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Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

Posted January 07, 2007 5:01 PM
Pathfinder Tags: challenge questions

The question as it appears in the 01/09 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

A friend pops you a cold can of Irish beer. After consuming the beer, you notice something rattling around in the can. You initially think something was wrongly placed in your can. What is rattling in the can and why?

Update (01/16/07 8:23 AM): And the Answer is....

It's a widget. The can is pressurized by adding liquid nitrogen, which vaporizes and expands in volume after the can is sealed, forcing gas and beer into the widget's hollow interior through a tiny hole. When the can is opened, the pressure in the can drops and causes the pressurized gas and beer inside the widget to jet out from the hole. This agitation on the surrounding beer releases carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the beer, creating a creamy head inside the can imitating the foamy head created when pouring draught beer.

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#1

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/08/2007 8:12 AM

Ice? the beer was frozen?

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#2

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/08/2007 10:51 AM

What was in the can was Guinness Stout. What remains in the can is a small block of wood or actually plastic. It is used to control the release of nitrogen in the beer.

I had two Saturday night. :)

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#3

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/08/2007 1:56 PM

"The problem has always been the fact that draught Guinness is (or should be) dispensed with a mixture of Nitrogen and CO2 gasses rather than the conventional CO2 alone. The nitrogen is used because it makes very fine bubbles while it is not absorbed into the brew as the CO2 is, thus it does not "over-carbonate" the beer. Also a special faucet is preferred which, in combination with the gasses, creates that wonderful creamy brown head which lasts to the bottom of the glass. The new can combines the original kegged stout recipe with technology which creates the draught effect to a tee."

"Dr. Alan Forage, creator of the technology, was on hand to explain the mechanics of the new can. This is the way the system works: The 16.9 ounce can (containing 14.9 ounces of beer) is fitted with a small plastic device (Guinness calls it a "smoothifier") which sits in the bottom of the can. This device has a pocket or cavity which is open to the atmosphere via a pin hole in its top. The can is evacuated of oxygen and filled with beer. Prior to sealing the can, a dose of liquid nitrogen is added to the beer. The can is closed and as the liquid nitrogen warms a pressure is created. The pressure forces about 1% of the beer and nitrogen into the plastic cavity. When the can is opened, the pressure is released and the small amount of beer in the cavity is forced back through the pinhole quite violently. The agitation created by this "geyser" mixes the nitrogen with the beer in such a way as to reproduce the tap handle character. Open up the first empty can you have in order to see what the "smoothifier" looks like."

If you really need to know more - check out the patent 4,832,968

Guinness Patent

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Anonymous Poster
#22
In reply to #3

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 7:18 PM

Hi I happened to work for Continetal can-co back in the uk in 1981 when this idea was being shown to our customers !

all of a buzz back then.

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#4

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 3:06 AM

A few points:-

1) the device is commonly called a "Widget" (phonetically say "widj-jet", with less emphasis on the second "j") in the UK and Ireland and has been around a good many years in canned beer. It results in a good looking (and good drinking!) beer if the temperature is correctly adherred to...

2) I believe that there are at least 5 other Beers in the UK with a similar device in them, John Smiths Bitter is one that I can think of immediately. Whether or not these other Breweries are also owned by Guinness I could not say...

3) This makes a major taste (and visuall) difference to Beers so made. For example, with Guinness try the bottled as against the canned "Draught" beer. (only Draft has the widget!!)

4) Remember that if you have never drunk Guinness before, you have to drink at least 3 of them, the first tastes terrible, the second goes down a bit better, with the third you have the taste forever, wonderfull!

As I live in Germany where Guinness is relatively hard to find, I have to force(?) myself through this procedure each time I go to the UK....or that is what I tell my Wife......! Commiserate with me please!!

5) This also means that you can pour the beer relatively quickly into the glass (drinking time is speeded up) than say with a German Pilsner or Weizen Beer with a lot of CO2. If you did that with the German Beer, you would end up wearing most of it on your clothes or on the floor!!

6)Guinness is a good source of iron for your health too!!

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Anonymous Poster
#36
In reply to #4

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:12 AM

hit the nail on the head...

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Anonymous Poster
#68
In reply to #4

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/17/2007 9:37 AM

All I can say, is when God says beer, he means Guinness. Personally, I've never noticed the first taste being any less satisfying than the later ones.

