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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Don't partially fill a bottle...
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Don't partially fill a bottle...

The last batch I bottled was a Haus pale ale, and when I got down to the last bit in the bottling bucket it wasn't enough for a full 12oz bottle. So I filled a little over half of a bottle. Not knowing better I figured what the hell I have the caps I'll just throw one on it and let it sit and see how it carbs up.


Take it from me, don't cap a bottle with that much head space.

Oh my....it was SOOOOO heavily carbonated.

I'm assuming due to all the compressible air space, the CO2 production went wild.

Upon opening the bottle there was a loud / long pressure release Psssssssst.

The bottle didn't gush so I was hopefull. I got out a glass and SLOWLY poured just a small bit into the glass, barely an ounce. As soon as the beer touched the glass it filled the entire glass with foam. Kind of like that spray foam you use to seal houses...


Need less to say I let it sit out over night and drank it the next day and it still had carbonation in it! The flavor was still quite over powered by the carbonation.

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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I think you're lucky you didn't get a bottle bomb. There have been several stories of half-filled bottles assploding on here.

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:39 PM   #3
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Yeah seeing how carbonated it was, I think I am lucky.

I thought bottle bombs were only from adding too much priming sugar...

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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it wasnt because of the head space...it was because the last bottle gets more sugar due to the sugar settling to bottom of the bucket

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BobcatBrew View Post
it wasnt because of the head space...it was because the last bottle gets more sugar due to the sugar settling to bottom of the bucket
Then why doesn't the last bottle of every batch do that? No, a partially filled bottle will overcarbonate and possibly blow up.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:52 PM   #6
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Then why doesn't the last bottle of every batch do that? No, a partially filled bottle will overcarbonate and possibly blow up.
It does for me....
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:53 PM   #7
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I found that when you have to tip the bucket you get sugar that settled to the bottom--that's why I stir it again mid run. I have 1-2 inch head space depending on the style of bottle and never notice a difference. I think oxygen is the bigger concern with too much head space and that is even over stated.

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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In a normally filled bottle, the volume of compressed gas in the headspace is small. When you open the bottle, the pressure is released and the gas escapes. A normal PSSSST sound. The rest of the carbonation is in solution and comes out through the normal bubbles.

When you under fill a bottle, a much larger volume of gas in the bottle is now pressureized. It will be under a smaller pressure because of the less amount of CO2 produced by the beer, but when you open the bottle, all of that gas wants to come out, several times the amount of a normally filled bottle. That's when you get the big explosion of gas.

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobcatBrew View Post
It does for me....
You need to mix your priming sugar better then. Or... this would be a good excuse to start kegging!
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:00 AM   #10
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I do keg...and it has nothing to do with how well I mix. if anything it could be that its taking too long to bottle allowing the sugar to settle. See previous post about re-mixing half way through

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