Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I heard its darker when it comes out of a can.

I haven't met very many beer nerds who are against craft beer in a can, although I am sure they exist. Portability, less waste, no broken glass, no skunky light struck beer, etc. There are many advantages, the more craft beer in a can options the better, who doesn't want a flavorful low alcohol beer in a can to tailgate, camp, picnic, etc with?

If I were to list all the craft brewers who can we would be here forever, it's becoming countless these days. From Oscar Blues, who really got things going, to The Alchemist who cans Heady Topper (one of best beers in the world mind you), the different styles of beers that can be canned are limitless.

So the pros have jumped on the bandwagon over years, but what about us homebrewers? Well that brings us to the Mobile canning companies that have been popping up all over the country. Not only are they helping small brewpubs with limited canning runs, but they are also teaming up with Homebrew clubs to can Homebrewed beer, wine, cider, anything in liquid form.

This past weekend my club, the Philly Homebrew Club, did exactly that by teaming up with We Can Mobile Canning to can members Homebrew (for a $35 fee of course). If you attended the National Homebrewers Conference this year in Philadelphia you probably remember the infamous exploding cans from Round Guys Brewing, We Can Was actually the canning company that packaged that beer. It was interesting to chat with those guys about that, it was obvious he was sick of hearing about it though.

The first of my beers being filled.
To share a bit of my experience with the canning of my beer, and these are things I wish I would have know ahead of time. I canned my Farmhouse Festbier, the beer was carbonated to 2.8vols and was stored in my kegerator at 40f. It turns out the beer needs to be 33f and 2.9vols or lower, so I was up against it. Next time I will can something slightly less carbonated and turn the fridge down to 33-35f, maybe even something funky.

This resulted in some foamy beer and low fills, which I wasn't worried about and I did end up with nearly 3 cases while everyone else had 2. It was interesting to "work" (or watch and drink) the canning line while the guys explained the workings of the system. We had a Barleywine, Patersbier, Saisons, Porters, IPAs, Sour Beer, and Wine canned, you name it (even gin an tonic!), it was canned that day.

The plan is to have my wife who owns her own Graphic Design firm, WFGD Studios, design a label for the cans and give them away during the holidays. I dont plan on aging more then maybe 2-4 cans for any extended period of time. Most of them will likely be gone by New Years.

I guess this is more of a brag than an informative post, so be it. But hopefully this will inspire folks to give this a try given the opportunity. But here are a few shots of the beers being canned. Click Here for the full album.






In this shot you can really see the bubbles in the lines, a lot of the other beers looked still going through.








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