Author Topic: Capping for the long haul  (Read 1444 times)

Offline poliepete

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Capping for the long haul
« on: October 30, 2010, 07:10:31 PM »
Getting ready to brew my first barleywine. It's supposed to stay in the bottle minimum nine months. I generally just buy the cheap caps for bottling ... are there better caps I should get for long-term storage of a beer?

Thanks for the help.

Offline IHBHS

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
    • Ice Harbor Brewing Co.
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2010, 09:07:38 PM »
I would just make sure they are Oxygen barrier caps.
Ice Harbor Brewing Co.
www.iceharbor.com

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4535
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 06:22:02 AM »
There are the O2 abxorbing caps, but I have not seen those at the LHBS in a while.  I use the oxygen barrier caps for big beers.  Try and cap on foam if you can.  Some even wax the cap in an attempt to add more O2 barrier, but I have not done that.

For smaller beers that are to be consumed quickly, I use the cheap caps.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline poliepete

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 07:06:46 AM »
Thanks for the info.

I'm still a bit of a rookie, so what do you mean by "cap on foam"?

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4535
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 07:18:41 AM »
You can try and get some foam in the beer as it is being bottled, hard to do with beer from the fermenter as there is only about 0.8-1.0 volumes of CO2.  My cheap bottling wands will give me some foam.   Foam is made of bubbles of CO2.  So if you have foam, it has displaced air, and the O2 in the air.  This should help cut down on the oxidation of the beer.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline poliepete

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 08:15:58 AM »
Got it. Thanks!

Offline diybrewing

  • Retailers
  • Cellarman
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Owner of DIY Brewing Supply.
    • View Profile
    • DIY Brewing Supply
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 08:50:16 AM »
I personally am not a fan of the Oxygen barrier caps. They activate as soon as they are wet. This means that you either do not use a liquid sanitizer or you will lose most of their absorbing power. I personally for Barleywines like a little oxidation in the beer. It helps to mellow the beer out and adds a lot to the flavor.
DIY Brewing Supply owner. 
The best beer I ever had is the one I have in my hand.
DIY Brewing Supply

Online jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2445
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 09:18:00 AM »
You can try and get some foam in the beer as it is being bottled, hard to do with beer from the fermenter as there is only about 0.8-1.0 volumes of CO2.  My cheap bottling wands will give me some foam.   Foam is made of bubbles of CO2.  So if you have foam, it has displaced air, and the O2 in the air.  This should help cut down on the oxidation of the beer.
Also you can tap on the side of the bottle neck with a knife or a spoon and it may create a little foam.
Bottle-conditioned beers will consume the oxygen when carbonating.  They tend to stay fresher than kegged beers transferred to bottles because of the presence of more yeast.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

beveragebob

  • Guest
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 11:58:54 AM »
For the long haul, you can always dip the crowns/neck of the bottle in wax. I'm talking decades though.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2010, 10:48:28 PM »
I personally am not a fan of the Oxygen barrier caps. They activate as soon as they are wet. This means that you either do not use a liquid sanitizer or you will lose most of their absorbing power.
It doesn't happen that fast, you have hours to days before the O2 absorbing capacity of the caps is gone.   ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline The Professor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
  • "In the next life, you're on your own"
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 07:36:37 AM »
I personally am not a fan of the Oxygen barrier caps. They activate as soon as they are wet. This means that you either do not use a liquid sanitizer or you will lose most of their absorbing power.
It doesn't happen that fast, you have hours to days before the O2 absorbing capacity of the caps is gone.   ;)

Right.  I use a lot of o2 absorbing  caps and have yet to have a problem caused by getting them wet.
Since my stronger beers go into bottle after a long period of bulk aging,  I generally put some water in a small pan and when it comes to a boil, toss in the quanitity of caps I need for the session, and start bottling right away. 
But many brewers don't sanitize the caps at all before applying them, and they report no problems.
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline tumarkin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 08:52:02 AM »
I personally am not a fan of the Oxygen barrier caps. They activate as soon as they are wet. This means that you either do not use a liquid sanitizer or you will lose most of their absorbing power.
It doesn't happen that fast, you have hours to days before the O2 absorbing capacity of the caps is gone.   ;)

Right.  I use a lot of o2 absorbing  caps and have yet to have a problem caused by getting them wet.
Since my stronger beers go into bottle after a long period of bulk aging,  I generally put some water in a small pan and when it comes to a boil, toss in the quanitity of caps I need for the session, and start bottling right away. 
But many brewers don't sanitize the caps at all before applying them, and they report no problems.


+1 to both of these. Go ahead and use the O2 scavenging caps. They cost very little extra and it's worth using them to reduce the O2 as much as possible, expecially for big beers that will be aged for a while. I've also known a number of brewers that don't sanitize their caps at all with no problems, but I've always thought it was worth the extra effort to sanitize. I use StarSan to soak the caps rather than boiling them. That's always worked well for me.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 09:11:31 AM »
The one caveat being that if you sanitize a few extra (I always do) and don't use some of them, you should toss them or put them in with the non-O2 scavenging caps.  :)
Tom Schmidlin

Online Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1842
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 08:59:52 AM »
Is there any way to know what are O2 scavenging caps and what are not?
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Capping for the long haul
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 09:11:46 AM »
The ones I've gotten are labeled that way on the package, and it's printed around the rim of the cap too.
Tom Schmidlin