No Carbonation in bottles

My first 10 brews or so I was using a butterfly capper (like the Royal Crown Bottle Capper[/url]), and I always got smooth, even carbonation in my bottles. On my 11th brew, however, the Royal Crown broke, so to replace it I purchased a Bench Bottle Capper ([url=]this model here

). My next couple of batches had the expected level of carbonation in the bottles… but my last two batches had no carbonation at all in 90% of the bottles.

With my first failed batch, I thought it was due to the corn sugar not mixing well with the wort before I bottled, as maybe 1 out of every 11 or 12 bottles would have good carbonation and the rest were flat. So with this last batch I made sure the wort whirled around in the bottling bucket to mix the sugar (or, syrup rather), and then carefully stirred it some more with a wine stirring paddle I have. But again, this batch now also has no carbonation. With that, I immediately began to suspect my bottle capper (the Bench Bottle Capper). I don’t have it screwed into anything, I use it on the floor and then crimp down good and hard, but I’ve noticed that it just seems flimsy, and I’ve wondered if I’m actually getting a good crimp on the bottles. The fact that it has nothing but negative reviews seems to suggest my suspicions are on the right track.

So, I’m basically asking for confirmation of my suspicions - is a lack of carbonation in the bottles generally the cause of bad crimping on the caps (after ensuring of course that the corn syrup is well mixed in the wort beforehand)? And if so, what capper would you recommend to avoid this issue?

Also pay attention to the caps you’re using. I had a batch of the gold caps that were apparently from a different manufacturer, and they failed like crazy on me. One one batch, half of them didn’t crimp well. So I tried to compensate by squeezing harder, and actually broke my red capper.

My now paranoid self will do the following for every bottle:

  1. After crimping, try to twist the crown off. If it’s locked on, go on to step 2.
  2. Hold the bottle up and look at the crown side on. Turn the bottle around. The crown should sit flat, and not be crooked at all.

With the bad batch of caps, I ended up having to redo easily half of my bottles. The silver O2 absorbing crowns are all going just fine.

The capper looks like the Super Agata. I have using this one for eight to ten years, can’t remember exactly when I bought it. Getting a new bell for it though.

I would first suspect the caps or some of the bottles being used. Not all bottles are the same size and style. When you begin applying pressure, to install the cap, does it “all of a sudden give”, move downward and stop? or, Does it require a steady pressure to move the cap down onto the bottle? If it requires steady pressure, suspect the caps first, then that bottle.

Fasten you capper to a board about fourteen inches long. Use it on the counter top. This will give you a better feel during the capping. The small base can make the capper unstable with the pressure exerted by the length lever.

Actually the Super Agata

is a different one than I have. As for the caps, they are the silver 02 absorbing caps, and the bottles are the same bottles I’ve been using since I started brewing (I got a box of them from Northern Brewer). This is the first time I’ve ever had a problem like this.

I honestly don’t recall whether it’s steady pressure or not on the caps. It seems to me that they would sort of give all of a sudden, but I wasn’t paying attention to that as much as I was putting firm pressure on the lever to ensure they were capped.

I’ll try to get that capper mounted to a board for my next batch then. I have a 5 gallon batch of 2nd Coffee Cracked Stout ready to be bottled - but I’ve hesitated to do it for the last week because of this. I don’t want to ruin yet another batch.

What is the brand name of the capper? There are two styles of Super Agata currently on the market. One has a button to lock bottle height, the other slides up and down on the column to adjust for bottle height.

The capper is distributed by the conglomerate corporation Ferrari. I suspect the capper may be made by more than one company, and sold under the same name. Quality may vary.

There’s no brand name on it anywhere I can find. It has the black button on the side I have to hold in to slide the lever up and down to lock the bottle height.

Seems I may have the same one, no brand name on it. The bottles I have had a small problem with were New Belgium’s winter seasonal, Celebration. They would stick in the bell requiring a slight twist to free them.

I’m going to piggyback off of this post. So I just made a kit of five gallon IPA, not from Northern Brewer, It’s from Brewer’s best. This is my seventh batch of beer that I’ve made. Today is my day to drink the beer as it should be done. I have cracked two open, and both are flat zero carbonation. I added thr priming sugar…lol…i promise. They have been carbonating / conditioning for 2 weeks upstairs in my house with the temperature ranging between 64 and 70 degrees which is in the temperature range given for the beer specs. Does it need more time or is this batch screwed?

The bigger the beer the more time it needs to carbonate. When I started brewing I was doing cream ales, kolsch, and wheat beers, all under 5% and these normally did take 2 or 3 weeks tops to carbonate. Then when I stepped up to IPA’s and Stouts all 6%+ they normally took a month. My imperial Stout actually took 3 months to carbonate, my yeast were just not healthy enough to carb a big 8% beer. Temp needs to stay 70-75 degrees also to carbonate. The bottles will carbonate under 70 degrees but will do it slower thats all.
I would turn the bottles upside down and give a Gentle swirl to get the yeast and sugar suspended off the bottom of the bottle and then store somewhere at above 70.