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Old 04-08-2010, 03:05 AM   #1
acsmith
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Default Bottle exploded (probably?) -- How do I slow fermentation?

Long time reader, first time poster.

I just opened my fermentation closet this evening and one of the bottles had seemingly exploded. I didn't actually see/hear it, but there's shattered bottle glass all over the place, so I'm worried. Basically, today was a record high (90 degrees in New York), and my apartment almost certainly got that hot. Most days that closet is 70-74 degrees, which is a bit warm, I know, but it shouldn't cause bombs. It's back down to the normal lower temps now, but how should I go about handling these bottles? I've heard some horror stories and don't so much want that to happen.

I brewed a three-gallon batch with a half cup of priming sugar, boiled in 1 1/2 cups of water, poured into a bottling bucket, and swirled. I've heard things about bottles that explode when touched, so I don't so much want to take that risk if I'm transferring these over to the fridge. What do you think is a good plan?

Edit: I forgot to add that I did not actually check the hydrometer reading multiple days in a row. I did, however, ferment for the usual one week in primary and 2 1/2 in secondary; OG was 1.056, and FG 1.010. The yeast was the Wyeast Belgian Specialty, part of the private reserve (available through March, along with the Pac Man).

Ah, thinking of more things. I bottled on Sunday (it's now Wednesday), the beer is already carbonated (opened one to check) and it's really, really tasty. Seriously, if you missed out on that Wyeast strain...you really did miss out (bombs aside).

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Yeah, I've got even more info, partly for the help and also because I hope it'll help others. Most bottle bomb threads are on the beginners thread from people who don't read directions well.

The bottle looks like it exploded through from the side facing upward--the bottom chunk of the bottle is basically untouched. They were all stacked on their sides like this (caps out):

o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o
o o o o o x o o o


with the x marked as the bomb. I'm thinking maybe the pressure of gravity from the other bottles, coupled with the massive heat wave could have done it. One of the other bottles was already carbonated, but others didn't look too fizzy at all. Needless to say, they're all in the fridge. Where should I go from here, though? Put them all in a 60-degree tub of water for a few weeks? This is in New York btw, so space is basically nonexistent, and I'm gone until 9 p.m. many nights so I can't very well keep checking temps.

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Old 04-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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If they pop at 90F they'll pop at 60F eventually too.

it could just be one weak glass bottle..it could be an infection, or unmixed priming sugar (doubtful though since you pre-dissolved it).

I'd get em in teh fridge NOW (wear goggles and oven mitts) and once they've cooled, open another.

a bottle bomb is so over carbed it'll usually gush right outta the bottle, even when chilled and gently opened.

if your chilled bottles seem normal, then it was just something wrong in that one bottle.

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:32 AM   #4
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Thanks! I did move them straight to the fridge, and opened one today. They all seem carbonated, but at the normal level--nowhere near a bomb, or even anything resembling a gusher. Probably just the one bottle, then. Since they're carbonated, I'm just leaving them in the fridge for another week or so then time to RDWHAHB.

Weird about that one bottle--now I'll always live in fear.

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