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Old 03-27-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
GuitarBob
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Default Oxygen absorbing caps

I bought some oxygen absorbing caps for my Russian Imperial stout that I'm going to be bottling soon. According to the website for my LHBS the caps need to be activated with an iodine solution, has anyone ever heard of that before?

Is there another way to activate them? I plan on bottle aging this stout for a long time, and need to know that those caps are going to do their job.

Also on a related note is 2 and half weeks in primary long enough for a russian stout? The beer has been setting at it's final gravity for the past 4 days atleast.

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Old 03-27-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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Any moisture should activate them. They probably say to use iodine solution because it will sanitize them at the same time. If you use something different to sanitize, that should work just fine.

Are you racking that RIS to secondary? I would probably just leave it for another month, then bottle from there, no secondary. If you're getting consistant SG readings for 4 days, I'd say fermentation is probably done.

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Old 03-27-2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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I have heard most times to cap with them straight out of the bag. DO NOT GET THEM WET. Then once they are capped, to tip them over, wetting the inside with beer. The cap will then immediately absorb the O2 in the headspace.

If you wet them before capping, they ae just absorbing the O2 from the atmosphere and not from the headspace.

FWIW

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Old 03-27-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I have heard most times to cap with them straight out of the bag. DO NOT GET THEM WET. Then once they are capped, to tip them over, wetting the inside with beer. The cap will then immediately absorb the O2 in the headspace.

If you wet them before capping, they ae just absorbing the O2 from the atmosphere and not from the headspace.

FWIW
According to the manufacturer, the oxygen absorbtion takes place over a long period of time (around 48 hours) so unless you're soaking the bottles for a few days before using them, it's safer to sanitize them before using them.

You are, however, correct about them being activated by moisture. They just take much longer to work than you were led to believe.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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hmmmm..... that's great info to have! Thanks.

I was doing this, but heard on another thread about what I posted above. I had stopped buying those caps because I wanted to be able sanitize but didn't want to waste my money.

Back to O2 eaters I go.

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Old 03-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Are you racking that RIS to secondary? I would probably just leave it for another month, then bottle from there, no secondary. If you're getting consistant SG readings for 4 days, I'd say fermentation is probably done.

No secondary I'm too lazy, and it doesn't seem worth the risk of exposing the beer to oxygen, and airbourne bacteria.

I imagine there is some disagreement on this within the homebrewing community, but is it better to let beer sit in primary weeks after fermentation has stopped, or is it better to bottle as soon has fermentation stops? I have read about people doing both.

If you let the beer sit then there is more yeast to condition the beer, but there will be less yeast in suspension when you go to bottle to continue that conditioning. Has anyone done an experiment to see which results in a quicker drinkable beer?
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Let it sit, it will only improve with age. Give it 4-6 weeks in primary, and it will be delicious! The only reason I use a secondary is if I need to free up a larger fermenter.

Keep in mind that it's not just the yeast in suspension, we're also talking about hop sediment and yeast waste products. After 4-6 weeks in primary, I've never had a problem with carbonation, and I don't keg/force carb.

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Old 03-27-2009, 07:07 PM   #8
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Let it sit, it will only improve with age. Give it 4-6 weeks in primary, and it will be delicious! The only reason I use a secondary is if I need to free up a larger fermenter.

Keep in mind that it's not just the yeast in suspension, we're also talking about hop sediment and yeast waste products. After 4-6 weeks in primary, I've never had a problem with carbonation, and I don't keg/force carb.
Add to that dry-hopping as another reason to secondary...
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:10 PM   #9
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Add to that dry-hopping as another reason to secondary...
or a fruit extract.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Good point. I didn't mean to suggest that freeing up the fermenter was the only reason to secondary, just the only reason I generally do it.

There's also adding oak or fruit, if we're going to be thorough.

Edited: fire943 beat me to the fruit part by about 2 nanoseconds. Well played, sir. Well played.

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