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 3:16 AM

So it isn't a pickled leprechaun, then?

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 4:56 AM

Irish leprechaun here. Yes it's a widjet.

Diageo have actually taken over brewing Guiness at James' Gate in Dublin. They have also aquired other brands such as Budweiser

Guiness (Irish) drinkers are amongst the most fussy drinkers in Ireland. Recently Diageo have embarked on a high profile advertising campaign to 'persuade' drinkers to drink Guiness from the can, to limited cuccess.

Ask any Guiness drinker, and they will tell you "the Gusiness doesn't travel", meaning you won't get a good pint of Guiness outside Ireland.

They have also recently launched a brewhouse series (based on Arth Guiness' old brew mixtures....take this with a pinch of salt) also to varied success.

In case you don't know a pint of Guiness is black with a nice creamy head. I remember when Guiness (pre Diageo days) launched another high profile ad campaign to promote a WHITE draught Guiness. Needless to say this draught failed miserably and the marketing department were probably told to clear out their desks.

Just to clear one point. Not all Irish folk drink Guiness, in fact sales have been falling in recent years, which is why Diageo are promoting these alternatives

But ask any Guiness drinker and they'll tell you, you can't beat a cold pint of the 'black stuff' down the local pub

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Anonymous Poster
#25
In reply to #6

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 9:41 PM

Cold Guiness? Why bother?

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Anonymous Poster
#61
In reply to #6

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/13/2007 7:36 AM

As a fellow Irish leprechaun (still in college), I have to say your comment gave me a bit of national pride. fair play!!

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 5:51 AM

One unfortunate side effect of the 'widget' is the can contents tend to overflow as soon as it is opened, especially if the can is not cold. Also the glass tends to fill up with foam leaving the beer tantalisingly out of reach at the bottom of the glass!!!

Answer:

I always upend the can in the glass as soon as it is 'popped' then gradually raise the can out of the glass just keeping the opening slightly above the rising liquid level. This sounds a bit drastic, but it always works and you then get a perfect glass of beer without losing a drop of the precious liquid - you can even stop the flow if the can opening touches the surface of the liqiuid. I presume the foam stays in the can?

Cheers!

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 9:00 AM

I have noticed that even the bottles have the "cascade" effect tho. Is there anything special that they do to the bottles? prime with nitrogen?

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#9

Re: Rattling Can: Guinness overflowing

01/09/2007 10:40 AM

To those who find their stout ending up on the floor instead of in the glass (from a can or bottle) - the secret is to open it at the right temperature. If kept in a domestic 'fridge (typ. 4°C-ish), you shouldn't have much trouble.

My personal gripe about Guinness is the increasing number of outlets pushing the 'Extra Cold' variety - presumably designed in an attempt to woo lager drinkers (who seem to prefer their drinks so cold they can't taste 'em - not a bad idea, given the flavour of most (UK) lagers!).

'Case you haven't guessed, I prefer real ale, served at about 8°C. I drink the black stuff sometimes, particularly when I have to make a pint last for an hour or so (as when I'm Dad's Taxi).

BWT Bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale have a star on the label printed with temperature sensitive ink, which changes colour to indicate when the contents are at or below the correct temperature for drinking.

PS The widget problem seems to have been pretty well covered.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Rattling Can: Guinness overflowing

01/09/2007 1:14 PM

"'Case you haven't guessed, I prefer real ale, served at about 8°C."

That's the way God meant it to be!

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Anonymous Poster
#10

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 11:09 AM

In the UK the little plastic thingy in the can is fondly called a "widget" They have been around for quite a long time in England as a way to give canned beer that smooth head ... and are used not just in "Irish beer" but many other fine ales

This was in print in 1991

"The newest trick - being used in the British Isles to make products identified as "draught" in cans - retains pasteurisation but addresses itself to another area of taste: creaminess, softness and gentle, low carbonation In fermentation, beer produces only one gas: carbon dioxide. When it is hand-pulled, the manual pump action introduces air. Within air is nitrogen, and that enhances the texture and head by producing bubbles smaller than those created by carbon dioxide."

As you can tell from the lack of technical jargon I am not an engineer.... just a major beer enthusiast

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Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 1:07 PM

The rattle is a plastic gas unit to keep the beer correctly carbonated. It doesn't modify the flavor the beer. As some beers travel they lose carbonation - this prevents a flat beer when the top is popped.

