Author Topic: Bottle Caps  (Read 1994 times)

Offline kwbru2

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Bottle Caps
« on: September 03, 2010, 07:45:30 AM »
Hello fellow Homebrewers!

I've got an interesting question regarding bottle cap differences and a 5 gallon batch of Double IPA in limbo already bottled. Here's the deal, somehow without me realizing, I ordered Oxygen Barrier caps for this batch of ale I brewed versus the normal Oxygen Absorbing caps. After waiting about three weeks for bottle conditioning, I tested a couple and barely any CO2 developed. Although a very good Ale, the carbonation was just not there. I waited a few more weeks and tested again, still no improvement. I know I double checked the amount of corn sugar used, gently stirred the fermented wort and bottled properly.

Because I used Oxygen barrier caps, would this prevent carbonation from occurring in the bottles? Can I save what I left in my bottles by switching caps to oxygen absorbing caps and see if it will still carbonate, or will I risk contamination? Or lastly,is it too late and should I....gulp....send the batch to a recycle bin?

Another interesting question, in what instances would one use Oxygen barrier caps if it prevents carbonation by not allowing oxygen to help assist with the conversion?

Regards,
Keith

Offline tygo

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 07:51:16 AM »
You don't want oxygen in your bottles of beer at all.  The type of cap you used should not affect the process of carbonating at all.  I'm guessing you may have another problem. 

How high in alcohol content is the beer?  How long did it sit in the fermenter/secondary before you bottled it?  Did you add any additional yeast at bottling time? How much priming sugar did you use?
Clint
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 07:57:08 AM »
Quote
Because I used Oxygen barrier caps, would this prevent carbonation from occurring in the bottles?

Only if they don't seal properly.

Sounds like you made a higher alcohol beer. I would suspect that has more to do with it than anything else.

But let's look at your clues.  You said "barely" any CO2 developed.  Did any?  If you open the bottle, do you hear a noise?  What about your priming sugar?  When you taste your beer, does it taste like it did before you primed it, or does it seem sweeter?

Either you aren't generating CO2 or you aren't containing the CO2 that is generated.  Try to isolate which is occurring and then you'll have an idea how to proceed.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline kwbru2

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 08:50:53 AM »
The oxygen barrier caps I used did seem to cap or seal differently on the same bottles I always use. When I open a bottle, there is a very small release of co2 (hiss), and there is very little activity in the glass, just by monitoring small bubbles going from the bottom of the glass to the top, but no head whatsoever. The taste is nearly flat from the lack of normal carbonation,but it does taste a little sweeter than it did prior to bottling. No off flavors have developed.

The abv measured between 8 and 9%. I had it in the secondary fermenter for 6 weeks. For the priming sugar, I used 2/3 cup of dextrose. I've never added yeast at bottling time, does this improve carbonation for higher alcohol beers?

Seems like I have a possible combination of problems?

Offline hokerer

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 09:13:14 AM »
Don't see how Oxygen-barrier vs Oxygen-absorbing caps could possibly have anything to do with it other than, regardless of the type cap, if you had problems physically capping.  At what temperature are your bottles conditioning?  Might want to warm them up a little, also, rousing might help (flip each bottle upside down and back).

In any case, I doubt there's any need for the dumpster.  It may be that things just need more time.
Joe

Offline euge

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 10:30:23 AM »
I don't know how much 2/3 cups dextrose weighs but you should have used about 4 oz for 5 gallons at 70F.

Store the brew in a warmer area (not hot) and forget about it for another month. Chill a bottle for a couple days before opening. If that doesn't show any improvement there might be a way to introduce some active yeast via syringe to each bottle.

And, how much headspace was left in each bottle?
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Offline jptheelder

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 05:10:22 PM »
I would have used 3/4 cup dextrose. you SHOULD go by weight, but I usually just use the 3/4 cup and it seems to work out ok. let it age for a while and see what happens.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 06:23:38 PM »
I'd say give it some time...and keep it is a warm enough environment for the remaining yeast to do its thing.  The type of caps you use should have no bwaring at all on the carbonation.  I use the o2 absorbing caps regularly on strong beers meant for keeping, and the beers can last for years.   
The o2 caps are great and worth the minimal extra cost (they only cost me an extra dollar or two per bag of caps. 
The trick to their effectiveness, I'm told, is to not allow them to get wet before applying them.  And again...they have no affect on the carbonation whatsoever as long as they're on tight.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 07:13:29 PM »
The trick to their effectiveness, I'm told, is to not allow them to get wet before applying them. 

How do you sanitize the caps since a dunk in starsan is out?
Clint
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Offline svejk

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 07:38:20 PM »
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a podcast (Basic Brewing?) where the producer of these caps said that they needed to get wet in order to be effective. Does anybody else remember that?

Offline tygo

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 07:59:17 PM »
They don't start absorbing oxygen until they're wet.  The problem, for me at least, is sanitation.  I give them a starsan bath to sanitize but that activates the O2 absorbing properties.  So my question is how much O2 is being absorbed while they're sitting in my starsan solution for at most 40 minutes while I'm in the process of bottling the beer.  And is there any O2 absorbing properties left after that process.

I've contemplated baking them for 30 minutes or so but that would be kind of a pain in the ass so I'm curious what others are doing to sanitize.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 08:06:10 PM by tygo »
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline svejk

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 08:05:22 PM »
My recollection from the podcast is that the O2 absorption happens 24 to 48 hours after they get wet, so there is plenty of time to cap the bottles.

Offline tygo

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2010, 08:07:35 PM »
My recollection from the podcast is that the O2 absorption happens 24 to 48 hours after they get wet, so there is plenty of time to cap the bottles.

If that's the case I will be overjoyed at one less thing to worry about  ;)
Clint
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline bobthebrewer

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Re: Bottle Caps
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2010, 06:35:51 AM »
just remember to only sanitize the caps you are going to use right then