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Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16905

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Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:55 am
by luckydevil
Hello all... just wondering if anyone else has run into this scenario.

I was given a whole bunch of old grolsch bottles a little while back and decided to use them to bottle my last few batches. One batch was a big hoppy ipa with a ton of nice hop aroma. I bottled half the batch with the swing tops and half the batch with my normal twleve oz glass capped bottles. I drank one of the capped last night and it was great (well, great for my brewing), wonderful aroma and all. I drank one of the swing tops right after and it wasn't nearly the same! Almost no aroma, and I could swear a little less hop flavor? Anybody ran into anything else like this?

Both bottles were brown...I'm not using the green ones. I checked all the gaskets before I used the grolsch bottles, none were cracked, so I don't think that's it...and it was well carbed. Both aged for the same time. Any ideas?

Very odd. Anyways, tonight I'm going to pour out 2 side by side and compare. I'll be sad if it really is different as I have about 100 of these swing tops that I'd no longer use.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:42 am
by stadelman
I wouldn't be surprised if a swing top bottle contributed to a slight flavor difference.

I've heard Ken Grossman say that even pry off caps allow oxygen into the beer over time. That kind of baffles me considering the pressure difference, but I have to assume Ken is right. So, a swing top bottle could allow for less (or more likely more) exchange of oxygen, co2 and other volatile compounds.

When it comes to packaging, I think small things can make a noticeable difference. I once bottled an IPA off of a keg. I didn't like it that much in the keg, but it tasted much better out of the bottle. It's difficult to pin it down exactly though as a lot of things are going on not the least of which are carbonation level and serving temp.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:08 pm
by luckydevil
Very interesting reply. Thanks. I did end up doing a side by side comparison, and the beers were noticeably different.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:06 pm
by mRandolph
Did you use all the swing-top bottles at the start/end of the batch you made? If so, it might be possible that what you are tasting has to do with how far down the batch you were. I'm not sure if this is possible, but for the sake of argument could it be that at the end of the batch you got more yeast / hope pellet, etc in the mixture? I'm thinking that if some got into your bottling bucket in suspension, it might have settled before the bottling began, so as you drew the first set of bottles they actually had a different ratio of trub to beer and got more of the fine hop matter trapped in them (especially if you dry hopped)?

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:47 pm
by Dirk McLargeHuge
I have several swing top bottles. I try to use them like growlers: something for short term storage. I do have a braggot brewed for the Millenium in a Grolsch bottle. It has lots of flakes floating around in it.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bottle?

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:20 pm
by luckydevil
mRandolph wrote:Did you use all the swing-top bottles at the start/end of the batch you made? If so, it might be possible that what you are tasting has to do with how far down the batch you were. I'm not sure if this is possible, but for the sake of argument could it be that at the end of the batch you got more yeast / hope pellet, etc in the mixture? I'm thinking that if some got into your bottling bucket in suspension, it might have settled before the bottling began, so as you drew the first set of bottles they actually had a different ratio of trub to beer and got more of the fine hop matter trapped in them (especially if you dry hopped)?


Actually, I believe the swingtops were at the start of the batch. I hadn't thought of that at all. Perhaps just to be scientific about, I'll bottle a few at the start and a few at the end in swingtop and see if I can tell any difference later on. I didn't notice a lot of sediment at all in any of the bottles actually, besides the small layer of yeasties. Thanks for the idea.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bott

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:56 pm
by laikom
luckydevil wrote:
Actually, I believe the swingtops were at the start of the batch. I hadn't thought of that at all. Perhaps just to be scientific about, I'll bottle a few at the start and a few at the end in swingtop and see if I can tell any difference later on. I didn't notice a lot of sediment at all...


I know this thread is old but also realize it wasn't resolved.

The end of the batch would have more hop oils (oil floats on beer). This is likely what accounts for the difference.

Re: Different flavor in swing top bottles versus capped bott

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:53 pm
by brewinhard
Depending on the age of the bottles (from when you packaged the beer), the swing top could have lead to more oxidation vs. the bottle that was capped causing a more muted aroma and hop flavor.

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