Are twist off caps any good?

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Are twist off caps any good?

Postby jayhawk » Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:30 pm

I bought some caps that claim to be "twist off". Does anyone have any experience with these? Will they seal as well as the traditional pop-a-top caps? I am desperate to increase my bottling capacity right now because I am brewing more than I can drink!
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TO Caps.....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:59 pm

Twist off crowns cannot be applied using conventional crown cappers.

In production, the twist off crowns are placed in a die within a slowly rotating, magnetic headed, crowning press. This machine "torques" them down to the point of a perfect seal without over-pressing them beyond the fine threads on the bottle.

The twist on crown's structure is made with threading in mind and therefore will not span the lip of a conventional crown bottle sufficiently to create an adequate seal.

Regarding your packaging capacity....

It is usually at the point that you are now when most home brewers now weight the practicality of either:

1) Purchasing bigger bottles, possibly moving up to Easy Caps (TM) (like Grolsch bottles) that are available in sizes from 16 oz. to 1 litre.

OR

2)Purchasing or "creatively aquiring" either Cornelius cylinders or Sanke kegs to contain your ever growing stash.

Over the long term, kegging in some form offers the most practical solution at the best cost/benefit.

Of course... now your friends will have to come to your house to partake.... unless you relish dragging around 5 gallon + "cans of beer" and a CO2 cylinder, gauge and hoses ! With a friend of mine, this topic became problimatic with his wife who did not like the "brewser parade" (her coined term!) he created ! Now he bottles some for take away and kegs the rest for private consumption and, due to "official decree", more limited, less frequent gatherings at home.

Maybe do a small bottling of each batch (required if you plan to compete and can only be conventionally crowned) and keg off the rest.

Eric
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kegging, now I need a 5-10 litre solution

Postby stumpwater » Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:01 pm

Kegging is great and easy way to go through your increased production. I can't make the beer fast enough now. The dragging the keg around thing is a bit laborious so I am waiting for some genious to invent the 2 gallon porta keg. Not having to bottle anymore is an added bonus. If taking beer on road tours or walks down the streat is your thing, you can get some adapters that allow a small CO2 cylinder (the kind for airguns and whip cream bottles) to attach to the keg. These will help get that last bit of beer out of the bottom. We tried to keep a syphon going off a keg last night, but after a bit the keg gave up the ghost and we were forced to crack her open and laddle the beer out. (*smile*)
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A few follow up ?'s

Postby jayhawk » Fri Aug 16, 2002 4:16 pm

Is it possible to partially bottle and keg the batch, and then, once the bottled portion is consumed, bottle the rest that was initially kegged? Also, it seems like I would need a few kegs because I often have two or three batches at my drinking disposal. Another thing: I have had many keg parties with commercial brewery beer, and a CO2 supply and regulator were not necessary. All we used was the Bronco Hand Pump. Is there a way for the homebrewer to carbonate the beer inside the keg and avoid all the outside gear? By the way, Stumpy, I think those "porta kegs" are availible somewhere; Papazian has a picture of him with one on a canoe trip in the Homebrewer's Companion, complete with handpump.
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There is hope...

Postby dartedplus » Sat Aug 17, 2002 9:58 am

There is a way to get that draft beer without all of the stuff. I have two different setups, first is the small 5 liter kegs, kinda like the ones dinkel acker used to come in. You just put some of your beer in that and allow it to age as you would beer in a bottle. When you are ready you just insert the small pump that you will need to buy and you have a mini keg with a pump. I also bought, well actually it was a Xmas present, a Tap-A-Draft system. This consists of a 6 liter "soda" bottle and the apparatus that goes on the end of it that dispenses and carbonates it. With this you can either use the CO2 cylenders to dispense or dispense and force carbonate your beer. It just depends whether it is a beer that needs to be aged the good old-fashioned way or something milder that wont be too green. I have only used the T-A-D for one batch so far, but with good results. I also have a holiday brew sitting in another bottle that I am saving for, well...the holidays. I think the T-A-D system can be had for about$40 which includes the CO2, dispenser, and bottle, plus a little stand. I will have to check but you can buy this direct from the manufacturer, I will just have to find the name if you are interested. Ed
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T-A-D , party pigs

Postby stouts » Sat Aug 17, 2002 10:47 am

i also have the T-A-D system and like it for the reason after carbonation you can replace one of the co2 cartridges w/ a nitrogen cartridge for a creamier head.Party Pigs are another alternative that work well and 2 hold a 5 gallon batch perfectly. jay
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Cool, I now know what papa wants for Christmas

Postby stumpwater » Sun Aug 18, 2002 6:39 am

The T-A-D system sounds brilliant. Thanks all! Now I just have to figure out how to get one and pass that info on to Santa.

