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Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer

Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer

Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer


Once I was bottling beer I got about 10 bottles into capping them and I remembered that I hadn’t added any sugar for carbonation.

I quickly opened the beers and added the sugar and got back to it.

But what If I had forgotten to add the sugar?

That’s a beer bottling horror story right there.

NE this is a nice point to talk about what kind of bottle caps you can use to put on your carefully crafted home brew.

The answer is that you can use pretty much any crown seal on your beer but you just need to remember that some crown seals are better than others. 

In my experience is best to go with a branded bottle cap rather than the cheapest you can find. I've found the cheaper ones tend to be less forgiving when using a bottle capper and they are more prone to being rendered unusable if you make a mistake. 

The ever popular beer company, Mr Brewer has a handy pack of 144 crown metal caps for a fair price. There is actually plenty of caps to chose from on Amazon - compare the prices and options

What do I use to cap beer bottles with?

You need a beer capper! Beer cappers come in two forms being the hand held and the bench capper.

The 'wing' hand held capper

For some reason cappers often come in red
The hand held capper is a popular way to cap your beer. Often called 'wing' or universal Rigamonti cappers or Red Baron, they are pretty handy and durable to use.

They do have a couple of draw backs - they can sometimes be hard to separate from the capped bottle if you've applied too much pressure and if you do apply to much force, then you can break the glass bottle.

Overall, they are pretty good units to use. It's actually very satisfying getting a cap on a bottle properly, there's this sudden 'thump' moment when the crown bends down and forms the seal.

Bench Capper

The bench capper can be easier to use because it's a simple pull down lever that can be used with one hand whilst the other hand holds the bottle in place. It's hard to make a mistake with such a method!

It's a good idea to buy a bench capper that can accommodate different sized bottles. The Ferrari model does exactly that which can be quite handy if your bottle collection is all kinds of different shapes and sized.


The Ferrari capper has the following specifications:

  • Spring loaded
  • Caps bottles quickly, cleanly, and accurately
  • Has a magnetic Bell to hold cap in place
  • Self-adjusting spring-mounted capping mechanism
  • Easier to adjust for different size bottles


These are the characteristics you should bear in mind for any bench capper that you might be thinking of buying.

We'll leave with this final tip:


Do I need to sanitize the bottle caps?

As always, before capping your beer, the bottle caps need to be santized before doing so. The best the best way is to soak them in sanitizing solution. That way the whole cap gets santized.

You can use a Star San solution or some sodium percarbonate to kill the bugs.

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