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Old 06-18-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default High final gravity, possible bottle bomb issue

Hey All,

I just finished a brown ale Brewhouse kit I was given. Original FG was 1.050 (or possibly 1.058, for some reason I thought it was higher than 1.050) pitched May 19th. Wrote it down in my log book, then I did my standard "pitch your yeast, watch it for a few days, then ignore it for a month" routine. Once I saw airlock activity I figured all was well, and I'd get to it eventually.

Well after realizing I'd probably not have another chance to bottle for a while, I cold crashed on Friday to 10*C, then bottled late saturday night. I took some final gravity numbers, then added 2.9oz dextrose for priming sugar. Finished bottling around 2:00am, wrote the final gravity numbers in my log book and went to bed.

The next day I did some math. Then I swore a little.

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.026

Attenuation: 44%.

I've got a funny fealing that my beer stalled. Now that I've aerated it, there is a possibility that fermintation will start again, and the final .01 of gravity along with the priming sugar could equal bottle bombs.

What can I do to avoid the danger/mess, and hopefully save the batch?

I'm thinking of cracking one tonight for a hydro test. If I'm below 1.020, I'm probably on my way to a big problem.

Can I pop the tops to vent an then reseal? I've bottled in grolsch bottles, so this is easy to do. Sanitization required?

Any advice?

jevehn is offline
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
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Since you bottled in Grolsch bottles, that makes your life a LOT easier in this situation. I would let them carb for one week. Chill one bottle for 48 hours, and sample. Check for overall carb level and gushers. Remember that it is normal for young beer to act like a gusher if it is still in the process of carbonating. If the bottle gushes, or if the head is HUGE, but the beer itself is still flat, or not overly bubbly, then you are probably OK. This is normal for beer partway through the carbing process. The yeast has made a bunch of CO2, but it has not been absorbed back into the beer yet. If it gushes, and the beer itself is overcarbonated, then you will need to vent pressure.

This can be done by spraying the tops of the bottles with a contact sanitizer (like Star San), waiting one minute, opening the top to release excess pressure, and re-capping. Since you used Grolsch bottles, this is as easy as releasing the metal band, lifting the lid, and then immediately re-closing the bottle.

If your test bottle is still completely flat, check another one in 2 to 3 days. Keep checking every 2 to 3 days until you find properly carbonated or over-carbonated beer.

Also, it would be a good idea to put your bottles into a large plastic tupperware tub, heavy trash bags, or some other containment device, until you are more certain that you are not storing a case of beer-grenades!


"Give a man a beer, and he will waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and he will waste a lifetime!" Bill Owen

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Old 06-19-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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Was it an extract batch?

If so, most finish around 1.020 or so.its not uncommon. Wait, don't open any for a couple weeks. My guess that it is just fine.

bob1006 is offline
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