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Old 09-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
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Default Another bottle bomb thread

We bottled our first batch last Saturday, and today I was informed that a bottle had exploded.
Here are the facts:

-This was an extract kit which included priming sugar.
-We followed the directions precisely.
-The beer was in primary for 3 weeks exactly. No secondary.


I have a hunch that the sugar wasn't integrated into the beer thoroughly. We poured the priming sugar mixture into the bottling bucket, and racked the beer on top. I figured that would be enough to mix it around. Anyway, I'm terrified. In fact, I'm not even sure I want to make another batch. Waiting this long to see if the beer is even drinkable is killing me, and now they are exploding. If the kit can't get it right, then a couple of noobs in a kitchen won't be able to either.

Is there a way to prevent this in the future? Should we open the bottles and recap them to release pressure?

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Old 09-14-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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You could try cold crashing one and seeing how it turns out.

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Yeah, next time: mix priming sugar with a cup of boiling water, rack beer on top of solution, and use a sanitized stainless steel spoon to slowly, quietly stir solution into beer. After your more experienced a person can even do this with the end of the siphon hose while transfering.

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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I wouldn't give up so easily, there could be a lot of factors here. One bottle bomb doesn't make you a failure of the ages.

You can try to vent your other bottles if you're REALLY concerned. I'd really only do this if I had a bottle explode within a few days though. Be very gentle, and just very slightly pry up the cap until it vents (don't pry it off or bend it). Then re-cap it again. Maybe wear eye protection or something.

Anyway, it could've been an uneven mix of sugar. My first few batches I didn't really mix the sugar. Didn't have any issues but the carbonation was a little inconsistent.

Maybe that bottle was just...a crappy bottle. Hard to see if there's a small crack or ding in the glass sometimes (like a windshield). If there was some kind of imperfection, maybe when it was put under pressure it failed.

Brewing ain't hard, just do some homework and you'll be fine. Here's a priming calculator that should help you determine how much sugar you really should add: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html . Don't really go above 3 vols of CO2...bottles aren't really designed for that. I went to 4 vols with a hefeweizen...miraculously had no bottle bombs (I vented them 2 days later when I found out). You'll probably find that most kits aim to use 5 ounces as a happy medium...gives a generic 2.5 volumes usually.

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Old 09-15-2012, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post
I wouldn't give up so easily, there could be a lot of factors here. One bottle bomb doesn't make you a failure of the ages.

You can try to vent your other bottles if you're REALLY concerned. I'd really only do this if I had a bottle explode within a few days though. Be very gentle, and just very slightly pry up the cap until it vents (don't pry it off or bend it). Then re-cap it again. Maybe wear eye protection or something.

Anyway, it could've been an uneven mix of sugar. My first few batches I didn't really mix the sugar. Didn't have any issues but the carbonation was a little inconsistent.

Maybe that bottle was just...a crappy bottle. Hard to see if there's a small crack or ding in the glass sometimes (like a windshield). If there was some kind of imperfection, maybe when it was put under pressure it failed.

Brewing ain't hard, just do some homework and you'll be fine. Here's a priming calculator that should help you determine how much sugar you really should add: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html . Don't really go above 3 vols of CO2...bottles aren't really designed for that. I went to 4 vols with a hefeweizen...miraculously had no bottle bombs (I vented them 2 days later when I found out). You'll probably find that most kits aim to use 5 ounces as a happy medium...gives a generic 2.5 volumes usually.
This was extremely helpful.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:58 AM   #6
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I'm with "make a sugar syrup and stir it in well." I draw off 500ml of brew into a pyrex measuring cup, add 130g of sugar to it, stir it, microwave it until it is 170F, stirring occasionally to dissolve, let it sit for 5 minutes with the oven door closed, then pour that into the bottling bucket either before the rest of the brew is siphoned in, or drizzled in while stirring the bucket. Never failed.

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Old 09-15-2012, 05:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post
You can try to vent your other bottles if you're REALLY concerned. I'd really only do this if I had a bottle explode within a few days though. Be very gentle, and just very slightly pry up the cap until it vents (don't pry it off or bend it). Then re-cap it again. Maybe wear eye protection or something.
I just had a major over carbing issue myself. Someone just told me to do this exact same thing, but they also added to use a quarter when venting the bottles so you dont have to worry so much about bending or denting the cap. Worked well, saved all caps and all beers. Good Luck.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
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I've had the necks of bottles crack off during capping, so it's entirely possible to weaken a bottle or two without realizing it during the capping process. Put your remaining bottles in some tupperware bins with lids and let 'em sit. Relax, don't worry, and have a Schraderbrau.

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Don't get discouraged.It could have been as simple as a weak bottle or priming sugar that was not evenly mixed. I never stir but just rack on top of the priming sugar solution. It is a great hobby and this place is a wealth of information. I have bottled over 150 cases of brew and never had a bottle bomb. I did have some gushers that were my fault. I did a 4 gallon batch of a Belgian and wanted to carb them a little higher. The only problem was it was a 4 gallon batch and I calculated the priming sugar for a 5 gal batch.

Relax and brew some more.

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Old 09-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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I figured I'd give an update. We had two bottles explode (the bottom failed on both), so we decided to vent the others. The first one we vented started to gush our of control. It was as if I shook it for a few minutes before opening it. We decided not to vent the others, and so far we haven't had any more explode. I think it was just a fluke.

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