Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Exploding Bottles!
View Poll Results: How many times have you had a bottle explode on you?
Never, thank goodness! 123 70.29%
Only once, but never again. 37 21.14%
Several times; when will I learn? 9 5.14%
All the time; it's a part of life for me. 0 0%
I only keg my beer. 6 3.43%
Voters: 175. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2006, 05:08 AM   #1
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Default Exploding Bottles!

I'm curious how many people have ever faced this disastrous incident. My oatmeal stout fermented for 15 days, and dropped from 1.046 OG to 1.021 in the first eleven days. In the last four days it only dropped down to 1.018 FG. I went ahead and bottled it, because it seemed to be stalled out, with only one bubble every 2-3 minutes.

I used White Labs WLP013 London Ale. It has an attenuation of 67-75%. I got about 61% attenuation. So my question is, have I done something really stupid? Do I have 50 bombs waiting to blow right now? I want to hear stories from others about what conditions caused them to have bombs, just to get a feel for whether or not I've put myself in danger.

I figure, in a week, I could conceivably open all the bottles to release some gas, and then recap them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

#48 Black Helicopter Porter #49 Pikemen Porter
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:16 AM   #2
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Default Ueo

My first attempt at homebrew resulted in two dozen glass lemonade bottles with gingerbeer hiden under the shed around the side of the house (I was only 14 at the time and was covertly making beer and wine). After a couple exploded sending glass shards every where we (my best mate and partner in crime) decided to call it a day and shot the rest with a rifle and a catapult! The shed stunk a bit after that - what a mess. We only made wine after that, much safer.


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Old 12-04-2006, 05:41 AM   #3
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The only bacterial infection that I have ever had <knock on wood> resulted in 5 bottles blowing up in my closet. Luckily they were in boxes, so it didnt make a huge mess.

- magno
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:07 PM   #4
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Interesting, I have a nearly identical situation. Same thing bottled an Oatmeal stout and it was OG around 1.047 and after two weeks it was 1.02 ish (I gotta get a better hydrometer setup got one of those plastic tubes and imo it was a mistake...too hard to read accurately...so I need a glass tube). Basically though, when I opened up the fermentor there was only once in a while a tiny 'bloop' would come from the trub (like a little yeasty bubble thing). The yeast I used was a medium attenuating (well Danstar says 'moderate' dunno what that equals percentage wise), so I am quite a bit up. I am getting cold feet now. I am going to keep a sharp eye on them by opening one every few days to test the carbonation level. I did mash at 154, so I am assuming this will affect the final gravity but I am still new at this so I have no idea to what degree. I had absolutely no airlock indication of fermentation so I am guessing it must have pretty much wound down, although I do know it is very far from being inactive. I would hate to lose any of the brew!

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Old 12-04-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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I'm very much the amateur and don't speak "attenuation," but an FG of 1.018 is pretty safe - although you'd generally want it down around 1.014.

BL: you shouldn't have any 'splosions, but I'd put 'em in a plastic container and cover them with a towel to be safe.

Let us know how it comes out.

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Old 12-04-2006, 09:37 PM   #6
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I voted never, but I only counted my beer.

I've had bottle grenades when I brewed root beer.
HB Bill
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
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I rarely bottle & have never had one blow; however, I seem to crack necks off far too often when I do bottle. I plan on putting the melomel into 12 oz. bottles, but not until it gets near 1.000 At the rate it is fermenting, I think that means next summer.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:04 PM   #8
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:26 PM   #9
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So far, only 1 bottle bomb. Blew the bottom right off the bottle.
Kegged: Smokier Smoked Porter
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #10
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I bottled a Bitter. The SG, in secondary, was holding steady for several days so it was obviously finished fermenting (it had been 4 weeks in secondary) even though the SG was higher than I knew it should be.

I primed and bottled it. About a week later I noticed sticky stuff running from the closet towards my front door. When I opened the closet door, I heard a quiet explosion, and knew what had happened.

Of the two cases, only one survived . I gloved up and very quickly moved the surving bottles into an empty case and then into my chest freezer to cool them down and stop the explosions. I was wincing and praying the entire time another one wouldn't explode in my hands as I was moving them.

I guess that priming the beer kick-started fermentation again. The bottles certainly are carbed. It takes me a minute or so to pour without getting 3/4 of a glass of foam. It's not infected, and tasted fine although it's still a little sweet to my taste.

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