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Old 06-17-2013, 03:35 AM   #1
Cello
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Default Sliiiiight leak in the bottle caps

Hi everyone,

I just bottled my first 5G batch! Things seemed to be going well, but it seems there's a slight leak in some of the bottles - when tipped, a few drops of beer escaped from the tops. We re-capped them, but the leaks persisted - it seems that boiling the caps as suggested in the book I was following caused the seals to shrink, and so I don't really trust the status of my capping job...

Is it possible to re-cap the beers tomorrow after work? How should I go about doing this? I've seen posts that suggest that adding more priming sugar is a good idea... I'm also worried that the leak might be caused by the bottles being twist-offs, in which case most of my batch might be compromised...

Any advice would be appreciated, so I can relax and have a homebrew soon...

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Old 06-17-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
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You can recap without problems, but the problem with adding more priming sugar is that you don't know how much of the original addition the yeast have used, if you add more and recap you could get bottle bombs. You may be better off keeping them in a warm place for a few days, let the yeast eat all the priming sugar, and then add more and recap. There may be oxidization issues but if your yeast are eating the priming sugar they should be producing Co2 and protecting the beer.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cello View Post
Hi everyone,

I just bottled my first 5G batch! Things seemed to be going well, but it seems there's a slight leak in some of the bottles - when tipped, a few drops of beer escaped from the tops. We re-capped them, but the leaks persisted - it seems that boiling the caps as suggested in the book I was following caused the seals to shrink, and so I don't really trust the status of my capping job...

Is it possible to re-cap the beers tomorrow after work? How should I go about doing this? I've seen posts that suggest that adding more priming sugar is a good idea... I'm also worried that the leak might be caused by the bottles being twist-offs, in which case most of my batch might be compromised...

Any advice would be appreciated, so I can relax and have a homebrew soon...
I can't say that boiling the caps is a bad idea but I wouldn't do it. I use some of the sanitizer solution that I use for the bottling bucket and put it into a bowl with caps. When I fill a bottle I place a cap on it. Then cap it all at the end.

I have capped twist offs before with success. However the problem with twist offs is rib of the bottle neck the capper clamps to is lower than on pop off bottles. So in order to get a proper seal you have to really push down on the bottle with the capper. It's not a risk I'm willing to take. Keep your eyes on craigslist for bottles. Some people give them away for free or for very little.

If your bottles are leaking beer then they will not hold pressure and not carbonate. Keep them upright and when you think all the original priming sugar has been eaten then uncap and add more sugar. Then recap and wait. Do not add sugar before that point or you might end up with bottle bombs.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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... I'm also worried that the leak might be caused by the bottles being twist-offs...
There's your issue...as trav said look on Craigslist for some bottles to use in the future.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Okay, fantastic. Thanks for all your advice, guys! How many days do you think it should take? And how much priming sugar should I add - should I just put it directly into the bottles, or should I dump them all back into my bucket and restart? Or, if the CO2 escaping might be enough to protect them until I can perhaps get a better capper (one of the FAQ threads said using a table capper would help?), would I even be able to re-cap tonight without issue?

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Old 06-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Boiling bottle caps is like 30 years out of date. Especially nowadays when the ones we use are lined with PLASTIC that will tend to WARP when boiled.

Just soak them in your favorite sanitizer like brewers in the 21st century, not the 70's do...

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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I toss all mine in starsan, and cap 4 or 5 at a time while the caps are still wet with the star san foam.....

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:17 PM   #8
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Boiling bottle caps is like 30 years out of date. Especially nowadays when the ones we use are lined with PLASTIC that will tend to WARP when boiled.

Just soak them in your favorite sanitizer like brewers in the 21st century, not the 70's do...
Well, that sounds exactly like what happened with my caps. Damn. Should have known better than to follow that fancy book's directions...
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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Recapping twist off bottles runs a couple of risks... 1.) you can get leakage because they don't seal properly and 2.) if they do seal properly, there is a high risk of bottle breakage when you pry the cap off because the neck of the bottle is much thinner. Also, ^^ to those guys talking about boiling caps... Not necessary. Dip in some star-san and cap away.

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Old 06-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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If you are chummy with any bars or restaurants in the area, you can get a lot of bottles fast. I went to the local sushi place and got their bottles Friday and Saturday after they closed. Each weekend netted me enough pry-off bottles for a full batch.

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