back to article Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing

Should you be faced with the horrors of a shaken can of beer and an urgent need to open it, science has solved the question of whether or not tapping the can helps reduce the fizz when it is opened. Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark carried out a randomised controlled trial of 1,000 cans of beer (PDF). The …

  1. Ragarath
    Pint

    So many flaws

    First, the cans are NOT tapped with a finger.

    Second, though as noted, not on the side.

    You use the pull ring to tap the top of the can three times (I'm a rebel/lazy and sometimes only do it twice) pulling it until there is enough tension for it to spring back with speed. This creates the resonance to dislodge the bubbles. Using your finger does not create this.

    Will test again tonight under duress.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: So many flaws

      Tapping the top, side or flicking the ring (!) pull matters little. The impact just has to be sharp enough to dislodge the formed bubbles from the can wall.

      1. Semtex451
        Pint

        Re: So many flaws

        It's obvious.

        Tapping the can at the top clears the bubbles from all of the inside of the can simultaneously. Tapping the can at one or more points in succession is inadequate as the bubbles reform.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So many flaws

        The shockwave from a tap of given wavelength only collapses bubbles of a given size. Since bubbles vary in size, several taps with varying wavelengths are required to collapse a significant proportion of bubbles from the foam back into drinkable liquid, both reducing the quantity of foam liable to be ejected, and reducing the pressure which causes said ejection. Three taps are insufficient, and the assumption in the study that one tap is as good as another is false.

        1. EveryTime

          Re: So many flaws

          I think that we all agree that the researchers need to go back and re-run their experiments.

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: So many flaws

            and call for volunteers to assist them

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: So many flaws

      And of course the zeroth: Real beer drinkers don't agitate their beer unnecessarily.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: So many flaws

        Well, it was Carlsberg...

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          In defence of Carlsberg, the stuff you get in the UK is a watered down version of the original. ABV is about 4.5% in DK, AFAIR less than 4 in the UK.

          The original is a somewhat unremarkable but perfectly drinkable pilsner type beer.

      2. j.bourne
        Pint

        Re: So many flaws

        Real Beer drinkers don't buy beer in cans? Only bottles (cask conditioned of course) or out of a barrel either by (gravity) tap or handpump - No Kegs or Cans here!

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          What is a keg if not a small barrel?

          But I agree - if it comes out of of a hand pump behind a bar, it's usually superior to it's brethren that come from a tap.

          1. RockBurner

            Re: So many flaws

            "What is a keg if not a small barrel?"

            In my experience - the smaller 'kegs' sold contained within a carboard box are generally plastic* bags akin to the bags in 'wine-box' offerings, albeit without the metallic coating.

            * not sure of exact polymer.

            1. ridley

              Re: So many flaws

              Barrels generaly have "live" beer in them, kegs are carbonated from gas cylinders and the beer is for all intents and purposes pasteurised.

            2. Baldrickk Silver badge

              Re: So many flaws

              :) I wouldn't call that a keg. I'd call that a box.

          2. Amentheist
            Trollface

            Re: So many flaws

            If it's a hand pump isn't it ale?

          3. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: So many flaws

            What is a can if not a tiny keg?

        2. phuzz Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: So many flaws

          Real Beer drinkers must have more money than me then :(

          I'll buy bottled beer, but I usually switch to cheap canned stuff after a few bottles, because by that point I won't notice the difference.

        3. John 104

          Re: So many flaws

          Can is OK to buy in, as long as you pour it into a glass. NEVER drink from a can. Unless it's Carlsburg. At least they didn't waste good beer....

        4. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          Only bottles (cask conditioned of course)

          Cask conditioned in bottles? Do you mean bottle conditioned, a pinch of yeast in the bottle so you can’t drink all of it?

          Like Shepherd Neame 1698.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Outski
            Pint

            Re: So many flaws

            Don't mention Shepherd Neame in a conversation about good beer. Not only is theirs mostly rubbish, they took out a protected designation of Kentish ale as requiring water from an artesian well, such as they have within their Faversham brewery. And which no other east Kent brewery has, meaning that a brewery in say, Ramsgate, or Cantebury, can't describe their beer as Kentish.

            https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271161/pfn-kentish-ale.pdf

            (Re-posted with a " 't" included)

      3. ridley

        Re: So many flaws

        Or drink out of cans.

