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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Stalled batch must have restarted after bottling! What to do?
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Stalled batch must have restarted after bottling! What to do?

Hey guys,

Let me start by stating that this is my 3rd home brew. I have done a lot of reading over the last 3 years and started brewing just a few months ago. My first beer was a Porter that was an extract / grain recipe that went well, then I made a dry-hopped APA that went pretty well except that it would not attenuate more than 1.019, but it is delicious.

Now, I made an oatmeal stout that was a partial mash recipe that has been giving me trouble from the start. The mini-mash went exactly as it should, and everything went according to plan. Started out at 1.055 and I aerated it by shaking the fermenter for about a minute. I pitched some rehydrated S-04 (all previous batches were with US-05).

So, first problem was that after 14 days in the primary, it read 1.030. So first thing I did was assume I did something wrong and probably made a batch of dextrins with the mini mash. Then I came on here and spent 3-4 days reading about possible causes. Found a lot of posts about s-04 stalling, so
I moved the fermenter to a 24°C room (~74°F) and rotated the fermenter to try and rouse up the yeast. I checked it a week later and it now read 1.024. I checked it about 4-5 days later and it still read 1.024. I felt this was high but figured I probably wasn't going to get any more fermentation out of it so I bottled it. Today is exactly 7 days from bottling and I cracked one open only to find it start to gush out like crazy. It gushed out for like 2 minutes straight.

It tastes great except for the yeast getting kicked up from the bottom.

My question. I'm scared these are going to turn into bombs in the next few days. What's the best way to deal with this?

Do I crack 'em open and dump them? Do I crack them open and re cap? (I have to rent the capper.) How much does it take for glass bottles to actually explode? I'm very nervous right now and my GF is growing less and less fond of my hobby.

I'd appreciate any advice you can lend. Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:57 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention, I primed with ~4.5oz of corn sugar for a 5gal batch, so I doubt the priming was the problem. I'm guessing that racking to the bottling bucket roused the yeast and the beer finished fermenting once bottled.

Does this sound right?

Also forgot to mention, I don't get how it stalled because it started fermenting vigorously after about 6 hours and if stayed vigourous for like 4-5 days.

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Old 02-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Any suggestions?

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:16 AM   #4
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Well, I'm certainly no expert...but I would cover them well and see what happens. If they explode, at least you have them contained and you'll have very little mess to clean. If you're really worried about them, go ahead and recap. Or do both. Cover half and recap half.

I've only had 2 "bottle bombs" - One was a 32 oz. flip top that I intentionally left about 2 or 3 inches of air to see what would happen. The bottom busted out.
The second was a 32 oz. flip top that was only about half full because I'd run out of beer at bottling, and I wanted to see what would happen. The bottom busted out.
Both were from the first batch I ever bottled.

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:08 AM   #5
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Put them in the fridge, yeast goes to sleep.....

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:13 AM   #6
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Small update, just because it's polite for anyone pulling this in a future search:

I ended up doing nothing. The same night that two bottles fountained out in the sink, there was one bottle left, and my brother kindly volunteered to take it home. Next say he messages me that it was very low carbonation.

Now that I've had quite a few of them, I realized that most bottles are fine, but 1 out of 5 is over carbonated. It's not too bad, letting the beer sit for a while after the pour usually makes it bareable.

So I still don't fully understand what happened. My two theories are:

A) The priming sugar didn't mix well with the beer at bottling, even though I racked the beer onto a liquid sugar mix. Unless the starches in the beer prevented a good mix or something like that ... There is quite the whirlpool when I rack it. Beats me.

B) During the time it took me to bottle (I'm a slow ass) some of the yeast had time to settle to the bottom and some bottles got stronger doses or more healthy yeast, leading some bottles to attenuate the beer more than others. (Is this even possible?)

I don't really know, but I've noticed that 1 out of 5 bottles will be over carbonated, while the rest of them are perfect. None have blown up.

I hate not knowing 'cause I don't know what to look out for in order to avoid this in the future.

Thanks for reading!

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Old 03-06-2012, 05:09 AM   #7
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(A) is the most likely cause. (B), while possible in theory, isn't likely at all. There's a simple way to find out: next time you get a gusher, set some aside for a gravity reading. Stir and/or let it sit long enough for the carbonation to disperse, and then take your gravity reading. If it's under your measured FG before bottling, well, you know the culprit. My money's on (A), though.

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