Watch this craft brewery canning machine can some beer


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/05/watch-this-craft-brewery-canni.html


#2

What, no boxing machine?


#3

They’re called Carton Erectors. image


#4

SparklingAdolescentGalapagosdove-size_restricted


#5

How many cans can a canning machine can, if a canning machine can can cans?


#6

Cans? Will somebody please think about the beer?


#7

image


#8

Someone’s fond of HDPE.


#9

I saw an article about this recently,

With so many craft breweries springing up, many of the smaller breweries are turning to independent mobile canneries to package up their beer, rather than having to install canning equipment permanently on site.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/08/08/158426754/canning-factories-on-wheels-rev-up-the-beer-canvolution

(No onebox, but perhaps one can)


#10

Cans preserve beer better, imo. Just don’t drink from them, use a glass.

Whatever you think about that idea, what incenses me is the plastic shrink labels that are becoming so prevalent. “The Industry” claims this is not an issue for recycling because the plastic just burns off in the process. Oh, great.


#11

Canning and bottling equipment is fucking expensive, and you can rapidly out grow their capacity. There’s a lot of breweries that have gone under attempting to switch to cans after buying into bottling equipment.

Its not so much opinion as established fact. Cans block light in a way glass can’t, completely eliminating the primary cause of short term spoilage (skunking). There’s less head space, which means less oxidation and less chance for contamination spoilage. They’re less permeable to gas preserving co2 better and also preventing oxidation.

On all fronts. Unless you are storing beer long term as in cellaring. Can’s put bottles to shame. Plus they’re significantly cheaper to manufacture and move. Meaning better prices for you, and better profits for your favorite small brewery. Less fuel burned, and less waste over all.

I fucking hate those. They look cheap. They’re wasteful. They feel unpleasant. Many more breweries are adopting them. And they’re only not a problem on that front (and its not just industry people, but recycling and environmental people claiming its not a problem), because they’re such a small portion of the aluminum can waste stream. Saw something the other day if you cross something like 20% of cans it’ll seriously fuck things up.

On the other end of it many breweries are moving away from vinyl labels (which present the same problem) to matte paper ones for their cans.

Both approaches are necessitated by the small size of many breweries, and the huge trend to for limited and one off beers. For printed cans its not cost effective to buy small amounts. And the major can providers will not sell them below a certain size of order. A size that’s way too big for many breweries to contemplate.

The thing I really fucking hate is plastic can rings. I’ve seen fucking dogs strangled by those wash up on beaches.


#12

#13

No those are brilliant. They’re heavily reusable, and 100% recyclable. They also tend to prevent damage in shipping, precisely because they hold the can so tightly. And cover the most commonly damaged bit, the top.

And they will be reused, every beer distributor in the country has a box of them in the back, and will gladly accept more. A good portion of the beer you buy with those holders weren’t originally shipped in them. Personally I think they should get a deposit return like cans and bottles.

These:

Fucking kill animals, choke water ways. Are single use. Are not recyclable. Made that whole garbage patch in the pacific thing happen. But they’re cheap so the industry is standardized around them.

Cardboard box (very easily damaged, single use, but recyclable and renewable) or clips are the way to go. Personally prefer clips, but they’re the most expensive option.


#14

At various times in my life I’ve lived in small wine growing regions (which are also highly suitable for growing cannabis, but that’s a different post). I was surprised but not surprised to find that many small to medium sized vineyards simply called in portable bottling services – basically a semi-trailer with a bottle line. They’d back up to the cellars (or wherever the wine barrels were stored for aging purposes), roll the barrels one by one into the back of the truck and after a lot of clanking noise the bottles would pop up down on the other end of the line.

Wife’s office was above one of those cellars, and OMG the place would smell strongly of wine. It would always kind of make my mouth water a little.


#15

Harvesting equipment too.

There’s an awful winery near here that seems weirdly loaded. No one understands it. But you talk to actual wine makes and the guys actual business is renting equipment or providing hand and machine harvesting for other wineries too small to afford the equipment.


#16

[quote=“lyd, post:10, topic:138328”]
Cans preserve beer better, imo. Just don’t drink from them, use a glass.
[/quote] I’ll

I dont believe I have ever enjoyed a canned beer as much as I do a bottle or draft. Maybe the co2 level is different? Maybe the plastic liner in the can (BPA btw) is causing a change in taste or carbonation, and apparently the metals still leach even with the liner. Maybe the insulating properties of glass preserves the co2 levels longer?
Coca cola ships syrup to mcdonalds in steel, fyi.


#17

The effect is psychological for the most part.

The original cans were produced from unlined steel. And since beer is acidic metal would leach into the cans making the beer taste awful. Aluminum cans were developed next, and being thinner and more reactive than steel required a liner. And the first few generations of liners were terrible, and aside from metal you also had off flavors from the liners. . It wasn’t until sometime in the 80’s that the modern can, where the liner is non reactive and properly bonded to the aluminum, were developed.

But by then the reputation on cans was largely spoiled by the years where the cans were demonstrably worse. And they were largely relegated to cheap mass market beer and sodas.

