Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Ok bottle bomb experts.....
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:21 AM   #1
storytyme
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Default Ok bottle bomb experts.....

So yes I am a bit pissed at the moment. Actually a lot pissed. I go out and check my chest fermentor just to make sure all is ok. I have a batch fermenting plus 10 gallons+ of bottle beer from this past Friday. I have been brewing for over a year now and have done 26 or so batches. I have had bottle bombs before and have made some dumb errors (not cleaned properly, wrong storage temp, etc) So this time I went above and beyond to make sure everything was spot on. I bottled 2 separate batches and the bottle bombs were a couple from each batch. I am refusing to even clean it up until 2 weeks is up. Here is what I did and I need advice beyond the normal

(one batch was a Dunkel lager fermenting for 4 weeks+ and the other was a Christmas Spicy Ale fermented for 2 weeks. Both reached the FG that Beersmith said they would)

1) All bottles were used in prior homebrew batches and were rinsed with hot water after pouring.

2) Soaked all bottles in Oxyclean free with warm-hot water for 3+ hours. Rinsed with water.

3) Sanitized throughly all bottles with Star San plus all equipment (bottling bucket, bottle tree, auto siphon, hoses, bottle caps etc)

4) Used the exact amount of corn sugar according to style and measurements from Beersmith.

5) Racked and capped. Put bottles in chest fermentor temperature controlled at 69-70 degrees.

6) Today is day four of bottle conditioning and the bombs happened sometime between yesterday and today.

SO please experts out there help me out. And yes I am seriously considering going the kegging route since I don't enjoy bottling and even worse wasting time cleaning up a mess that I have no idea how it happened. So advice on this or advice on how to get into kegging help me please.

Ok, I feel better now.

-Cheers
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:40 AM   #2
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Did you mix the sugar into the beer evenly? If not, the unequal distribution of sugar would have led to some bottles being more carbed than others.

That could explain what you observed, no? If course, you'd have had to do the same thing to both batches. If you're 26 batches in, then you probably already have the "mixing well" part figured out.

That's all I can think of. Sorry you've got such a mess to deal with!
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:04 AM   #3
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I put the sugar into the bottling bucket, then put the beer in the bucket. Assumed that was good enough.

Also, I just looked closer and most of what I bottled were 22 oz bottles, but the 3 that broke were 12 oz bottles.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:12 AM   #4
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I overcarbed before because I measured out my dex for carbing based on what I thought was the final volume, but I lost a good chunk to the angel's share and hops. Boo. Is this a possibility? Does your bottling bucket have a volume indication? (mine is an old cooper's fermemter with the litres written on the side. No more of THAT mistake, my irish red was WAY to Carbed.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:16 AM   #5
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Are you boiling the water, adding the priming sugar, then cooling to 65-70? I do that (covered) and pour it in the bottling bucket then transfer to the bottling bucket. That mixes it up good enough.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storytyme View Post
I put the sugar into the bottling bucket,
As in you just put the sugar as a powder in the bucket or it was dissolved and boiled in water before putting in the bucket?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:17 AM   #7
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When i bottled i would also stir the beer after putting it onto the priming sugar solution for at LEAST 60 seconds. Just pouring the beer onto it can and in your case did lead to uneven distrobution of the priming sugars.

Kegging is the way to go but you WILL have to plop down at least another $300 or more depending if you have a fridge or not allready to put it into.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:19 AM   #8
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And kegging is so easy and wonderful. It's like magical unicorn dust
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:23 AM   #9
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If all the bottles were from the same manufacturer and the same lot then it may just be a bad batch of bottles. If they were all different then I would recommend examining your capping prowess, if you are using too much force you might be making tiny stress fractures which then break wide open when pressurized. It is a long shot on both those but you seem to have covered all the normal bases.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:34 AM   #10
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Another little weird thing to always check, did you sanitize the spigot on the bottling bucket? I've read about people who never took it off and sanitized the o-rings.
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