How to Maintain a Beer Canning Machine

How to Maintain a Beer Canning Machine

Like a car, a beer canning machine requires a bit of routine maintenance to continue operating at its best. While a quality beer can seamer can last for decades under the right conditions, having a regular maintenance plan is important—whether you’re using your machine for your own home use, or it’s a permanent staple of the bar top in your taproom.

Discover the ins and outs of maintaining your beer canning machine, and what you can expect when you use it regularly.

How Long Will a Tabletop Beer Canning Machine Last?

With the proper maintenance, a tabletop beer canning machine can handle years of use without needing to be replaced. Some of our craft brewery customers seal tens of thousands of cans every month with their Oktober can seamer machine. However, if there is ever an issue with your machine, we offer replacement parts and technical support to keep the machines running as long as you need them to. 

How Much Maintenance Does a Canning Machine Need?

The amount of maintenance your beer canning machine needs depends on which model you have and how much you’re using it. For home brewers who are only seaming a few dozen cans at a time with the SL1 Homebrewer, you may only need to perform maintenance specific to the model every few months for the machine to stay in good working condition.

However, for breweries that seam hundreds of thousands of beer cans every year with a Model 8, you may need to perform model-specific maintenance every few days, or once a week, to keep the machine in working order.

To make sure your beer canning machine lasts as long as it can, you need to maintain it like a literal well-oiled machine. This means regularly adding food-grade grease to the bearings, washers, rollers, and lifter shaft to keep them in working order.

While this may seem tedious at first glance, the cleaning and maintenance process only takes a few minutes each time with minimal training to do correctly. This five-minute process allows you to keep the machine running properly for years to come, and helps ensure that you won’t have to order replacement parts due to corrosion or rust.

How to Clean and Maintain a Beer Canning Machine from Oktober

Keeping your beer can seamer clean and maintained takes just a few steps, none of which take more than a few minutes to finish, while ensuring that your machine lasts for years to come. 

For more information, we have a how-to video that walks through every step.

During the maintenance process, you’ll need to have the following items on hand:

  • Food-safe grease
  • A wrench or needle-nose pliers
  • A wet rag and a dry rag
  • Warm water

1. Disassembling the Lower Assembly

First, you’ll need to to remove the top pin in the lower lifter assembly near the base of the handle, then pull out the pin from the linkage. 

2. Cleaning the Shaft and Chuck Assembly

With the e-clip removed, pull the shaft and chuck assembly out of the machine. Depending on how much you use your machine, there may be quite a bit of sticky residue left over on the shaft. Wash away the residue with warm water and a rag.

3. Cleaning the Lower Housing

Using your rag soaked in warm water, clean the lower housing on the back of the machine, including in the board hole that the shaft slides through. Failure to remove any sticky residue from these parts can cause the lifting mechanism to jam. Fortunately, it cleans up easily with warm water.

While you’re cleaning this part of the machine, be sure to clean the linkages and the handle as well. For these metal parts in particular, we advise using your dry rag to dry them off and prevent corrosion.

4. Lubricating the Beer Canning Machine

Apply a thin layer of your food-safe grease on all your metal components, to prevent them from sticking and protect them from corrosion.

At this stage, you should also apply grease to the lifter shaft before you reassemble it back onto the seamer. Then, replace the pin back into the linkages and clip on the e-clip to put the back assembly into place.

5. Cleaning the Rollers

Using your warm water and wet rag, clean any sticky beer residue from the rollers on the front of the machine. You’ll also want to wipe down their housings, and the sheet metal surfaces around them.

Once the rollers are clean, dry them off with your cloth. Apply a thin layer of food-safe grease to all the steel surfaces, including the rollers and their housing. This will protect your machine from corrosion.

6. Cleaning the Lower Chuck

Inside the lower chuck on your tabletop beer canning machine, there is a wave spring and a set of washers. These need to be pulled out, washed, and greased regularly to stay in working condition.

Once the wave spring assembly is cleaned, add a few drops of grease to the lower chuck bearing.

7. Cleaning the Upper Roller Assembly

While the roller assemblies don’t need to be cleaned as frequently as other parts that are more likely to be splashed with beer, they can be dropped out for occasional cleaning and lubrication.

To do this, remove the upper adjusting nut inside the top of the machine, then pull the assembly down and out of the housing. Then, you can add a few drops of grease above and below the roller. Otherwise, you can use our roller removal tool set to clean and grease the rollers and the center of the can seamer machine more easily. 

Once the rollers are greased, apply a layer of grease to the main pivot shaft before sliding the brown washers back onto it and placing it back in the machine.

Beer Canning Machines for Sale from Oktober

Oktober Can Seamers offers multiple types of beer canning machines for home brewers and craft breweries alike. All of our beer can seamers are designed to seal dozens of cans in a matter of seconds, making it easier to bring your brews to home brewing competitions or distribute your craft beer to local grocery stores.

The Model 8

Oktober Model 8 Can Seamer

Our newest and most advanced model, the Oktober Model 8 Can Seamer is an unmatched beer canning machine with automatic capabilities. With it, you or your employees can seal a single can of craft beer in roughly three seconds without involving any manual labor besides taking the sealed can off of the machine.

The Model 8 is available in six different variations, making it easier for your team to restock your cooler’s supply of slim cans, Crowlers™, and everything in between without missing a beat.

The SL1 Homebrewer

SL1 Homebrewer seamer

Designed from the start for home brewing, the SL1 Homebrewer is an electric beer canning machine that comes with standard 12-ounce and 16-ounce can seaming adapters. It’s ideal for anyone dabbling in canning their own beer.

This home beer canning machine is designed for less frequent use, and it requires a bit more maintenance than our Model 8. However, for the hobbyist, it’s a reliable way to share your homemade beer with friends and family or improve the presentation of your beer at home brewing competitions.

The BenchMK

The BenchMK Can Seamer

Designed to seal 12-ounce and 16-ounce aluminum cans, among others, the BenchMK is a tabletop beer canning machine that can seal your craft beer in a matter of seconds. 

Available with multiple size and profile options—and in any color as long as that color is black—the BenchMK requires a handheld power drill or driver to use properly. However, once you’ve connected the drill to the machine, you’ll be able to seal your newest batch of craft beer with your friends and family in no time at all.

Order a Beer Canning Machine Today

Whether you’re a home brewer looking for a more effective way to share your craft beer with the world, or a brewery that wants to add an extra layer of service to your taproom, Oktober Can Seamers has a beer canning machine to fit your needs. Order the perfect beer can seamer for your needs today.

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