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Capping problems - Euro bottles

So, a friend of mine gave me 2+ cases of Timisoreana empties… nice, since they’re 1) free, and 2) 16 ounces. Only one problem, although I’m not sure of the cause: standard caps don’t fit. In capping them, I can’t get the standard caps to seat properly. At least 80% have a slight “tilt,” and they’re very difficult to cap without a steady hand. I’m using an Emily capper with standard-sized Carlson O2-absorbing caps. I thought it may have been the size of the caps, so I ordered some 29mm caps, and they’re too big, prompting me to measure the bottle opening - it’s the same size (~26mm) as a standard, American 12oz. bottle. I thought it may be the capper bell, but the only other size I could find is for 29mm caps… still too big. Even the profile is the same, so I’m stumped. What gives? I’d love to use the bottles, but if they cause me so much grief, it’s not worth it. Thanks for any help!

I am not sure if this will solve your problem, but try using the 26mm caps but with the 29mm neck size. To change the neck size on your capper just reverse the flat metal clamp that holds the neck. If it’s an Emily capper, this is reversable. I get it out with a pliars.

Wahoo - a valiant suggestion, my friend… but futile, unfortunately. I think I may have a big recycling drop-off in my future…

I have the same problem. I have about a case of european 16 or (16.9?) oz bottles and they are a royal pain to get a cap to seat properly. I have done it but it does take patience and a steady hand. Usually I end up wasting 3 caps for everyone that I do get on proper so even though it is a waste, these bottles are so nice I keep them around just in case I figure something out.

I use 500 mL German bottles almost exclusively, and the dimensions are slightly different than a US bottle neck. However, I use the bulk caps I can get cheap at my LHBS and a Redwing capper and I’ve never had one fail to seal.

Slothrob - do you still have trouble capping them, though? If so, I may get a bench capper to “upgrade.” If not, is there a certain cap brand you use? Different technique? Thanks for any help.

I’ve had good luck with a bench capper for that problem. See if somebody in your brewclub can let you borrow one to see if it works before buying one.

No, I’ve never had a problem. The caps look like they might be stretched ever so slightly more, but they seem to go on straight and always hold pressure.

I just buy the plain silver caps in the bulk bin at my local shop and crimp them on with the red-wing capper I’ve had for years. I might have changed the location of the metal piece that grabs the neck, at one time, but I can’t remember for sure. I bottle on the floor and lean over the bottle, until I feel that second crimp, if you know what I mean. No special technique, as far as I can figure. I suppose the caps my shop buys might be a little over sized, but not that I’ve ever noticed. The bottles I use are the German 0.5 L ones that a lot of Weizens and beers from Ayinger come in.

I see what the problem is.

the lip of the bottle (well, the part of the neck under the lip) is too small on these bottles. The Ayinger bottles do not have the same problem. I can’t use a red wing capper on Anchor Steam bottles for the same reason. Ditch them or use a black capper.

Wahoo has it right. I had the same problem some years ago, and figured out that it is the portion of the bottle that the capper “grabs” that is the issue. If you have a bench capper this isn’t a problem at all, as the bell just pushes down on the bottle without needing to grab anything.

I see that now, too.
I don’t think I’ve never seen 16 oz. bottles like those before.

Gents - all good advice. Thanks for the tips. I’m always looking for an excuse to get new gear, so maybe a “but, hon’… I’ll have to throw all these bottles away. What a waste…” will give me enough ammunition to buy a bench capper!!

For my first post, I’ll throw my $0.02 in -
I recently bought a Colanna capper and it is awesome… beer bottles of all sizes, regardless of tops, PLUS it corks wine bottles and Belgian bottles like a champ !! I’ve been using a wing capper for quite a while, and this is one serious upgrade ! - it was around $70 which is super cheap for a corker, and reasonable for a capper, nevermind both !

I have numerous bench cappers I bought from antique shops. Different designs, and I have my personal favorite, but they all work. Bench cappers are the best.

This is exactly like my favorite capper. ... 500wt_1307

Also have a couple of these: ... 673wt_1292

Affirmative on the old cheaper black cappers, tried it out this weekend and it works great on these bottles no problems.

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