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Old 12-05-2007, 02:09 AM   #1
Drscott266
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Default First batch is bottled, how long is the risk period for "grenades"

I just bottled my first batch, a Holiday Ale, about a week ago, and while I know you are supposed to leave it be I tested one bottle. I know I know, I broke the rules but I really wanted to know what each ste of the brewing process tasted like. In any case, I am really thrilled with how it tasted so far. There was a decent amount of carb, but still lacking a real fizz. Since it needs at least 2 more weeks, according to the recipe, I was wondering if I was at risk for exploding bottles. Right now the cases are wrapped in trash bags, so as to prevent damage to my room, but i want to put them in the shelves in my closet as soon as I think they wont be a risk to explode. Being that the beer is already gaining carb after only a week, are they at risk to blow? I followed the recipe for the fermentation period, but I think that as a noob my hydrometer skills are likely still suspect. Can any one give me their thoughts?

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:13 AM   #2
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They won't turn into bottle bombs unless they did not ferment all the way and the remaining sugars cause them to pop. Keep the bottles in the low 70's to carb for 2-3 weeks and then you can move them to a cooler place. I would test one each week to gauge the progression.

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:14 AM   #3
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i wouldn't be concerned unless it was not finished fermenting when you bottled, or you added to much priming sugar.

what was your original and final gravy readings?

What was your batch size?

how much of what type of priming sugar did you use?

you should never have to worry about exploding bottles unless there was too much sugar left in the beer when you bottled.

i usually test a bottle each week for my smaller beers just don't drink them all!

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:28 AM   #4
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I was concerned about the same thing when I bottled my batch 2 weeks ago. So to avoid any possibility of exploding bottles, I left even more than the standard 1 inch of empty space in the bottles... probably more like 1.5" or even 1.75". But thinking back on it, maybe that wasn't the right thing to do.

If you leave TOO much room, does the beer not carbonate since there's enough space for the CO2 to accumulate above the beer? Does it only begin to carbonate once all the available free space above the beer has been filled up and there's no where left for the CO2 to go?

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:51 AM   #5
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I believe it carbonates even more if you leave too much room. I don't know the physics involved but perhaps someone with a little more experience could explain.

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Old 12-05-2007, 12:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help guys, my concern stems from the lack of practice with a hydrometer readings. I checked my FG reading after about a week of fermentation, and it read where it should be. However, after reading this board, it seems as if a week is too short (recipe says 3 to 7 day fermentation period). Therefore, I am slightly concerned about having left over sugar from fermentation, as I used the exact premeasured amount of priming sugar. Does anyone know after how many weeks it takes an imcomplete fermentation to show up once bottled, if there was no secondary fermentation period?

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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You're going to need to purchase a special Bottle Blast Containment Chamber from me just in case

Relax, you're fine. A few points (like .002) left over from fermentation won't make bottle bombs, just overfizzy brew. Open one in a week, and if it's a gusher, then you can be concerned. If that happens, stick em in a cool place. The colder a liquid is, the more gas it can take into solution.

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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Cool, thanks for the advice... this forum has really been a great find. I tried a bottle after a week of being bottled last night, and it was definitely not a gusher. I was impressed by how fizzy the mouth feel was, but not enough carb to create much of a head yet. I think its safe to put them in my "brew closet" now.

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Old 12-05-2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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do you remember the FG reading you got prior to bottling?

typically what you can do is when the airlock stops gurgling, say on day 4, take a hydro reading. then wait til day 6, and take another reading. then another reading on day 7.
if they all match up and are close to the expected final gravity, you're ok to bottle, or rack to secondary for clearing the beer.

if day 6 and 7 showed a little drop in gravity, give it a couple more days and test again.
keeping a brew log is necessary to keep track of all these numbers, so you can produce consistent results, especially when you want to brew a recipe over and over.

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Old 12-05-2007, 08:23 PM   #10
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If the fermenting was done, there nothing to worry about. This is one advantage using a secondary, it really cut down the chance of having bottle bombs.

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