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Old 05-03-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
May 2011
Posts: 15

So I had just recently brewed my first batch of beer. I did it all in one carboy for the entire time till bottling. So it sat in there for about 2.5 weeks. Took maybe 1 week for the fermentation to stop (no airlock movement) and then i left a further 5-10 days.

I then bottled the beer using mostly grolsch bottles, a few 2L bottles and a few 1L grolsch type snapping shut bottles.

That was approximately 2 week ago that i did the bottling. At the time of bottling, i mixed in 8 grams per litre of sugar before bottling. I mixed it up good, but i did not pre dissolve the sugar on the stove.

everything was cleaned with powdered bleach (dutch cleanser) and also a pink powder that i got from the homebrew store.

Problem: Today one of the bottles exploded and seriously pissed off my girlfriend who was home at the time. I want to prevent more explosions, so what should I do?
Ideas I had
- Simply opening the pop top on all the bottles and then resealing it, to let the pressure off.
- letting it sit and hoping for no more explosions
- putting the bottles in the fridge to delay explosions for a few weeks till i can finish all the beer
- getting a straw and drinking 40ml or so from the top of every beer and resealing. This i thought would allow more space for the co2 to build up.

I left aprox 1 inch from the top to the beerline in the grolsch bottles.
I am thinking that maybe it was contamination somewhere along the way from reading other threads here, but all the equipment was brand new and i did try my darndest to sanitize with bleach and then rinse.

When i bottled the beer (an ale from a kit) the SG was 1.010 which looking on the internet, was fine for ales. Keep in mind that it was steady at 1.010 for several days to with no c02 coming out the airlock.

what do i do?!?! any ideas? THANKS!

i should also add that the beer tastes great and has plenty of carbonation! no issues except for the "yeast poo" on the bottom of the bottles. and of course the explosions...

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:06 PM   #2
Dec 2010
White Haven, pa
Posts: 35

not dissolving the sugar on the stove was your problem, some are going to be over carbed and some are going to have no carbonation.

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:10 PM   #3
devils4ever's Avatar
Sep 2007
Posts: 297
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

I would guess you over-primed the bottles with sugar. If you waited 2.5 weeks in the carboy, the fermentation was probably over, in my experience. I haven't used bottles in a while since I switched to kegs, but I seem to recall about 1/4 tsp of sugar per bottle. It's better to mix up the priming sugar in water, boil to sterilize, and then cool. This way it's a little more precise.
"Hush little brewski don't you leak, daddy wants to drink for at least a week." -- Bender of Futurama

"Actually, Dwight, you're right. Alcohol is very very bad...for children. But once you turn 21, it becomes very very good! So scram!" -- Leela

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
Apr 2010
Hartford, MI
Posts: 6

In the future, make a simple syrup on the stove. Be sure to boil it thoroughly to kill off any contaminants.

I'd put them all in a rubbermaid container to contain possible "future" explosions, rather than risk ruining your fresh batch of beer.

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #5
Apr 2011
Rochester, NY
Posts: 810
Liked 28 Times on 26 Posts

I don't think it was too much sugar... I had to do some math to work it out, but it sounds like the amount the OP added was just fine.

I'm tending to agree with Melnyk, that probably the sugar was unevenly distributed. The other possibility is that there was contamination in only that bottle, which caused an infection and a bottle bomb (we know the whole batch isn't contaminated, because it tastes good, right?), but that's probably not what I would bet on.

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
Shaneoco1981's Avatar
Apr 2011
Rochester, MI
Posts: 581
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

My guess is that you got some more sugar in some beer and some not. They say to boil the sugar in 2 cups of water for 2 reasons that I know of. The first is so that it's very easy to get the sugar to mix well into the beer without having to stir the crap out of your beer which will oxidize it to no end. The second is to sterilize it. You only used about 5.5 ounces of sugar for a 5 gallon batch, which is more then I use. I usually stick to about 4 ounces or less. If I were you, I would put them in the fridge and pray no more explode. The cold should prevent the yeast from creating anymore CO2. If they do explode, you will be cleaning the fridge.

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:14 PM   #7
Apr 2011
Hamilton, Ontario
Posts: 40

I believe the fridge (if you have the space)
On my first batch of beer, i was recommended to do this by my grandpa, not 100% of this, so wait for confirmation. But I had 2 beer bottles blow on me. So I called my grandpa and asked what he would do, he said throw em in the fridge (not the easiest solution with just short of 3 24's) but I didnt have any more blow outs

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:29 PM   #8
Jun 2010
Pensacola, FL
Posts: 128
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

I had 2 bottle bombs on a few batches ago. It was because I didn't mix the sugar well and some were way over carbed and some were not at all. I hear sticking them in the fridge helps, or you can just put them in plastic bags and see what happens to them.
Primary: American Wheat
Secondary: Oatmeal Brown Ale, Dry Mead,
Bottled: Session Rye, Black IPA, Porter, American Honey Wheat, American Amber Ale
On Deck: Rye IPA, Jamil's British Bitter, Jamil's 60 Shilling

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
Jan 2011
Alabaster, Alabama
Posts: 75
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

I always park mine in the basement in a large container I bought on the clearance table at Walmart. It was after Halloween and it was to store decorations in. It has a top that snaps on to prevent shrapnel cuts as well as contains any leaks. It is black or real dark brown so it also keeps out the light. Holds 2+ cases easily if you stack em.
Raiders Choice Brewing

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Old 05-04-2011, 01:48 AM   #10
May 2011
Posts: 15

great thanks for the advice! i was hoping it was something simple like that.

What i have done is taken a cooler and put all the bottles in it now. SO if it explodes again, it will be confined to the cooler. Hopefully it doesnt like cause a chain reaction in there....

i will do less sugar next time and boil it first. I have also put a bunch in the fridge, but i have checked a few bottles and they dont seem overly carbonated so heres hoping it was contamination of that one particular bottle.

I took a look at the bottle shrapnel, and it blew the bottom completely off. Almost a clean cut!

this brewing enterprise is sure exciting stuff! :P heres to the nessecities of poverty!

and yes the beer tastes great. I havent had a bad tasting bottle yet. I do eventually want to go to kegs in a small fridge with a tap because i hate hate hate washing bottles, but that will cost a few hundred to set up at least, with the corny keg, C02 regulator and tap.

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