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Old 05-30-2011, 02:23 AM   #1
joenearboston
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Default bottle caps are bulging

I made my first batch from a kit

Amber Ale.
Starting gravity: 1040
Racked to secondary after 4 days, gravity was 1020.
Waited one week before bottling, gravity was down to 1018.

I should have let it sit longer, newbie mistake, I know, lesson learned.

It's been sitting in my basement at around 65-70 for one week and the caps (plastic growlers caps with o-ring) are starting to bulge.

Should I release pressure by opening the cap or just sit it out?

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Old 05-30-2011, 02:43 AM   #2
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1.040 is a pretty low starting gravity but it's doubtful that the beer was finished fermenting at 1.018. If the caps are bulging you may be risking some bottle bombs. I've never had an issue with this so my best thought would be to release the pressure but in the future you should make sure that the beer is actually finished fermenting by taking gravity readings a few days in a row and making sure they stay the same.

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Old 05-30-2011, 02:46 AM   #3
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Yep; you bottled too early.

Open one and drink it. If it is too lively, crack the top of every bottle and re-seal. You will relieve some of the pressure, but since it will still retain most of the CO2 the liquid, you might have to do it again.

You can make beer quickly, but it will taste much better if you give it time.

For future. Leave in Primary for about a week after fermentation is complete. The yeast clean up some undesirable flavors. That should get you to around 2 weeks. You can bottle at that time, but if you leave it longer, more solids and yeast will settle leaving less sediment in the bottle. You can rack to secondary, or leave it right where it is in the primary.

It does depend on the recipe, procedure, ingredients, and yeast, but most people would expect to get at least 70% attenuation (a 1.040 beer down to 1.012), and probably more.

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:53 AM   #4
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"Bottle bombs". Anyone ever had this happen and they actually explode? Just curious

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizomee View Post
"Bottle bombs". Anyone ever had this happen and they actually explode? Just curious
Yes they do explode and the glass shrapnel can imbed itself inches into your skin, face, or walls. It is NOT something you want to mess with.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:15 AM   #6
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my rule i work by: unless it's a hefeweizen, it ferments for at least 3 weeks. a hefe, 11 days. it's your beer, so you let it go for as long as you want, but less than 2 weeks is wrong.

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone! Yes, need to be more patient and let it sit before bottling.

I relieved pressure on one of the growlers....there was no gushing...not much built up pressure...perhaps I read the cap bulging wrong...so I kept turning the cap...kept turning...poured a glass...gravity was 1.014...much better...tasted good!

I'm going to sit it out on the other six and let the rest for another few weeks.

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