Bench capper doesn't cap as good as it used to

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Miraculix

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Hi!

I got one of these sturdy red bench cappers since years. Lately it seems like that the crown caps are a bit more loose on my bottles than they used to be. I didn't change anything on my technique and I am not using weired new caps.

Any idea what I could do to tighten the seal up a bit?

Cheers!

M
 
When was the last time you lubricated the inside of the bell?

Cheers!

..... When I did what? :D ... Probably never.

What exactly do you observe? Do the caps leak when holding the bottle upside down?
The caps don't fit tight any more. They are easier to uncap then they used to be. Some of them feel a bit loose when you push them from the side. Some of my long term stored barley wines (1 year+) even lost carbonation.
 
I got caps from Northern Brewer that I could pop off the bottle with my thumb. Lost a batch of wheat wine to cardboard and flat.
Turns out the caps were .010 smaller in OD. I put the rest of them in the recycle bag, no problems since.
 
Oh oh .... I just bought like thousands of caps in one box from Amazon.... Now I'm a bit scared!

But actually, the problem also happened with American sized caps which I had to swap the bell for. Same story as with the European caps, so there's still a slight chance that there's something going on with the capper itself.
 
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When I had my cap problem I switched out the bell with one from a new wing capper. I did not fix the problem. Now I only use caps that say LD Carlson on the packaging. I think they are made by brewers best. If it is the caps I would think you could return them.
 
When I had my cap problem I switched out the bell with one from a new wing capper. I did not fix the problem. Now I only use caps that say LD Carlson on the packaging. I think they are made by brewers best. If it is the caps I would think you could return them.
It's not that they wouldn't seal at all, it's just that the caps used to seal tighter.
 
Maybe see if you can try a buddies capper on one of your bottles with your caps? Kind of sounds like the caps are out of spec to me to be honest.
I used many different caps that showed the same issue.

Also the imprint (ring shape, now like a ring open to one side) of the bell in the middle of the cap is not as even as it used to be.
 
I used many different caps that showed the same issue.

Also the imprint (ring shape, now like a ring open to one side) of the bell in the middle of the cap is not as even as it used to be.

Edited: Get a new capper or bell then or try adjusting if there any adjustments you can make. I use a wing capper and can feel as I cap if it's in properly or not.
 
What does the crown look like after you cap the bottle? The sides of the crown should be almost vertical.

If it's not, then maybe the spring mechanism in the die is jammed, misadjusted or worn out and not letting you get that last bit of crimp needed.

I think the dies or bells do wear out, so maybe it's time to unscrew the old one and put in the new.
 
What does the crown look like after you cap the bottle? The sides of the crown should be almost vertical.

If it's not, then maybe the spring mechanism in the die is jammed, misadjusted or worn out and not letting you get that last bit of crimp needed.

I think the dies or bells do wear out, so maybe it's time to unscrew the old one and put in the new.
That sounds reasonable. I see if I manage to get some pictures of some recently capped bottles.
 
That sounds reasonable. I see if I manage to get some pictures of some recently capped bottles.
It's only my opinion since I've never read any very specific instructions about capping. But I just took these pics to illustrate...

badCrimp.png
goodCrimp.png
 
I had an issue with my "Super Agata" when I first tried it.. on examining the bell I found it wasn't quite round and was leaving the caps a bit too loose. I found a piece of pipe that I could set the bell in upside down and 'gently' hammered it into the pipe just enough to get it perfectly round and making snug crimps. The metal is a little softer than ideal.
 
I have an Enotria brand bench capper, no instructions. It caps fine but has a tendency to hold on to the cap and bottle afterwards. I wonder if perhaps the grease mentioned in the Ferrari instructions is to prevent that from happening? I don't bottle much anymore but will put a little keg lube on it next time I cap something. The grease might also reduce wear.
 
I've found that the press-formed bells are always slightly out of round but they will also stretch open over a long life of use. You can increase the quality of the crimp by performing one press, then rotate the bottle 1/8th turn and do it one more time. That's a huge hassle but the only way to really improve the situation long term is to buy a capper with a machined or cast bell.

The cheaper COLT bench capper has a cast bell but there are parts of the unit that are plastic.
While not for the budget conscious, this is my favorite hammer for this particular nail:
https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/benchcapper_grifo.htm
 
lol!
I have to relate that I have a Pendaflex folder (which totally dates me already) for my brewing stuff going back to the early 2000s and that instruction sheet was sitting at the "Year One" end. Took me less than 30 seconds to find it :D

Cheers!
 
I've found that the press-formed bells are always slightly out of round but they will also stretch open over a long life of use. You can increase the quality of the crimp by performing one press, then rotate the bottle 1/8th turn and do it one more time. That's a huge hassle but the only way to really improve the situation long term is to buy a capper with a machined or cast bell.

The cheaper COLT bench capper has a cast bell but there are parts of the unit that are plastic.
While not for the budget conscious, this is my favorite hammer for this particular nail:
https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/benchcapper_grifo.htm
When I was capping bottles I always rotated the bottle approx 1/3 between the first and second pull
 
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