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Old 12-29-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
czeknere
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Default First bottle bomb...

...and I didn't even know it happened!

Was going through my inventory today and got to a box all the way at the bottom of a stack. Came across a bottle of White chocolate pale ale I bottled in September. The cap looked like it had been bent funny, so I picked up the bottled only to find:



An empty bottle of beer with no bottom left...

All I have to say is wow. I've never thought too much about the pressure that builds up in the bottle. Thank God I wasn't anywhere near this thing when it happened...

...I'm just trying to figure out how I never noticed the smell of pale ale leaking in my closet...

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Old 12-29-2008, 04:52 PM   #2
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It may not have been anything you did. Sometimes bottles have weak spots around the bottom that gives out. That glass from the bottom looks really thin.

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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I would assume it was a combination of a weak bottle and the beer. This was the only bottle from this batch that exploded, but the beer was over carbonated (I tried something in the recipe I probably shouldn't have).

I guess I'll just have to drink the rest of this batch before it happens again.

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:21 PM   #4
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My guess would be that it's not really a "bottle bomb", but just a weak bottle. If it were truly a bottle bomb, then a lot of them from the same batch would have exploded, and it probably would have been violent enough that you would have heard it.

Just in case though, go pick yourself up a large plastic tote that has a lid that you can lock. Then use a small hole saw and drill a few holes in the side, near the top. Then when you bottle a batch, you can put it in there and if you do get bottle bombs, you won't have near the mess. Also, the holes on the side act as a vent to allow co2 to escape, instead of blowing the top off the tote. My wife made me go to this method after she heard a friend talking about bottle bombs.

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decojuicer View Post
Just in case though, go pick yourself up a large plastic tote that has a lid that you can lock. Then use a small hole saw and drill a few holes in the side, near the top. Then when you bottle a batch, you can put it in there and if you do get bottle bombs, you won't have near the mess. Also, the holes on the side act as a vent to allow co2 to escape, instead of blowing the top off the tote. My wife made me go to this method after she heard a friend talking about bottle bombs.
That's a fantastic idea!
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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do you guys often times cover it up or set the cases on a tarp or something to prevent the explosion from getting bits everywhere?

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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The bottling container that I described above works great without a tarp or cover. Also, you can put your empty bottles in it when you are not using it to contain any possible bottle bombs.

Usually when you get true bottle bombs, they all start exploding at about the same time. This is because they all had the same(roughly) amount of sugar added to them at the same time and they are being conditioned in the same place.

Your only real hope of saving any of them is to get them somewhere VERY cold, VERY fast. If you have a chest freezer, that would probably work well. But then you have to watch them so that they don't freeze. Once they are cold enough to kill the yeast, pull them out and stick them all in the fridge and drink as quickly as possible.

I have been fortunate enough to never get any bottle bombs. And since I pretty much keg exclusively now, I don't worry about it any more. However, I do have plans for a batch coming up in the near future that will be bottled in 6 oz bottles. It's a very high alcohol brew that will spend at least 6 months bottle conditioning, probably more. I'll watch those bottles very carefully, because I can almost guarantee that there will be unfermented sugars in the beer. I'll be pretty cheesed off if I spend $75 brewing 4 gallons of beer, only to have the bottles exploding like crazy before I get to drink even one of them.

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Old 12-30-2008, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decojuicer View Post
Just in case though, go pick yourself up a large plastic tote that has a lid that you can lock.
I have a rubbermaid container I use for a bomb shelter.



Nothing has popped in it (and the stuff in there now is just for generic storage rather than bomb containment storage) but I put my glass-bottled root beer in the shelter just in case. No incidents.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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do you guys often times cover it up or set the cases on a tarp or something to prevent the explosion from getting bits everywhere?
Wow, I guess I am just lucky but I have brewed over 230 batches of beer and have never had a single bottle shatter. I do nothing to protect myself from the possibility. I must be one of them there thrill seekers.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:42 PM   #10
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So I guess a congratulations is in order for experiencing a first in your brewdom!
(In a weird sort of way)

Although bottle bombs are something I would wish on noone, hopefully it can be taken as a learning experience (of what to possibly change?)
And give you an excuse to drink your beer faster!!
-Me

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