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Stress cracks

Anyone check their bottles regularly for this? I found quite a few tonight while bottling that had small, thin cracks along the neck of the bottle. I used to have a problem with the black capper, switched to the Red Baron, but now seeing some small cracks again. I’d hate to have a bottle explode because I missed a crack, not to mention it’s a pain when they’re spotted after a bottle is full…
Does a bench capper get rid of this issue? :x

[quote=“Hades”]Anyone check their bottles regularly for this? I found quite a few tonight while bottling that had small, thin cracks along the neck of the bottle. I used to have a problem with the black capper, switched to the Red Baron, but now seeing some small cracks again. I’d hate to have a bottle explode because I missed a crack, not to mention it’s a pain when they’re spotted after a bottle is full…
Does a bench capper get rid of this issue? :x [/quote]
I had one bottle in the last year make sort of a crunching sound capping with my Red Baron. I uncapped it saw the mouth was chipped up. Dumped that beer and recycled the bottle. Not exactly the same problem, but I just assumed there were only so many times you could reuse…

The only time I’ve ever broken bottles is with a wing capper. The bench capper is so much nicer!

Which bench capper did you go with? I will likely be upgrading. The Red Baron isn’t snapping bottle necks, but if there are cracks in them it might as well be.

I’m interested in responses too. Being that I just bottled my first batch last week, I haven’t had an issue with stress cracks yet, but what I did have a problem with was that all of my 12 ounce bottles capped pretty nicely. The 22 ounce bottles did not. Oh, the cap went on, but it wasn’t sealing good. I really had to work on them with the red capper to get them to seal. I was afraid I was going to start breaking necks doing it. All brand new bottles too.

A bench capper should reduce the stresses caused by capping, but if you reuse your bottles you will eventually get some that break, and capping is when it will most likely happen.

Back in the 1960s one of the big commercial soft drink companies spent a fortune trying to figure out how to make sure glass bottles won’t break in the hands of consumers, and concluded that it wasn’t possible with reusable bottles. Small micro cracks form on the surface and slowly propagate with time. That is when they started to make the switch away from reusable bottles.

I do bombers and 12’s an don’t have problems with the bombers. No extra effort requires so I’m at a loss there…

One point though. With the red or black capper, you shouldn’t need to lean into it. The wings do the work. I suspect the cracks and other problems are from trying to lean in to your weight into the process.

I do bombers and 12’s an don’t have problems with the bombers. No extra effort requires so I’m at a loss there…

One point though. With the red or black capper, you shouldn’t need to lean into it. The wings do the work. I suspect the cracks and other problems are from trying to lean in to your weight into the process.[/quote]

Makes sense that they work on leverage. I didn’t want to go really throwing my weight into it, but I noticed that the 12’s I did the capper had a little resistance going down then like a “snap” where it finished camming. The 22’s never did that. I’ll have to take a close look at the bottles when I start drinking them in a couple weeks and see if maybe there is some sort of manufacturer defect. The only way I could get the caps tight enough to seal was to really put some pressure on the capper.

Get a bench capper, you won’t regret it. In fact, you will be wondering why you didn’t get one sooner.

True, but get a kegging set up and you’ll be wondering why you bothered with bottles at all.

I’m curious about this. I got one for xmas and I’m considering taking it back. I bottle everything on the floor so a wing capper is just easier for me. Maybe I’ll hold on to it and give it a try next time I bottle.

I’m curious about this. I got one for xmas and I’m considering taking it back. I bottle everything on the floor so a wing capper is just easier for me. Maybe I’ll hold on to it and give it a try next time I bottle.[/quote]

I haven’t got one for the same reason. As I fill my bottles I rest a cap on each and line them up in rows on the floor then once all the bottles are filled I bang though them with a wing capper. It takes me maybe 2 minutes to cap them once they’re all filled.

Which bench capper did you go with? I will likely be upgrading. The Red Baron isn’t snapping bottle necks, but if there are cracks in them it might as well be.[/quote]

I got the "Super Agata Bench Capper

" as shown here:

I haven’t bottled much since I started kegging ~5 years ago, but it’s still working well after many batches.

I have one of the Super Agata Bench Capper and I’m not a fan of it, I don’t see it in there new catalog but that doesn’t mean they don’t have it. Since I only cap a beer if I’m giving it away or entering a computation I’ll suffer through with it. I had the magnet fall out and break, if the bottles are not all the same height you need to keep adjusting it and there are some bottles that you can not set it for and must adjust it every time for it to cap a bottle. The other thing I’ve had problems with is the caps not seating correctly bending them there by having to start over.
I’ve as also had broken necks using both the red and black cappers more so with the black one.
If I had it to do over again I would buy the Colonna Capper/Corker for $80 you can also use it for wine bottles.

Get some better bottles. Sam Smiths and most of the Euro style bottles (Ayinger, Weihenstephaner, etc) are best. Otherwise, Odell has good solid bottles. Avoid New Belgium’s bottles. They’re weak. I’ve got scars on my left hand from opening a bottle that broke off at the neck. That sucked, lot of blood.

Slightly off topic, I’ve got a 6.5 gallon carboy with some vertical marks on the neck that almost look like stress cracks. I’m not sure if they’ve always been there or not. I’ll have to try to get a picture of them. I would hate to have an issue with the neck snapping off a full carboy. Anyone seen anything like that?

Yes I have. But mine don’t seem to be all the way through the glass. I’ve since switched to fermenting in kegs. No more worrying about that.

For those using the wing cappers, I highly recommend that, one by one, you hold your bottles up to a light source and slowly spin, looking at the neck. This is where the wing capper grabs it and where I’m seeing stress cracks in more than a few 22 oz bombers.
Kegging is certainly on the list but with a newborn it is going to wait a bit. There is quite an investment, including additional refrigeration. All ears on bench cappers though.

I’ve heard of necks snapping. Make sure you are never holding the carboy by the neck. Get a carboy harness or something to help you maneuver it. The amount of injury (wrists would be close to the break) and mess this could make is something to take seriously.

I’ve had the “Colonna capper” for 25 years. Only one I have owned. Still is the best IMO. Yes it’s $80!
You get what you pay for. Has a hard nylon rack gear and handle like a drill press. You’ll never wear it out! Sturdy non-skid base, and you can change bottle sizes just by sliding the removable plate up or down. I’ve never seen stress cracks before, and never chipped a bottle.

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