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Old 01-23-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
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Default Mr. Beer Keg Explodes!!!

Well, I brewed two new batches on Sunday. I have two Mr. Beer kegs I got for Christmas.

The Honey Maibock is doing fine.

I brewed Love Potion Lager in an attempt to get my wife to drink some beer.
It is made with Whispering Wheat Weizenbier, Golden Wheat UME, a can of dark, sweet cherries, cinamon and nutmeg. I put it into the keg Sunday night.

Monday afternoon, it was going crazy. All types of fermentation going on I guess. It looked like the cherry particles were on a crazy ride swirling all around. Later it started hissing once in a while and spit out some foam from the top. I called the "experts" at Mr. Beer and his response was it just happens sometimes when you brew with fruit. He said remove the lid after putting on safety glasses and gloves. I asked about it ruining the beer and he said it was more important not to blow up the house. He could not provide me with any reason why it would be doing this. I did crack the lid allowing the pressure to escape. I did this several times as it continued to build. I, for one, am not about to ruin 2.5 gallons of beer on purpose.

Bedtime came and I let out the pressure again and loosened up the lid a lot. Not enough I guess. When I woke up, I found some purple foam on the wall and ceiling and no lid on the keg. I found pieces of the lid about twenty feet away. The beer had not blown out as it was still real close to the starting level. The foam had blown everywhere thoguh and the top was in 8 pieces. The beer was still doing it's crazy fermenting thing so I glued the top back together and sterilized it and put it back on loosely.

It seems to have calmed down now. Hopefully the beer is okay. With that much positive pressure, maybe no bad things got in.

Anyone have this happen before? Any insight as to why it might have happened?

The good thing to come out of this is now the wife gave me approval to get the two glass carboy setup at my local brew store. Once these are done, goodbye Mr. Beer. I still may keep them to experiment with.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. If nothing else, it is a funny story.

Eric

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Old 01-23-2007, 09:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepdog
The good thing to come out of this is now the wife gave me approval to get the two glass carboy setup at my local brew store. Once these are done, goodbye Mr. Beer. I still may keep them to experiment with.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. If nothing else, it is a funny story.

Eric

It's a great story, with a happy ending, you get to further the obsession! There's been some great blowout stories around here but that's a classic.

Pix would have really been good too!

Ize
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:59 PM   #3
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Yes, I should have grabbed the camera, but was more pissed and surprised and just didn't think about it.

Oh well, let my go find one of my pale ales from the first batch.

Eric

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Old 01-23-2007, 10:02 PM   #4
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Aren't you supposed to ferment with the cap loose on those things? I would think fermenting in any sealed vessel would lead to explisions...

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Old 01-23-2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Their directions say to keep it capped. If you remove the lid, you ruin the beer according to them.

There are two slots cut into the top of the keg to allow air to escape. It was hissing slightly and spitting out a little foam most of the day. Maybe a cherry piece got stuck in the slot and it caused it not to vent.

It is okay because I'll have real equipment next week.

Then I'll have to bug you guys a lot.

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Old 01-23-2007, 10:24 PM   #6
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make the holes bigger, moot though...

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Old 01-23-2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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No, I don't think I have ever been on that one.

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Old 01-23-2007, 10:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepdog
Their directions say to keep it capped. If you remove the lid, you ruin the beer according to them.

There are two slots cut into the top of the keg to allow air to escape. It was hissing slightly and spitting out a little foam most of the day. Maybe a cherry piece got stuck in the slot and it caused it not to vent.
My guess is that you overfilled it. Probably the amount of beer you had was fine, but you didn't account for the extra volume taken up by the cherries. If you'd put in, say, half a gallon less beer, I bet it would've been okay.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:00 PM   #9
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I wondered about that. Their directions clearly state to fill up to the 8.5 qt mark and then add the fruit, which I did.

All other recipes end up with 8.5 qts though, so you may be exactly right.

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Old 01-24-2007, 12:45 AM   #10
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I've blown the lid off of more than one plastic bucket. When you get the carboys, be certain to get blow-off tubing.

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