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Old 23-06-2018, 14:59   #1
Jd1
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Pop Can Storage

I like the occasional fizzy drink so I stock them in my food locker and a couple go into the fridge.
The other day I flipped open the food locker and was greeted with an indescribable stench and condensation on the underside of the lid. This is a top loading locker with fiberglass inside, totally sealed except for the lid.

I was most curious as to where all the moisture came from as I was slowly unloading everything. I like Kraft dinner as a quick filler upper and I had a number of boxes in the locker - they had grown together and into a green ball of goo. Saltene cracker sticks had developed into an interesting science experiment and the discovery went on and on.
All the canned food seemed to be ok with some rust forming on the bottoms but nothing critical. Eventually I worked my way to the bottom of the locker and a 24 pack of Coke. Each can was removed and rinsed but when I got to the bottom layer there were 3 cans that were completely (like not a drop left) empty with no sign of damage to the cans. I had found my source of moisture!
Later on I checked the fridge and it too had a dead can of pop in it but it was only 3/4 drained. It had stood upright while the pop in the food locker was lying sideways.
I believe the pop in the fridge had suffered from corrosion over time and eventually sprung a leak. The pop in the food locker showed no sign of corrosion.
I believe the reason for the cans being completely empty is because the first suffered from the compressed content escaping until pressure was equalized and then after the fact, due to temperature fluctuations and 'breathing', the can contents was eventually pumped out over many cycles. The pop in the fridge did not suffer from breathing as the temperature is steady and as a result about 1/3 of it's content still remained.

One can that was ok and was washed and set aside for drying was found to be sitting in a puddle of coke ... a tiny pinhole had developed, possibly from handling, and the content was ever so slowly leaking out of a microscopic pinhole. I was unable to spot the pinhole after the can got consumed. I even checked the inside of the can and could not find the area that leaked.
Finally I come to the actual question: Is there a way of storing pop in the boat so that it survives multiple years ? This batch of coke was maybe 3 years old and yes I know that the shelf life is somewhere around 3 months .....
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Old 23-06-2018, 15:08   #2
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Pop Can Storage

Iíve had beer cans spring a leak in the bilge from only a couple of months being there. I think in my case itís abrasion wearing a tiny hole, that is what it looked like anyway.
Modern drink cans are very thin, only .004Ē I think, so it doesnít take much at all.
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Old 23-06-2018, 15:11   #3
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Re: Pop Can Storage

Have you seen the thickness of modern cans? The body of the can is not much thicker than foil. If you got three years though, you've done well. From personal experience, storing cans in a damp environment on a boat will see them spring pin hole leaks within as little as a month. PET containers are no good either, as the drink will lose its fizz within about a year. I think the only real "solution" is to drink them quickly before the pin hole corrosion develops.


I guess if you were really desperate for long term storage, you'd need be best to keep the cans in a sealed bag and maybe even use something like the nets used on fruit to protect each can from rubbing against others.
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Old 23-06-2018, 15:17   #4
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Re: Pop Can Storage

We had an experience similar to yours, but it involved aluminum cans of beer stowed in the bilge. Yes. All empty.

With what happened in your locker, I think some of it must have come out under pressure (to get to the underside of the lid and saturate the packaging on the other foodstuffs) and started the "farm".

As to how long one can reasonably expect to store Coke in cans, I don't know. Seems like it might do better in plastic, in a salt water environment, as aluminum is so vulnerable to salt, the salt is dissolved in the moisture in the air, and gets trapped on the tin.

It's amazing what a horrible mess can be made when food goes off.

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Old 23-06-2018, 16:21   #5
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Re: Pop Can Storage

They sale make your own soda kits. I can't remember the name. But I know that
Bed, Bath and Beyond sales them. You do need to carry a CO2 tank.
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Old 23-06-2018, 21:30   #6
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Re: Pop Can Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
We had an experience similar to yours, but it involved aluminum cans of beer stowed in the bilge. Yes. All empty.

With what happened in your locker, I think some of it must have come out under pressure (to get to the underside of the lid and saturate the packaging on the other foodstuffs) and started the "farm".

