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Old 02-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
jamesrtaft
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Default Oxygen absorbing caps

Pretty novice to brewing, about 6 batches deep, but I have a quick question. I am making an imperial stout that will age for about 8 months while me and 11 of my closest friends take a little vacation. Should I cap with oxygen absorbing caps because they will sit for that long in the bottle or are regular caps fine? Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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If you are bottle conditioning it will not matter, the yeast should take up what little oxygen is left in the bottle.

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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You will probably get two answers to this question: 1. Go ahead and use the O2 absorbing caps and 2. The O2 absorbing caps are not much better than the reqular caps you use. I got both of these answers several years ago and decided that bottle conditioning my RIS desevered the extra small amount of money to use the caps. Turned out just fine. When in doubt, be nice to your beer and it will nice to you.

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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The real question is how the hell are you going on an 8 month vacation. I'm jealous.

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC_Steve View Post
The real question is how the hell are you going on an 8 month vacation. I'm jealous.
Amen to that. Please tell your secret.



But those caps make no sense.

Claiming something absorbs oxygen, Or specifically dioxygen (o2), and NOT carbon dioxide (co2) is physically impossible since co2 contains 02.

So either the manufacturers are making false claims, or they really do absorb o2. Which, if that's the case and they do indeed absorb O2, physics says that they must absorb co2 as well.

Furthermore. The small amount of o2 in the bottle will dissipate into the beer because of the pressure and be used by the yeast.

So, simply, the yeast will absorb more oxygen more effectively than any fancy cap will.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tackett View Post

Amen to that. Please tell your secret.

But those caps make no sense.

Claiming something absorbs oxygen, Or specifically dioxygen (o2), and NOT carbon dioxide (co2) is physically impossible since co2 contains 02.

So either the manufacturers are making false claims, or they really do absorb o2. Which, if that's the case and they do indeed absorb O2, physics says that they must absorb co2 as well.

Furthermore. The small amount of o2 in the bottle will dissipate into the beer because of the pressure and be used by the yeast.

So, simply, the yeast will absorb more oxygen more effectively than any fancy cap will.
Co2 is simply not o2. Just like o3 isn't o2. If I recall high school chemistry correctly, the oxygen in co2 are on either side of the carbon molecule which means of something like an oxygen absorbing film was bonding with o2 molecules, the sheer size of the large carbon molecule could keep it from bonding.

I like using oxy caps because I've had a couple of cardboard beers before and I like the tiny added protection. Don't wet the caps for sanitizing btw because this activates them and you have seconds to absorb the o2. The yeast post fermentation aren't going to absorb oxygen btw, so don't count on that. They have to have the right environment for that stage of metabolism.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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O3 is ozone.
O2 is dioxygen
O is oxygen.

If you remember high school chemistry correctly, then you will know that of the six types of reactions, a synthesis reaction is the one that's easily broken. (Which is what c+o2(2)--->co2 is)

It's impossible to absorb gaseous o2, and leave the co2 untouched.


Well I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I highly doubt a cap can do a differentiation decomposition. There's about as much chance of that as me growing an extra 8" down south.

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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I would not be jealous of my vacation, more of a business trip really.

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Nope. The oxygen is bonded to the more complex carbon molecule The material under the plastic in the cap can't break that bond that easily. They can't nutralize mazons(sp?). But they do certainly work. Wetting them makes the chemical disc under the platic activate. I rather think that they also keep air leaking in from getting to the beer. At any rate,my hoppy ales last a couple week more for about $1 more per bag of 144. I usually buy 2 bags. So 288 caps divided by 48 bottles per batch makes 6 batches before I need to buy more. So a buck more per bag is well worth it. And yes,I proved on my own they def work.
Oh,I almost forgot. They're called "oxygen barrier caps",not oxygen absorbing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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I think it was on that short lived series featuring Sam Caligone from Dogfish Head where the brewery ran an experiment on the O2 barrier caps and non-barrier caps and the barrier caps were slightly better but not worth the expense they would've had to spend for their enormous batches. For the homebrewer it is probably worth the few extra cents or whatever it is though if you are going to age something longer than 6 months.

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