Swing-top gaskets

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Zoltan

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After some newly-bought swing-top bottles didn't hold the carbonation and ruined half a batch of beer I made, I theorized on advice I got here that the silicone gaskets that came with the bottles were the culprit. Next batch, as an experiment I bought a couple of rubber gaskets from my brew store as an experiment and bottled two swing-top bottles--success! So, last batch I decided to use all the swing-top bottles I had--about 30--and went back to the brew store, which was out of the rubber gaskets. They ordered more, and I ended up buying thirty. But when I got them home, I discovered they were made of a different material from the two I had bought before. They were extremely hard to get on the to caps, because if you used your fingernails to do it they would make permanent dents in the gasket and I didn't want to do that. But I persevered and bottled the beer and they seem to have been successful at holding the carbonation.

But the gaskets are now permanently deformed and scored from where they sealed the neck of the bottle. What the heck? Are these one-use things? I was expecting the gaskets would last a long time, through many bottlings.
 
But the gaskets are now permanently deformed and scored from where they sealed the neck of the bottle. What the heck? Are these one-use things? I was expecting the gaskets would last a long time, through many bottlings.
Flip em over before your next use. But if they're very hard/stiff and difficult to get over the knob on the lid, look for better ones.
Or use some tool to help pry them off and push them back on.

And always store empty bottles with either the lid off, or lid on but not clamped down.
 
I appreciate the responses. It's sounds like this isn't a "feature" of these gaskets, just crappy materials. First the silicone, and now whatever plastic this is. I'm tempted to just go back to bottle caps and forget about these.
 
As @Deadalus already suggested, try soaking/dipping them in very hot water to get them more flexible before pushing/prying them on or off?

There's much marginal stuff being sold on eBay, Amazon, and such. So know and understand who your sources are and where they're coming from.

Does anyone have suggestions of a better source for those gaskets, perhaps? It's such a commodity... and they should last for many uses.
 
@IslandLizard Does anyone have suggestions of a better source for those gaskets, perhaps? It's such a commodity... and they should last for many uses.
https://www.morebeer.com/products/ez-cap-replacement-swing-top-gasket-case-12.html


FYI, DO NOT buy these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072B8HSH8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I had good luck with 3 orders in the past, but the latest bottles are cheaply made, and I've had 3 blow up with beer in them. I contacted the company, and they gave me a partial refund. I recycled the rest of them.
 
In addition to the material, the thickness of the gasket matters. Swing tops aren't all identical. Some gaskets are too thin to seal well enough with certain swing tops. Some gaskets are too thick to let you close some swing tops. And the bales may loosen up over time which can also compromise the seal.
 
Some gaskets are too thin to seal well enough with certain swing tops. Some gaskets are too thick to let you close some swing tops. And the bales may loosen up over time
All true, but with occasional swapping out dried-out gaskets, I had no troubleswith scores of batches in assorted swing top bottles.
 
In addition to the material, the thickness of the gasket matters. Swing tops aren't all identical. Some gaskets are too thin to seal well enough with certain swing tops. Some gaskets are too thick to let you close some swing tops. And the bales may loosen up over time which can also compromise the seal.
All true, but with occasional swapping out dried-out gaskets, I had no troubleswith scores of batches in assorted swing top bottles.
I definitely ran into some of the issues Mac mentioned. Was one of the final pushes for me to go to kegs. I'll own up to plenty of user error. But if you go with the swing tops it just probably makes sense to keep in mind. Don't expect everything to be interchangeable and work seamlessly.
 
Grolsch has sadly moved to standard longnecks on their 6 packs...just like Hinekien.

But...they still seem to offer the swing tops in 4 packs.

But not sure if this is just to use up existing inventory? Be prepared for the Grolsch swing tops to go extinct...
 
Grolsch has sadly moved to standard longnecks on their 6 packs...just like Hinekien.

But...they still seem to offer the swing tops in 4 packs.

But not sure if this is just to use up existing inventory? Be prepared for the Grolsch swing tops to go extinct...
I didn't notice if it was a 4-pack or 6-pack but I saw Grolsch swingtops in the beer case just last week. I was out of town though.

Grolsch has had non swing-top bottles for a long time, they were branded, but I can't remember if they were longnecks. They had raised lettering or something like that on the bottle from what I remember. I don't ever recall actually seeing their swingtops in the store. It used to bug me because I wanted the swingtops, and would have bought them, but I don't really like Grolsch to buy it in regular bottles. I kind of remember it seemed skunked, like Heineken. It's not regularly carried near me, I haven't seen it at all in a long time. Is it carried by you that you have noticed a switch?
 
I just saw Grolsch swingtops in 4-packs at Total the other day, for $12. This is funny because I occasionally surf Craigslist for brewing-related stuff and saw that someone was selling empty Grolsch bottles for $2 each. For another buck a bottle I can get them with beer. Not that I need more Grolsch bottles, as I have boxes of them I rarely use.
 
Grolsch has sadly moved to standard longnecks on their 6 packs...just like Hinekien.

But...they still seem to offer the swing tops in 4 packs.

But not sure if this is just to use up existing inventory? Be prepared for the Grolsch swing tops to go extinct...
I didn't notice if it was a 4-pack or 6-pack but I saw Grolsch swingtops in the beer case just last week. I was out of town though.

Grolsch has had non swing-top bottles for a long time, they were branded, but I can't remember if they were longnecks. They had raised lettering or something like that on the bottle from what I remember. I don't ever recall actually seeing their swingtops in the store. It used to bug me because I wanted the swingtops, and would have bought them, but I don't really like Grolsch to buy it in regular bottles. I kind of remember it seemed skunked, like Heineken. It's not regularly carried near me, I haven't seen it at all in a long time. Is it carried by you that you have noticed a switch?
I've seen Grolsch swing top 4-packs around Chicago for a couple years now I think. Longnecks for roughly the same time. I buy it sometimes to store harvested yeast under. Hopefully they're not just phasing out the swing tops. I'm not sure they'd move to 4- packs just to phase it out.
 
