Bottled too soon!?

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pips

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I'm new to brewing and should've read up some more before I started my first brew. Anyways. I think I bottled to early and now I'm worried that I just created 2 cases of bottle bombs.

This was a 5 gallon amber ale kit from Midwest supplies that's came with a dry yeast pack. Firmentation started within 20 hours of sprinkling the yeast over the wort and aeration with a whisk. 3 days later, I had no more activity in the airlock. I check SG was 1.020. I forgot to take a starting reading so I had nothing to compare it with. While searching online, I read that dry yeast can finish is as little as 1-2 days. So I figured it was time to bottle. Tomorrow will be sixth day that the beer has been carbonating/conditioning in the bottle. Well since finding homebrewtalk.com I'm staring to think I didn't let the primary fermentation finish. Also I noticed that there is a later of sediment on the bottom of each bottle. The beer is sitting at my cousin house and I'm really worried that I may have a dangerous situation. What do you guys think?

Tomorrow I'm going to go over and open a bottle and see it I get a beer fountain if I do, I think I'm going to abandon this batch. :(
 

Pontiac_Guy

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Ok you did one big mistake; not following the instructions with your kit. Most ales should be left in primary between 2-3 weeks. It helps the yeast clean up after itself. Yes, fermentation will be 99% done in less than a week, but you still have coagulated proteins and yeast hanging in suspension. Because you bottled so early, I would let them sit in bottles for the next 5 weeks before drinking.

Don't pop one unless you can't rest easy about it. It would be best jut to put them in a big plastic storage bin and forget about them. I'm assuming you did and extract batch. There is this thing with extract that a lot of people see where fermentation stops around 1.020. This usually happens with small boils and some of their fermentable sugars caramelize. So lets hope that happened with your batch.

Hw much priming sugar did you use? The whole 5ounce pack that came with the kit? How much did you end up bottling? 4 gallons? Some more details are needed.

Just forget about the beer until you hear one explode. If they don't then you should have a drinkable beer in a month and a half.
 
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pips

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Thanks for the reply!

Yeah big mistake. :( I'm going to do a lot more reading before my next batch.

I had a pretty big kettle so i was able to do the boil with 3 gallons of water. I kept it at a pretty fast boil for the entire hour. I'm not sure if this affects it. I did use all 5oz of the priming sugar and ended up with 36-12oz bottles and 2- 1/2 gallon growlers worth of beer.

Ill put them in a big plastic bin tomorrow and open one to see what happens. If its ok, I will definitely let them condition for atleast 5 weeks before drinking.
 

Pontiac_Guy

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Cool, there is going to be a loud pop when you open the bottle. That's because the CO2 hasn't fallen back in to the beer. Don't be afraid of that.
 

temple240

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Thanks for the reply!

Yeah big mistake. :( I'm going to do a lot more reading before my next batch.

I had a pretty big kettle so i was able to do the boil with 3 gallons of water. I kept it at a pretty fast boil for the entire hour. I'm not sure if this affects it. I did use all 5oz of the priming sugar and ended up with 36-12oz bottles and 2- 1/2 gallon growlers worth of beer.

Ill put them in a big plastic bin tomorrow and open one to see what happens. If its ok, I will definitely let them condition for atleast 5 weeks before drinking.
If you're using normal growlers i would put them in a plastic bin asap. Growlers don't normally stand up to the pressure that 12oz bottles can. If you're already afraid of bottle bombs those growlers are ticking time bombs.
 

ENGBrew

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You shouldn't have a problem if you keep them in the coolest part of your home.
To be on the safe side, put them in a Rubbermaid tote or bin with a cover. That way if they do explode, you'll have any easy mess to clean up.
 

unionrdr

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When all the vigorous bubbling slows or stops,only initial fermentation is over. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to Fg. Then another 3-7 days on average to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle. 3-4 weeks on average for an average gravity ale. At least a week fridge time to settle any chill haze & get co2 into solution. Especially in your case,since all the co2 in the head space will act as a nucleation point & it's beersuvious. I agree about the growlers too. Theyaren't designed for carbonating beer,just transporting it.
 
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pips

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Thanks for all the replies.. This has really been a good learning experience.. i never knew brewing beer could be dangerous.. haha

I'm going to head over to my cousins at lunch today and put the growlers into a plastic bin. They're sitting in his living room now. Do you think its a good idea to move them into his cold basement?

Also, since the growlers have a screw cap, do you guys think its a good idea to crack them open a little and let some of the CO2 out?
 

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This may sound odd, but you should be wearing some heavy gloves and some protective eyewear. When you lift those growlers or bottles, that little bit of movement could cause one to pop. I would put each growler into a seperate bag and see what happens, they may carb up and not blow. Just never do it again.

You are doing the correct things to solve your problem. Just be as safe as you can when moving them. After that, get the book how to brew and read it. Home brewing isn't hard, but doing it right takes some knowledge.
 

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This may sound odd, but you should be wearing some heavy gloves and some protective eyewear.
Doesn't sound odd to me, I'd be wearing my full face helmet and as much other protection as I could find. Heavy gloves aren't a bad idea. And a bullet proof vest if you have one. ;)

Bottling after 3 days can be extremely dangerous, get over to your cousins house ASAP and contain those things, thick card board box and then into the plastic bin. Depending on how cold the basement is, I don't think that would be a bad idea either. But contain them before you start moving them around too much. Be careful out there....
 

dpatrickv

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Yeah...3 days is not long enough at all. At least 1 to 2 weeks at minimum in primary, sometimes longer.
 
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pips

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Thanks everyone for all your replies. I really wished i found this forum before i started this brew. lesson learned the hard way.. :(
 

BobbiLynn

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lesson learned the hard way.. :(
I have learned so many lessons the hard way since I started brewing. And, actually, those are the only lessons I really remember, other stuff I have to look up over and over to refresh my memory.
 
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pips

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Again thanks for all the input. I'm learning so much.

So i opened up a couple of bottles and no beer geysers. Plenty of carbonation though so i put them all in the fridge. I also vented the growlers and put them in the fridge. The beer actually taste pretty good. I hope that in a few weeks, they'll taste even better.

what do you guys think about the growlers? Do you think venting them and chilling them in the fridge is good enough to prevent over carbonation? also do you think the growlers will be ok to drink in a few weeks?
 

masskrug

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I had a pretty big kettle so i was able to do the boil with 3 gallons of water. I kept it at a pretty fast boil for the entire hour. I'm not sure if this affects it. I did use all 5oz of the priming sugar and ended up with 36-12oz bottles and 2- 1/2 gallon growlers worth of beer.
Please tell me you topped off with 2+ gallons of water. Or...

You ended up with less than 3 gallons and pitched 5oz of priming sugar? that alone would cause concern, throw in active yeast and I would assume there will be some bombs.

Good luck, but please let us know how this turns out!
 
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pips

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i did topped off.. haha Filled it to the 5 gallon mark on the side of the bucket with store bought bottle water.

i think i dodged a bullet this time. It seems like they'll be okay if keep them cold and the yeast dormant..
 
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