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Old 11-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
pat_mac_3
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Default transferring from growler to bottle to avoid boom

howdy folks. new to the forum and some what new to home brewing. any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

I recent brewed a spiced winter ale that was ready to bottle yesterday. having bottled a pale ale just the week before, I was a little short on bottles but thought I had enough for the batch...I was totally wrong. at 2am I was kind of out of options and filled up 2 half gallon twist top growlers. now after reading stuff on this board, I fear I got two beer bombs in my basement, and more importantly, I fear I'm gonna waste a gallon of holiday fun.

is it possible for me to transfer these to regular 12oz bottles and if so, are there any extra steps/precautions I have to take? they've been bottled for about 12 hours now and I wouldn't be able to do anything until after work tonight, so it'd be almost a full day before I could fix, if I can even fix this.

thanks for any advice and suggestions.

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Old 11-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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If the growlers are not meant for something pressurized like beer or soda, then yes you're running the risk of having them explode.

All is not lost, though. Let the secondary fermentation finish up without building pressure by replacing the caps with an airlock, or just loosening them enough for the CO2 to escape. In a week or two you'll have two jugs of perfectly good, but flat, beer. Likely you will also likely have accumulated enough empty bottles to transfer it into. Make up enough priming solution for a gallon (probably a bit under an ounce of sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water), boil it, add the flat beer from the growlers, and rebottle.

If you drink at the rate I do, they'll be ready about the time the previous 4 gallons are gone. :-)

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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I already had the whole batch in a secondary fermenter for about a week before bottling, and I can get a hold of a enough bottles now to bottle a gallon. do ya think it would be wise to rack the gallon of beer out of the growlers into regular bottles tonight (the beer would have only been in the growlers for about a day) before the carbonation process gets too far along? or rather, like you said, put some air locks on them and let the yeast munch up that priming sugar and try again with more priming sugar in regular bottles later? thanks for the feedback bud!

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:45 AM   #4
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Fermentation rates vary a whole lot, so it's hard to say. I've had it go to completion in under 2 days (for an entire 5 gal batch), and had bottles that 2 weeks after priming hadn't finished carbing. You could slowly crack the seal on the growlers and get a feel for how far it's progressed by how much gas seems to escape. If very little it would be safe to bottle. If more than that, eh, judgement call. Worst that happens they don't carb enough and you have to open them up and drop a couple carb tabs in.

Best of luck, and enjoy the beer!

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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thanks man! I'll let ya know how it turns out. cheers.

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