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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through December 01, 2009 * Any way to predict bottle bombs? < Previous Next >

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Nathan Eddy
Intermediate Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 265
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.131.24.147
Posted on Sunday, November 01, 2009 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

. . . besides the obvious, of course (checking the hydrometer, calculating attentuation, etc.).

I've already bottled 1/2 gallon for a homebrew club meeting, a little earlier than the rest of the batch. So what I'm wondering now is if there are any signs from the bottles themselves that can indicate whether or not they're going to blow, and what I can do to prevent that.

For instance, if the bottle foams up when I open it--after a mere 4 days after bottling--is this a sure sign of impending disaster? Can I uncap and then recap after some of the pressure has been relieved? Will that make a difference?

The beer in question had an OG of 1.083, and a FG of 1.020. That's a 76% apparent attenuation. I used one US 05 dry yeast packet. My recipe included:

10# Marris Otter
1# Crystal 80L
1# Chocolate.
3# X-lite LME
1# table sugar

I mashed at 150F. At bottling, I added 13 grams of priming sugar for 1/2 gallon, mixed into 1/2 cup boiled/cooled water. One day after bottling, I noticed they were bubbling inside the bottle (something I've never seen before). So I opened one to check, and it foamed over for a couple minutes before I capped it again. Should I drink these now and not try to save them? Or put them in the fridge until my meeting next week?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10888
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Sunday, November 01, 2009 - 09:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How was the carbonation of the bottles that foamed over? Was it to your liking? If so, I'd be inclined to refrigerate the bottles you are planning to take to next week's meeting.

As for the others, you might check a few bottles (nothing like a little research ) to ensure that the foaming is universal and not due to incomplete mixing of the priming solution. If they all seem overcarbed, yes, I would uncap them, let them sit a couple of minutes (hopefully they won't gush too much) and recap.

It's hard to say whether the beer was finished fermenting when you bottled. US-05 can be rather attenuative, although you only pitched one packet. It's possible you could achieve up to 80 percent apparent attenuation with this recipe, which would mean the F.G. would be about 1.017. But again, it's difficult to know for sure. As I said, this calls for some research.