Canning and packaging are two of the most important aspects of our dark hoppy beer production process. Our two breweries operate under different setups, with Burleigh HQ running both automated and manual setups, and Biggera Waters’ BHII running a more automated setup.
In this article, we’ll cover the uses of our canning and packaging solutions and how they run at both of our sites.
It was cheap, which meant we could sell bottles in restaurants, but it was very inefficient and labor intensive. Our plan was always to try larger scale packaging, and we’ve been focusing on cans since day one.
When we switched to canning, we initially used a mobile canning packaging our operator, Craft Punks canning. at the time, they worked well for us because it allowed us to get to the point of sale without having to invest a lot of money in a canning line.
Our plan was to have our packaging our own system as soon as funding allowed, so we worked to purchase our own system and ended up using the CraftCan 15 system, which we purchased from American Beer Equipment.
Our CraftCan 15 setup is one of their earlier models, so it doesn’t have all the features on the website, but it has a very small footprint (great for a small craft brewery) and while it’s a very simple design,
it comes with a lot of basic components like smart filler tubes and lots of CO2 purge lines to keep oxygen out. We’ll delve into why oxygen and beer are not compatible in a future post.
Some serious off-road wheel routing to get it moving. Our brewery layout is constantly changing and we have limited space, so being able to move the packaging line back and forth gave us more options for space.
We also purchased an inline labeling packaging our machine and a baling conveyor/bench to inspect, weigh and pack cans into 4-packs and cardboard boxes.
After 12 months of operating the machine, we also made some further custom adjustments to meet our needs. One of the major improvements was a temporarily fabricated lid strip that holds a slight pressure on the beer lid after it is put on, but before it is sewn on.
This helps keep the lid on top of the can as we are trying to create a healthy foam lid on top of the beer before sealing to reduce the dreaded oxygen uptake as the lid packaging our may be lifted too high and therefore not positioned properly into the sealer.
Our canning and packaging facilities generally run smoothly, but there are always unexpected surprises. You need to make sure that the headaches of brewing beer year-round, like oxidation and low fill,
don’t rear their ugly heads. We’ll be discussing these topics in Part 2 of our Canning and Packaging Showcase, so stay tuned for more on that topic.
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