I've seen Grolsch swing top 4-packs around Chicago for a couple years now I think. Longnecks for roughly the same time. I buy it sometimes to store harvested yeast under. Hopefully they're not just phasing out the swing tops. I'm not sure they'd move to 4- packs just to phase it out.
No idea really just wanted to note they've used regular bottles concurrently for some time. Maybe just shrinkflation. Here's what the bottle I was used to seeing looked like, I had some given to me by a coworker. He liked German beers, gave me a slew of green bottles.
 

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Recently acquired from someone who found them in an attic. Yes (to preempt what someone will invariably say), whoever originally acquired them decades ago should have returned the crates, but it is a little late for that now.

As you can see, attic temps are not good for rubber gaskets.

Grolsch bottle.jpg
Grolsch crate.jpg
 
Morebeer sells rubber ones. https://www.morebeer.com/products/r...sODdnKv3RMNL6sdg_KjPdy1fPVbrQ1mhoCPzsQAvD_BwE
Brewhardware sells rubber ones. https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/ezcapgasket10.htm No picture though but you could simply check with Bobby_M about them.

Just google "swing top bottle rubber gasket". You want the clay pink color ones, not the redder ones.
Below is a pic of the 60 "rubber" gaskets I purchased from Brewhardware a few days ago. Turns out they're silicone, not rubber. I wrote to Bobby to ask about them. His reply:

This is where we get them: https://bsghandcraft.com/ez-cap-gaskets-100-count
Our description is based on the description there. I don't know what the material actually is.

1719401492985.jpeg

I can't fault Bobby for using the description his supplier provided. But they're definitely not rubber.
1719401492985.jpeg
 
Below is a pic of the 60 "rubber" gaskets I purchased from Brewhardware a few days ago. Turns out they're silicone, not rubber. I wrote to Bobby to ask about them. His reply:

This is where we get them: https://bsghandcraft.com/ez-cap-gaskets-100-count
Our description is based on the description there. I don't know what the material actually is.

View attachment 851754

I can't fault Bobby for using the description his supplier provided. But they're definitely not rubber.
View attachment 851754
Well, I did say there was no pic at the Brewhardware site and to check ahead...the pic at Moorebeer shows the pink ones, says they are rubber, and the pink ones are the ones I believe are rubber or at least are more pliable. I will look to see if I may still have the original bag mine came in to see the brand or perhaps I even ordered from there.
 
Well, I did say there was no pic at the Brewhardware site and to check ahead...the pic at Moorebeer shows the pink ones, says they are rubber, and the pink ones are the ones I believe are rubber or at least are more pliable. I will look to see if I may still have the original bag mine came in to see the brand or perhaps I even ordered from there.
Yep, you were clear that there was no photo and to check with Bobby. Wish I saw your post before ordering them. But now we know for sure.
 
So I have a bag of those Brewmaster ones. I also have a bag of clean used ones, as I don't store them on bottles. I just clean and dry the bottles and close the top without the gasket. The two used red ones came off liter flip-tops from the brewery. They are already indented. The rest have been used at least once. I saved the two red ones but they would be the last two I'd use. I put the old ones on and if I run out of those, I start using the new ones. Now I don't bottle much anymore but I don't recall any issues with these gaskets.
 

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I've now tried three different brands of silicone gaskets on my 16 oz EZ Cap bottles. I especially liked the last ones I bought. They were nice and beefy. Closing them resulted in a hard snap and opening required a good push on the bale to get them to pop open. My cider was forced carbed. They were perfect for the first few weeks. I purposely let a few sit in the fridge for a few months to see how well the new gaskets retained carbonation. When I finally opened them, the cider was flat. This has now happened with all three kinds of silicone gaskets I've tried. The bottles are in like-new condition. The only conclusion I can draw is what others have noted, that the gas is permeating through the silicone gaskets. That's why I'm determined to try real rubber ones.
 
The only conclusion I can draw is what others have noted, that the gas is permeating through the silicone gaskets.
Without me requesting it, Bobby (BrewHardware.com) refunded my purchase for the rubber gaskets that turned out to be silicone.

It does seem that silicone is simply the wrong material for this purpose. @Bobby_M gets that immediately. Also, integrity is his middle name.

Now, what about convincing others who make or sell this product?
 
I just saw Grolsch swingtops in 4-packs at Total the other day, for $12. This is funny because I occasionally surf Craigslist for brewing-related stuff and saw that someone was selling empty Grolsch bottles for $2 each. For another buck a bottle I can get them with beer. Not that I need more Grolsch bottles, as I have boxes of them I rarely use.
I used to be friends with a bartender at Bennigan’s who would save them for me out of the trash with their original cardboard boxes. And I would give him $10 a case. He was more than happy to save them for me and get $10 a case for trash. Make friends with bartenders.

Fast forward, when I moved in 2019 I had probably a dozen cases and I just about never used any of them so I got rid of them all.

What I’d actually like to find is some of those original fancy Fullers bottles. I have a couple cases, I love using those for my barleywine. Fullers went to plain bottles now.
 
I occasionally use Grolsch swingtops when I'm bottling HB at higher carb levels (e.g., Belgians and Hefeweizens). I read somewhere that they can handle up to 3.5 vols.

Regular 12 oz long necks are said to withstand 3.0, but I won't carb in those above 2.7 or so.

I'd love to get my hands on a couple hundred Belgian stubbies, but I'd go broke buying that much Duvel, etc.
 
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