Could it be the capper that's the problem? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Could it be the capper that's the problem?

Thread Tools
Old 09-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
Senior Member
mrkrausen's Avatar
Dec 2011
Posts: 473
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts

Okay, I have been trying to narrow down my carbonation issue with my last two brews . I've been racking my brain at what is causing it and I think I may have come up with the reason but I want to make sure before I resolve it. First off, I know for sure that I added priming sugar and the correct amounts. When adding priming sugar I add it to boiling water and then cool. After that I add it to my priming bucket and siphon the beer on top of that. I then gently stir the mixture for a few minutes. when conditioning I leave them in the closet where I keep a thermometer so I know it stays at least 70F for at least three weeks. One batch has been conditioning for eight weeks so far. On the first batch I would say 4 out of 24 so far have been carbonated like they should and the rest have had either no or very little carbonation. The second batch I would say half of the 24 I've had so far have been carbonated correctly. I did cold crash the first batch which was a Kolsch, but from talking to people there still should have been enough yeast to carbonate correctly. So what I'm thinking is that I may have an issue with my capper. After inspecting the bottles that have been capped they don't appear to be out of the ordinary. I did notice that the bell on the capper wasn't screwed snuggly. I don't recall if it should be but I did and will see what happens next batch. I didn't see anything abnormal with the bell on the capper either. I guess I'm just looking for opinions here on what you would do. It really sucks having two batches that taste great but are lacking because of something that could be so simple. The capper has seen 14-15 batches so I'm wondering if it's time to either get a new bell or retire the capper all together.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0583.jpg
Views:	169
Size:	29.5 KB
ID:	76103  
I'm in over my head...fortunately that's right where I like to be.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 01:42 AM   #2
Apr 2012
Schenectady, New York
Posts: 916
Liked 116 Times on 93 Posts

Try shaking a few bottles then store them on their sides to see if any brew leaks out. Put them on some paper towels. LOL


Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,978
Liked 3692 Times on 3172 Posts

I've had the same problem. Started re-cleaning & using the bottle brush rather than just rinsing to make sure there wasn't any residue in the bottom of the bottles. On bottling day,I'm also gunna start using a folded paper towel dampened with starsan to wipe off the lip of the bottles as well. I thought maybe some beer residue might be preventing the bottles from sealing 100%.
This over & above making sure the boxed bottles sit at at least 68F for the requisite 3-4 weeks on average. Too low a conditioning temp seems to stall carbonation like it would in a fermenter.
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing-
Distopian Sci-Fi-
New! John Henry-

Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 03:08 AM   #4
Sep 2011
Shavertown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 169
Liked 20 Times on 13 Posts

I am fighting the same thing with a Saison I recently brewed. I went over all the bottles with the capper a second time to make sure the caps are tight. Interesting thing is this is the first time I have had an issue and also the first time cold crashing and using star-san. I doubt the star-san has anything to do with it. I took 3 bottles un-capped and added a 1/4 tsp of sugar and re-capped and they still did not carb. This is only my third batch with this capper.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best capper to buy KMKsuburbannoise Bottling/Kegging 2 02-04-2011 12:02 AM
Bad Capper? BigdogMark Bottling/Kegging 2 11-15-2010 07:07 AM
Worn out capper kevind Bottling/Kegging 7 11-11-2010 07:37 PM
Colonna Capper? Kungpaodog Bottling/Kegging 11 03-27-2009 06:26 PM
Capper AnOldUR Bottling/Kegging 5 11-20-2007 05:24 PM

Forum Jump