Boil the caps? Or sanitize?

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Slive

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Hey! I've been boiling my caps lately, but I was wondering if you could just dump them in sanitizer and have clean caps ready to go. I use One-Step, if that would make a difference.

Also, are there any other techniques to guarantee a tight seal? Some of my caps are hit-or-miss.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

rod

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i just let mine soak in star san for a minute or so. i would be afraid boiling may distort the seal in the cap.
 

mrkristofo

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Jaeger48 said:
I use star san as well. Does anyone know if boiling will damage the oxygen seal?
Yes, it will. As will soaking in Bleach and Iodophor. I don't know if star-san will damage them or not.

I soak mine in cheap vodka.
 

Bernie Brewer

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mrkristofo said:
Yes, it will. As will soaking in Bleach and Iodophor. I don't know if star-san will damage them or not.

I soak mine in cheap vodka.

Oh, phooey on that. I've sanitized my caps in all of the above methods. Never had a problem with any of them. The caps always sealed.
 

Dr_Deathweed

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+1 on soaking in star san then bottling... on the one batch I have bottled.... Thank goodness I started out kegging:cross:
 

SuperiorBrew

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StarSan here too, I toss them in the bottom of my vinator and pull them out as needed.
 

Poindexter

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I have boiled mine all along. Not a good choice for the caps with the "oxygen eater" in the plastic disc, but plenty folks do fine without those.

YMMV.
 

menschmaschine

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I soak them in iodophor solution (at roughly the proper concentration) for a few minutes and out of the hundreds (and hundreds) of bottles I've used them on, never had a sealing problem.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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For the years, I've used the instructions that came with the kits:
Boil water. Remove from heat. Add caps. Let sit as water cools.

However, yesterday I used sanitized them instead. The reason being that when I was all set to bottle, I FORGOT TO BOIL THE WATER! duh!

So, gave them all some heavy sprays from the bottle, and ended up being much easier.

nick
 

Bombo80

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I have always boiled my caps. I compare it to canning vegetables. It makes sense to me that the seal would need to be pliable, to make a good seal. I know others will make arguments that it is not necessary, but I have never had any seal issues doing it this way. I have actually had more bottle breakage issues, during the bottling process, than cap seal issues, at any time. FWIW
 

mrkristofo

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Bernie Brewer said:
Oh, phooey on that. I've sanitized my caps in all of the above methods. Never had a problem with any of them. The caps always sealed.
They'll seal, absolutely. But the compound inside the cap will lose its oxygen absorbing properties. That's what they say in the package, anyway.
 

menschmaschine

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mrkristofo said:
They'll seal, absolutely. But the compound inside the cap will lose its oxygen absorbing properties.
How so? (seriously, not trying to be smart) And with what type of sanitizers? Is it a pH issue? Bleach is basic, iodophor is acidic, not sure about Star-San. What is the material inside the cap and how will it lose it's O2 absorbing properties? Is this a big deal for our bottling purposes? If the proper amount of headspace is used and the bottles allowed to sit for a time before clamping down the cap, a blanket of CO2 should cover the beer anyway.
 

Evan!

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Lately I've gotten more and more concerned about the reactive/oxidative properties of Star San. I used to soak my IC in Star San prior to chilling, but it always made the copper sparkly new, which for some reason doesn't really sit well with me because the star san smells like oxidizing metal afterwards.

The same thing happens when I soak my bottle caps in Star San. The solution smells metallic after a few minutes---and once in awhile, I notice that taste in some of my beers. Not often, but sometimes. So what I've started doing is just tossing in 6 caps to the Star San at a time. I bottle 6 beers and cap them, then toss 6 more caps in, bottle them, and so on. This way, no caps are soaking in the solution for more than a few minutes. I'm not entirely sure if this makes a difference, I may just be paranoid...but it doesn't really take any extra effort, so...
 

mrkristofo

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menschmaschine said:
How so? (seriously, not trying to be smart) And with what type of sanitizers? Is it a pH issue? Bleach is basic, iodophor is acidic, not sure about Star-San. What is the material inside the cap and how will it lose it's O2 absorbing properties? Is this a big deal for our bottling purposes? If the proper amount of headspace is used and the bottles allowed to sit for a time before clamping down the cap, a blanket of CO2 should cover the beer anyway.
I've looked for details on the chemistry of the absorbent, but I haven't been able to find any. Quite unfortunate. That said, I abide by the warnings inside the package that say to not boil the caps, and to sanitize with ethanol.
 

cheezydemon

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I buy new caps every time and I don't do Sh!t to them. Open the bag and bottle. Never had a problem.
 

Donasay

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There are a few different kinds of caps available to home brewers, and depending on what type of cap you are using, you can't sanitize with certain products. The caps most people are referring to when they say "you can't use XXXX product" are the oxygen absorbing caps with a very very thin rubbery or spongy lining under the cap which is designed to absorb oxygen. It is important to know what type you are using before sanitizing.

I personally never use the oxygen absorbing caps, because supposedly you need to keep them dry and sealed before use and I only use 6 or 12 caps at a time and stick my wet hands into the bag to get the caps, I keg the rest of the beer. The oxygen absorbing caps also cost a little bit more than the regular metal caps, perhaps an extra 50 cents to a dollar for 50 of them.

The other good thing about the all metal caps is that you can do whatever you damn well please with them, the ones made entirely from metal without the oxygen absorbing layer can be sanitized or sterilized with anything. You could even take a blowtorch to them and then use them to cap if you wanted.
 

Revvy

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Evan! said:
I bottle 6 beers and cap them, then toss 6 more caps in, bottle them, and so on. This way, no caps are soaking in the solution for more than a few minutes. I'm not entirely sure if this makes a difference, I may just be paranoid...but it doesn't really take any extra effort, so...

Interesting idea...I bottle six at a time, putting a cap loosely on each one after filling, and when I finish the 6th I go back to #1 and apply the capper. I've been concerned simply about the caps rusting from soaking too long in sanitizer...Doing them the way you do fits perfectly with my bottling process...

Thanks for the tip!
 

menschmaschine

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cheezydemon said:
I buy new caps every time and I don't do Sh!t to them. Open the bag and bottle. Never had a problem.
I like that idea!... only, I have a touch of OCD that prevents me from doing that:cross:
 
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