My yeast starter sent me to the hospital

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crichter

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I was boiling my 1.5 L starter wort on the stove in an erlenmeyer flask the other night. After boiling I pulled the flask off the burner, tilted it towards me and dropped the stir bar in. When the stir bar hit the liquid it erupted like a volcano and sent boiling hot wort and foam into my face and chest. After spending the evening at the ER, I came away with face/chest blisters and a bottle of pain pills. Perhaps worst of all is that my fresh hop IPA batch will have to wait until next week.

I doubt I'm the first moron brewer to do this. The lesson is: don't stare down the barrel of your boiling starter flask.
 

unionrdr

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ouch! I always use a small SS sauce pan for making starter wort myself. Seems like the flask contains more of the steam in a smaller area to cause the irruption.
 
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Hope you recover well. I'm in the waiting room of the hospital right now because of my glass carboy. I am getting rid of the remaining two as soon as I get home. Better bottles here I come. Bad day for homebrewers I guess.
 

AnonyBrew

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Hope you recover well. I'm in the waiting room of the hospital right now because of my glass carboy. I am getting rid of the remaining two as soon as I get home. Better bottles here I come. Bad day for homebrewers I guess.
What were the details of your accident? My glass scares me more & more everytime I hear this.
 
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crichter

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I always have the stir bar in there before starting the boil. Hope your recovery goes well.
I used to do this but then for some reason started worrying that the plastic casing of the stir bar would melt. Guess it would be a good time to go back to that method.
 

Rossnaree

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I think you spelled that wrong by putting one too many "L"'s in "pils," right? You meant that they sent you home with a bottle of pilsner for the pain, right?:ban::drunk:
 

unionrdr

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Pils & pills always worked for me when I was working,& wound up needing a couple of pills with a few pils for the pain....;):D
 

Zamial

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This is a common effect. It can be simulated/ forced to happen in a microwave as well. The best way to avoid these "eruptions" is to leave a pyrex/plastic/wood (something that can hold up to the temps) stirrer in the liquid. By doing this simple thing you will never have another eruption.

Glass carboys are dangerous if you move them filled, which there is no reason, other than lack of proper equipment to ever move one when it is filled. That being said I have 3 glass carboys and now ferment in nearly indestructible sanke kegs. Remember that no one really owns anything made from glass they just rent it until breaks
 

lex990

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I use glass carboys for my primary and seconday I am not sure how one would go about not moving them filled... I fill with wort, carry to my fermentation fridge, move out of the fridge to transfer, and then move out to bottle. my 6.5 gallon has a brew hauler strap, my 5 gallons have carboy handles. I am extremly careful when moving and have never had a problem.
 

Ricand

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Super heated water without a nucleating point, your stir bar became it. Best way to stop it is exactly what Zamial suggested. Put something in there beside smooth glass, a penny will do. I managed to miss myself and just make a mess of the kitchen when it happened to me. Hope the pain pills take care of any discomfort.
 

Toecutter

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Something about boiling liquid in glass always made me nervous. I boil in a ss pan. put a lid on, and chill in the refer. Then i transfer to the Flask using a funnel.both have been disinfected with Starsan
 

mmonacel

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I feel your pain - literally. Same thing happened to me only it was sticking in a bristled brush to try and clean out caked on DME. I boiled some water to try and dislodge it and as soon as the brush went in... BOOM! Great idea on the stir bar. I hope you feel better soon.
 
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Soperbrew said:
What were the details of your accident? My glass scares me more & more everytime I hear this.
I had just finished cleaning it out and emptying it. I picked up, empty, but it was wet and it slipped. It fell probably less than four inches but hit cement. Luckily, I didn't try to catch it and instead just got hit with shrapnel. I have a dozen small cuts and one small but real deap one on my wrist. With all the blood, the wife insisted I go see the doc but they ended up just cleaning me up and using strips to pull the cut on my wrist shut. I ordered better bottles and am getting rid of the other two carboys. I had my left hand reattached after a vehicle accident four years ago, so this whole exploding carboys thing got my attention real quick.
 

