Beginners Guide to Counter Pressure Canning

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Beginners Guide to Counter Pressure Canning

What is it?

Counter pressure or Isobaric filling is a technology, it gives the operator complete control over the atmosphere inside the can during the fill process.

The method involves a series of valve operations and pressurization to speed up filling while preventing oxygen absorption and product loss.

The alternative to backpressure filling is gravity filling. Although gravity filling has several disadvantages compared to back pressure, it is commonly used in small craft beverage production due to its availability.

Gravity fillers are supplied directly from Brite canisters, and by using gravity fillers, the operator has no control over filling volume and product loss as the liquid is exposed to the atmosphere throughout the filling process. The foam becomes difficult to control, causing unnecessary spillage and absorbing oxygen as the liquid is piped into the tank.

How it works

Liquid is pumped from the tank into a pressurized tank. Cans move under fill heads.Fill the can with the head and seal the outside air.

Remove the surrounding air by rinsing the tank with carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide is three times heavier than oxygen, causing it to sink to the bottom of the tank, forcing oxygen up the vent.

The CO2 valve opens to apply pressure to the tank to equal the tank pressure. The pressure of the gas above the liquid is important because the solubility of the gas in the liquid is proportional to the pressure of the gas above the liquid. Carbonation levels can be maintained by maintaining the same pressure throughout the filling process.

The filling valve opens and the liquid flows into the tank. As the liquid level rises, the exhaust valve opens at the same time to maintain a constant pressure.

When the can is full, the snift valve slowly releases pressure until the pressure inside the can is equal with atmospheric pressure. The slow release of pressure helps control foaming as CO2 breaks out of solution (similar to opening a bottle of soda).

The can moves under the filling head and continues to the sealing machine.

several advantages

First of all, the tank can be filled faster and reach a state of almost no foam. By balancing the pressure between the tank to can

Second, carbonation levels are maintained from the brite tank to filled cans. By keeping liquid under pressure throughout the fill process, CO2 is kept in solution for a beverage that tastes the way you intended.

Third, counter pressure fillers are ideal for filling widget cans(for nitrogen-infused beverages) because there is no fill tube that interferes with the widget.

Fourth, oxygen absorption is prevented by sealing cans from the atmosphere and purging cans with a product stable gas before filling.

Finally, the snift feature allows pressure to release slowly for control over foam cap formation and reduced product loss as compared with gravity fillers.

If you need help, please contact our sales at for more information about our filling line.


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