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Old 01-23-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
venquessa
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Default Bottle bomb?

To get my girlfriend into brewing, we made some ginger ale.

To get a decent ABV, I used what is probably excessive sugar, like a cup full / 100g in a 2 litre PET bottle.

The 1/4 teaspoon of beer yeast didn't kick off after 48 hours, so I made a small yeast start in 100ml of warm water, waited till it started to bubble and tipped it into the bottle and sealed it.

The bottle started to pressurize in a few hours and has been sitting at room temp since Saturday morning. Bottle was hard to squeeze on Saturday night.

Trouble is, I'm now at work and I'm a little paranoid as ALL the recipes I read online say "DO NOT LEAVE LONGER THAN 48 hours at room temp." Also most of them use half or less of the sugar I used.

As it's a 2 litre PET CocaCola bottle I'm hoping I have a window to get home this evening and

a) quick chill it to stop fermentation.
OR
b) Release the pressure, transfer through a sieve to remove the "bits" and continue fermentation to recarbonate for another 48 hours before chilling.

The PET bottle will expand and deform first, right?, before it explodes?

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Old 01-23-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Well I imagine that by the time you read this, you would have already discovered the answer, but for what it's worth:

100g of sugar is A LOT. I use that much to carbonate around 12-15L batches of beer. In the future, carbonation calculators are your friends.

Yes, coke bottles will deform. But they WILL explode. Think about it this way: The coca cola company engineered those to use as little plastic as they need to hold the prusser of carbonated coca cola, nothing more.

My recommendation is to VERY VERY VERY CAREFULLY, try to relieve the pressure. The reason is that cold crashing does not stop fermentation PERMANENTLY, only as long as the bottle is cold. Better to let the yeast get all the way through, and relieve the pressure occasionally until you get the carbonation you want. That said, I wouldn't bother with the sieve. When the yeast is done, it will sink.

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Old 01-23-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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Nah, I'm still at work and now quite worried, the bottle is just sitting in my living room... carpet, curtains, sofas, TV and electrics (although it's not near any of them).

Fingers crossed it's till intact when I get home.

Will the ginger bits (including peal) sink?

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Old 01-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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The curiosity is killing me. You have to let us know what happened.

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Old 01-24-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Well the bottle was fine when I got home. Quite a lot of pressure to release, but no drama.

I just released the pressure and resealed the bottle.

It smells foul, but tastes nice. I expect that is the yeast/alcohol/co2 and it might end up better.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Update:
I kept releasing pressure until it had been brewing a full week, then chilled it for a day.

It still smelt of sour lemon, but tasted fine if a little thin. We dumped it as a successful prototype.

Going to let my GF boil up her normal ginger and lemon drink, then add sugar, yeast and ferment.

I think peeling the ginger might have been an idea LOL.

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Old 01-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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I just put this ginger beer recipe together from looking at several other recipes online and after a few failed attempts on my part. This batch turned out perfectly, in my opinion. All of my friends who tried it also loved it.

Ingredients
• ½ pound of ginger
• 2 cups of sugar
• 3 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about two small lemons)
• 3 Tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
• Honey (to taste)
• ¼ tsp Champagne Yeast

Preparation
1. Weigh the ginger with skin on, then slice into disks about ½ inch thick
2. Peel the ginger and lay out the disks on a plate in the freezer.
3. Allow the ginger to partially freeze
4. Grate all ginger (medium grate) and set aside
5. Squeeze lemon and orange juice and set aside in separate containers. Pour the juices through a cheese cloth to strain out the pulp.

Instructions
1. Bring one gallon of purified water to just under a boil.
2. Add the ginger ONLY and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Using a hand strainer, fish out all of the grated ginger (set aside), then pass the strained ginger broth through a cheese cloth to remove the smaller particles.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar has all dissolved.
5. Taste the mixture to see if the ginger flavor is too strong. If so, add water. If not, replace the strained ginger in a small pot of water and boil it to add to the mix for flavor strengthening.
6. Add the lemon and orange juice
7. Add a 6 count squeeze of honey
8. Stir and let cool to 95 degrees (F)
9. Pour ¼ tsp of champagne yeast directly into the pot and let sit for about 45 minutes

Bottling
1. Fill plastic tester bottle with Ginger Ale and leave 1 ½ inches of air at the top, then seal.
2. Shake bottle vigorously and place in box.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all glass bottles.
4. Place box on top of a heating pad and set to medium.
5. Check plastic tester bottle regularly for firmness. When a firm squeeze cannot indent the bottle, move all bottles to the refrigerator.
6. Set the bottles age for 2-7 days before drinking.

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