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Can cleaning


May 11, 2021
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I have a super rough time properly cleaning a lot of cans I usually brew 1 bbl and keg half/can half but lots of time my can version develops unwanted phenolic taste.

At the moment I clean them with PBW and scrub manually any deposit then rinse with clean water then StarSan right before the actual canning. Not only Is this an insane amount of work to do manually, but I also rarely get the results I want. I used to do the same procedure with bottles back then and never had any issue.

I was wondering if anyone have some tips to clean a large amount of cans consistently.
sco777owel said:
I was wondering if anyone have some tips to clean a large amount of cans consistently.

What king of phenol? Is is peppery and chalky like diastaticus? Or, is is like a burnt electrical cord like chlorophenol?

This is one of those places where pro brewing is completely different than homebrewing. I think the PBW step is a complete waste of time as cans arrive clean and pretty close to fully sanitary, right from the manufacturer. Even if you're buying less than a full pallet from a secondary supplier, there really shouldn't be any dirt or dust in them. If there is dust or dirt, change suppliers.

In a canning line, they come off the pallet and run past a rinser, upside down. They get reinverted upright a few feet ahead of the filler. The rinse is typically 0.2% peracetic acid (PAA). This is the same rinse your keg washer should be doing, so if there's no phenol in them that lends some credibility to my PBW advice. Peracetic acid doesn't require much contact time since the peroxide does most of the work right away and the acetic portion is the residual sanitation portion. Diluted and exposed to the atmosphere, PAA breaks down into water, oxygen and CO2. This is much more effective and faster than star-san.

It's more the clover kind maybe a bit smoky. I'm still very much a homebrewer (even If I brew a bbl at a time) so my cans are not stored clean at all so don't really have a choice to wash them manually. My kegs are hand washed corny kegs PBW, rinse and then starsan too. I'm wondering if a product I'm using reacts badly with the cans but at the same time I've had some success with previous batches so it's leaving me very confused. I might try to just dust wash them in the dishwasher and get hold of some paracetic acid.

Diastaticus might as well be an issue but I don't really have the means to test it, I usually sanitize everything pretty highly and start from fresh yeast every time. I've had some beer over carbonate a while ago but I can't say its consistent. Might need an air filter.