DIY Can Seamer

Taking homebrew on the go

home built 3-D printed can seamer in action with a drill
Photos by Victor Andueza

As a homebrewer, you know that the ultimate goal is to enjoy the delicious and refreshing taste of your own handcrafted beer. However, with the traditional bottling process, you might find yourself struggling with inconsistent carbonation levels, or even worse, exploding bottles. There are better ways to package. 

First off, to deal with the inconsistent carbonation, kegging your beer is the first step towards the goal of improved packaging. The advantages to kegs beyond carbonation are plentiful, but portability is a clear disadvantage. Bottling the now carbonated beer does fine, but canning, to me, is the winner.

Canning your beer provides a host of benefits, from longer shelf life (if canned properly) to increased portability. Cans are impervious to light and oxygen, which can degrade the flavor of your beer over time. Additionally, cans are much easier to transport than bottles, and they’re also more durable, meaning you can take your homebrew with you to the river or pool without worrying about breakage.

Unfortunately, commercial can seamers can be expensive for most beginner homebrewers. In addition, in many countries there are not many suppliers that offer this type of product. This is where a DIY can seamer comes in handy. By building your own can seamer using a 3-D printer, you can save a significant amount of money while still achieving professional-level results.

Of course, building your own can seamer requires some technical know-how, but with the right resources and a bit of patience it’s a feasible project for most homebrewers. By sourcing the necessary components and using open-source design plans, you can customize your can seamer to your specific needs and preferences.

Ensuring good stability for a can seamer, especially with a 3-D printed design, presents a significant challenge. To solve this problem, my solution was to mount the seamer on a wall to address the variability of vibrations and movements. In addition, the design of the can seamer faced another challenge in finding an efficient way to seam the lid. This was addressed by purchasing two commercial seam rollers, which provided the necessary precision and efficiency to achieve high-quality seams without compromising the integrity of the can. The first roller makes the seal and the second rounds the edge and thus makes it safe and pleasant to the touch.

To keep costs down and make the can seamer affordable, I opted to use a drill for rotation power instead of the laborious installation of a motor with its electronics. Despite potentially providing less precision and consistency, this solution has worked well.

All in all, a DIY can seamer is a great addition to any homebrew setup, allowing you to easily and efficiently package your beer in a portable and durable container. With the added benefit of potentially improving flavor retention, canning your beer is a no-brainer for any serious homebrewer. So why not take the plunge and build your own can seamer today?

Tools & Materials