The fear of bottle bombs

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jorgeft

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After a failed experiment on hard cider and stove top pasteurization I'm getting haunted with bottle bombs, i've brewed a couple all grain, 4 fermentations to be exact, and bottled all of them without having a single issue.

Yesterday I have bottled a light bodied American IPA which was brewed with some spare grains I had from last brew.

It went a week in the fermentation buckle and the gravity was at 1,011 and the estimated FG was on the 1,014 so I went ahead and added the priming sugar and bottled it.

Now I'm damn scared that my bottles start exploding (not sure why), do you guys think i'm overreacting due the hard cider incident?

Little more insight on the recipe

Batch Size - More or less 2 Gallon / 7.5 liter
1.5 kg / 3.3 lbs Pale Ale Malt
0.5 kg / 1.1 lbs Vienna Malt

OG was at 1.042 and the yeast used was Nottingham from darnstar.
Used 1.6 oz of priming sugar (table sugar / refined sugar) and I'm pretty sure bottle were cleaned up properly using starsan.

I'd appreciate some thoughts on this problem, should i let them stay bottled or should i just open them before they start to explode
 

LakeErieMonster

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You need to verify the FG over the course of a 2 days or so. This way, you can be sure it is no longer changing and the only fermentables will be the priming sugar.
 
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jorgeft

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Now that priming sugar was added i assume it is worthless to open the bottles and checking gravity, right?
 

TopherM

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No need to worry at all if you have the procedure down.

I would identify what happened with the cider, and just not do that again. If you properly pastuerized, then all you really had to do from there was add the proper amount of priming sugar to carbonate. Where did you go wrong?
 
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If you want peace of mind, give it at least 2 weeks to ferment at normal ale temps (65). Lagers, 3 weeks.

I've had a few bombs. I had one go off about 10 feet from me, while it was sitting on a counter. It didn't just crack, it was a full-fledged explosion. Imagine a guy with chemistry goggles, leather gloves and a long-sleeved shirt gingerly opening and dumping cases of bottles into a sink.

I switched to kegging. Mostly for convenience, but in part because I don't ever want to deal with gushers and bombs again. Also, if you keg a little early, no fear there either. Usually, the bottling vs. kegging discussions don't include the ease of mind that I'm talking about here, but to me it was an big positive.

Good luck.
 
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jorgeft

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On the cider i was to give it 24h to ferment in the bottle and then pasteurize it, sadly they went booming after 12 to 16 hours.

Gladly no one got hurt and i moved on, yet the fear remains and to be honest i just want to keep my hands away from ciders, maybe in a couple years i'll give it another try, for now i'm focused on my beloved homebrews
 

TopherM

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Well, in your defense, naturally carbonating a cider while backsweetening is a crap shoot. Yeast don't work on a schedule, so anyone that tells you they know when to pastuerize is fibbing. If you can, get into kegging. It's MUCH easier, especially when it comes to backsweetening cider.

Carbonating a beer is MUCH simpler. Just add the right amount of priming sugar, make sure it is well mixed in the wort to evenly dissolve and distribute, and it will turn out correct everytime (as long as there's not an infection!). Yeast might not work on a schedule, but simple sugars are finite and total CO2 production is predictable, so give them the right amount of simple sugars, and they will give you the right amount of carbonation.

Good luck!
 
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jorgeft

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Bottomline am i just overreacting while fearing bottle bombs from this beer, am i not
 

TopherM

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Yup. You are overreacting. You failed at an advanced technique, and are now afraid of a simple one, but the two are only loosely related, honestly.

It'd be kinda like if you failed a calculus test, then was afraid to attempt addition.
 

hunter_le five

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As long as you add the correct amount of priming sugar, and you verified that primary fermentation was complete before bottling, there isn't much to worry about.
 
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jorgeft

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Thanks for the support, i'm still afraid, yet i'll try not to think about it.

Anyway is it 1.011/1.012 FG too high to bottle an american IPA?

Cheers.
 

doug293cz

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Anyway is it 1.011/1.012 FG too high to bottle an american IPA?

Cheers.
That's not an unreasonable FG for many ales. Has it been at that SG for three days? If you don't know, you shouldn't bottle it. You want to make sure that the yeast have consumed all of the original fermentables before you prime and bottle. That way you will know exactly how much fermentables are put into the bottle, and thus how much CO2 you will get in the bottle.

Brew on :mug:
 
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jorgeft

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Unfortunately I rushed the bottling process, seen that FG and seemed just fine (according to BrewersFriends it was) and proceeded to bottle it, after that the ghosts of the ciders exploding started to haunt me once again.

I'll wait to see if I've messed it up or not. According to my research carbs levels can go up as 4.5 Co2 Vol. i've added sugar to get around 2.5 Co2 Vol, even if the FG drops a couple points I guess i'm in the clear zone.

Cheers
 

ncbrewer

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It went a week in the fermentation buckle and the gravity was at 1,011 and the estimated FG was on the 1,014 so I went ahead and added the priming sugar and bottled it.
Maybe I missed something, but it doesn't look like there was any verification that the gravity was stable, so I see a potential for bottle bombs. Comments?
 

ncbrewer

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According to my research carbs levels can go up as 4.5 Co2 Vol. i've added sugar to get around 2.5 Co2 Vol, even if the FG drops a couple points I guess i'm in the clear zone.
Personally, I wouldn't go much over 2.5 volumes with recycled bottles. If you're using heavier bottles, no idea. (This is just my opinion, based on reading various articles - definitely not scientific.)
 
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jorgeft

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You are correct, despite I measured FG didnt wait to see if it was stable, my bad no doubt, next time i'll wait to be sure
 

CBXBob

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I would put them in a box, inside a large plastic trash bag, in a cool place, wait 2 weeks, if no explosions, chill and drink them. But that's just me ;)
Worry won't change outcome. Personally I think you're fine.
Or, you can chill them now, drink slightly sweet non carbonated beer.
Or, you can pour them out. and worry no more.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
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jorgeft

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Guess i'll take the risk, doesnt seem likely that the bottles could explode, gravity wouldnt drop much more than 1.011 as far as i'm aware, could be wrong though
 

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