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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Could it be the capper that's the problem?
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
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Default Could it be the capper that's the problem?

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.

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I'm in over my head...fortunately that's right where I like to be.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:42 AM   #2
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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


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Old 09-18-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:08 AM   #4
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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.
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