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What are the steps involved in recapping a bottle of beer for any reason (e.g. if too much priming sugar is added, if a cap appears to be defective or failing, etc)?

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If a cap is defective and you notice it soon enough then you can just remove and replace. If its been awhile then your priming sugar is probably spent and that bottle is a loss IMO. Its not worth the effort of trying to add more sugar again.

If you added too much priming sugar, it sort of depends on how much extra. Some people have luck with prying off one edge to release the excess pressure, then recrimping in down with the capper. I am not sure you get a good seal in that case.

For me I just tend to chalk these issues up as a loss and correct it next time/batch.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's the best method I've found after trying a few different approaches:

  • Cool the bottle to 38-40 degrees (this prevents the beer from foaming much)
  • Prepare your replacement caps and have them at the ready, as well as your capper
  • Handle the bottle gently
  • Place the bottle on a counter or other sturdy surface and very gently pry off the cap. Minimize any movement of the bottle and remove the cap slowly so as to not rapidly depressurize the bottle
  • Quickly swap the old cap for the new one, and immediately seal with the capper
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