Cans or Bottles?

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mpietropaoli
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Cans or Bottles?

Postby mpietropaoli » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:22 pm

I seem to recall this discussion taking place in another thread, but (A) I can't locate it and (B) I think this topic deserves its own thread.

My latest understanding of the cans v. bottles debate is the following: In general, cans are better at keeping oxygen out, as they are a near-perfect seal, however by and large, the vast majority of canning lines are FAR worse at keeping O2 out during the actual canning process than the equivalent process on a bottling line.

That being said, I know Brewdogs and some other breweries have higher-end canning lines such as this:

https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/ou ... nning-line

If I see canned Radeberger (my fave), I buy big. Primarily because its becoming harder to find in my area. Though I can find bottles of it pretty easily. I also love Konig. I don't know if its confirmation bias, but I find myself looking down at a can far more often, and exclaiming "damn!".

Any research and actual data on oxidation when packaging with either/both?
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Brandon
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby Brandon » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:40 pm

mpietropaoli wrote:I seem to recall this discussion taking place in another thread, but (A) I can't locate it and (B) I think this topic deserves its own thread.

My latest understanding of the cans v. bottles debate is the following: In general, cans are better at keeping oxygen out, as they are a near-perfect seal, however by and large, the vast majority of canning lines are FAR worse at keeping O2 out during the actual canning process than the equivalent process on a bottling line.

That being said, I know Brewdogs and some other breweries have higher-end canning lines such as this:

https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/ou ... nning-line

If I see canned Radeberger (my fave), I buy big. Primarily because its becoming harder to find in my area. Though I can find bottles of it pretty easily. I also love Konig. I don't know if its confirmation bias, but I find myself looking down at a can far more often, and exclaiming "damn!".

Any research and actual data on oxidation when packaging with either/both?


I wish I could get Radeberger in cans. :( Yeah, in that thread the theory was that bottles are initially easier to purge of oxygen at bottling, but cans provide a better long-term seal. I recall Dan Gordon in a Sunday Session podcast talked about this. He suggested that there is no practical way to remove the oxygen from a can. Whereas a bottle can handle a vacuum for purging, a can is too weak and would implode. I did some quick searches about this but tended to find marketing literature in support of canning from canning equipment manufacturers and likewise for bottling.

Anecdotally it makes sense from the logic. Radeberger in a can probably holds up better over the longer term than a bottle. But, fresh bottles in Germany turn around very fast. My wife's family lives about 100KM from Radeberg, so when I visit, I'm not getting any fresher than that. From the grocery store to the cellar to the table. Never refrigerated and it's glorious!
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby Bryan R » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:31 pm

Yes caps allow oxygen ingress, couple that with light exposure issues. Cans are far superior.
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cinbers
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby cinbers » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:21 am

How about other factors?

-Transportation costs - cans: lower weight, lower volume than bottles!
-Recycling? Most bottles are (here in Germany at least) reused a lot of times. Cans are mostly made of aluminum, which can be recycled but only up to 6% is used in the production process of cans at this time. For most cans you have to produce new aluminum and the energy costs of new aluminum is very high and not environmental friendly.
(example: for 1000L of beer, you need 46kg of Aluminum for cans, with bottles you need 26kg of resources)
-As cans can be pressed/swaged when empty, volume and logistic costs are lower relating to glassware.
And: Cans have to be coated from the inside?!
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby Bryan R » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:23 am

Oh, absolutely. I always assumed cans were solely for zee Americans. I have only ever seen bottles in Europe.
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cinbers
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby cinbers » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:33 am

Bryan R wrote:Oh, absolutely. I always assumed cans were solely for zee Americans. I have only ever seen bottles in Europe.


Well, some years ago there could be found a lot of (beer) cans here. Nowadays, you have only a few and the deposit (don't think you have any of this over there) is like 25 cents in comparison to 8 cents for bottles.
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Re: Cans or Bottles?

Postby Brandon » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:38 am

cinbers wrote:How about other factors?

-Transportation costs - cans: lower weight, lower volume than bottles!
-Recycling? Most bottles are (here in Germany at least) reused a lot of times. Cans are mostly made of aluminum, which can be recycled but only up to 6% is used in the production process of cans at this time. For most cans you have to produce new aluminum and the energy costs of new aluminum is very high and not environmental friendly.
(example: for 1000L of beer, you need 46kg of Aluminum for cans, with bottles you need 26kg of resources)
-As cans can be pressed/swaged when empty, volume and logistic costs are lower relating to glassware.
And: Cans have to be coated from the inside?!


We used to have 16oz reusable bottles here, too. In college I used to do a regular run and buy a dozen cases of "pounder" bottles of Yuengling Premium in reusable bottles and cardboard cases. They were the perfect size, the size a beer should be (.5L in Europe).

But then the industry seemed to move to entirely 12oz bottles and cans. In many cases not returnable/reusable. I like the process in Germany where you get a real-sized beer and can return the bottle for more beer.

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