    3. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: So many flaws

      I am afraid my (ahem) extensive testing over the years has confirmed what these researchers have demonstrated, although, with one caveat, it seems to get better, or at least less noticeable the more beer I drink.

      1. EVP Bronze badge

        Re: So many flaws

        ” I am afraid my (ahem) extensive testing over the years has confirmed what these”

        No no no, absolutely NO! Nothing is confirmed yet and more testing is definitely needed. Lots of testing, every weekend, and occasionally on weekdays too, has to be done before anything can be said.

        We need to test bottles and jugs too. Your never know, unless you test it, if beer (that sneaky bastard) decided to act like it was in a can, even when it’s not. All types of beer need to be tested too, and don’t forget make your sample size large enough to get statistically meaningful data.

        Don’t we agree on this, huh?

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          for SCIENCE!!

        2. hmv Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          And, I hasten to add, all of this testing has to be done with cider too. Just in case!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many flaws

      IIRC a "fizzy bottle" of pop does not fizz bubbles on the inside until you open it, shaking or not.

      However, what tapping/leaving to rest does, is remove some of the shoshed in bubbles that would work as catalyst areas for new formations.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Schroedinger's Beer

        > IIRC a "fizzy bottle" of pop does not fizz bubbles on the inside until you open it, shaking or not.

        Beer is quantum in nature. It's not actually there or not there at all until you open it. Or rather it is both. Until you open it and collapse the probability wave (with or without tapping).

        Proof of beer's probabilistic nature:

        If you open a beer, you may find that you have some, yet if you check it and check it and check it again, sooner or later you will discover that the bottle-or-can is empty!

        In the olden days this was regarded as witchcraft. But we are modern and know better now. It's quantum!

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Schroedinger's Beer

          "But we are modern and know better now. It's quantum!"

          Great, another bloody quantum!

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: So many flaws

        > IIRC a "fizzy bottle" of pop does not fizz bubbles on the inside until you open it, shaking or not.

        Do not be afraid, my son.

      3. Beau
        Stop

        Re: So many flaws

        Their first mistake was in calling Carlsberg. a beer! Sorry but I live in Belgium.

    5. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: So many flaws

      Main flaw I noticed is the experiment introduced too many variables. Cans should have been shaken by a carefully* designed mechanism, then precisely* tapped by a mechanical finger to produce consistent* results.

      Which of course would require inviting the engineering department to participate. Which has the added advantage of ensuring the liquids used in the experiment are safely disposed of.

      *Ish. Fair play to Carlsberg for their participation. Also note that the optimal way to deliver 1,000 cans of beer is in 42 slabs of 24. Thus proving that beer is the answer to life, the universe and science..

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. EVP Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: So many flaws

        “Cans should have been shaken by a carefully* designed mechanism, then precisely* tapped by a mechanical finger to produce consistent* results.“

        That was my thought too. Not very scientific.

        “ Which of course would require inviting the engineering department to participate.”

        Then again, maybe they were thoughtful enough to shake the cans _really_ carefully in order to avoid excess spillage and make the engineers even happier?

        “Also note that the optimal way to deliver 1,000 cans of beer is in 42 slabs of 24. Thus proving that beer is the answer to life, the universe and science..”

        Wow, that’s deep! I always knew that breweries hold keys to the secret information on life, universe and stuff, but couldn’t ever quite grasp why. That is indeed the reason why beer cans come in slabs of 24, thanks!

        If you look carefully, you note that 24 becomes 42 if you reverse the most and least meaningful digits. That information has to contain some secret knowledge too. Being a pastafari is so yesterday. I’m gonna convert into a beerafari.

        Cheers everybody, it’s Friday again!

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: So many flaws

          If you look carefully, you note that 24 becomes 42 if you reverse the most and least meaningful digits. That information has to contain some secret knowledge too.

