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Old 06-01-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
kyle6286
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Default First bottle bomb!

I bottled my first Belgian witbier about two weeks and a couple days into fermentation after reading that a lot of people believe wheat beers ferment rather quickly. Just checked downstairs and I saw a piece of glass and thought, "uh oh". I then noticed shrapnel everywhere, ranging from small pieces of glass to big pieces. Luckily, only one bottle managed to break, somehow. I checked my hydrometer two days in a row and got consistent readings, and I also read numerous times most people bottle wheat beers after two weeks of primary fermentation. This lead me to believe I was in the clear. I did the usual priming process, and poured it into my bottling bucket before racking my beer on top of it, so it should have distributed evenly. Just not sure what else could have caused the explosion. To be safe, no matter what style beer I make from now on, I will not check a hydrometer reading until AT LEAST 3 weeks, which is my normal practice. Patience is a virtue.

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Old 06-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kyle6286 View Post
I bottled my first Belgian witbier about two weeks and a couple days into fermentation after reading that a lot of people believe wheat beers ferment rather quickly. Just checked downstairs and I saw a piece of glass and thought, "uh oh". I then noticed shrapnel everywhere, ranging from small pieces of glass to big pieces. Luckily, only one bottle managed to break, somehow. I checked my hydrometer two days in a row and got consistent readings, and I also read numerous times most people bottle wheat beers after two weeks of primary fermentation. This lead me to believe I was in the clear. I did the usual priming process, and poured it into my bottling bucket before racking my beer on top of it, so it should have distributed evenly. Just not sure what else could have caused the explosion. To be safe, no matter what style beer I make from now on, I will not check a hydrometer reading until AT LEAST 3 weeks, which is my normal practice. Patience is a virtue.
I think maybe it isn't how long you waited to take the initial reading BUT how long BETWEEN readings. I don't know about you but I have a hell of a time distinguishing between say 1.012... and 1.013.. I think maybe 3 days between to be sure. rather than 2 days in a row. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:08 AM   #3
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Make that two bottle bombs!

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:54 AM   #4
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I had to quit assuming the racking into the bottling bucket was mixing it well enough. I had two batches that were very unevenly carbonated, some which resulted in exploding bottles - while others are flat. Ever since then, I do gently stir the mixture.

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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I had to quit assuming the racking into the bottling bucket was mixing it well enough. I had two batches that were very unevenly carbonated, some which resulted in exploding bottles - while others are flat. Ever since then, I do gently stir the mixture.
Yea I'm definitely going to try this next time. If nothing else it will at least provide me with peace of mind.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:00 AM   #6
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I just bottled a wheat beer. Waited 3 weeks. Some told me wait 4. I didnt stir this time. I got more tubing so it would lay in the bottom of the bucket and create a whirlpool that should mix everything up. We shall see. The first beer I did I gave it a little stir. All the beers have been perfect so far. Not sure why people don't like to stir?

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:34 PM   #7
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Try slowly adding thesugar mix as you transfer to the bottling bucket. I have had uneven carb. from dumping the sugar mix into thebottom of the bucket as well. This method has reduced uneven carb. and I havent had a bomb in the last 4 batches since starting it. HOWEVER i had had some gushers recently so i double scrubbed & sanitized. you cant leave that out of theequation.

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm more inclined to believe I just bottled too soon. As I said, I will not take hydrometer readings until at least 3 weeks of fermentation.

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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So you bottled after only a couple DAYS of fermentation?

My American Wheat has been fermenting for 4 days now, and its still bubbling the airlock and has a small but dense krausen.

I don't bottle ANYTHING till it has sat in a fermenter 2 weeks, and I still check FG 2-3 times over a few day period to make sure fermentation is done.

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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So you bottled after only a couple DAYS of fermentation?

My American Wheat has been fermenting for 4 days now, and its still bubbling the airlock and has a small but dense krausen.

I don't bottle ANYTHING till it has sat in a fermenter 2 weeks, and I still check FG 2-3 times over a few day period to make sure fermentation is done.
Two weeks and a couple of days, so probably like 17 or 18 days into fermentation. I still had a feeling it was too early, even though my hydrometer readings SEEMED consistent over a two day span. I used wyeast 3944 for this batch and I created my first starter. With these variables, something was bound to happen. Next time I will check a gravity reading at 21 days and then 23 days.
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