Homebrew Canning FAQ Page
Here are answers to some of the questions you might have...
1. What exactly is this service?
This is a beer packaging service ONLY, not a beer resale service. All charges are for packaging the beer you produced and provided to us.
2. How much dissolved oxygen (DO) will be in each can?
At this scale, we are not able to monitor, measure, or guarantee how much DO each can will contain. However, we are following best practices to minimize this potential oxidizing problem. All water used to sanitize cans and lids is reverse osmosis water that has been boiled to drive off as much oxygen as possible. Each can is purged with CO2 immediately before filling and we fill to within 1/4" - 1/2" of the top edge, capping on the foam to be sure there is minimal oxygen in the headspace.
3. Do you carbonate the beer I bring you?
No. Each homebrewer carbonates to their own preference, so we are just packaging the finished beer you provide. If the beer is under carbonated in the keg, it will also be under carbonated in the cans. If the beer is over carbonated in the keg and we are unable to properly package it, we will contact you and not proceed with packaging. Please sample the beer before you bring it to ensure it is at the right carbonation level.
4. How sanitary is the filling process?
After each filling, the stainless steel elements of the system as well as the liquid line and keg disconnect are dismantled and boiled to sanitize them. We have sanitized spares bagged and ready to be installed so the system is not out of service after one keg. Beer line is changed after each fill and used lines are soaked in a bleach solution. Our goal with this sanitizing is to avoid mixing "funky" or sour beer with non-funky beer. For this reason, we will ask you what fermenting yeast or agent(s) were used in the production of the beer. We can package funky or sour beer but will take extra care with those lines and components to avoid contamination.
5. Can I bring you my own cans to fill?
For the time being, we are saying no. The main issue is that not all cans are created equal in that there are different diameters and lid sizes out there. Our system is made to work well with the cans we have sourced. Also, since much of the cost of this service is labour, we would not reduce the canning cost if you provided the cans. It is the same labour for us.
6. Are the cans and lids sanitized?
All cans and tops are sanitized in boiled, cooled reverse osmosis water with Star San IoStar. They are then air dried and cooled in the fridge to minimize foaming.
7. How full will each can be?
The cans we use are 473ml. The industry standard seems to be to fill to within 1/4" - 1/2" of the top lip, AND to apply the lid onto the foam on top. This helps to reduce the oxygen content. However, as this is a manual filling line, the exact fill will vary slightly.
8. How is each can identified?
We will only work a single batch at a time and each finished can, after being rinsed and dried, will have a simple label applied showing your name, your invoice number, the beer name (if provided) and the packaging date. These labels can be removed if you plan to apply your own label later. Each case (24) or partial case will then be packed into our specially sourced 24-boxes if you select the Optional box with your order. If not, BRING SOMETHING TO TRANSPORT YOUR CANS HOME IN.
9. Why does it take so long to process a keg?
Anytime you move your keg, all the trub that has settled to the bottom is thrown back into suspension. This will take some time to re-settle. Also, cold beer is much easier to package than warm beer so each keg will be placed into our fridge for 24 hours in order to settle the trub and cool the beer. This is why we do not offer a "fill while I wait" service.
10. Can I take these empty cans to the Beer Store for the deposit?
YES. Included in the price you pay is the $0.10 deposit per can. So long as the can has a top on it, it can be returned for the deposit. Keep this in mind as it reduces your overall cost by $0.10 per can.