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Old 06-03-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
JonSnow
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Default Bottle Bombs!

edit:
I posted "how to dispose of bottle bombs" in a post below.

--------------------------

hmmmm....

So I made the 5 day sweet apple cider (LINK) the other day. Today (so far), I've heard three bottle bombs go off.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/5-da...-cider-265986/

Fortunately, I have them in my basement, in a box, next to the drain. I just 2 minutes ago covered the box with a tarp. I'm concerned about glass getting out, but I don't want to open the box or move it. ...at least not right now.

This is the third time I've made this. This is the first time I've had this problem. I used my dishwasher to pasteurize the cider. I put them in for (about) 12 minutes on the normal cycle (I put them in, then set the alarm for 10min, then forgot about it, then heard the alarm going off and went to get them). When I opened the dishwasher, the bottles didn't feel "hot" like they had previously, so I set them through a rinse cycle again. Honestly, it was past midnight at this point (Saturday night....now it's Monday at 4) and I just went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I put them into the box and put them into the basement. We did put a few in the fridge which have already been drank.


SOOOO... WTF do I do now? Can I assume they will all explode now? And the ones that don't are going to be geysers? Should I somehow get them outside and smash the bottles (to prevent them breaking on their own)?

I'm new to all this and could use some help! Any suggestions are welcome.

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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Don't know what to do now....but stove top pasturize next time.

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #3
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Smashing pressurized bottles sounds dangerous and scary...and maybe a little fun if you could drop them from a tall building.

We made some cider which we tried to bottle condition by using some cherry juice. We thought we would be able to pasteurize before they overcarbed, but we didn't catch it in time. I put on a long-sleeve t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt and a heavy nylon hoodie with some safety goggles and thick leather work gloves. I pulled the two hoods tight over my face so that all that wasn't covered was the goggles. My wife said I looked like a terrorist, but I felt like I would be relatively safe in the event that a bottle exploded on me. I then used a bottle opener to GENTLY lift the cap a little to relieve the excess pressure. I was a little heavy handed with the first few bottles and they spewed on me, but I was able to bleed off enough pressure in the rest and we didn't end up with any bombs.

I am in no way recommending this. It sounds like your situation could be a little more severe.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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I'm gonna take a wild guess and say you didn't fill 1 or 2 plastic 12 ounce pop bottles and use them to check the pressure by squeezing the plastic bottles daily.

FYI, Walmart sells root beer, 7-up, and some orange soda in 12 ounce plastic bottles, 2 for a buck.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpstateMike View Post
I'm gonna take a wild guess and say you didn't fill 1 or 2 plastic 12 ounce pop bottles and use them to check the pressure by squeezing the plastic bottles daily.

FYI, Walmart sells root beer, 7-up, and some orange soda in 12 ounce plastic bottles, 2 for a buck.
Actually, I did do this.

I also don't wait for anywhere near as long as he recommends in the article. I think he says 1-2days for carbonation...I gave it 2.5 hours. It was plenty carbed for my wife's tastes (opened one and gave it to her).

I think I will be moving to plastic bottles from here on out though....and making smaller batches.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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Well, after reading and thinking about this (and no more explosions for a few hours):

-I think the dishwasher temp just didn't get hot enough.

-When I made these before it was winter. My basement was cooler. I'm guessing that the dishwasher DID kill off SOME of the yeasties, but not all. The remainder were dormant in previous batches because of the colder temps on the basement floor.

-Tonight I'll don appropriate clothing and eye protection and take care of the bottles. I'm trying to decide if I should try to open them, or simply drop the box hard a few times and let them all break... not sure which would be safer.

-For the future, I plan to 1) make smaller batches so I don't end up wasting so much and so I can... 2) Use Plastic and cold crash (and monitor) in the fridge

I would be tempted just to give up on the cider 'cuz it's not really my favorite thing, but my wife LOVES it and has already asked if I can save any and/or when I can make more.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:16 PM   #7
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HOW TO DISPOSE OF BOTTLE BOMBS:

Well, that was an experience.

I slept on it and took care of it this morning, about 5 minutes ago. I'll post what I did because I personally was looking for these types of stories and couldn't find them.

Last night I didn't hear any more explosions, but my wife claimed she heard two more. I put on goggles, leather gloves, jeans, boots, a hoodie, and a heavy flannel. I covered my head with the hoodie as best I could.

I checked the box. It was a heavy cardboard box that was made to carry paper. Most of the bottles had exploded. I certainly didn't hear that many explosions, so I assume multiple bottles broke during each explosion. There were perhaps 5-10 bottles left.

I worked on the assumption that there was nothing worth saving (although my wife begged me to try to save "as much as you can"). I put the cardboard box they were stored in (greatly weakened on the bottom b/c of fluid escaping) into a plastic recycling box (the old style ones). I covered that with a tarp and brought it to the curb by the sewer drain.

Then I simply picked it up and dropped it. I heard two additional explosions. I repeated the process and heard another explosion. I waited a minute or so and opened the box. There was a lot of liquid and it was hard to see, but I believe three bottles had still survived. I covered the box again.

I grabbed a 14lbs maul (ax). I figured the extra length would help prevent injury and I could easily break what remained. I'm glad I did. I used the box lid for additional protection then simply smashed the remaining bottles. One more explosion that sent a large chunk of glass flying to my left (no where close to me, but big enough that I'm glad I took safety precautions).

Well, that's my story.

As a sub-story, the dishes we washed in the dishwasher last night didn't come out clean this morning. I ran it again and it seems they are clean (and hot) now. I think there is something wrong with the dishwasher itself which could explain why the bottles didn't pasteurize properly.

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Old 06-05-2013, 04:48 AM   #8
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Wow that sounds pretty gory! Leather gloves, flannel hoodie, goggles, maul. You sound like a professional cider exterminator. I could just imagine seeing my neighbor at the curb like that. Ha. Sounds like a cheesy horror movie. All jokes aside, that stinks that you had to go though that. Hope it doesn't turn you away from cider brewing. We all learn from mistakes. I have a good feeling about the next batch. Get that next one going

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Old 06-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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Take the time to stove top pasturize next time. It'll save a ton of trouble and possibly some eyes.

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Old 06-07-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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You dont have to smash the bottles (but it can be fun), just open them. That is all you had to do plus you can reuse the the bottles afterwards.

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