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Old 11-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #1
boswell
 
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I make all grain, extract whatever. I am not an expert by any stretch, but if you are starting out, brewing for years, whatever, and still using that 'winged' red capper, throw that thing out and get a Super Agata Bench Capper. I got mine on ebay for <$30 and I absolutely and pissed at myself for not getting one sooner.

Upgrades for beginners:
1. Bigger pot for full wort boils
2. Immersion chiller
3. Bench capper!!!!!!!

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
Rev2010
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Yes on all accounts - but do not throw away the Wing capper as it can server as a backup if the bench capper busts during bottling.

I move pretty quickly in my hobbies so after bottling a few batches in PET I moved to glass and instantly bought both, a bench capper and a red wing capper as a backup, since some have said they busted theirs mid capping and had no backup. I don't ever want to bottle in PET again - screwing caps closed sucks and if not done with a glove on messes your skin up. Unfortunately, I need to bottle in PET today as I am out of glass bottles. Go figure lol.

The one thing I did wait long on is the immersion chiller and after getting one I felt like an ass waiting so long. It's sooo damn convenient!! No more waiting for a tub to fill, adding in ice packs, carrying the pot over and gently putting it in to avoid scratching the tub, circulating the water around the pot, waiting over an hour, then having to drain the tub and dry off the ice packs before returning them to the freezer. No way, never again!!

The 10 gallon kettle was a huge step up, but I think taking my brewing outside on to a propane burner was more substantial. I was reluctant to do it with winter and all coming but man, no more waiting over an hour to get a boil going. My Blichmann burner is insane at heating the kettle. Takes so much time off of brew day.


Rev.

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
enkamania
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Bench capper, vinator and a partner are the advice I give to bottlers. My assistant threatened to quit, so I keg now.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
boswell
 
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Use the old dishwasher door method for bottling day, and its pretty painless honestly, just have to wait for my 18 month old pet monster to go to bed, or its a fiasco.

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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I first tried brewing back in the 70's and purchased an "all metal" wing capper. Had no success brewing then so quit but resumed about 3 yrs ago and dug up this old capper which I can say is far better than that plastic red capper which I've tried. I now keg about 3gal and bottle 2gal every batch and yes a good capper is well worth the investment for those that bottle.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
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I have a pair of bench cappers that haven't been used in over 10 years... kegs.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:04 AM   #7
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I like kegs, but I have an enormous thirst, got it from my dad, so bottles make me a more responsible imbiber. I like bottles too, no real reason, I just like bringing a couple to friends and sharing.

 
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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It's really a matter of what works comfortably with YOUR bottling process. A bench capper is no better than a wing capper. It's whatever works in your system. I have one but I never use it because with the way I've dialed in my process, as chronicled in my thread, a bench capper actually slows me down...I've tried, but a wing capper allows me to go to the bottle rather than bring the bottle to the capper, and with my system that's what works for me......I can't stress this enough...figure out what makes the job easier for YOU. Don't go by what folks say.... bottling is a pain but if you tailor the process to suit you, whether it's with a bench or wing capper, then the job becomes easier....

Boswell, it's great that it suits your system, but it may not work for everyone.....
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:30 AM   #9
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I have Grandpa's old bench capper he used during Prohibition, and it's in play for every batch......it's just easier on the arthritis in my wrists than that red thing that came with my original kit...
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:59 AM   #10
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I do a modified version of Revvy's method and a bench capper would slow me down. To each his own, but I'll be keeping my red wing capper. Bottling day is actually relaxing and a breeze thanks to Revvy! Prosit!
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