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Old 08-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
TJinWV
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Default Bottle Bombs

My wife discovered a bombed bottle in my storage room this morning. This was my second batch - a Williams Brewing Brown Ale kit brewed on Memorial Day (5/28), feremented in a primary bucket at ~65 degrees, bottled on 6/29, stored since then. I've popped open a couple over the past month, and they foamed over on me. Does it seem like a carb issue or an infection? I don't know how many bottles exploded, but needless to say SWMBO was not happy. If I put them in the beer fridge, will that reduce the chance of more bombs?

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Old 08-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Putting anything warm into the fridge will reduce the pressure in the head space quite a bit, and would probably be a good idea if one has already exploded. When you bottled, was the fermentation finished? How much carbing sugar did you add?

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Old 08-15-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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I've read that some bacteria will produce dextrins, which can continue to be fermented by the yeast. A couple of instances I've had bottle bombs, I'm pretty sure it was some contamination. How does it taste, any twang present? Is it consistent across all bottles?

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Old 08-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Fermentation was finished - I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but the gravity was what the kit said. The kit provided the sugar, and I used it all. It didn't taste good to me - not like I would expect a brown to taste. It wasn't a bad taste, just a bit more hoppy than I expected. Once I get the mess cleaned up, I'll try a bottle from a different case. I honestly don't know if the one(s) that exploded were from earlier in the bottling session or later.

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Old 08-15-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Got everything cleaned up. It looks like I lost 6 in all - 5 were from the first 12 pack I bottled, and 1 was from the second 12 pack. The other case had no issues. I put all remaining beers in the fridge, and I'll have a go at a couple this evening after they chill a little.

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Old 08-15-2012, 09:39 PM   #6
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I would place them all in the fridge for a week and then try one, they may be over carbonated but i'm sensing an infection that may be just a few bottles that weren't properly sanitized or maybe all. What was your cleaning/sanitizing process and how did you add your priming sugar?

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Old 08-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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I looked up the directions in PDF for your brew kit. It says to "stir in the entire pack of included Priming Sugar into the beer in the Priming Tank." However, the most recommended method of adding priming sugar is to boil it with a cup or two of water, add it to an empty bottling bucket, then to rack the beer on top of it. This ensures that the sugar is mixed in thoroughly. Inadequate mixing of the priming sugar can lead to inconsistent carbonation of some of your bottles.

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Old 08-16-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
I would place them all in the fridge for a week and then try one, they may be over carbonated but i'm sensing an infection that may be just a few bottles that weren't properly sanitized or maybe all. What was your cleaning/sanitizing process and how did you add your priming sugar?
The bottles were mostly reused from my first brew. I'd rinse them immediately after pouring. A day or two before bottling, I soaked them in Brewers Edge Cleanser (chlorine-based) and double-rinsed them. During bottling, I sprayed about a dozen at a time with StarSan from a spray bottle (2-3 squirts each), swirl, and pour out what came out quickly, then fill and cap those dozen. Bottle caps, tubing, etc, all soaked in a bowl of StarSan at least 30 minutes before use.

As grimstuff saw from the directions, to prime, I dumped the sugar in the bottom of the priming tank and racked on top of it, then stirred until I couldn't "feel" any more sugar. When I first started stirring, I could feel the grittyness of the sugar, so I stirred until it was gone. I'll make note of the boiling tip grimstuff mentioned and do that next time.

FYI, my first batch (William's Red Ale) I dumped in the sugar and racked without stirring. I had 6 or 8 bottles that were way overcarbed, and the rest were essentially flat (but tasted great). That lesson led me to stir this time.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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I'm betting 4oz would have been enough. Use a online calculator to figure the amounts needed.

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Old 08-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJinWV
My wife discovered a bombed bottle in my storage room this morning. This was my second batch - a Williams Brewing Brown Ale kit brewed on Memorial Day (5/28), feremented in a primary bucket at ~65 degrees, bottled on 6/29, stored since then. I've popped open a couple over the past month, and they foamed over on me. Does it seem like a carb issue or an infection? I don't know how many bottles exploded, but needless to say SWMBO was not happy. If I put them in the beer fridge, will that reduce the chance of more bombs?
Seems like an infection to me. I had the same thing happen while bottling ,y second batch. I accidentally touched the bottling wand to the side of the bucket near the end of a hundred bottle session. I set those bottles aside and sure enough they foamed over like crazy. After that I moved to legging and never looked back.
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