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Old 10-30-2007, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default Time Delayed Bottle Bomb?

I was just down in my beer cellar (OK, so I was out in the garage. I missed Favre throwing for the TD in OT. Dang!) putting away a batch of bitter I bottled yesterday.

Anyway, what do I see on the shelf but a bottle setting half way out of the six pack holder resting on top of the other bottles. I go over to investigate and find that the bottle had blown the bottom off and launched itself.

This was a bottle of a Young's Double Chocolate Stout Clone I had bottled in early July. I have noticed that the head when I poured a bottle seemed to be increasing with passing time. I cracked one open when I came back inthe house and sure enough it produced a huge thick head. Probably took 5 minutes to pour into a pint glass without overflowing. It looked like an ice cream sundae with a big scoop of dirty vanilla floating on top. The beer tasted fine, no off flavors that I could detect.

The only thing I can think of is that some of the unusual ingredients were continuing to slowly ferment and finally produce enough pressure to blow the bottle. The "oddballs" were 6 oz of cocoa powder, 12 oz of lactose (which shouldn't ferment) and 4 oz of table sugar. I bottled with my normal 3/4 cup of corn sugar.

I'm baffled. Any thoughts?

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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First thought that came to mind was a "Gusher Bug", but it is also possible that you bottled before the beer was fully fermented. Did you take a hydrometer reading? What were the OG and FG before bottling.

Also did you use any enzymes to break down some complex carbohydrates, I made an ale once using beano to remove some of the extra calories, the beer bubbled along for about 6 weeks, and finally settled at a FG way below 1.01. The enzyme kept breaking down the complex carbohydrates and turning them into fermentable sugars, and as they were turned they were turned into CO2 and alcohol. If I had bottled that beer at 1.01 like the recipe said, I would have made some bottle bombs, luckily there were signs that fermentation was not complete.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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Right off the bat I saw "4 ounces of table sugar" in addition to the priming sugar. So, you basically doubled the priming sugar. You're lucky you've only had one bottle bomb. I'd get all the ones left in the fridge right away before you have a real problem. Or, gently remove the caps and allow them to vent and then recap.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Bottled too soon...too much sugar.

You have 12-Ounce mini fermenters under pressure.

Here’s what I would do if it were me:

Depending on your quantity, take a 12-pack or so and pour them into a bottling bucket. Then simply re-bottle that mini batch and give them a few days to settle, chill and test.

The pour-rebottle will knock a substantial amount of the carbonation out and may get you back down to appropriate levels. If this sampling works…then do the rest the same.

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Old 10-31-2007, 03:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys. The extra ingredients were all in the boil, not later. The primary did take 3 weeks for the krauesen to fall. I secondaried for 2 more weeks. FG was "normalish" 1.015, but again a lot of the ingredients should have been unfermentable. No Beano or any other enzyme. The only one that blew was at room temp.

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Old 10-31-2007, 04:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Bottled too soon...too much sugar.

You have 12-Ounce mini fermenters under pressure.

Here’s what I would do if it were me:

Depending on your quantity, take a 12-pack or so and pour them into a bottling bucket. Then simply re-bottle that mini batch and give them a few days to settle, chill and test.

The pour-rebottle will knock a substantial amount of the carbonation out and may get you back down to appropriate levels. If this sampling works…then do the rest the same.
That seems like he will lose almost all carbonation though at this point. Would he not be better off just gently lifting each cap a tiny bit with a bottle opener, just enough to let some co2 pressure escape and then quickly recapping?
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenb
That seems like he will lose almost all carbonation though at this point. Would he not be better off just gently lifting each cap a tiny bit with a bottle opener, just enough to let some co2 pressure escape and then quickly recapping?
I only suggested it because I "been there...done that".

If he has bottles that are literally exploding, a simple uncap-recap won’t do anything. He needs to knock a substantial amount of CO2 out of those bottles. Fact is, they’re probably still fermenting (carbing) as we speak and will continue to do so after this exercise.

That’s why I’d say to try a 12-pack and test the results and then modify as necessary.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:15 PM   #8
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As a "simpler" exercise, what I plan to try is this:

1. Dip the capped bottle ends into an Iodophor solution for a few minutes.

2. Carefully break the cap seal.

3. Leave the bottles upright with a loose cap for maybe 1/2 hour.

4. Re-cap with new sanitized caps.

I would think this would accomplish the same CO2 release with less fuss and less possiblity of new contamination.

I'll report back with results. If you don't hear from me, assume I died from a fatal bottle bomb incident!

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Old 10-31-2007, 10:44 PM   #9
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I'd wear gloves and safety glasses too. splinters of exploding glass during handling....not fun at all.

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Old 10-31-2007, 11:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceskier
As a "simpler" exercise, what I plan to try is this:

1. Dip the capped bottle ends into an Iodophor solution for a few minutes.

2. Carefully break the cap seal.

3. Leave the bottles upright with a loose cap for maybe 1/2 hour.

4. Re-cap with new sanitized caps.

I would think this would accomplish the same CO2 release with less fuss and less possiblity of new contamination.

I'll report back with results. If you don't hear from me, assume I died from a fatal bottle bomb incident!

In the end, if you do end up with uncarbonated beer, you can always nitro it with a medicine dropper. I have been doing that lately and it works just like the widget in the Guinness cans...
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