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My swingtops are going flat

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mr_wibble

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Hi,

I'm a swingtop user, have been since forever, never capped.

The other day I found a case of Dr Smurto's which I thought were empty bottles (750ml swingtops, bought from the HB shop bottles).
After dancing around the house in unbridled joy for a bit, I put a few in the fridge.

Well that night, they were flat.
So I tried more. About 70% of them are flat.
Not completely flat, enough gas to form a meagre head on pour, which quickly disappears.
No bubbly mouth-feel at all.

WTF! The seals look fine, no cracks, etc. But they're some kind of orange silicon(?) seal.
I've not had a problem with my 500ml bottles that have the red rubber seal.
The beer tastes perfect (no off flavours), it just has almost no carbonation.

Is this operator error?

Originally I thought it was because I forgot to add carbonation drops, etc. But there's no way I could have missed this many.

ideas?

thanks,
-kt
 

Florian

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I'd try a bit of keg lube on those seals.

maybe do a test with some of the ones that where flat. Lube some but not others, fill with soda water or sugarwater and yeast (don't create bombs, though) and wait and see.

or buy new seals, they're readily available if you search around.
 

Logman

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The seals lose their spring a bit, have a look if any are harder in the centre - either way I'd replace them. I got some not so long ago, pretty sure it was off one of the sponsors.

:icon_cheers:
 

Florian

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Mr Wibble said:
What will that do - just help it seat onto the bottle better (and therefore seal)?
Basically. I never really believed too much in the stuff either until it magically fixed my gas leaking QD's by just smearing a little onto the post o-ring. No more gas leaks since.

EDIT: Take some other food grade lube if you haven't got keg lube around. Might possibly affect head retention, but that's about the worst that could happen.
 

KingKong

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Try spin the seal over so that you use the opposite side of the seal each time. Stops it compacting and loosing its seal.

Logman said:
The seals lose their spring a bit, have a look if any are harder in the centre - either way I'd replace them. I got some not so long ago, pretty sure it was off one of the sponsors.

:icon_cheers:
Or as Logman said grab some more seals , they're pretty cheap for peace of mind.
 

Logman

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I tend to put beers in them that I really want to keep and age for a while - would shit me to tears to keep a Stout for a year and have a washer screw the brew - plus they are always my more expensive brews with Candi Sugar etc.
 

Mick74

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I used to have at least a couple of flat beers per batch when using my Grolsch swintops. The easy solution was to make sure that when empty and not in use that I stored with the lids unlatched and just sitting looselyon top (in my mind this gives the rubber time to expand back a bit). The second easy solution was to push down on the lid when latching.

Since using these two basic techniques I have never had a flat beer - I have never had a need to replace the rubbers yet and some of my bottles have been in heavy rotation.
 

Yob

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Muddy Waters said:
Since using these two basic techniques I have never had a flat beer - I have never had a need to replace the rubbers yet and some of my bottles have been in heavy rotation.
Not for much longer eh Muddy? :lol: :ph34r: :beerbang:
 

Guysmiley54

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I have been having some suspicious flavours from my swing tops of late...

Since replacing my seals with orange rubber seals from my LHBS I have been noticing (perceiving?) some rubbery tastes in the beer. I should point out that until a couple of months ago, I would store my swing tops cleaned, sanitised and sealed with Starsan inside. This makes it easy to drain and fill but I wonder if prolonged contact with Starsan is leeching chemicals out of the rubber? I don't follow this practise for any of my bottles now as Starsan tends to leave some flavour in the bottle if stored in a sealed bottle for more than a month.

Any thoughts?
 

Rod

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The orange silicon seals last longer than the red one but

you need to make sure they are centered on the bottle

a pain but after finding this out I have little problem

I had a lot of problems with the red ones which varied in thickness and cracked around the center hole

which was not big enough
 

mattlea266

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I bought a few of those swing top bottles a while ago.
First batch I did most of the beers were flat. About 75%. Went back to LHBS where I bought them and the guy said he had not heard of that happening before. He then SOLD me a packet of the orange seals. Been fine ever since.
Thought he would have replaced seals for free since I bought the bottles of him. Oh well.
 

meathead

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I have had the same problem. Since I got a decent bench capper bottling is easy and more importantly reliable
Look for my swing tops on eBay soon
 

GavinO

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I started off with swing tops, the brown ones you get from hbs. Bought a lot of them, 70+ of the 500ml ones. They were mostly crap. Many flat beers, not very encouraging for a new home brewer. The only swing tops that are 100% reliable are the real Grolsch ones. Tried replacing hbs purchased bottles with aftermarket seals with little success. Silicon seals didn't work very well, rubber seals worked well but tainted the beer flavour. Sold off the hbs bottles on eBay, kept the Grolsch ones and switched to a kegging setup and haven't looked back.
 

rosswill

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When I bottle, I do so almost exclusively with Grolsch bottles and never have a problem. I was given a box of brown swing tops from a HBS and 90% of them produced flat beer. What I found to be the problem was the brown swing tops had a plastic cap which is moulded in two parts and there is a seam where the two parts join. This is where the CO2 escapes as a seal does not properly form over the seam. I found a rats tail file and nail file smoothed out the seam and all is fine. Much easier to just get Grolsch bottles though.
 

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