Beer Info FAQ

What Happens When You Shake a Can of Beer?

Shaking a can of beer can have various effects on its taste, carbonation, and overall drinking experience. While some people may shake a can of beer for fun or as a prank, it is important to understand the consequences of this action. In this article, we will explore what happens when you shake a can of beer and why it is generally not recommended.

Effects of Shaking a Can of Beer

When you shake a can of beer, several things occur that can impact its quality and enjoyment:

  1. Agitation of Carbonation: The carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in beer is responsible for its carbonation. When you shake a can of beer, the CO2 bubbles become agitated and mix with the liquid, causing an increase in pressure inside the can.

  2. Foaming and Overflow: The increased pressure from shaking can cause the beer to foam excessively when opened. This can lead to overflow and loss of beer, making a mess and potentially wasting the beverage.

  3. Loss of Carbonation: Shaking a can of beer can result in the release of excess CO2, leading to a loss of carbonation. This can result in a flat-tasting beer with less effervescence.

  4. Off Flavors: The agitation caused by shaking can also introduce off flavors into the beer. This is particularly true for delicate beer styles that are more susceptible to oxidation or other chemical reactions.

Why Shaking Beer is Not Recommended

Shaking a can of beer is generally not recommended for several reasons:

  1. Quality and Taste: Shaking disrupts the natural carbonation and can negatively impact the taste and quality of the beer. It can result in a flat, foamy, or off-flavored beverage.

  2. Safety Concerns: The increased pressure inside a shaken can of beer can lead to unexpected and forceful beer eruptions when opened. This can cause injury to yourself or others nearby.

  3. Waste of Beer: Shaking a can of beer often leads to excessive foaming and overflow, resulting in a loss of beer. This is not only wasteful but also reduces the amount of beer available for consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can shaking a can of beer make it explode? A: While shaking a can of beer can increase the pressure inside, causing excessive foaming and potential overflow, it is unlikely to cause a full-blown explosion. However, it is still not recommended due to safety concerns.

Q: Does shaking beer affect its alcohol content? A: Shaking beer does not directly affect its alcohol content. However, the loss of carbonation and potential loss of beer due to foaming can result in a lower volume of liquid, which may give the perception of a higher alcohol concentration.

Q: Are there any exceptions to not shaking beer? A: Some beer styles, such as certain Belgian ales or wheat beers, may benefit from a gentle swirl to mix any settled sediment before pouring. However, vigorous shaking is still not recommended.

Q: Can shaking beer cause it to spoil faster? A: Shaking beer can introduce oxygen into the can, which can accelerate the oxidation process and potentially lead to spoilage. It is best to handle beer gently and store it properly to maintain its freshness.

In conclusion, shaking a can of beer can have negative effects on its taste, carbonation, and overall drinking experience. It is generally not recommended due to the potential for excessive foaming, loss of carbonation, off flavors, safety concerns, and wastage of beer. It is best to handle beer gently and enjoy it as intended for optimal enjoyment.