Author Topic: Why don't more microbrews start canning?  (Read 5628 times)

Offline MrNate

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2010, 08:15:43 AM »
Yeah, but you could easily tell the difference between a bottle and a can of Guinness. Not sure about Newcastle, but the black stuff is remarkably different in a bottle. My experience anyway.

nate - are you comparing the widget cans to the widget bottles or the widget cans to the Extra Stout bottles?  I don't think I could differentiate the former comparison, but the latter comparison is stark, mainly because its a different recipe...

The only time I drank from the widget bottle I had to do exactly that. I wasn't able to pour it into a glass, so I don't have much of a comparison. Plus it was ice cold. So no, I was thinking of the old ES bottles, which I had heard tell is a different recipe and believe wholeheartedly. Your point is likely valid. I had just forgotten about the widget bottles.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2010, 08:53:41 AM »
Yeah, I'd forgotten how much I like Extra Stout.  Very definitely a different beer!  Sometimes I wonder if the plain dry stout is coloured black so as to reassure the drinker that no, they are not in fact drinking water!  Extra Stout occupies that nice middle ground like the Foreign Export Stout style that is more substantive than a dry/bland Irish stout but a bit more casually drinkable than the thick sludgey epitomes of glorious excess that are imperial stouts (not that I don't like them from time to time).  Will have to consider picking up a sixer or brewing a clone!

Offline sienabrewer

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2010, 09:24:26 AM »
I don't believe picking incorrectly would be prove the point at all if you're using 10 samples.  Each time you take alcohol into your mouth your tastebuds are dulled no matter if you're eatting crackers and swishing with water or whatever you do.  There was a time when I didn't like beer all that much, or at least not until after a beer or two.

I can drink beer out of a can, but I choose not to.  After drinking a couple, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.  Beside that, if it weren't true, why would so many people say the same thing often giving the same description for the flavor they are picking up?  Its like this... take a small taste of a red hot pepper, then take a big bite of the same pepper and tell me there isn't a difference.  One stings a little but its nothing memorable, the large bite you aren't apt to forget so soon.   ;)  ;D

I just can't buy into this logic.  For me it's like saying I can taste two samples of chicken and soup and pick out which one uses sea salt and which one uses regular table salt.  I'm not trying to discredit you, but it just seems so unlikely.  Can you taste the difference between Pepsi from the can and Pepsi from the 2 litre plastic bottle that have both been placed in a glass?

And to your second point about why so many people say the same thing.  It's just like the homebrewing myth that boiling in stainless steel is better than aluminum, or adding a lb of sugar to a beer makes it taste like cider.  My guess would that most of the people who believe the can myth are those who were drinking from cans back in the day before the technology improved and did away with that problem.

Offline dean

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2010, 06:35:30 AM »
I just can't buy into this logic.  For me it's like saying I can taste two samples of chicken and soup and pick out which one uses sea salt and which one uses regular table salt.  I'm not trying to discredit you, but it just seems so unlikely.  Can you taste the difference between Pepsi from the can and Pepsi from the 2 litre plastic bottle that have both been placed in a glass?

And to your second point about why so many people say the same thing.  It's just like the homebrewing myth that boiling in stainless steel is better than aluminum, or adding a lb of sugar to a beer makes it taste like cider.  My guess would that most of the people who believe the can myth are those who were drinking from cans back in the day before the technology improved and did away with that problem.

While I've never professed to be a chemistry major.... it all comes down to just that.  Soda is not beer.  


To your second point, try boiling water in two small pots... one being all stainless (not clad) and one being all aluminum.  For your own scientific satisfaction, use the same amount of water ( a pint in each will do) from the same water source and add one quarter teaspoon of baking soda to each pot and stir.  Let the water cools so you don't burn your mouth and taste them, I suggest you make it a small taste, and keep a piece of minty candy close by.  Then tell me you it there is a difference in which something is made or even stored.  You can do the same test on your clad cookware or brewing kettle etc.  All stainless is not equal either.  ;)

Please, I beg you... do the test and Do Tell us the outcome.   ;D
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 06:41:44 AM by dean »

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2010, 06:42:49 AM »
Hobby horse alert:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=530.15
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=940.0

But I'll be sure not to drink my usual libation of boiling hot water spiked with sodium bicarbonate out of a can then!  :D

Offline dean

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2010, 06:56:01 AM »
I wonder if anybody performed those tests... if anyone did, some are probably systematically changing out their cookware.   :D  The truth sucks sometimes but its always good to know. 

Offline denny

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2010, 09:30:13 AM »
I wonder if anybody performed those tests... if anyone did, some are probably systematically changing out their cookware.   :D  The truth sucks sometimes but its always good to know. 

