Dissolved O2 - Cans vs Bottles

Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:07 am

On the Session 1/18, Dan Gordon had a brief conversation about dissolved O2 (DO2) in cans vs in bottles. To recap: he is pro bottles for the amount of DO2 that enters in filling is much lower than filling cans. Charlie Bamforth mentioned, what I have heard from many craft canners, that the can is a much better receptacle for keeping DO2 out after packaging. Dan Gordon stated some numbers to back him up, but this got me wondering:
Does anyone know of any studies that measure the DO2 immediately after bottling and canning?
Does anyone know of any studies that measure the O2 exposure over time in bottles vs cans stored under identical conditions?
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Re: Dissolved O2 - Cans vs Bottles

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:19 pm

I have thought about this subject too, particularly in reference to home bottled beer (beer gun and CO2 purge).

When we fill a container with carbonated beer it displaces approx 90% of the volume of the container (for 12 oz bottles and cans, 24 oz bombers and 64 oz growlers more like 95 and 97%). Since the beer is equilibrated with CO2 at a particular temperature and pressure it evolves CO2 during the procedure, and my feeling is that O2 is driven out of the bottle/can/growler neck as filling proceeds. I have never seen a study to support this theory, but my understanding of chemistry and physics leads me to belive that it is plausable.

My one thought about the bottle vs can controversy is that cans have angular sides, O2 could be less easily purged during filling, and remain when the lid was crimped.

I worked at a craft brewery between 2012 and 2015, and pretty much everything was canned. Cans reduce the shipping space and cost but require more expensive equipment. If I were to go pro again I'm not sure what I would do about packaging.

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Re: Dissolved O2 - Cans vs Bottles

Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:53 pm

I have no clue about the exact science behind this, but all I know from my own experiences is that canned beer tends to have a much longer shelf life than any bottled beer I have encountered.

I feel that oxygen ingresses under ALL caps on bottles over time leading to staling. On the other hand, oxygen cannot enter through the metal (or crimping) as far as I know keeping that beer just like a mini-keg, nice and airtight.

Therefore, I will always choose good canned beer over bottles any day.
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