BBKing

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I had just finished cleaning it out and emptying it. I picked up, empty, but it was wet and it slipped. It fell probably less than four inches but hit cement. Luckily, I didn't try to catch it and instead just got hit with shrapnel. I have a dozen small cuts and one small but real deap one on my wrist. With all the blood, the wife insisted I go see the doc but they ended up just cleaning me up and using strips to pull the cut on my wrist shut. I ordered better bottles and am getting rid of the other two carboys. I had my left hand reattached after a vehicle accident four years ago, so this whole exploding carboys thing got my attention real quick.
Damn bro, glad to hear you're ok....on both accounts!
 

BBKing

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Speaking of carboys, anyone see the thread awhile back about the guy whose brother bled to death after a carboy busted and he severed his femoral artery?

The carboy wasnt used for brewing, it held change if my memory serves me correctly, but still. There wont be a carboy in my house!
 

RMoore109

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BBKing said:
Speaking of carboys, anyone see the thread awhile back about the guy whose brother bled to death after a carboy busted and he severed his femoral artery?

The carboy wasnt used for brewing, it held change if my memory serves me correctly, but still. There wont be a carboy in my house!
Easy to get around, I have my Carboy in a milk crate. This way, I can move it with relative ease and don't have to worry about the bottom of the carboy ****ing up my countertops (again). Only time I ever have to move it without the crate is when I'm cleaning.

-RPM
 

annasdadhockey

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similar happened to me (without injury) microwaving a cup of coffee. While heating liquids in a smooth container(one without nucleation points), water can become superheated to well above 212F. After microwaving the coffee, I added some sugar, and BOOM!!!!!!. Coffee eruption everywhere!!! as soon as the sugar hit the superheated liquid, it formed these nucleation points, and instantly boiled over..., violently. I imagine that the stir bar in the flask before boiling may do the trick.
 

Flomaster

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ouch... sorry to hear about your injury. i've just put the stir bar in the flask before boiling its Teflon and I think its meant to be used in HOT liquids.

-=Jason=-
 
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crichter

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one to ever erupt boiling liquid all over myself. When I finally do get around to brewing this batch of beer I'll name it Face Melter IPA.
 

devilbrewer75

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crichter said:
I was boiling my 1.5 L starter wort on the stove in an erlenmeyer flask the other night. After boiling I pulled the flask off the burner, tilted it towards me and dropped the stir bar in. When the stir bar hit the liquid it erupted like a volcano and sent boiling hot wort and foam into my face and chest. After spending the evening at the ER, I came away with face/chest blisters and a bottle of pain pills. Perhaps worst of all is that my fresh hop IPA batch will have to wait until next week.

I doubt I'm the first moron brewer to do this. The lesson is: don't stare down the barrel of your boiling starter flask.
I did exactly the same thing blisters the size of golf balls all down my arm. There should be a psa.
 

DoubleAught

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one to ever erupt boiling liquid all over myself. When I finally do get around to brewing this batch of beer I'll name it Face Melter IPA.
lol..great name, good to see you have a sense of humor about it all. Hope you get to feeling better.:mug:
 

Tall_Yotie

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Glad to hear you got back in one piece!

I made a similar mistake once. I pulled the flask off of the burner (with a pot holder), dropped the stir stick in, and it boiled over onto my hand. Luckily I ditched it and hit the water, so I just lost a layer of skin and nothing more.

Ever since I just boil the sugar in a pot and then pour it into the flask once it has cooled some. Some times it is worth it NOT to cut corners.

Even a "leave something in the flask!" answer isn't good enough; it is easy to forget, and then say "Oh, I should toss it in! I bet the liquid isn't THAT hot!"

So yeah, 1 moron here as well. For a guy working on a graduate engineering degree and holding several patents I sure can be stupid. Happens to the best of us.
 

sj_engr

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I never even thought to place the flask directly on the burner. Thank you for the heads up on the dangers, I'm sure I would of caused the same thing in the future.
 
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