Beer Bottle Capper - From Inexpensive to Overpriced
Beer bottle cappers are dominated by three main choices for homebrewers wishing to cap their freshly brewed delicious elixir - the Red Baron, the Black Beauty and the Super Agata Bottle Bench Capper. The choices boil down to price and durability.
The Red Baron Capper
I own a very old school one of these and find it to be incredibly rugged, durable, easy to use, and immensely ugly! The new ones have replaced most of the steel with the signature red nylon plastic, and the one I have is made in Italy, so in spirit it makes me feel like I'm capping my bottles with a Ferrari cousin.
The Red Baron is a double lever pull down capper that works with the standard 26 millimeter bottle caps and holds the caps with a magnet under the bell. The bell itself is replaceable and can also cap 29 millimeter gold caps (you'll just need the 26mm, but the adjustment makes the Red Baron able to be sold as an all purpose capper).
Of the lower cost cappers, this would be, and still is in many homebrewing catalogs, the more expensive choice because of its durability and manufacture. But as of this publishing, amazon.com has been able to sell The Red Baron not only cheaper than the Black Beauty, but cheaper than anyone else online or in catalogs.
The Red Baron bottle capper is also the standard capper sold as part of many good homebrewing kits, and it's my primary recommendation because of the combination of quality and price.
The Black Beauty Bottle Capper
The Black Beauty Capper is very similar to the Red Baron in both function and good quality, but it lacks the replaceable bell to extend its use to the 29mm bottle capping option, reducing it from an all purpose capper. But as a homebrewer, the 26mm is all you really need.
Amazon.com has this Beer Capperpriced competitively with other homebrewing suppliers, but they also sell The Red Baron, so the price alone in addition the the expandability makes the Red Baron a better choice. But I do like the all black look and name much better!
The Super Agata Bottle Bench Capper
Finally, there's the Super Agata Bench Bottle Capper. The Super Agata Bench Capper also uses the 26mm standard capper and magnet bell, adjustable to the 29mm crown capper for the larger European caps. The main benefit of this bottle capper is that it adjusts to various bottle heights and uses a single lever, pull down action that is both faster and easier than the hand held cappers. This option might be nice for bottling 22 ounce bombers or 750 ml bottles, and works even better if mounted to a bench for extra security.
I've thought about ordering one of these for myself a few times, but at four times the cost of the Red Baron, it is something that I would choose to buy once I've purchased and owned every homebrewing gadget I could possibly want - I'm not at that level yet.
Final Recommendation: I like the Red Baron, hands down! If it works better and is cheaper than the Black Beauty, that choice is the easy one. Compared with the Super Agata, it 25% cheaper - and I wouldn't mind picking one up in the future, it's just that there are so many other things I would rather spend that money on that it doesn't make sense for me right now.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.