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Anonymous Poster
#13

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 2:36 PM

A plastic ball that contained pressurized CO2. When the can was opened, the decrease in pressure caused the CO2 to be released into the beer to simulate draft beer.

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Anonymous Poster
#14

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 3:34 PM

The beer was chilled to the point where ice would form even with alcohol in the can. The ice was rattling in the otherwise empty can.

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Anonymous Poster
#15

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 4:00 PM

The rattle is created by the "Widget" which is a plastic vial containing nitrous which upon opening the can opens, creating a "Fresh from the Tap" and deep foamy head us stout drinkers have come to love.

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Anonymous Poster
#16

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 4:35 PM

The beer contains a little device that when pouring the bear excites the carbon dioxide that is trapped in the beer and this creates a better head of foam thus making the beer taste better.

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Anonymous Poster
#17

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 4:35 PM

The item is a small plastic container that releases the "head" for a more authentic draught taste.

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#18

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 4:49 PM

A cartridge, or sphere, containing compressed nitrogen and beer.

Compressed nitrogen and a bit of the beer is held inside the cartridge as long as the outside pressure exerted by the beer is greater, by some specific amount, than the internal pressure of the compressed nitrogen.

When the pressure on the cartridge is relieved by the act of opening the beer can, the compressed nitrogen in the sphere decompresses, forcing the beer from the cartridge into the beer in the can. This action serves to shake up or churn the beer, in the process causing the beer to release its dissolved CO2.

Why? For an excellent creamy head on your fine Irish beer. I first saw it in a Murphy Stout. And I'll be looking in every other brand if that's what it takes to discover them all!

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Anonymous Poster
#19

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 5:25 PM

Ice. Rapid pressure drop favors ice formation. Your drank the beer fast, getting a little more alcohol content and left the rather pure ice behind.

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#20

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 6:02 PM

It is rattler to tell you that beer is finished just like aerosol paint cans!

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Anonymous Poster
#21

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 7:15 PM

I defy anyone to shake up a can of beer for a couple of minutes and then immediately open it.

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Anonymous Poster
#23

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 7:50 PM

Of course it's a widget. But anyone that insists on drinking Guiness from a can deserves it to be a cyanide capsule. Guiness isn't Guiness unless it's on draught. And the Irish would say it must be served in Dublin, but I am not so sure about that. Though if it is some other Irish beer then that's Ok then.

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#24

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 9:10 PM

Not the pop up ring, we do that all the time. Its too easy. It happened to me with a can of sparkling Perrier water, the left over water still had some gas in the water and made a rattling noise.

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Anonymous Poster
#26

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/09/2007 9:54 PM

It's a small "carbonation" capsule that adds the delicious little bubbles to the beer after it's opened!

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Anonymous Poster
#27

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 3:37 AM

I don't believe it. I still believe it's a pickled leprechaun.

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#28

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 3:41 AM

...there would appear to still be a lot of people around that a) have never drunk beer from a can that rattles and b) opened the can to see what it actually was......Guys its not ice or CO2........

ITS A WIDGET!!

Read the other infos available here, but basically its a small, usually round (there are some fairly flat ones too!) plastic ball with a tiny hole. The ball floats hole down.... When the can is filled, some beer and gas is forced into the ball through the small hole. When the can is opened, its forced out again, giving the beer a good creamy long lasting head, and do not forget, the eye "drinks" with the mouth!!

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Anonymous Poster
#31
In reply to #28

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 4:45 AM

It's definatley a WIDGET, i can still remember the John Smiths advert which first brought the WIDGET to the public eyes, i think it was in the early 90's and stared Jack Dee with lots of penguins.

I too can't believe how many people have not opened up an empty tin of beer just to see whats inside... or maybe it's just me with a mispent youth...???

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Anonymous Poster
#33
In reply to #28

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 5:51 AM

You guys are checking things out way too early. Wait until you have drunk at least six canfulls and then take a look. You will clearly see its true nature: two pickled leprechauns.

(A different guest - but sympathetic)

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#50
In reply to #33

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:49 PM

It's not a Leprechaun, it's a piece of Blarney Stone.

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#58
In reply to #50

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 5:50 PM

Don't the Irish urinate on the Blarney Stone? Right before they tell tourists it's good luck to hang upside-down and kiss it...

