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Old 09-02-2008, 12:38 AM   #1
Jordan Wilson
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I bottled my 3rd batch a few weeks ago, a dry-hopped pale ale. I just now checked on it and found the bottom of the box they're in a bit damp. After further inspection, I found that the bottom blew out of one of the bottles.

OG was 1.044, FG 1.012 after 11 days in the primary. Left it in secondary for almost a month. Added 3/4 cup priming sugar and bottled. I thought I had done everything right, and was going to throw a couple in the fridge to try this week. But now I found that one of the bottles blew out and I'm not sure how to proceed.

If one blew out, are the rest of them in danger of exploding? Should I be afraid to open these bottles? Is this batch a bust or is it salvagable? Someone please advise a newbie on how to handle this.

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:42 AM   #2
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Hmmm. It should have been done, so that only leaves a couple of explanations. One is that you might not have mixed the priming sugar well, and that bottle got more priming sugar than some of the others. I'd chill one or two down right away and open them carefully in two days. If those are overcarbonated too, then I'd lean towards a different possibility- maybe an infection. Or maybe it wasn't done? Was it still at 1.012 when you bottled? That seems low enough to almost rule that out, though- 1.012 is pretty darn done!
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:42 AM   #3

Get them cold quickly. And be careful- safety glasses and gloves are definitely not out of the question.

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:45 AM   #4
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If I had to guess I would say that you did not get the priming sugar mixed well and some will be over carbed as some will be under carbed.

I would get them into plastic tubs with lids for safety and easy clean-up. Then get them chilled. Be carful when handling them until you are sure you don't have any more that are high.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:56 AM   #5
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all the possibilities stated above are likely but you may also have had one or more bottles with a flaw in it. some brand new bottles have manufacturing flaws but if you recycle bottles its likely it got bumped at some point in its life and had an unseen crack that led to its demise. bottles without flaws that explode due to over carbonation make a very loud pop that you would likely hear if you were home at the time and would also throw glass shards everywhere, while bottles with flaws blow at a lower pressure and usually dont make much noise or spread glass very far.

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:04 AM   #6
Jordan Wilson
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Well, I just popped a warm one open while wearing oven mits and my paintball mask. My girlfriend was laughing at me. It gushed a bit, but it tastes alright, so I'm thinking that it's not infected (an infection would pretty well ruin the taste, right?). Which leaves the suggestion that the priming sugar wasn't mixed in well. That would also explain my last batch, a Wit, where some of the bottles produced a nice foamy head and others were nearly flat.

I boil a cup of water, mix in the sugar, dump it in the bottling bucket and then rack the beer on top of it. I don't stir in in or anything, because that might aerate the beer, right? How can I make sure the sugar is mixed in well?

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:10 AM   #7
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you shouldn't worry about aeration when priming. for one thing when you rack the beer to the priming bucket it gives off a lot of co2 leaving a protective blanket covering its surface, also your odds of adding any significant amount of o2 to the beer are next till nil unless you whip the heck out of it. still it gently with a sanitized spoon or just use the racking wand that's already been sanitized. even if you managed to aerate it I think for a just about anything but a barley wine it will get drank long before the effects of aeration take hold.

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:15 AM   #8
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I have never stirred when batch priming. I dissolve the sugar and boil it a bit and then add it to the bottling bucket. I then rack the beer into the priming solution, with the tip under the surface, and the tubing laying in the bottom of the bucket, so that it swirls and fills from the bottom. I've never had inconsistent carbonation or any problems.

That said, though, many people do gently stir their beer in the bottling bucket without problems.

One other thing- warm beer tends to foam. Before you open the next one, chill it for 48 hours first and then open very carefully. (Warm beer tends to have the co2 more in the headspace, but co2 dissolves more readily into a cold substance).
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