          It's a big-endian vs little-endian thing. This confuses arts students* when confronted with bottled beers. Engineers & cans are little challenge, because engineers are, after all, tool users.

          *possibly why so many end up in politics. Then again one of those feckers sold a banana for over $100k. I duct taped a can of WD40, titled it 'Life Imitates Art' and just got thrown out of the gallery.

      3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: So many flaws

        @Jellied Eel - "1,000 cans of beer is in 42 slabs of 24"

        <whisper>If you split the 8 with me, I won't tell the others.</whisper>

      4. keith_w Bronze badge

        Re: So many flaws

        I noticed that they failed to sufficiently randomize the test by using only Carlsberg. Had they used other beers or ales perhaps a different result may have occurred

  2. My-Handle

    I raise you...

    I raise your research from a questionable source like an actual doctor doing real research with a video from some guy on youtube.

    https://youtu.be/K-Fc08X56R0 (Derek Muller of Veritasium)

    His video was specific to fizzy drinks though, not beer. I leave it to my fellow commentards to discuss how relevant this might be :)

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I raise you...

      I think we can safely consider carbonated coloured sugar syrup to be more viscous than the nectar of the gods, and hence not relevant to the problem at hand. More research is required!

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: I raise you...

        But not on fizzy sweet drinks!

  3. Wilco

    Shaken

    "Cans selected for abuse were shaken for two minutes"

    There's your problem. Nothing on earth is going to help if you shake a can for 2 minutes. Tapping may help if you've dropped it, or it's been briefly agitated.

    I would have said that this experiment was a waste of good beer, except that they used lager, (and Carlsberg at that), so this experiment actually slightly increased the global average beer goodness.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Shaken

      Yes, but good beer out of a can is an oxymoron, isn't it?

      1. drand
        Pint

        Re: Shaken

        No. A can is as close as you can get to a mini cask and is better than anything else for keeping one serving of beer in optimum condition. Just because crap lager comes in cans doesn't mean everything in a can is rubbish. There are many fine ales and craft beers available in cans at your local proper drinking establishment that provide quality and choice when a whole cask isn't economically or logistically viable.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Shaken

          I still prefer bottled...

          but that might be bias due to the fact that around here, all those fine ales and craft beers tend to be inside glass, or that being more solid, a bottle feels less cheap, or the fun of popping off a cap.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Shaken

          Depends on the beer. Glass is definitely less reactive, essentially inert, but I agree that it hardly matters really. Apparently, some of us are more sensitive to the slightly metallic taste especially when drinking straight out of the tin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Joke

            Re: Shaken

            Yeah, I can taste the tin. So at least with a bottle, the glass tastes better.

            Though I that really says something about the beers, if I CANNOT EVEN TASTE THE BEER!

          2. EVP Bronze badge

            Re: Shaken

            This is an interesting topic. I argued with my whisky-loving friends that if glass bottle can alter taste of whisky. After a lengthy search on the topic, I finally found a study which confirmed that whisky reacts with glass in a way which can be measured and can potentially alter the taste. It takes 20-30 years to have any significant effect, though, so letting Famous Grouse to rest one more year won’t make any significant change in its taste :)

            What is even more interesting is that if you immerse a gold ring in distilled water (controlled one) for 20 minutes, a measurable amount of gold dissolves into the water. The researchers’ goal was to demonstrate that significant, albeit small amounts, of precious metals dissolve into sewage water and it makes economically sense to extract those traces of metal from sewage. After reading about the study, I won’t ever again dismiss anyone claiming that she/he tastes metal in a food or beverage.

        3. tuppence

          Re: Shaken

          nope, Newcastle Brown tastes totally different when slumming it with a can instead of a bottle......the bottled variety being far superior....

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Shaken

            From my "Beer Tasting Notes":

            #138, June 17, 1994: Here in the States, The Broon tastes like vomit before you drink it, not after.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Shaken

      "There's your problem. Nothing on earth is going to help if you shake a can for 2 minutes."

      True. But it makes an excellent prank. I hope they used a paint shaker as well!

  4. HumptyDumpty

    This theory always puzzles me

    When you look at a full bottle of sparkling water, bubbles don't form on the inside if you shake it. Therefore, there's nothing to tap.