So cans for multiple generations of Americans carry powerful connotations of low quality, and low class. And a good chunk of Americans still recall their formative years where canned beer was fucking gross. In a lot of studies about how people perceive quality, and judge the flavor of things. It’s exactly those sorts of connotations that most determine their perceptions. Think about all those studies of people judging 2 buck chuck as top grade wine if it’s served in an expensive glass, and you cover the label with something fancy.

Canned beer does taste different. Because it’s fresher demonstrably, testably fresher.

If you’re experiencing a metallic taste drinking out of modern cans it’s because your mouth is pressed to the metal exterior. Pour the can in a glass and that problem is solved. If you can’t figure out quite what it is, then I’d ask if you’ve ever enjoyed a soda from a can, it’s a lot more acidic/reactive than beer. So it should be picking up whatever it is in spades.

As far I’m aware that isn’t the case, and hasn’t been since the late 90’s. Which is around when craft beer started to adopt them (and why craft beer started to adopt them). They’re no good for long term storage, long enough and the liner won’t be the only thing to fail. But in the short term the metal really can’t contact the liquid.

“Insulating” wouldn’t have really have much impact there, you are talking about a few degrees difference in a beer that’s opened and no longer under pressure. And the glass isn’t the determining factor in a sealed beer. Crown caps are permiable to gas along their seal (and that seal is pretty similar to can linings). So they let oxygen in, and eventually co2 out. This ok or even desirable when cellar aging bottles. Though corks are better. And the glass side walls hold up better to long storage than aluminum.

Coca cola ships most of it’s syrup, including to most McDonald’s in plastic bag in a box format.

The difference there is pre-mix and post mix. Soda used to be shipped pre-mix. Watered syrup in stainless steel Cornelius Kegs. This flat soda was carbed with co2 for dispensing on site, a bit like kegged beer.

This was replaced for the most part decades ago by post mix, concentrated syrup gets mixed and carbed as it’s dispensed.

Pre-mix kegs are still available. But for the most part all soda fountains are running post these days. I’ve seen the fountain setups, and the syrup delivered at some of the McDonald’s by me. It’s all post mix bag in box just like everywhere else. And I’ve spent a lot of time talking to soda salesmen to get said bag filled boxes.

And the pre-mix kegs are (and were) stainless. I know back in the day unmixed syrup was shipped in steel cans. And even retailed that way. But that mostly seems to be a thing of the past. And I have no clue how those Remix machines work.

Coke’s bags may be mylar? I know that’s used in stuff like sour mix. But for damn sure Pepsi’s are the same plastic you find in a box of wine.

TL/DR

These are different cans. And it’s probably all in your head or a matter of personal preference.

Shit some people openly prefer bottles because of their flaws. Serious Heineken fans are know to “ripen” bottles in the sun to get more of that sweet sweet skunk.


#18

Yes, corny kegs are long gone, but I cant find any info stating mcdonalds has dropped the steel storage. In fact there are dozens of articles stating the opposite.
http://www.chartindustries.com/Industry/Industry-Products/Bulk-CO2-Carbonation/Bulk-Syrup

Im certainly aware of my personal bias about canned beer. But also realize that I cant do a blind test with a Dales Pale Ale can vs a bottle so we dont really know how the taste changes. In my experience Ive been disappointed in like for like cans vs bottles, but age and storage temps could have been problems there too.

The industry is saving money by using cans so there is no going back, but they sure are quick to tell us everything great about cans aren’t they?


#19

Ah. I believe those are new/newish. Haven’t seen any of those installed near me. Though a bunch of Burger King franchises just renovated, so maybe.

It’s more complicated than that. Many breweries (particularly west coast ones it seems) refuse to shift to cans or realized the need too late. And while the cans reduce overhead that’s mostly being passed on in the form of reduced pricing.

Essentially craft sales were held back for a long time by the price premium over mass market beer. Ecconomies of scale as these breweries grew (or got bought out) lowered price and a hard shift to canning can help you lower it more.

But what’s really driving it is that bottles don’t sell. And breweries that aren’t or can’t move to bottles are struggling. A couple of breweries that have shut down, the big one being Smutty Nose, have specifically cited a commitment to bottles as part of their problem.

There’s a lot of can evangelism in craft right now. With good reason because they are almost entirely better. But mostly to try and get up over the bias chunks of the market still have. But a lot of people in beer really have no skin in that game beyond what products they can move. And what moves is cans.

It’s not like these people are can manufacturers. It’s an industry of geeky, quality obsessed folks and most of them spent a good long time poking the subject with a stick. Some of them too long before jumping on.

Lot of breweries, particularly larger ones still both can and bottle. It’s a whole market segmentation thing that’s all but required to sell high volume in retail chains like supermarkets.

Founders All Day off the top of my head. Should be fairly easy to find a can and a bottle with similar production dates. Most supermarkets and beer distributors will carry both cans and bottles.


#20

Carlsberg, although I hate the taste, is doing good by gluing the cans together. Making those plastic stringy things obsolete.
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