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Cans

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Dannywhitewash, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Adamshmadam

    Adamshmadam Aspirant (45) Georgia Jul 8, 2012

    As far as BPA, I don't see it as a problem. The FDA has said it's fine (I think). I don't think it is an issue unless you are heating beer cans. Which is funny, because some ultralight backpackers use old beer cans as lightweight pots to cook their meals while camping. Of course, I think there may be a problem with storing beer in a can for long periods. Glass bottles are probably better for beers that you would put away in a cellar.

    My favorite part about cans: a 6 pack of cans is lighter and more friendly for transporting via bicycle!

    Edit: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/30/149668771/how-much-bpa-exposure-is-dangerous

    That's an interesting link. A study showing that the body doesn't absorb BPA very readily.
    robinsmv likes this.
  2. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Cans are far more advantageous than bottles for numerous reasons:

    1) Freshness: no air, no light, etc.
    2) Easier to ship: cans are much lighter and have two flat edges allowing them to be shipped in sqaure/rectangular packaging, not the bizarre inefficient trapezoids created by bottles
    3) Ease of recycling: Aluminum MUCH more efficient to recycle than glass and creating a new can out of recycled aluminum uses MUCH less energy

    Now with that said I've had mixed reactions with cans. Some beers tasted delightful and others were not so good (Yes, I poured into a glass). For the ones that didn't taste as good, my guess is that it was likely older, improperly stored, etc. and not the can's fault. Cans really are spectacular for tailgating and smuggling :)
  3. Lucidious

    Lucidious Initiate (0) California Nov 15, 2012

    Here's my questions, does the lining extend all around the inside of the can? Meaning, the underside of the lid thats crimped onto the body of the can (part with the tab-pull)? That seems to not have the same texture feel as the body of the can to me. Also, the scoring of the tab itself and the crevice created by the crimp would be perfect for infections to take hold and thrive.

    If the lid/tab aren't lined properly you'd get the effects of the aluminum impregnating the beer.

    Obviously this is all speculation. IMO glass is fun because its fancier, and can be recycled with about the same energy consumption. Also, glass is less harmful to the environment to make since you don't strip mine for sand...

    Aluminum also has a SUPER low specific heat, so it leaves the beer more susceptible to heat damage...
  4. LAD

    LAD Aficionado (195) Texas Apr 16, 2008

    No air in a can? Not true. There is essentially no difference in disolved oxygen levels between bottles and cans when run on well maintained lines. And on a poorly maintained line, cans are extremely capable of having very high O2 levels.
  5. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Aficionado (245) California Jul 12, 2012

    Both recyclable. Which is better for the earth?
  6. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    How do you figure glass can be recycled with about the same energy consumption? That's simply incorrect.

    And about the specific heat, I don't really think that matters. If you're holding it up to a flame for a few minutes sure, but if all the beer is sitting in a hot warehouse or in the back of a hot truck for hours/days/weeks everything will be hot regardless of the packaging
    fmccormi likes this.
  7. LAD

    LAD Aficionado (195) Texas Apr 16, 2008

    The can lining covers the entire inside of the can. The underside of the lid is also completely covered.
  8. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    I was referring to atmospheric air getting in. Minor point, but those caps aren't perfect.

    I imagine bottles have some advantage because of the oxygen fixing caps, but it raises a question: do cans utilize any type of oxygen fixing device? Do they need to?
  9. LAD

    LAD Aficionado (195) Texas Apr 16, 2008

    Cans do not have any type of oxygen fixers. Most people in the industry would say they are not needed.
  10. ChiPool

    ChiPool Aficionado (185) Illinois Nov 6, 2011

    One thing is better from a can: Double Galactic Daisy Cutter
  11. I disagree only because i have a Heady Topper in front of me.
    fmccormi likes this.
  12. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (750) New York Oct 24, 2010

    I was wondering about that too, but figured Lucidious was referring to the energy it takes to throw the container into a recycling bin or bring it to a redemption center.
    My understanding is that it takes a lot less energy to recycle aluminum cans on the processing side of the equation, as in after it gets to a recycling center the amount of energy needed to clean and process a can into aluminum that can then be re-used is considerably less than the amount of energy it takes to do the same thing with glass.
    This is the best argument I've heard against using cans in the beer biz—the process of extracting and processing aluminum ore from bauxite deposits is not exactly enviro-friendly. Not that it makes it better, but to be fair the craft beer industry would probably only increase the volume of aluminum extraction by a fraction of what it already is.

    Still, I agree with most environmentally conscious folks that every little bit helps, so when it comes to environmentally-conscious craft beer producers I'm sure it comes down to an equation of "does the amount of energy conserved by the use of aluminum cans outweigh the environmental impact of increased aluminum extraction?"
  13. ChiPool

    ChiPool Aficionado (185) Illinois Nov 6, 2011

    Cheers...ISO
    Lucidious likes this.
  14. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    But it isn't! With the average can weighing in at less than an ounce and the average glass bottle coming in at 6 ounces. That's alot of extra effort on my part :)
    fmccormi likes this.
  15. Mind = blown I just thought about how cans were filled and closed with beer inside and I am drawing a blank...

