About 2 and a half months ago I brewed a blonde beer. I let it sit in the fermentor for three weeks. Then bottled it and then tested the gravity. Yes, I bottled it with out testing gravity. I've made my share of brews and three weeks in the fermentor has always been enough.
The gravity reading should have been my tip off. The gravity had not dropped much. And instead of having 4.7%/vol beer it looked to be 2.2%/vol. I was disappointed and after a few weeks in the bottle is sure didn't taste very good either.
Yes, all signs point to trouble here but I didn't think much through and took a case of this to my dad's place because he likes free beer. But yesterday I opened one of the bottles I had kept stashed in the back of my fridge.
It popped open like a champagne cork!
Loud and sending the cap across the room and the beer just shot out. Suddenly all the facts hit me hard. I had bottled a beer that wasn't just green but hadn't finished fermenting. And with the added bottling sugar, there was a chance that I had delivered bottle bombs into my mom and dad's house.
I went over and took the case of beer out of their house tonight and when I got home I put the case on the kitchen floor and went to empty the sink of dirty dishes so that I could open these bottles over the sink.
Right when I turned my back on the case, one of the bottles (I suspect it got a bit shaken up on the drive home) exploded. Didn't sound like a gun shot like I have heard it would but made me jump.
About two thirds of the bottles I opened from this case were like opening shaken champagne and one of the caps shot somewhere in my house and I cannot find it. And, yes, I dumped all the beer (don't tell Revvy).
The big lesson learned here is to trust my hydrometer and to take gravity readings before I bottle to make sure fermentation is done.