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Followup answers...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Aug 18, 2002 1:36 pm

Q: "Is it possible to partially bottle and keg the batch, and then, once the bottled portion is consumed, bottle the rest that was initially kegged?"

A: Yes, you would prime it with sugars or malt and bottle it. Depending on how much time has passed, you may need to add new yeast to get it to carbonate though.

Q:"Is there a way for the homebrewer to carbonate the beer inside the keg and avoid all the outside gear? "

A: Not really... the problem is that you would 1) have to overcarbonate the beer to ensure that all of the liquid would be expelled from the keg without stopping; 2) As the headspace increases, the CO2 rushes out of solution and fills it, thereby reducing the beer's carbonation; 3) Since you would be using CO2 that is mostly in solution as a propellant, that means that the beer's carbonation level would drop with every pour until it was virtually flat.

Statement: ".All we used was the Bronco Hand Pump. "

Note: If you are going to completely drain the keg in one session, hand pumps aren't a problem. BUT... if you don't empty it in one setting, it will lose carbonation and oxidize quickly due to the ingress of oxygen and may even become infected.

Additional note: Fass kegs (TM) like the ones in which you can get Warsteiner, Becks, Dinkel Acker, Bitburger... etc... are not pressure vessels. They were designed as one-use containers to hold beer at serving pressure.

They are not designed to withstand the pressure that is generated when carbonating a beer via priming. Sometimes it works OK when the priming is at a very low level, but if you go much higher, they may distort (and subsequently not seal), or worse, blow. I know of a number of my friends who used these and they ran not only into that problem, but problems cleaning them as they are hard to get inside of and are thinly plastic coated inside. This coating comes off easily if you try to clean them adequately. Once this has occured, they tend to rust on the inside because they are made of tin, not aluminum or stainless. The rims and seams also rust after a couple of re-uses. Additional hassles include the expense and spotty availability of the CO2 chargers, the seals tend to leak over time, the plastic tap for them is very easy to break and in my experience, they drip like hell ! The metal tap is a big improvement, but is expensive (~$40 USD).

A number of the more well known homebrew wholesalers and retailers no longer sell Fass kegs because of these reasons as well as there there are more appropriate, durable and cost effective solutions available, some of which have been mentioned in this thread.

Eric
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Other Cornelius Sizes....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Aug 18, 2002 1:38 pm

I neglected to mention that Corneilius cylinders are also available in 3 and 10 gallon sizes, but are a bit more difficult to come by and are usually more expensive than 5s.
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I'll have a link for you soon

Postby dartedplus » Sun Aug 18, 2002 3:04 pm

I should have the link to the website of the maker of the t a d so that you can buy it from them and save a couple of bucks. Hopefully I'll have it monday,
Ed
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Thanks guys

Postby jayhawk » Mon Aug 19, 2002 10:42 am

Hey thanks for all the replies and ideas everyone, but for now I am just going to try and russle up some more bottles. In the future I will probably move to kegging, but for now I will have to scour the local Japanese restaurants for their Sapporo and Kirin empties.
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Beware of the Fass Kegs

Postby andytv » Wed Aug 21, 2002 2:51 am

My buddy used to use Fass Kegs (ie. bitburger)to keg his beer. We would naturally carbonate the beer, then at serving time, he had a little CO2 cartridge deal that would let us drain the barrel. The stopper that was provided for these kegs was suppposedly a pressure releif device. So here's to the story; This buddy of mine was our computer guru at work. We had big time server problems and he had taken one of our servers home to work on it in his home lab. As he was asleep that night, he heard a loud crack, took a quick look around,and went back to sleep. Well anyways, he kept his kegs in his computer lab because it was the coolest room in the house, a keg of porter that was on a high shelf exploded and coated the entire room with sticky. smelly beer; including the server, which was on a bench in about ten pieces. It took all morning, and several gallons of solvent alcohol to clean the computer up, and our sevrer still smells like beer.

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here's the link...

Postby dartedplus » Wed Aug 21, 2002 5:03 am

believe it or not, the website is www.tapadraft.com
i thought that it was something else. from here you can order the system directly from the manufacturer.
enjoy, ed
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Additional Fass Keg Info...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Aug 21, 2002 7:02 am

Having read andytv's post on this subject, I get the feeling that some readers may have missed my post on this subject which is part of this thread titled "Followup answers..." I detailed most of the problems that have been encountered using these kegs at the end of that post.

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