As to how long one can reasonably expect to store Coke in cans, I don't know. Seems like it might do better in plastic, in a salt water environment, as aluminum is so vulnerable to salt, the salt is dissolved in the moisture in the air, and gets trapped on the tin.

It's amazing what a horrible mess can be made when food goes off.

Ann

My bilge is very shallow and usually has water in it (fresh water coming down the mast) so I can't use the bilge for storage. Pretty easy cleanup if I cuold use the bilge
As I said, I found no holes in the cans and the one that sprung a leak after cleanup leaked at a rate of maybe a drip every 15 seconds or so - no fountains
The underside of the lid had condensation on it, not coke. The Kraft dinner boxes were sitting on the floor of the locker and would have just soaked up the liquid.
I am thinking of maybe putting in a grid of some kind to elevate everything by 1/4" to prevent a spill from causing such an issue in the future.


I have never ever smelled such a horrible stench before. I am imagining it to be similar to a corps that has been rotting for a while in a closed environment (thank god I never experienced that though). Things could easily have been sitting and growing for 6 months ....
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Old 23-06-2018, 21:31   #7
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Re: Pop Can Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Iíve had beer cans spring a leak in the bilge from only a couple of months being there. I think in my case itís abrasion wearing a tiny hole, that is what it looked like anyway.
Modern drink cans are very thin, only .004Ē I think, so it doesnít take much at all.

Right on the money, I measured the can thickness and 0.004 is what I got.
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Old 23-06-2018, 21:37   #8
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Re: Pop Can Storage

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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
They sale make your own soda kits. I can't remember the name. But I know that
Bed, Bath and Beyond sales them. You do need to carry a CO2 tank.

Yes, you can fizzify your own concoctions but I am talking coke, actually coke classic and none of that pepsi stuff or other imitation wana-be stuff
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Old 23-06-2018, 21:59   #9
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Re: Pop Can Storage

I've had alum cans of plain seltser develop visible corrosion just by the end of our short season. Looked like the moist salty air was the culprit as the ones kept in a winch handle side bin were more affected then the ones down in the cabin storage.
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Old 29-06-2018, 10:55   #10
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Re: Pop Can Storage

Soda Stream will carbonate flavored waters (like coke or gingerale). They make many types of flavoring. We also now brew our own beer as well. The beer has been coming out fabulous, the Soda Stream on the other hand can never equal the fizz of a canned beverage.
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Old 29-06-2018, 11:13   #11
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Re: Pop Can Storage

Two words: Soda Stream!
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Old 29-06-2018, 13:44   #12
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Re: Pop Can Storage

I've heard of weekend sailors whose aluminum cans leaked after one, overnight passage from Miami to Bimini. One drop of salt water is all it takes to eat through an aluminum can, especially at the place where it's scored to open. The other vulnerable area is the pop top itself, which can get jostled underway enough to pop it.
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Old 29-06-2018, 13:49   #13
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Re: Pop Can Storage

PS. Corrosion, and the accidental prying open of pull tops is also a problem with the many foods that are now in pull-top containers. To be doubly safe, tape down pull top with masking tape and bag each can in plastic.
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Old 01-07-2018, 20:07   #14
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Re: Pop Can Storage

There are several videos about making your own true soda machine. We did it and had all the soda I want for over a year for a fraction of the cost of soda in the Carribean. And no itís true coke syrup. Not some imitation
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:41   #15
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Re: Pop Can Storage

This is a very common occurrence, especially for people doing four wheel drive trips into the Australian outback. The cause is the roughness of the dirt roads (corrugations) causing the cans to bounce up and down and rub against the one along side. As pointed out, the walls of the cans are so thin it does not take much to wear a tiny hole, sometimes so small it is hard to even find it.

I have lost a few cans of beer on trips, but there are precautions to limit the loss. The most expensive and hardest one is to wrap each can in a neoprene been can holder. The second and easiest is to put a cardboard or sponge material in the top of the carton to restrict movement or in between rows of cans. This of course means that some cans will not have material between them, but it cuts down the chances of it happening.

I have not lost a can of beer while sailing yet, it is nowhere near as violent in the boat as in the car on very rough roads. We also use a Sodastream for soft drinks.
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