Homebrewers Turn to Canning

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This article originally appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of Zymurgy Magazine

By Jonathan Ingram

When Tim Hobbs bought a hand-cranked tabletop can sealer at Homebrew Con 2017 in Minneapolis, he joined a growing list of homebrewers looking for a way to can their beers. The $600 price tag was attractive, and a free box of cans sealed the deal, so to speak.

Hobbs, an engineer who is also a gunsmith in his spare time, was confident about his ability to can beers cleanly without dissolved oxygen. And, he knew there would be a cool factor once he applied his own Twisted Mustache Brewing label, a name taken from the former State Department employee’s handlebar mustache.

After four years, Hobbs is more than glad he dispensed with bottles. Whether shipping his first entry—a New England IPA—to the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) or preparing to share his beers with friends, family, or neighbors, Hobbs fills a can from one of his kegs, cranks his All American S202A sealer, applies his custom label, and is done.

“It’s not a big deal. It takes 20 cranks and it goes by very quickly,” said Hobbs, who was a longtime member of two homebrew clubs in Hampton Roads, Va., before he moved to Florida. “I think I have more control over the sealer than if I was motor driving it…

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