Canning your beer is one of the most viable decisions you can make for your beer brewing business, especially if you are aiming to branch out. The advantages of canning are obvious, as it can help you retain the flavour and taste of your beer because it is less likely to be contaminated by oxygen or light, and it helps you when it comes to storage and transport as well. With canning, you can benefit from the lower costs of shipping since your cans can easily be stacked and placed on a pallet, and they are lighter in weight compared to bottles. But with beer canning, as with beer bottling, there are some aspects you have to check as well. What are those aspects? Let’s have a look.
- The Pickup of Oxygen
While oxygen is vital in the first phases of fermentation, it can adversely affect your beer’s taste and flavour if it is accidentally introduced once the yeast has done its job. If you want to keep your beer from being contaminated by oxygen during the process of production, minimise the time of exposure by avoiding opening tanks when not needed. You should also ensure that tanks, hoses, and pumps used for transfers are handled in as stringent a manner as possible so they will not pick up any oxygen along the way.
- Low Filling
Another potential issue with beer canning is low filling, although this can also be an issue with beer bottling. Ensure that the level of beer in the cans is appropriate; in fact, this is regulated by the government. Your customers need to get what they are paying for, and if you acquire a reputation as a low filler, your customers may try to find their beer elsewhere. To address this potential problem, make use of a manual and human-coordinated process – have one of your crew on the canning line manually weigh each can as it comes out. You can, however, automate the process as well, so each can is weighed and ‘spat out’ if it doesn’t meet the weight requirements.
Can seaming performed by a can seaming machine is immensely precise, as confirmed by can seaming machinery specialists such as Pneumatic Scale Angelus, and the cans will go through a two-phase seam process that takes the lid’s lip and the actual can and then folds it twice on itself. But the process is so precise that any malfunction on how the heads are placed or aligned can result in leaked pressure and a compromised product. Thus, you should continuously monitor your equipment throughout a run, which usually takes about 20 minutes, so you can ensure that everything is according to specifications. You can also test your can seams – cut them open and measure the width, length, and height of every operation using a micrometer.
- Issues with Labelling
Most beer brewers will have a generic or standard can, which then has a label applied to it during the packaging process, and you should appoint a packaging operator who will make sure the labels are applied correctly. These checks are best performed by humans, but be mindful of fatigue-related mistakes and make sure to keep records of your losses in labelling, so you have a good idea of your line’s status and performance.