Fear of bottle bombs

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RyanVTBrew

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2 batches ago I brewed an extract that I fear may be potential bottle bombs. It was a higher gravity beer, but I hit my OG, and my FG spot on. It took four weeks, and I took multiple gravity samples days apart to be sure fermentation was complete. I used 4 oz. of corn sugar to bottle.
Today, I popped one. When I say popped, I mean POPPED. It whizzed by my face incredibly fast. (I've learned the lesson of opening away from the face..luckily without getting hurt). Scared the snizz out of me.
Now, my questions for my hbt people are as follows: Will putting them in the fridge stop them from becoming actual bottle bombs?
Was 4oz corn sugar too much for an OG 1.079 and an FG of 1.017? I followed beersmith. I just want to avoid this happening again.
My only thought is that it possibly didn't mix with the sugar properly, even though half way through bottle day I gave it a very light stir. As always, your help is greatly appreciated! Cheers!


Green mountain high!
 

CastleHollow

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  1. What was your final bottling volume? Was it less than the recipe called for (typically assumes a full 5 gallons)?
  2. What was your expected FG? At 1.017, was the yeast done working?

Those would make more of a difference to the 4oz of corn sugar.

Refrigerating should reduce your risk of bottle bombs. I think it has to do with the CO2 moving back into solution at cooler temps. But don't quote me on the reason, I got a D in Physics back in college.
 

jwelch1103

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You don't say in your original post if the one you opened was cold or not. If it wasn't cold try putting a couple in the refrigerator for several days and see how they behave.
 
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RyanVTBrew

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Final gravity was dead nuts with 1.017, expected. (First time I was as close). When I bottled, I landed 3 12oz bottles short. Probably should have accounted for that.
I didn't leave the bottles in the fridge for days. I left it on for just about 12 hours. So maybe it wasn't cold enough? Or cold for long enough? Heat expands, it makes sense.
Thanks for the quick answers guys!


Green mountain high!
 

Hello

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When you say landed 3 bottles short, what was your volume in your bottling bucket? 3 bottles short can mean just about anything. Don't measure in # of bottles, measure in volume in your bottling bucket.

I'd say that if it were over-carbonated and in the fridge for 12 hours then basically it is not going to get much better. 24-48 is ideal chill time but even at 12 hours, you have a fairly good indication of what you're in for.

What yeast did you use? You say you hit your anticipated FG but what was the yeast? What was the highest temp of the beer during fermentation? On some priming calculators the temp of the beer during fermentation is taken into account.

When I bottle I mark the first and last bottles for two reasons, one, the first usually has a bit of sanitizer in it from the bottle wand (if I didn't draw a sample to drink first) and the last usually has a bit more yeast & trub that made it into the bottle bucket in spite of best efforts. I then usually put the bottles in a box in such a way that there is a good way for me to tell the order of bottling. With this, I will take the first and last bottle as well as one in the middle and chill them all. If one is under or over carbonated, I will open the others and note carbonation levels. If they're all the same then I mixed sugar fine but I used too much or worse there's an infection. Usually it's just too much sugar. If they're all different, then I know I did not mix the sugar well enough, usually.

I know that's not an exact science but from day one, I've used this technique thinking it was important to know which bottle was first and which bottle was last. I keg now but I still bottle and I still use this technique.

Also, when I first started I was told to pour the priming sugar solution into the bucket as it was filling and DO NOT STIR. I opted to go against that after the first couple of batches and I begin to let the beer into the bottling bucket and within the first few seconds I pour a bit of the priming sugar solution into the bucket. I wait until I get half of the beer in the bucket and I pour a bit more and finally, once nearly all the beer is in the bucket, I pour the rest. I give it a very gentle swirl with a spoon about 5 times around and let the beer settle from the stir, then I start to bottle.

Maybe that will help you. I know everyone has their way, this is just mine … ramble and all.
 

hotspurdotus

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Today, I popped one. When I say popped, I mean POPPED. It whizzed by my face incredibly fast. (I've learned the lesson of opening away from the face..luckily without getting hurt). Scared the snizz out of me.
Is this the only one you've opened? If so, that's too small of sample size to determine much of anything. I'd open a few more and see if it's an isolated issue.
 
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