    Would beer be different for some reason?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: This theory always puzzles me

      The bubbles don't appear because they are microscopic while under pressure and most of the gas is held dissolved in the liquid, on opening these bubbles expand rapidly as the pressure drops.

      Divers suffer from the bends for the same reason when nitrogen bubbles form in the blood when they decompress too fast.

      1. Adrian Harvey

        Re: This theory always puzzles me

        Divers get the bends because the solubility of a gas increases with pressure (actually partial pressure - that is the pressure of that gas alone). More gas dissolves in the blood stream under he higher pressure at depth, and then tries to suddenly form bubbles as the pressure is released when the diver surfaces,

        Very similar to soft drinks, but if is the gas is dissolved there aren’t bubbles, microscopic or otherwise. It is only when the ceases to be dissolved that bubbles form.

        Incedentally was the beer warm or cool for the test? The liquid temperature has a significant effect on CO2 solubility that’s why there”s no carbonated tea. (Well, not hot tea)

        1. DwarfPants
          Alert

          Re: This theory always puzzles me

          I am inclined to down vote but have't due to it only being an illustration of gas solubility in water, but Carbonated Tea! all my ancestors are simultaneously turning in their graves.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: This theory always puzzles me

            Tea in a soda stream, hmmm, this has to be tired. And black coffee too.

        2. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: This theory always puzzles me

          You still need nucleation sites. For gas to spontaneously form bubbles within the bulk liquid is actually very difficult due to energy constraints, this is why when you open a bottle of sparkling water you typically get a pop, but it doesn't usually (if it's been standing for a while) transform immediately to foam. Typically bubbles actually grow from microscopic nucleation sites, which might be microscopic bubbles in the bulk, surface irregularities of the container, turbulence and suspended particles.

      2. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: This theory always puzzles me

        So could we help stop divers from getting bent by tapping them on the head as they ascend from the depths?

        Mine is the one with a regulator in the pocket.

        1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: This theory always puzzles me

          Studies someplace or other have shown that bubbles will rise through blood, even against normal circulatory flow, so to avoid gas bubbles ending up in the head - which is bad - the simplest solution (or whatever the term is for things coming out of solution) is to ascend from your dive feet first, and stay that way through the decompression period.

          Challenging, but wont somebody think of the children, or whatever..

          icon - actually a thumbs up, inverted

      3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Bends

        > Divers suffer from the bends for the same reason when nitrogen bubbles form in the blood when they decompress too fast.

        Good point! You have hit upon a cure for this syndrome!

        Scuba divers need no longer hang around for long tedious hours at various unter-altitudes reading soggy newspapers or poking uselessly at short-circuited phones.

        Now, via the innovative WellyGoss™ Technique, they merely burst out the surface at full speed, are rapped smartly over the head with a hammer 3 times, let out one almighty belch, and climb safely onto the boat. Huzzah!

        .

        EDIT: ah poo -- just belatedly saw Roger beat me to it. Perhaps the WellyKynastoGoss Technique? Or better, WellyKyn -- makes for a great advertising slogan: "make the welkin ring with the wellykyn ding!"

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: This theory always puzzles me

      Agreed. The way I deal with shaken soft-drink bottles / beer cans is to open them the tiniest of cracks that allows only gas to escape. Heavily shaken bottles / cans will still force some liquid through the tiniest gap, but volume loss is minimal (you got to mind the range of spurts though!!)

      1. Gomez Adams

        Re: This theory always puzzles me

        Having opened the can the tiniest amount the be prepared to wrap your lips round it while you open it a little more and use your mouth as a natural expansion chamber. :)

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: This theory always puzzles me

      I think that physics has shown that bubbles have to form on the imperfections of a surface, such as the side or base of the vessel, but also sediment otherwise you have a supersaturated solution. The formation of bubbles gives them lots of energy to move around in the liquid as they expand.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Fizzy can

    My personal feeling is real beers come out of barrels and for convenience, bottles but most of the beverages that come out of a can are not beer.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Minus a negitive?

    -0.159 grams of beer lost isn't that a positive?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Minus a negitive?

