Odd device in beer can

Friday, February 9, 2007 at 23:21 | Posted in beer, odd, Personal | 9 Comments

Opening a can of Murphy’s Irish Stout today (in picture after I performed an autopsy on it) I noticed something odd in it. A few drops of beer momentarily ran out of the can but it soon settled down. I continued drinking the exellent Irish stuff and paid little or no attention to the incident.

As most of the beer had run down through my thirsty throat, I heard something clatter inside the can. There was definitely something in there that was not supposed to be there. Or that was what I thought, at least.

As the last drops of the delicious liquid had been swallowed, I started to investigate the remaining contents of the beer can. I had to open the can thoroughly to get it out. It seemed to be a plastic object of some sort, about an inch in size (picture above).

Ha, a clear case of a consumer complaint, I thought. I was already dreaming of the case of Murphy’s I would receive from Inbev UK Limited in Luton or Murphy Brewery in Ireland. Little did I know.

Reading the small print on the can, I detected that the thingy was actually supposed to be in the can:

This can contains a pressurized drautflow system device which is removed in the can recycling process. Please do not temper.

I do not know what it was supposed to do and whether or not it did but as far as I can tell, the beer itself was exellent. The prospects of my complaint are ruined so I guess I am going to have to pay for drinking Murphy’s. With or without that device.



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  1. I found your post while searching for an answer to this same question… what is this thing? Upon initial examination I thought it was some kind of pressure-activated device, it seemed like it had a valve in the tube and a valve on the end, with both serving as openings to the main volume. My buddy thought it was a dradle.

    Despite all this pondering I still could not fathom its purpose. However, I did find another site, and it states that this thing releases nitrogen into the beer. Presumably when you initially open the can, lowered external pressure causes it to release the gas but that’s just a guess.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information, Mike. How ever could the beer drinking population of the World manage without this wonderful device for 6000 years? 😉

  3. Sounds like a good reason to make and drink homebrew. 😛

  4. I actually thought of it but decided to postpone it to a later date. I need to stay more or less sober for a while so having 20-30 liters of beer to be consumed A.S.A.P is not a good idea right now. But things will change for the better, come summer. 😉

  5. “to be consumed A.S.A.P” ??

    Beer keeps for years!

    We have a brew that we’ve been drinking intermittently for the past 2 years – it’s pretty potent by now, but it hasn’t gone bad or anything.

    (Though, I must admit, we’ve been brewing some lighter ales recently, and we went through one lot rather quickly … We have around 4 different types of bottled beer in our cupboard right now, all in varying stages of consumption (ie some types we like more than others!))

    Have you brewed before??

    P.S. The beer mugs in one of the pics on your blog are so ridiculously large it’s not funny.

    P.P.S. Where are you from?

  6. I have not done any serious brewing so I would first need to buy some equipment and do some reading. It has been in my mind occasionally but I have so far been too lazy.

    Finland is expensive and the local selection of beer is not much to talk about. Better and cheaper stuff is available across the gulf in Estonia but I no longer want to go shopping there as often as I used to.

  7. Ah, Finland! So you’re right in the heart of Linux world! 😀 That’s awesome. I have only been to Finland once (when I was very, very young) though I’m keen to travel there again.

    I was talking to my partner about this post – about the thing in the can – and he seems to think that little gadgets like this are a standard addition to certain brands of stout. He thinks that it’s put in to replicate what you get at the pub, where they artificially carbonate the beer with a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which gives the beer its distinctive creamy head.

    So, he thinks that this particular gadget is probably just in there to improve the formation of the brew’s head and its probably something do with releasing nitrogen into the stout when you open the can. Perhaps try dispensing the beer in to a glass first next time, rather than drinking it out of the can. Like the pub you will find you get a lot of foam and it will take a while to decant a decent sized glass, adding slowly as the foam subsides.

  8. Sure, that is what one should be doing. Just that with the local stuff you would not want to bother. It does not taste much anyway. You get used to bad manners such as drinking from the can. 😛

  9. […] kõige tehnika pähe peale surutava otstarbekust ei pruugi taibatagi. Seesinane riistapuu oli õllepurgi sees (Murphy’s Irish Stout). Päriselt ei saa tänaseni aru, milleks see hea olema pidi. Purgi küljes […]

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