Boiling oxygen caps to sanitize.

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AirBronto

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Is is ok to boil oxygen caps to sanitize them? They have something that is not metal on the inside of them.
 

ChshreCat

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Once oxygen caps get wet, they start absorbing O2. I think that boiling them would completely defeat the purpose even if it doesn't damage the seals. I just lay out a half dozen at a time, spray them with StarSan and then cap.
 

Revvy

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Boiling caps is an archaic method that comes from the days before they put rubbery/plastic gaskets or as Yuri said, seals on them, which can deform and prevent your beer from sealing and carbonating.

I came across some antique cork lined ones. I wonder if even those were boiled.

Anyway with oxygen caps you don't really want to wet them down til you are bottling, then you can use a no rinse sanitzer. The oxygen barrier actually takes a couple days to firmly seal but you don't want to wet them down too soon.
 

HalfPint

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What Revvy said. I actually read somewhere on another thread that Forest from Austin Homebrew never sanitizes his caps. He said that he just throws the oxygen caps on and puts his bottles into their aging box upside down. Since then, I've actually stopped sanitizing my caps as well. I haven't experienced any infections yet.

J
 

HomerJR

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...Forest from Austin Homebrew never sanitizes his caps. He said that he just throws the oxygen caps on and puts his bottles into their aging box upside down.
What's the purpose of aging them upside down?
 

Revvy

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What's the purpose of aging them upside down?
He is probably using the beer itself to trigger the oxygen absorbing action by wetting the seals. I'm sure after a few days he inverts them.

I just don't get why people don't sanitize their caps. I mean, why shirk ANY sanitization step? You never know where a point of infection could come from...why play russian roulette. The caps aren't sterile or anything. And we touch them with our hand to place them on the bottle.

All it would take would be to be moving our bottles into storage for some of the beer to slosh upward into the headspace and touch the caps and start dripping back down.

SOme folks use the argument that the commercial breweries don't sanitize them....but they forget that not too far down the bottling line everything gets flash paturized.....Not quite the same as our setups.
 

raceskier

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Ditto on the cap sanitizing. The caps I get from my LHBS sit in an open box on a shelf. After rinsing them in Starsan, I usually have a nice layer of dust particles left in the Starsan.

After all of the work I've put into a batch of beer, I'm not going to risk it to save a few minutes.
 

HomerJR

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I just don't get why people don't sanitize their caps. I mean, why shirk ANY sanitization step? You never know where a point of infection could come from...why play russian roulette. The caps aren't sterile or anything. And we touch them with our hand to place them on the bottle.
I don't get it either. I just pour some StarSan into a cereal bowl (no cereal in it of course), and dump a handful of caps in it. If I need more caps, I just grab a few more. If I end up with extra (always do), just shake the excess off and toss 'em back in their bag. It literally takes about 15 extra seconds to do this. Who knows where the he!! those caps have been before I got them?
 

Revvy

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I don't get it either. I just pour some StarSan into a cereal bowl (no cereal in it of course), and dump a handful of caps in it. If I need more caps, I just grab a few more. If I end up with extra (always do), just shake the excess off and toss 'em back in their bag. It literally takes about 15 extra seconds to do this. Who knows where the he!! those caps have been before I got them?
I use the bowl of my vinator...It's already full of sanitizer from my bottles anyway.
 

TipsyDragon

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one never boil your caps ever. that will destroy the rubber gasket on the inside and they will never seal. that "stuff" is the oxygen absorbing compound. it activates on contact with water. dunk how ever many you need in some starsan right before botteling and no more. any more will waist the oxygen absorbing property you paid extra for.
 
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AirBronto

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Thanks for your responses guys. I did not boil them this time and just used iodine to sanitize them.
 

TheBroonery

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I've always boiled my caps with no problems. On the last batch I bottled I put all the caps through the dishwasher with the bottles to see if there would be any difference. That batch is still conditioning. The one thing I have learned from experience is to let the leftover caps completely dry before putting them back in the ziplock bag or they will rust.
 

HalfPint

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I use the bowl of my vinator...It's already full of sanitizer from my bottles anyway.
See, I don't bottle that much beer anymore. When I bottle an entire batch, I always sanitize my caps in my vinator bowl as well. The thing is that now days I will bottle a few to take to a party using the BMBF, or I'll bottle a couple to age for a while. Typically, I don't worry about it so much if they're going to be drank within a couple of days.
 

northernlad

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I use the bowl of my vinator...It's already full of sanitizer from my bottles anyway.
Is it possible we are related on some cosmic level? This is not the first time my procedure has been exactly the same as yours.
 

wetherel

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My homebrew shop told me oxygen absorbing caps starting absorbing when they get wet and continue absorbing oxygen for only 15 minutes. Based on this, I would sanitize them, but I wouldn't sanitize until just before you are ready to cap. Also based on this, I would also store your caps in a dry environment or airtight container if you live in a humid climate.
 

Homercidal

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My homebrew shop told me oxygen absorbing caps starting absorbing when they get wet and continue absorbing oxygen for only 15 minutes. Based on this, I would sanitize them, but I wouldn't sanitize until just before you are ready to cap. Also based on this, I would also store your caps in a dry environment or airtight container if you live in a humid climate.
This goes against what I've heard on podcasts about it. I've heard it takes a bit before the O2 absorbing qualities kick in.

I usually either lay out my caps and spritz with Star San, then after a minute flip over to drain, or just dump them in a little bowl with Star San and pull them out and shake them off just before putting them on the bottle.
 

Revvy

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My homebrew shop told me oxygen absorbing caps starting absorbing when they get wet and continue absorbing oxygen for only 15 minutes. Based on this, I would sanitize them, but I wouldn't sanitize until just before you are ready to cap. Also based on this, I would also store your caps in a dry environment or airtight container if you live in a humid climate.
Actually, your homebrew shop doesn't know what the heck they are talking about.

On Basic brewing James Spencer contacted the maker of Oxygen Absorbing Caps (Crown Beverage), and actually recommended you santize them quickly, evidently the "Oxygen Absorbing Effect" of the caps is not immediate and they need to be wet for a period of time before the magic happens, like days.

Click to listen

It's within the first few minutes of the podcast.

They recommend sanitizing ONLY the caps you are using, and sanitizing just before bottling.
 

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