      Any loss of lager is a net positive for beer drinkers.

    2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: Minus a negitive?

      That meant that the loss of beer was smaller (by 0.159 grams, or 37.86 microJubs) when the can was tapped vs. untapped. So you can indeed see this as a positive.

  7. ATeal

    This is crap

    but not even ignoble style crap because it was so crap at what it did. It'd be ignoble-type-crap if it did a decent job.

    What a waste. Also 2 minutes shaking?

    Rather than theorising on the sides of the inside of the can thing could they not look at something in a clear container? If only glass bottles were a thing although plastic is also a smooth surface

    With a tiny amount of time musing on it:

    1) If you shake something for 2 minutes and then open it can anything stop that? We're talking drops or mild agitation usually - this is absurd.

    2) Isn't blinding it overkill? We /know/ if shaken they do this, I'd get one or two controls, but ~ 250 of them? It seems absurd to randomly treat them like that but not consider the opening technique either.

    Also you could probably do better making a simple model of pressure against "can tugidness" (Finally a use for that word!) - if you squeeze a container, it depresses slightly, this you could measure and use for internal pressure on cans and plastic (but doubtful with glass unless VERY sensitive) - I'm thinking like "get a flat metal bar, glue a small mirror onto it, clamp a laser pointer with the button on, work angle backwards from that (the laser goes near enough dead straight, and the mirror means you can "amplify" the deflection due to depression of the can)

    I'm thinking a simple vice, a metal beam fixed at one end with a weight on another, a can mounted in a U shaped bracket and this thing allowed to lean on it.

    If they cared enough to do it, why not do it right?

    PS: Carlsberg?!?!1?¬`?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: This is crap

      1,000 cans - This was obviously a bet to see if the Uni would stump up 'research' cash for the end of semester party.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: This is crap

        I suspect that your post is the true reason for this "test".

        Icon: It's Friday. Any excuse to have a beer is valid.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: This is crap

      "can turgidness" (Finally a use correction for that word!)

      There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

  8. jake Silver badge

    Who in their right minds ...

    ... would buy 1,000 cans of beer? Or bottles, for that matter. Shirley it's far more cost effective to get kegs.

    And then I realized the answer: People who think Carlsberg is beer.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Who in their right minds ...

      TBF they're Danes - a little short of real beer options.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Who in their right minds ...

        If you mean pub-style, ales, you may have a point, otherwise not really.

        in 2016 there were 187 breweries with more than 1400 types of beer. The last 30 years there has been an explosion of micro-breweries, most of which of course produce very little.

        I think there these days are more variety of quality beers in Denmark than in Germany

    2. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      Re: Who in their right minds ...

      RTFA

      You can't test a can of beer unless you buy a can of beer. Buying a keg doesn't really help....

  9. gcla72
    Facepalm

    Schrodinger's Beer

    "to avoid liquid loss is to wait for bubbles to settle before opening the can"

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      Re: Science ? Really ?

      Nope, it's not asking questions that held us back. It may not be the most important question in the world, but it's still a question and it's still an advancement of knowledge.

      And if you want to get snotty about it, it's actually a good test of flow dynamics in a sealed vacuum.

  11. johnfbw
    Trollface

    Read article, picked up can, tapped 3 times on top, opened, drank

    If scientists prove the world is flat, I don't want to be part of their studies!

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    How rapidly were the cans opened ?

    This seems to me to be the most important factor, one that they did not investigate.

    Pull the ring quickly, rapid loss of internal pressure and the beer will fizz out.

    Pull slowly opening it a crack, wait for the internal pressure to reduce and then complete the opening and little beer will be wasted.

    I thought that most kids learned this with bottles of pop.

    1. VonDutch

      Re: How rapidly were the cans opened ?

      Open it a crack then lock face around it sucking hurriedly with that pained look on your face in fear of losing a precious drop of party juice.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: How rapidly were the cans opened ?

        Stab the side with a biro and open the throat.

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Re: How rapidly were the cans opened ?

          or do as a friend of mine, bite a hole in it. He got a surprised look in his face...