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Anonymous Poster
#29

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 3:57 AM

It s the gasball thats rattle because before you open the can this is attached to the tab, and when you pull the tab the ball breaks open and CO the draft (thats why they call it canned draughtbeer)

Micke L

Sweden

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Anonymous Poster
#30

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 4:26 AM

It is called a 'widget' and is actually a small plastic sphere that is injected with liquid nitrogen just before the can is sealed. The nitrogen converts to gas and is pressurised within the sphere by some of the beer entering it. When you open the can, the pressure is released and the Nitrogen gas exits (after the beer) through a tiny hole in the widget, giving the beer (especially Guinness) that extra, long lasting and creamy head.

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Anonymous Poster
#32
In reply to #30

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 5:05 AM

The widget gave beer sales a major lift in the take-home market, and that was a market that bottled or canned Guinness had very little share in. The simple reason being that it tasted nothing like draft! However, the take-home trade in the likes of Nigeria was very good, because very few of the locals have ever drank draft. The launch of draft Guinness in a can was very much welcomed by those draft drinkers who wouldn't dream of taking the old bottled or canned stuff home.

I owned a pub and can testify to the fact that the old stuff sat on the shelf gathering dust, and going out-of-date. I believe that the first working example of the widget was invented by a garden-shed inventor in Scotland who sold the rights for pennys.

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Anonymous Poster
#34

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 6:19 AM

It's what's become known as a widget ! Many U.K canned beers have them.

By the way -- this sort of beer should be served at room temperature - not cooled. Only Americans would think of destroying the flavour by cooling it.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 6:43 AM

I wouldn't swear to it but I think you'll find that, almost without exception, cans with widgets bear the legend "Best Served Cold" (or something similar).

When warm, the beer is less able to hold gasses in solution, also any free gas will be under greater pressure (see 'gas laws') - hence the rapid outgassing and marks on the ceiling.

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Anonymous Poster
#40
In reply to #34

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 9:58 AM

Only SILLY Americans -- not all!

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Anonymous Poster
#37

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:41 AM

It is a nitrogen ball, designed to release nitrogen in the beer to accent the flavor. The nitrogen bubbles actually decend in the beer rather than traveling upward.

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Anonymous Poster
#38

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 8:23 AM

It is a device used to deliver the carbonation to the beverage at the moment it is opened. It achieves this by using the pressure of the beer in the can to contain the CO2 in the internal container. When the pull tab is released the drop in pressure in the can causes the one time valve to open and Voila a fresh draught stout beer such as Guinness ! Brilliant !

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Anonymous Poster
#39

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 9:31 AM

The real important thing to know is that (with the bottle widget) open and turn the bottle straight down (bottom facing the ceiling) into your PINT glass and you are presented with the the appearance and the beautiful cascade that Guinness gives you with about 5/8 inch (16mm) of head.

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Anonymous Poster
#41

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 10:45 AM

A "widget" might rattle around in the bottom of the can. It is a cover over another piece of material that is allowed to move, creating the correct "head" on the Guiness beer (simulates the "head" or froth that a tapped keg of Guiness provides) which is a trademark for the beer. Thus the "widget" can is a better choice than the glass bottle, if the full Guiness sensation is desired, and there are no Irish pubs around.

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#42

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 11:35 AM

Since the widget has been well discussed, let me just add my own two pence worth -- that the next time you're in Ireland, be sure to visit Kilkenny and have a fresh glass of Smithwicks at the brewery there. Nearly all the flavor of stout, but not as bitter. If you're accustomed to mass-produced American beer, this might suit your taste with less of a shock than Guinness. After your palate has adjusted a bit, then try Guinness.

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Anonymous Poster
#43

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 11:48 AM

The pop tab broke off and fell into the beer.

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#44

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 3:36 PM

You're drinking Guiness and while I can't remember the name of the device, it's commonly called a "bullet" and is designed to make the can or bottled beer taste like poured draft, it does soemthing to the head.

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Anonymous Poster
#45

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 4:11 PM

The noise is the "widget". It is a plastic sphere with a small hole. It is charged with CO2 under presure and put in the can with the beer in the canning process. When the can is opened, the presure release in the can allows the CO2 to exit the widget through the small hole. The velocity of the CO2 jet causes the widget to move around randomly inside the can. The gas jet and sphere movement agitate the beer the same as if the can were shaken. This increases the head. This technology was developed to allow Guinness to be sold in cans. The thickness of this style of beer is notorious for the dificulty of getting an acceptable head. The Guinness Company won an award for the invention.