    Canned IPAs have been drinking great since I started drinking from them 2 years ago
    fmccormi likes this.
  16. [​IMG]
    That is all...:)
  17. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Just as puzzling as the damn ships in a bottle
    omniscientcause likes this.
  18. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Aficionado (245) California Jul 12, 2012

    basically.. and deez

    [​IMG]
    whendeathsleeps likes this.
  19. haddon

    haddon Savant (285) Kentucky Jul 13, 2009

    love cans but will always have a need for bottles as long as I homebrew.
    BeerSocrates12 likes this.
  20. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (600) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008

    Cans IMO are superior, no more broken bottles on trades.
  21. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Colorado Nov 24, 2011

    There is no "could" about this issue any more. Do a quick search and you can find tons of studies...

    Not saying I don't completely ignore them since Ten Fidy and Gordon only come in cans.
  22. Well as I see it I believe in most cases there is a sort of nostalgia to having beers and aging them in bottles. In most cases it does seem there are some advantages to cans(preserving hops, protecting from sunlight, ect..)But I believe certain beers like Belgian strong ales and Barleywines benefit from bottles due to their potential to continually condition and carbonate in the bottle. I don't know for sure but it may be a bad idea to condition beer in a can. Just another log to the fire...
  23. Etan

    Etan Advocate (745) Wisconsin Jul 11, 2011

    Huh? Just because studies show that BPA is poisonous doesn't mean the amount you consume by drinking a can of beer is harmful. The BPA in a beer can "could" harm you, but only if you drank 450 cans in a short amount of time.
    BeerSocrates12 likes this.
  24. robinsmv

    robinsmv Initiate (0) Florida Jun 24, 2010

    I've never used a heine pot, but I did just make my first beer can alcohol stove the other night. Can't do that with a bottle.
  25. Clearly you haven't had Heady... we need to change that:)
    Proclarush likes this.

  26. Agreed 100%!
    Spikester likes this.
  27. Spikester

    Spikester Savant (425) Oregon Jul 14, 2007

    And repeat 10,000 times.
  28. Spikester

    Spikester Savant (425) Oregon Jul 14, 2007

    Long term storage for cans is much better than bottles assuming storage is not too warm. No light struck cans.
  29. Adrian000

    Adrian000 Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012

    As stated by others here, Cans allow zero light penetration, zero chance of a leak or cantamination. Some claim that the metal can imprint flavor into the beer but from someone who works at a brewery I can assure you the cans we use as well as 99% of cans used on the market now have a plastic lining which would prevent this from happening. I pour all my beer into various kinds of glasswear anyway. I would drink everything in cans if I could!
  30. LAD

    LAD Aficionado (195) Texas Apr 16, 2008

    Is this a guess? Do you have facts to back up your assertion that long term storage is better for cans than bottles?
  31. I like cans because of their portability and ability to maintain freshness, but I usually buy bottles because I can put my home brew in them. Also, I usually find bottles more aesthetic and will sometimes hold on to special bottles as momentos. I don't know of many people with a good can collection... except for this guy:
  32. Spikester

    Spikester Savant (425) Oregon Jul 14, 2007

    No. But it stands to reason that the light struck issue would be a no-brainer. Unless you assume that long term storage would somehow affect the taste via can lining. Some folks insist that they can taste aluminum is any canned beer they drink. Not my experience. If the canned beer is sitting in a non-refrigerated (high temp.) warehouse maybe that would be a game changer. The only beer I have had that was sub-par was the Church Key lager that had some sealing issues and had a wide variation in seal quality. Some of those cans were reported to rupture and lose all carbonation. Otherwise a tasty canned beer.
  33. searsclone

    searsclone Savant (305) Arizona Sep 7, 2006

    Personally, I think cans are great. The biggest issue that I have is the cost. According to the brewers that I asked, the cans are currently more labor intensive to package, and therefore, cost more than bottles. Hopefully, eventually, the price will come down to match bottles. Also, even though I shouldn't do it, drinking from the can seems to make them go down much easier.
  34. fauxpunker

    fauxpunker Aficionado (165) Nov 23, 2012

    Oskar Blues just recently became available in my area. They shattered my beliefs about cans being an inferior form of delivery.
    Spikester likes this.
  35. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Colorado Nov 24, 2011


    Dude, I'm just sayin this stuff ain't great, but what are you gonna do it's there. Probably not that big of a deal. Hence the rest of my post about drinking it anyway.

    The only thing I really worry about is long term aging and what the can/liner could turn into.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (600) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008

    Drink it don't age it, most canned stuff needs to be consumed fresh, hell even Ten Fidy doesn't need aging. IMO most aging is over rated.
    mactrail likes this.
  37. Proclarush

    Proclarush Savant (280) Maryland Oct 23, 2012

    True, and very true.
  38. mactrail

    mactrail Advocate (730) Washington Mar 24, 2009

    Any thoughts on the new generation of bottle-shaped cans? I just got The Deuce from Oskar Blues which is packaged in what Miller-Coors brags as their innovative "Aluminum Pint." And yes, it's easily re-sealable or rescrewable, and invite you to pour in a glass instead of scraping your lips on the thin edge.
  39. mactrail

    mactrail Advocate (730) Washington Mar 24, 2009

    Dude, he's got a Lucky Bock can! but thanks for sharing
  40. LAD

    LAD Aficionado (195) Texas Apr 16, 2008

    For large brewers cans are less costly to run. It takes fewer people to run a can line and can line speeds are usually much higher than bottle line speeds.

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