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  • Can preparation before filling

    Can anyone help me out with can preparation before filling? My instinct tells me to rinse with a sanitizer, but it looks like most folks are rinsing...?

  • #2
    On our Alpha canning line we have a rinse tunnel that just gets filtered water rinse. We have an auto depal to get the cans off the pallet.

    At my little nano side project I'm not rinsing them at all. I'm manually depalletizing the cans, dropping lids on them immediately as they come out from under the slip sheet. The lids stay on the cans until I'm sticking the BeerGun into them to fill them.

    If you're rinsing with sanitizer that's strong enough to sanitize the cans in the very short time they're being rinsed, it's going to be strong enough to taint the flavor of the beer. Any sanitizer used in the rinse should be to simply sanitize the rinse water itself. We use iodophor on our bottle rinser.

    I'm skipping rinsing the cans to keep DO pickup as low as possible. Any drops of liquid left in the can after rinsing will contribute to DO. We rinse cans coming off of the depal as they are uncovered much longer and have a greater chance to get some dust etc into them before we fill them.

    If I had my way, we'd have a UV light to sanitize/sterilize the cans and a deionized air rinse to deal with dust so we could skip the liquid rinse altogether. There is a MBAA podcast about rinsing cans, link to the presentation with this explained including a parts list is on there as well

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    • #3
      Does the alpha line have a blower to blow the water out of the cans?

      I guess my main concern is making sure there is no dust or debris in the cans prior to filling, so sanitizing the water makes sense. Maybe rinse ahead of time and leave them upside down so they do not pick up dust?

      At 3.5 bbls a batch, I guess you'd call us nano too. We will be filling cans with an Express fill and an Oktober seamer....At 3.5 bbls a batch, I guess you'd call us nano too.

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      • #4
        There is nothing to remove the water other than gravity, and they're only upside down for a short time.

        If you were to use an air blower it would have to be deionized or the cans would pick up a static charge and attract more dust than otherwise.

        A lot of breweries do just fine with water rinsing their packages, it's just a matter of how anal you want to be when it comes to DO pickup.

        My nano is 3bbl batches, fill cans with a BeerGun, seamed on an Oktober, labeled with a MT50 type semi-auto labeler. Takes forever to do it but at least I get to have neat label designs w my beers now. I mainly do hazy IPAs so I'm anal about the DO pickup, as much as I can be with my setup at least.

        When we were working with a Cask SAMS out here at Rileys we would rinse the cans and set them upside down on a table to try to drip dry them. We just put one of those plastic diffusers you'd find inside a fluorescent light fixture on the table. I would then try to flick as much excess water out of them as possible before loading them into the Cask.

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