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Old 11-03-2008, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default Exploding Carboy

1st time to site lots of great info. Made up my first batch of HB Sat. night. Was a kit based stout. Everything went according to plan and into a 6.5 gallon glass carboy with standard airlock closure. I was not in the mood to carry the carboy down to the basement that night so into a coat closet it went. Woke up around 2:00 am to check on my daughter and the airlock was bubbling nicely and yeast was doing well. At 3:00 am was awakened by loud explosion. Went out to find the closet door blown open and glass everywhere. The bottle had failed before the rubber bung.

My question is bad bottle? Has this happened to others most other posts I have seen the bung popped or the bottle was dropped. My carboy was in thousands of pieces and glass was in the wall. Will definitely switch to the overflow tube set up but am trying to get a better understanding of the physics of the situation, seems like friction should let go of the bung before glass failure. Am I taking my life into my hands for beer?

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
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What temp did you pour the wort into the fermenter? Have you ever knocked it against something and thought, "I'm glad that didn't break!"? There's a really strong chance your carboy was damaged without you knowing it, and it was just waiting for some pressure to break.

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #3
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Brand new just washed rinsed and sanitized, no bumps at all. Wort went into the bottle at 85 degrees.

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Brand new just washed rinsed and sanitized, no bumps at all. Wort went into the bottle at 85 degrees.
I'd guess it was simply defective. 85 isn't hot enough to cause cracks. If this was the first use, you got a bad carboy.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
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I've never heard of anything like that happening. Is it possible that your airlock was clogged? The only thing I can think of is that it was fermenting and there was no way for the co2 pressure to get out- those carboys aren't designed to handle pressure.

Otherwise, I guess it's possible that you had a bad carboy, but like I said, I've never heard of it shattering like that. Even if there is a hairline crack, it would just break at that spot, not shatter.

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Old 11-03-2008, 06:02 PM   #6
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I'd have to agree.
I just had to return one about a month ago.
I thought it looked good at the store but when I went to clean it up before it's first use, I realized there was a small air bubble in the glass... that could have been a disaster.
I doubt the quality assurance policy at the carboy manufacturer is the best.

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Old 11-03-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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Sounds like the beer fermenting in there must have been bomb.
(or the carboy was no good)

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Old 11-03-2008, 06:14 PM   #8
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I've never heard of anything like that happening.
Same here. I've never heard of a carboy just blowing up. It certainly sounds like you had a bum bottle, though. Did you secure the airlock or stopper on the neck in any way?


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Old 11-03-2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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I strictly pushed the bung in by hand nothing holding it in place. The airlock was def. clogged I just don't understand how the bottle goes boom before the bung pops. It was loud enough to wake the whole house and blow open the door and still get large peices of glass out inot the room. Still finding shards today. I will be examining the next one for sure.

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Old 11-03-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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I strictly pushed the bung in by hand nothing holding it in place. The airlock was def. clogged I just don't understand how the bottle goes boom before the bung pops. It was loud enough to wake the whole house and blow open the door and still get large peices of glass out inot the room. Still finding shards today. I will be examining the next one for sure.
If the airlock was clogged, I guess that caused it. Those carboys aren't designed to hold pressure, and it sounds like the glass gave way. The bung isn't designed to be a pressure relief valve- that's the airlock's job. If the airlock is clogged, then the pressure has to go somewhere. This must be a rare occurrence, since this is the first time I've heard of it, but I know that fermentations can get pretty intense, and need a way for the co2 to get out.
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