I don't really see how that relates to canned beer, though.  If the AL pot in your test was lined like the cans are, it would be more relevant.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2010, 10:18:27 AM »
I think the question hasn't been definitively answered in regards to the flavor if any imparted from the can. If there isn't any flavor imparted from canned beer then the next question is the public's perception of canned vs. bottled beer. That must also be considered.

Microbreweries have sales and margins to meet. Canning vs. bottling costs to weigh...and the consumer's perception to overcome. All of these must be considered in order to make the switch. Not to mention the initial capital investment required to go to canning.

Personally I need to do a blind tasting to convince myself one way or the other on the effects of flavor from can vs. bottle.

Ultimately I drink my beer from a glass or a cup.
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Offline nyakavt

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #68 on: March 13, 2010, 10:50:22 AM »
I wonder if anybody performed those tests... if anyone did, some are probably systematically changing out their cookware.   :D  The truth sucks sometimes but its always good to know. 

I don't really see how that relates to canned beer, though.  If the AL pot in your test was lined like the cans are, it would be more relevant.

Exactly, any can for beverage storage is lined so there is no metal in contact with the beverage.  This is just a perception bias that will not stand up to an objective experiment.

Most household aluminum cookware is either anodized or teflon coated anyway.  If you could find an untreated aluminum pot (like a brew pot), how would baking soda added to boiling water be in any way similar to beer?

I have done a blind triangle test with soda from PET bottles vs. a can.  I absolutely could not pick out a difference when they were both poured into a glass.  Before doing this I was certain that I would be able to tell the difference - it was all in my head, associating the flavor of drinking directly from the can.  If we're talking about beer vs. soda, soda is the more corrosive of the two because of the lower pH, and if anything would be more likely to leech metal from the can.

If you are able to do an objective triangle test where the only difference between the beverages is the package (same age, brewhouse, serving temp, etc.), I really don't think you'll be able to pick out a difference better than chance.  You'll have a hard time convincing somebody else of your ability to detect these differences without some sort of controlled experiment.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #69 on: March 13, 2010, 10:55:37 AM »
That's my assumption based on the design of the cans. To prove this to myself...a blind tasting is in order.
Ron Price

Offline MrNate

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #70 on: March 13, 2010, 12:26:05 PM »
That's my assumption based on the design of the cans. To prove this to myself...a blind tasting is in order.

Is that one where you taste until you're blind? I like those.
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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #71 on: March 13, 2010, 01:04:31 PM »
Quote
Is that one where you taste until you're blind? I like those. 

There's another way to make yourself go blind, but it doesn't involve alcohol at all.  ;D

Offline dean

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #72 on: March 14, 2010, 07:22:22 AM »
Okay, let me tie the cans and the cookware together.  Cookware if it is 100% stainless really has no bearing, but there are pots and pans manufactured with a core of a different metal, usually aluminum, which is then encapsulated with a layer of stainless steel... much like the can which is aluminum and has a layer of some sort of plastic material.  See the connection now?  All barriers are not equal.   ;)

Not all stainless is equal, and the thickness of the layer of stainless probably has much to do with it.  So some stainless steel pots and pans which are either clad or encapsulated still allow the aluminum to leach through.  If you do the test... you'll find out the quality of your cookware.  The plastic layer inside a beer can is even thinner... probably a few millionths of an inch thick... allowing the aluminum to leach through perhaps under certain conditions?  I guess I'll test it... I just dread the thought of doing it... the taste it leaves is horrible.  Perhaps some of you remember a cookie or bread that someone made at home having a peculiar nasty bite to it... if so... it was probably baked in an aluminum pan but nobody ever tied the two together.

The best test would probably be to empty a can, rinse and fill it with a mix of near boiling water and baking soda, let it cool and taste it.  Perhaps it could be done with cool water rather than hot water (so it doesn't melt the milli-thin plastic membrane) and leave it sit for a day or two or week... as if it had gone through the various levels or branches of being distributed.  I think most people don't notice it because beer already has some desired level of bitterness but they can't discern the difference between the two or choose to ignore it.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #73 on: March 14, 2010, 08:02:36 AM »
I don't see any reason to tie cans to cookware.

The boiling water scenario is pointless since at best the canned beers are run through a pasteurizer for 2-3 min with 140F spray. So any experiment should be conducted at 140F or less and for a short duration to mimic any potential temp effects.

Baking soda is also pointless since it would raise the pH toward 9, what you want to do is acidify the water for a realistic test. Beer is acidic after all. Hey, wait a minute, doesn't coke have a pH of around 4, let's run the test with coke in a can... ;)
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Offline denny

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #74 on: March 14, 2010, 10:17:38 AM »
Dean, rather than surmising about analogies which may not be analogous, why don't you just do the blind triangle test and get yourself some real data?
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