First World Problems – Product Recall
Batch Code: 21123
Updated - 22.07.2022
We sent several cans for independent analysis to be carried out and the initial results we received back from the lab failed to show anything untoward in the beer. The gravity of the beer matched our in-house records and no yeasts other than our own house yeast were detected. This reaffirmed our belief that there was no issue with the beer brewed or our packaging process on the whole.
A can that appeared to be showing signs of something not being quite right (it had start to appear bulbous) was then returned to us by a customer and was immediately sent for a PCR test to be carried out, with the results of this test confirming that this can in particular contained the presence of a beer spoiling yeast (S. cer. Diastaticus), which can also be described as a hyper-attenuating yeast. Our house yeast attenuated the beer to a final gravity we'd expect it to and resulted in the ABV of the beer being within the accepted range. the Diastaticus had the fermented the residual sugars (unfermentable by our house yeast), however, resulting in a lower present gravity and an increase in CO2 in the affected cans.
It's highly likely that the presence of the wild yeast in the beer is the result of airborne contamination, which then caused a secondary fermentation within the affected cans and in turn caused the cans to explode.
To date we are aware of 15 cans that have displayed the results of being infected, which accounts for around 0.02% of the beer packaged. We remain extremely upset and frustrated that this problem occurred. It is the first time we have experienced anything like this in almost 30 years of brewing and nearly 8 years canning our beers and will be doing our utmost to ensure it won't happen again.
As part of this process, we have decided too remove First World Problems from our range of beers, which has included instructing our supplier to scrap all remaining printed cans being held at their warehouse.
It is with sincere regret that we are issuing a product recall of a batch of First World Problems, following reports of a small number of cans having burst over the past week. Due, we believe, to a build-up of excess pressure within the can that appears to have occurred almost nine months after the beer was canned.
The cans in question were packaged on September 28th 2021, with batch code (gyle) 21123 printed on the base of each can. 6732 cans were filled as part of the packaging run in question and were sold to a selection of trade and online customers between September 28th 2021 and January 17th this year. The bulk of the beer was distributed in HonestBrew’s 2021 Beer Advent Calendar.
Please keep reading to find what to do if you have a can from this batch in your cupboard.
We have acted as quickly as possible to share this information via this blog post, social media and directly with our customers and have yet to conclude what may have caused the excess pressure in the reported cans to occur. Our Head Brewer and Production Manager have reviewed all aspects of the data and analysis we have from the batch of First World Problems in question and haven’t been able to pick up on anything out of the ordinary that points to the possibility of secondary fermentation being a possible cause of the excess pressure in the reported cans.
We are keen to stress that there is no health risk to anyone who may have consumed the beer in question, it’s purely a matter of, from what we can tell, a few rogue cans experiencing an increase of internal pressure build up.
As stated on all our cans, every beer we can is lightly filtered in order to remove as much yeast, protein and dry-hop matter as possible, while also ensuring we’re not stripping away too much of the desired flavour profile of any given beer. Since becoming one of the first breweries of our size to install our own canning line at the back end of 2014, this is the first instance that we have received any such feedback on our beers and we’re devastated that, despite the standards we set ourselves at the outset of everything we do, such a problem has occurred.
We keep shelf life samples, stored at ambient temperature within our lab for batch every of beer we package into cans and have sent samples to an independent, external lab for microbiological testing. We anticipate receiving the results of the tests within the next 10-14 days and look forward to being able to determine if a fundamental problem exists within batch 21123 and, if so, what it is and what a probable cause might be. We have also sent samples from a batch packaged prior to the one on September 28th, as well and the most recent batch for good measure.
A fresh batch of the beer is due to be packaged in July and we will also ensure cans from this batch are tested independently in order to satisfy ourselves that the issue is very much an isolated one prior to releasing any further stock.
We’ll provide an update once we have the result of the external lab tests and would like to apologise to anyone that may have experienced any issues relating to the problems that’s affected these cans. We are extremely sorry and, while we wait for further information to better understand what has caused the problem we will learn from it and do our utmost to ensure it never happens again.
We are gutted that this has happened.
What to do if you have one of the cans…
We strongly advise that you seek to dispose of the beer as carefully as possible. If the can is showing any signs of looking bulbous or distorted in away way, we recommend the following:
- Fill a bucket or washing up bowl with cold water and have it on hand to then carefully submerge the can under the water.
- Keeping the can facing away from you, pull the tab on the top of the can to open it while it’s still submerged.
- Once any initial pressure has been released and you’re confident it’s appropriate to do so, continue to empty the can.
Once you have disposed of the beer, please take a photo of the information on the bottom of the can and email it to email@example.com. We’ll then reply with £5 of online credit that can be used against an order via www.roosters.co.uk for every affected can in your possession (multiple cans must be photographed together, with the batch details clearly shown on each one). This offer applies to affected cans purchased both directly from our website or Taproom, as well as any of our trade customers (including HonestBrew).
As previously mentioned, if you have already consumed the beer, there’s nothing to worry about. We hope you enjoyed it!
If you have any concerns, please email get in touch via our online contact form.