Bottle grenades - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottle grenades

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-02-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
MrBulldogg
Recipes 
 
Mar 2006
Monterey, CA
Posts: 61
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts



I recently bottled my first batch after 11 days in primary (don't have a secondary yet, but I timed 2+ mins between gurgles.) I'm using 12 oz glass Heineken bottles. I added 3/4 cup dextrose for priming prior to bottling, and the storage temp is about 65 degrees. So far so good, but a friend told me some horror stories about homebrews resulting in "bottle grenades" that made a humongous mess. I see no reason why 3/4 cup would be a problem, but I was wondering if there were any danger signs I should look out for? Ie. is there any way to tell if a bottle is approaching critical pressure? Thanks!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
Lounge Lizard
 
Lounge Lizard's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2005
Texas
Posts: 548
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


The only way that I know of to check them, would be to open one up and see if there is an excessive amount of foam. Like if it starts spewing everywhere. Eleven days in the primary is a decent amount of time if it wasn't a high gravity brew, but if it was me, I would have waited until the bubbles stopped.

How long has it been in the bottles? If it has been a while, you could open one up and check. If it has a LOT of foam, put the rest in the fridge...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:19 PM   #3
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 133 Times on 99 Posts


I was in Monterrey in Feb. Where were you?

Anyway, there are several reasons for bottle grenades.

The MOST common reason is bottling too early. If you did not check the FG reading and it was not within the FG range for the style then you bottled fermenting beer PLUS added more sugar. BOOM!!

Second reason is OVERPRIMING. Can also be a subset of reason 1.

Third reason is you let it OVERcondition. Once your beer has achieved the carbonation level you desire you should refridgerate the bottles to retard the process (puts yeast into a dormant state) or else they'll continue to carbonate.

There are other reasons, but those are the biggies.
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:27 PM   #4
davidkrau
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Posts: 211

I personally never heard of anyone with bottle bombs from making home brew. Generally you should wait for the fermentation to finish, therefore flat beer before you add the corn sugar and bottle. It sounds to me like your fermentation was about complete and you should have no problems. I don't know how long ago you bottled, after 4 or 5 days you can open a bottle and there should be slight carbonation if the beer shoots out like a volcanic eruption then you might have a problem.

The only time I've had bottle bombs is when I made root beer. I had a thread a while back on root beer and everyone that replied had bottle grenades and they sell root beer kits for children over 8

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:37 PM   #5
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 133 Times on 99 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidkrau
The only time I've had bottle bombs is when I made root beer. I had a thread a while back on root beer and everyone that replied had bottle grenades and they sell root beer kits for children over 8
Same here!
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:43 PM   #6
Ivan Lendl
 
Ivan Lendl's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Wimbledon Finals
Posts: 1,290
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts


yeah i kind of thought bottle grenades were just an urban legend created by big breweries to disuade people from home brewing, a friend of mine from brazil told me that youll go blind if you drink homebrew, stuff like that.

but i guess it can happen, if you either use the wrong type of bottles, (i had a vinnegar bottle bust on me), or if you bottle too soon.

i dont know about over-carbonating by way of over conditioning. I think if you stick to 1 cup or less corn sugar, youd be allright. I know that trappist ales are usually over-carbonated, but i dont see how that would make 'em blow up. I had one the other day that was bottled in 2004, and left on a warm shelf, and besides being slighty over carbed it was ok.

ive heard of beers that were infected that once opened the ENTIRE beer shot out like a cannon. Then again, beer bottles can hold alot of pressure, and unless the bottle's integrity is compromised they should be fine...
__________________
Primary: empty
Secondary: empty
Bottled: Barbarian IPA
Up next: Configuration 9

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 08:59 PM   #7
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 133 Times on 99 Posts


Going blind could happen with MOONSHINE, not beer.
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 09:27 PM   #8
MrBulldogg
Recipes 
 
Mar 2006
Monterey, CA
Posts: 61
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Eeech ... Wish I'd held out for a couple days more, just to be on the safe side. I'll crack one open tomorrow and see how it plays out. If you hear about seismic unrest on the CA coast slightly off the usual fault lines, it's just me being out of luck.

HB99: I was here, as always. It's a nice town, but it seems the closest HBS is in Santa Cruz almost an hour drive away. Oh well, morebeer.com has free shipping...

Thanks guys!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 09:36 PM   #9
brewhead
Recipes 
 
Apr 2005
Posts: 832
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


i've never produced bottle grenades - but a friend of mine has. it was his fault as he was from the school of "a little is good - a lot must be better" in regards to priming sugar. he said thery were so scary he donned a motorcycle helmut - gloves, and leather jacket and gently uncapped all of the remaining.
__________________
Upstate South Carolina Residents Check Out The Upstatebrewtopians. Celebrate tradition. Come back to the taste of hand crafted beer.


 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2006, 10:48 PM   #10
MrBulldogg
Recipes 
 
Mar 2006
Monterey, CA
Posts: 61
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by brewhead
he said thery were so scary he donned a motorcycle helmut - gloves, and leather jacket and gently uncapped all of the remaining.
Hmm... Sounds like my approach to fireworks when I was a kid -- I'd always spring for the biggest damn thing in the store, and then I'd be too stingy/stupid to leave the duds alone when there was a theoretical chance I could make'em go off with a little extra help. Fortunately, I was never successful.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bottle in the Miller Lite 16oz Al bottle/can things beesy General Beer Discussion 5 03-30-2009 08:18 PM
Bottle or not to bottle? 15 hours between hydrom tests? OdinsBrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 12-22-2008 05:55 PM
First batch is bottled, how long is the risk period for "grenades" Drscott266 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 12-06-2007 12:50 AM
Bottle grenades!!! woooooh! Muss General Techniques 10 12-05-2007 11:14 PM
Help with potential grenades! Wahoo Wheat Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 10-16-2007 04:56 PM


Forum Jump