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I've bought a new bottle capper (two-handled hand held capper) and have tried it on a number of different types of (empty) beer bottles.

It works okay, but I've noticed that none of the caps seem to be as tight on the bottle as they are on store bought beer bottles. Eg, its too tight to be pulled off, but I can relatively easily twist the cap around in place on the bottle. Store bought bottle caps seem to be too tight to do this.

Will the beer carbonate properly if it's not airtight?

Cheers Dave Smylie

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you can twist it around, its not tight enough. To carbonate, the seal on the cap must be completely airtight in order that the CO2 that is produced from residual yeast consuming the priming sugar you added before bottling will pressurize the headspace and then saturate the beer. Without the seal, the pressure in the bottle won't increase and the CO2 will leak away instead of saturating the beer.

I can think of a couple of things that might cause this:

  1. I assume you are not using bottles that were used for twist-off caps in the past as you can't cap those bottles using your capper.
  2. Have you tried another batch of caps as there may be a manufacturing fault
  3. Some cappers have adjustable size inserts so you can cap larger Belgian style bottles or even wine/champagne bottles.
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Cheers for the feedback. There's a variety of bottles there, none of them twist tops. I've gone thru them all again, and the 750ml swappa-crate style bottles seem to seal okay, but most of the 335ml bottles seem dodgy. Some (like Carlsberg) seem pretty tight (able to be twisted, but only just), but others (like Corona) are pretty useless. I guess I'll be using the 750ml bottles for bottling. Bit of a shame after all the hassle I went to to collect the smaller bottles, but better to be safe I guess =) –  smylie Apr 9 '10 at 20:01
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Keep the bottles. The 335s should work fine with 26mm caps. I guessing its either the caps or the capper that are the issue. The european bottles may have a slightly thicker glass rim which is compensating but I haven't had any issues capping US ones with my capper so just try a different source for your caps next time. –  Jim Denmark Apr 12 '10 at 19:23
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