Kent Hansen Melbourne Australia

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Anonymous Poster
#46

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 6:25 PM

The item rattling in the can is the container that held the gas which makes the beer frothy

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#47

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:13 PM

A Widget

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Anonymous Poster
#48

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:18 PM

I think the widget has been fully explained and does not need my low witted ramblings to beat the subject more.

The more important stout topic here is the debate that circulated a year or two ago in which some researchers, of limited observational abilities, suggested the bubbles in a stout travel down. I have watched many a stout clear (a beautiful process which often brings a tear to my eye) and the bubbles do not go down. The bubbles rise to the surface where they break, releasing the gas. What you see going down is the liquid which was carried to the surface with the gas falling back down through the less dense foamy head. The only downward motion of bubbles is localized and short duration. If the bubbles went down then the head of the beer would be increasing with time.

Pour yourself a good widgeted stout and watch the beautiful clearing process closely but don't let yourself be overwhelmed with the rapture of the moment.

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#59
In reply to #48

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 8:05 PM

Guest wrote "The more important stout topic here is the debate that circulated a year or two ago in which some researchers, of limited observational abilities, suggested the bubbles in a stout travel down."

From a well known online source, based on serious observation of many many pints -

A long time subject of bar conversations is the Guinness cascade, where the gas bubbles appear to travel downwards in a pint glass of Guinness. [5]

The effect is attributed to drag; bubbles that touch the walls of a glass are slowed in their travel upwards. Bubbles in the centre of the glass are, however, free to rise to the surface, and thus form a rising column of bubbles. The rising bubbles create a current by the entrainment of the surrounding fluid. As beer rises in the center, the beer near the outside of the glass falls. This downward flow pushes the bubbles near the glass towards the bottom. Although the effect occurs in any liquid, it is particularly noticeable in any dark nitrogen stout, as the drink combines dark-coloured liquid and light-coloured bubbles.[6]

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Anonymous Poster
#49

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 7:41 PM

The rattling is the gas ball inside the can. When you release the pressure from the can by opening it the gas ball ruptures and releases gas into the beer...........its called Guiness, it must be drunk very cold and poured in one motion so your glass has to take the contents of the can.

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Anonymous Poster
#51

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/10/2007 10:16 PM

The empty rattling thingee is called a widget. Before opening it containded nitrogen. Guinness is a low CO2 beer. Upon opening the can the widget releases the Nitrogen to a ratio of 1:2 ( CO2 = 1). Thus the Guinness gets foam retention whilst keeping the stout smooth taste without the carbonation of other beers needed to provide the "head".

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Anonymous Poster
#52

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 4:49 AM

Your friend did not pop you a beer but a stoute this device is designed to give a longer lasting and fuller head on the stoute

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#53

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 12:34 PM

It's the foaming doohickey that puts the foam in the beer when you open it.

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#54

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 12:47 PM

Surely this Widget would work in root beer, too?

I fondly recall the draught root beer at the local drive-in when I was a kid. It was served in heavy glass mugs, chilled so that they arrived at the car coated in frost. Unlike canned root beer, with its big CO2 bubbles, the draught stuff had a Guinness-like creamy head and fine champagne-style bubbles. Boy, it was good.

Would the canned stuff be like that if it had Widgets? Bring 'em on!

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#57
In reply to #54

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 5:18 PM

... A bit of an aside, but your avatar is very reminiscent of the temperature-sensitive star printed on Newcastle Brown Ale bottles (see my post #9) - even (approx.) to the shade of blue.

It is blue when too warm, and turns white when at or below the correct pouring temperature (about 4 to 6°C).

This may seem a bit cool for brown ale, but Newky is traditionally poured from its (chilled) pint bottle into a half-pint glass. This allows you to regulate the temperature of the beer in your glass (the glass having a fairly low thermal capacity) by drinking more quickly, or topping up from the (thick glass - high thermal capacity) bottle.

There's a lot of science in beer (manufacture, distribution, serving and CONSUMING!) .

Whatever your preference, enjoy!!

