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Old 07-19-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Bottle Bomb!

This weekend I experienced my first (and hopefully only) bottle bomb. I'm still trying to get my head around it, and I'm not sure what went wrong.

Overcarbonation? I don't think so. Fermentation was complete, and verified with hydrometer readings. I used a reasonable amount of priming sugar, 5oz for 5 gallons. I stirred the beer into the priming solution in the bottling bucket (though I've skipped this step in previous batches and never had a bomb). The bottles I've sampled so far have been evenly carbed, and they don't seem overcarbed at all after about 5 weeks in the bottle.

Infection? I've heard that this can cause bottle bombs. As I said before, I've sampled a few bottles out of this batch (OK, about a dozen) and they were really, really tasty. Maybe the best I've ever made. The batch is not infected.

So unless I'm missing something, it's down to this: either there's some kind of infection in the one bottle that exploded, or maybe there was something wrong with the bottle itself -- maybe a crack that broke under pressure?

Any ideas what else might have gone wrong?



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Old 07-19-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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Infection? I've heard that this can cause bottle bombs. As I said before, I've sampled a few bottles out of this batch (OK, about a dozen) and they were really, really tasty. Maybe the best I've ever made. The batch is not infected.
Sorry to hear about the bottle bomb, I hope the damage/mess wasn't too extensive.

The batch may not be infected, but single bottles can pick something up in the bottling process.


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Old 07-19-2010, 07:25 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have thought about the obvious...see the quote in my sig.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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My money would be on a fault in the glass, if that's the only one that blows up.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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I think you have already found your answer....either crud left behind in the bottle or it was damaged. It seems as if you covered all of the other bases.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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I thought infection was more of a "gusher" situation - i.e. they don't really explode the bottle, but when you do open them, everything gushes out quickly - am I wrong?

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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The other thing I'm thinking is that it's gotten wicked hot in my basement (80 degrees! In New England!) and that the heat may have aroused some otherwise-dormant yeast. US-05, BTW. I don't know if this is actually possible; just a guess. Unfortunately I don't have a cooler place to store it at the moment. I need a walk-in fridge!

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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I thought infection was more of a "gusher" situation - i.e. they don't really explode the bottle, but when you do open them, everything gushes out quickly - am I wrong?
That's what I've heard too, but the HBT wiki says it can happen, and wikis are never wrong.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
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My money would be on a fault in the glass, if that's the only one that blows up.
I had a single bottle bomb also a while ago. The remainder are perfect. I attribute it to a faulty bottle. I drop them sometimes and they don't break. Could be one had a weakness.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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That's what I've heard too, but the HBT wiki says it can happen, and wikis are never wrong.
Wikis can sometimes be wrong, but you can always edit them to make them right again


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Pondering: Roggenwein, Irish Red, Another Single-Hop IPA, Roggenbier w/ local wild yeast
Primary: Hefeweizen, Nugget Single-Hop IPA, Chamomile Wheat
Secondary: Saffron Metheglin
Bottled: Belgian Strong Dark, Saffron Wheat, UK Barleywine, Tripel, IIPA
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