing kit, along with two plastic buckets and a siphon (not auto-siphon). We've since upgraded every other part of our system, and I guess it couldn't hurt to try upgrading that as well.

Edit: And come to think of it, some imports it has a lot of trouble capping. It'll go after fighting with it like a dog, but it's hard. These seals have been good so far. Maybe the generic empty bottles we bought have smaller rings or something?

I think I'm going to cover every part of this. I'll rinse my caps, only use bottles I know seal because they came full of beer, and buy a new capper. Thanks again guys.

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Old 12-09-2005, 12:51 AM   #25
Denny's Evil Concoctions
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Get a bench capper, they'll cap anything and are more reliable than that plastic thing you have now! One day it will break after half filling your batch of beer and you'll have to panic, wondering where you can get a capper after hours on a holiday.

They look like the one on the right. I would go for one that is all steel.

That one on the right is only $30.00US. I don't know if it's all steel though. Mine is cast iron. And I have a steel one some where.

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Old 12-09-2005, 01:05 AM   #26
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I have the red capper (second on the left). It's over 12 years old. I've not had any problems with it.

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Old 12-09-2005, 07:11 AM   #27
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The red one, second from the left, is the one I have.

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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:00 PM   #28
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My experience has been that if the beer doesn't leak out of the bottle when you turn it on its side then the bottle is sealed sufficiently well. Do make sure the caps are on tight (beer doesn't leak out, cap doesn't easily pop off, and cap does not spin on the bottle). The bench cappers don't have the issue with the smaller necked bottles but as someone here wisely pointed out to me not so long ago, if you make sure to press the butterfly capper together over the neck then it won't slip up over the neck of the bottle and you can get the cap to crimp down on the neck. FYI, I also have and use the red butterfly capper, second from the left.

As for this buisness of sanitizer, I don't think bleach would have an effect on the yeast unless you had a highly concentrated solution.. but if that was the case then the beer would certainly have a medicinal "bad" taste and I don't see any mention of that. [rant] I also simply don't understand how so many of you have nice equipment but still don't buy sanitizer.. after I tried the bleach solution once I was ready for some no rinse sanitizer - I think that's a more worthwhile upgrade than a secondary OR a wort chiller. Just soak the caps and bottles in some starsan (my choice) or idophor both of which are no rinse and both of which have no effect on the taste of the beer and do not harm yeast. [/rant]

I've had the problem with mixed carbonation and found that I was simply not mixing the priming solution well. You may think you've mixed it well but I'd suggest that for your next batch you use a bit more than 3/4 cup sugar (maybe 5/6) and make darn sure your stir it well (but not vigoriously) and *restir* occasionally as well. I've since had zero problems with carbonation..

The other realistic possiblity would be a temperature problem - the temp needs to stay above 70F and needs to be consistent - I hope your not storing the bottles in the garage or outdoors, keep them inside behind the couch, under the bed, or in the closet. If some of your brews are carbonating and others are not then I do doubt it's a temp thing anyhow. Good luck getting it straightened out, I know it does suck to do all that work for flat beer. When you open the bottles do you hear any hiss at all? Are they absolutely flat or just undercarbonated? Do they become more carbonated with time or flatter with time?

If the beer never does carbonate then you could open them up and drop in some prime tabs and reseal them and wait two weeks - if the yeast is alive and the temp is right then the beer will certainly carbonate if the caps are on tight.

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