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Anonymous Poster
#55

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 2:46 PM

the rattle is plastic ball known as a widget it is often used in ales and stouts as a way of ensuring that the "beer" has a good head on it as they often are not as gassy as a larger.

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#56

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/11/2007 3:01 PM

It's known in the UK as a widgit. It is a gas cannister that puts CO2 into the beer as the can is opened.

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Anonymous Poster
#60

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/12/2007 6:35 AM

Seeing as I'm Oirish, I have an unfair advantage. Guinness is not a fizzy beer, so in order to give it a "head"...absolutely vital for a decent Guinness ;-), they put a small plastic container of compressed air in the can. This, when the can is opened, blows a jet or air down through the liquid so that it is bubbly, but not fizzy. These bubbles gradually come to the top in the glass(also vital for a decent drink), to form the creamy head. This is especially effective for those who have a moustache. It is also vital that the pour starts IMMEDIATELY the can is opened, and the liquid poured down the side of the glass, not straight in the middle. Enjoy.

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Anonymous Poster
#62

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/13/2007 6:19 PM

The object is known to Guiness lovers all 'round the world. It's called a "Widget". It is a small capsule of Nitrogen. When the can is opened so is the widget. The nitrogen give Guiness that world famous creamy head and (to a partner less knowing) makes the bubbles in a glass of Guiness defy gravity. The bubbles fall not rise to the top as a "normal" beer. Nitrogen is heavier than CO2.

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#63

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/14/2007 11:23 AM

Dear Guest,

nitrogen is still lighter than beer.....it will rise in a water based liquid! eg. Beer of any sort!

What you are referring to is I believe an optical illusion of the beer falling and the gas rising......

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Anonymous Poster
#64

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/15/2007 5:46 AM

its guinnes beer and the ball in the can is for making the foam on the beer

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Anonymous Poster
#65

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/16/2007 4:50 PM

It is so wasteful to discuss this kind of things in the reputable magazines like this one.

I was curious to now and that is where my interest ends in this paper.


Find more technical items to discuss and tease your brains for the answers.

Nadeem Butt

Houston 1-16-07

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#66

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/17/2007 4:52 AM

How wrong you are Mr (Mrs?) Nadeem Butt.

The technical aspect of developing this small object (commonly known as a Widjet) to allow Guiness drinkers the world over to achive ALMOST the same taste as when there beer is poured fresh in an Irish Pub in Ireland is fantastic.

Think it over carefully, this was not somebody's saturday night wet dream, it probably took months, maybe years to bring to market.....

It would be nice if someone from the Brewery could detail the work done, in a technical manner of course, for Mr Nadeem Butt....and the rest of us as well!!!

Happy New Year to all CR4 fanatics.

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Anonymous Poster
#67

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/17/2007 6:21 AM

The rattling is a small ball. Which if you use your pocket knife to remove from the can, works quite well for a game of beer pong.

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#69

Re: Rattling Can: Newsletter Challenge (01/09/07)

01/22/2007 9:13 AM

To the editor of the Answer, Sorry sport it's not the CO2 squeezing beer through that's at work. It's the Liquid Nitrogen all the way. Guinness Stout uses the Liquid Nitrogen in the Widget to generate the same soft cream foam that it's famous for, for so many years. Nitrogen is used to charge the kegs instead of CO2 because of it smaller and lighter molecular structure. Watch closely the foam as the Pint is Poured. You will see convection currents as the lighter Nitrogen and denser CO2 separate in the same way oil and water do. I chose the simple model to help those who haven't taken science or physics yet.

The fine cream form is the result of the relative size the difference between CO2 and Nitrogen gas molecules and the fact that because there is more Nitrogen in solution relative to the CO2 that there's only the very small Nitrogen gas bubbles fizzing from the beer. Just look at a bubbles in a glass to sparkling soda and you'll clearly see what I's saying. (sorry for the pun).

It took Guinness several years to develop the Widget. It is a truly unique solution to a complex task. Having a gas dispensing device inside a sealed container that remains sealed and secure until the containers Pop Top Tab Is Pulled. The Widget is mounted to the top of the can in such a way the opening the can brakes the Widget free and allows the Liquid Nitrogen to infuse the beer. If the Nitrogen were released before the can were opened the added pressure would require cans with thicker walls to prevent the cans bursting.

Have Black and Tan or a 50/50 and you'll see a visual example of an atmospheric inversion layer.

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