Periodically on the internet, there are reports that at home buyers explode cans of beer. Photos of the subdued tins flooded the internet. And while no one has been hurt yet, serious passions are simmering on social media.
Such problems happen even in eminent breweries. In 2020, Boston’s Trillium, whose fruit Berliner Weiss Daily Serving in the banks, also began to explode, faced a similar situation. In response, the brewery turned to consumers on social media to explain the situation.
This particular situation is one of the newest episodes in the long history of exploding cans, which have led to a full range of public reactions, from angry posts on Reddit to real negligence lawsuits. In a world of triple muddy IPA dry hopping and superfruit, sour beer cans from Trillium are unlikely to be the last to explode.
One of the reasons why beer of these styles tends to “break out of the aluminum dungeon” is hop creep or active secondary fermentation. In fact, this phenomenon occurs at a time when enzymes contained in hops destroy the complex carbohydrates present in the must, turning them into fermented sugars. If there are minor traces of active yeast in the mixture, they begin to eat such sugars. At the same time, these microorganisms produce additional ethanol and carbon dioxide, which can eventually lead to the explosion of containers.
Temperature also plays a crucial role. Although the situation with Trillium cans could have been avoided, it is clear that unfiltered beer, subjected to abundant dry-hopping, should be stored in a cool room or at low temperatures to contain all the microorganisms contained in it. Beer stored at a temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (≈12.77 degrees Celsius) is unlikely to be actively fermented.
The reason that craft brewers encounter exploding banks more often than their larger competitors is partly because of the nature of their products. Dry hopping, performed in the late stages of the production process at low temperatures, allows enzymes to survive, and unfiltered beer tends to have more residual yeast cells. Refusal to pasteurize allows to preserve all the versatility of beer, but at the same time limits its shelf life.
Most samples of modern craft beer are unfiltered and unpasteurized, which means that they contain enough active yeast for secondary fermentation. If their activity is not contained, if the beer gets into the jar, they can continue the fermentation process.
The explosion of beer containers can be easily explained by the inexperience of the breweries if he is new to his business, but similar incidents happen to the best of the best, especially when it comes to IPA, subjected to abundant dry hop. Sometimes the cause of this unpleasant phenomenon can be a directly targeted contamination of the product by unpredictable microorganisms.
The simplest thing a brewery can do in a situation like this is to store a large amount of packaged beer in a warm place to monitor its condition