  13. Paul Martin

    Ah but can they prove the beer is flat?

  14. Mystereed

    The real rule is...

    ...to give the one you dropped to your mate and get yourself another one?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The real rule is...

      Even if it's the LAST one?

  15. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge
    Pint

    Top class Danish boffinry

    Given last nights result I think we should emigrate to Denmark. I trust that there are other beers than Carlsberg there?

    Obvious icon and we have the office party today as well.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Top class Danish boffinry

      There was free beer in Edinburgh last night. All you had to do was show a selfie outside a polling station.

      Given the result there should be free whisky at Scottish polling stations, and nought outside English polling stations.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Top class Danish boffinry

      Tuborg. It has some good varieties too.

  16. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Boffin

    Absolute bollocks! The proper way:

    Everyone know you tap the bottom of the can, but with a finger nail. If your fingernails are too short, use a coin/keys etc.

    4 or 5 taps should do. Works on pop. (soda)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Absolute bollocks! The proper way:

      And why is that any different from say lightly tapping the can itself against the bar/table?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Absolute bollocks! The proper way:

        It isn't, as long as it's the bottom of the can! :-)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

    An old-style commuter train loaded with passengers was sitting at the platform. Hot day, no aircon, so the sliding windows at the top were open.

    Outside, a group of kids was kicking about an extra large can of beer (Fosters, I think, but it was many, many years ago).

    Just as the train starts to move off, one of the kids picks up the can, cracks it open and puts it through a window.

    The effect inside was as if a grenade had been thrown in.

    To be fair, I did feel sorry for those inside, even though they were yuppies.

    1. Amentheist

      Re: Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

      Re: throwing an open container; Aren't bars obliged to open canisters for you precisely because an open can makes a poor projectile (I imagine it's not as 'solid' since the liquid can now slosh about and spew out cancelling out the kinetic(?) energy you applied to it while hurtling towards your opponent)

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

        No, that's just because of licensing laws. In general on-licence and off-licence are exclusive - either you can sell alcohol for consumption on premises or off premises, but not both. Exceptions could be made so some pubs might be allowed to sell sealed drinks, but for the most part somewhere with an on-licence would always open the drinks to make sure they had to be drunk on site and not taken away for later. They were never actually required to do so, it just made it a lot easier to show compliance. Licensing laws changed around a decade ago, so there's a lot more variation and individualised license, but places with only an on-licence will still often do this.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

          Opening the container usually makes it illegal to be taken outside because outside of most establishments is the street: public property, meaning a Drunk In Public charge looms, which also hits the establishment for mismanagement of its patrons.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

          "Licensing laws changed around a decade ago, so there's a lot more variation and individualised license, but places with only an on-licence will still often do this."

          I may be wrong, but I think the deciding factor on whether or not a site can hold both types of license is whether or not the establishment brewed or distilled its own products on-site; craft products usually see limited exposure in mainstream stores so they needed to be able to sell take-home craft directly to the consumer.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Best "can abuse" I ever saw...

        Bars are also obliged to open the bottle/can if they do not have an "off license" (license to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises as opposed to an on license).

        [edit: looks like I was beaten to this info and didn't notice!]

  18. killakrust

    It must be just me

    I always thought the tapping thing was just a joke. I do the same thing with shaken up cans of fizzy, but squeeze the bujezzus out of the can at the same time. The squeezing (not while opening of course) seems to stop the foaming.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It must be just me

      The squeezing works but it's probably the release of the squeeze that allows the carbonation to be re-dissolved. More testing is required.

  19. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Scientific error

    If, after each test, the scientists disposed of the contents of each open can in the least wasteful manner, I suspect that the test results became progressively more inaccurate as the testing progressed.

    When a student, I played a variation on the game of chess. Each chess piece was substituted by a miniature bottle of spirits. When you took an opponent's piece, you had to drink it. This had the effect of equalising the players' ability as the game progressed. By the end of the game neither of the players knew who had won and who had lost. Nor did they care.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Scientific error

      I was thinking along the same lines. If they did all of their measuring in clean, dry graduated cylinders, then there should have been, in effect, a 1000-beer party while they were taking their measurements.

      1. Charlie van Becelaere
        Boffin

        Re: Scientific error

        Ah, but the clever boffins actually weighed the cans to determine the loss of "beer" rather than measuring the volume. [One assumes they assiduously wiped/dried the outside of each can before weighing, as some (most?) of the lost liquid might well have clung to the can.]

        One also wonders how damp the lab coats of said boffins were by the end of this procedure.

  20. Paul Johnston
    Pint

    Sounds like a new chapter for

    https://www.abebooks.co.uk/9780471624820/Clouds-Glass-Beer-Simple-Experiments-0471624829/plp

  21. spold Silver badge

    Missing the market... so a waste of beer

    Just sell it to your local owners of barometric chambers, if you are sitting around in one of those you could probably use a beer.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll be very upset if any beer was harmed during these tests.

  23. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    For a proper treatment of how to deal with shaken cans of fizz, read Penn and Teller's excellent "How To Play With Your Food".

    You are looking for the trick "The God of Carbonation".

    No so-called "scientists" need apply, as a full explanation of How The Trick Is Done is given.

  24. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Didn't somebody once describe Carlsberg as a Research Institute with an attached brewery?

  25. Steve K Silver badge
    Pint

    The researchers "reserved a few of the opened cans from the exercise for our own consumption at the end of data collection"

    What they meant to say was :" We considered it vital to determine whether the quality of the contents were adversely affected by the experiment. We ensured a large enough sample size for this exercise following data collection . Bøøørp!"

  26. Dr_N Silver badge

    Tapping a can...

    ... is to determine whether it's been shaken.

    Where did the idea come from that it could stop it frothing ?!?

  27. SuperGeek

    "Researchers"?

    Some people have too much spare time.....

    1. Herby

      Re: "Researchers"?

      I wish I could "waste" my time doing excellent research like this. Sounds like something Mythbusters would do in a heartbeat.

      Where do I sign up!

      So many variables, so little beer!

  28. Bloodbeastterror

    The Beer Hunter

    Six people, six cans of beer. One person goes out of room, frantically shakes one can. Each person chooses a can. Holds it to ear. Pulls the ring-pull. Hilarity ensues.

  29. Muscleguy Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Previously

    As a Muscle Biologist I was aware of a group in Hawai’i who worked on the jaw closing muscle of the lobster. Just the jaw closing muscle you understand*. Leaving the meat, I mean muscle in the claws and tail available as comestibles. Nice work if you can get it.

    Closest we came during my PhD was when the Chinese postgrad looking at deer velvet brought some in, sliced, for the lab postdoc when he learned he had been married for 5 years without any children. Apparently one stir fries it and it’s regarded as an aphrodisiac and general sexual tonic. Since as a mere PhD student and married with two offspring I didn’t rate any of it.

    If anyone were wondering BTW there’s enough meat on a rat to make it worth eating but not on a mouse. I have never indulged, but you never know when the needs must.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Previously

      If anyone were wondering BTW there’s enough meat on a rat to make it worth eating but not on a mouse.

      My cat disagrees.

      So do many owls.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Previously

        our cat is not fussy enough just to eat the meat of the mouse - the whole critter goes down. Rats just have the head chewed off.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably the best science in the world ?

  31. david1024

    Not the bubbles

    The idea behind the tappings is to remove as much liquid as possible from around the soon-to-be opening so it doesn't spray. The bubbles take longer to reach the opening and would gush liquid rather than spray. I wish they'd have done more thought exercise before doing this.... Or was the intent to do as many studies as possible?!? Which is not a bad idea...

  32. Oh Homer
    Windows

    "boffins procured 1,000 330ml cans of Carlsberg"

    And never invited me?

    Bastards!

  33. kernelpickle

    I've known about this for awhile...

    I follow an interesting YouTube channel that's an offshoot of an equally interesting website called Today I Found Out, and they did some research into this awhile back that came to the same sad conclusion.

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2017/11/tapping-soda-can-actually-anything/

  34. MOH

    Tapping a can seems like a lot off effort. Surely it's much more efficient to tap a keg?

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