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Screwy Brewer

Bottle Bombs Away At 3:00 AM!

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What is scarier than a 12 ounce bottle of carbonating beer exploding at 3:00 AM? I half gallon bottle of exploding beer and that's exactly what happened last night.

This latest batch of beer has been a nightmare with a dry astringent taste, bitter fusel alcohol bit and explosively carbonated. I won't even miss it, but it sure did go out with a bang.

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You can find a priming calculator at ScrewyBrewer's website. Maybe you should check it out.

:dry: Oh.... :unsure: um....


Never mind.

Seriously, that's a bummer, Vince. I guess some batches are just born of a bad seed. Any idea what went wrong?

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Did you have any hint of an idea that this would happen or was it a surpise?

I have a batch that I bottled that I just feel unsure of because the FG was higher then I wanted/expected. I have all of the bottles stacked in a cooler...just in case. I have no idea how long to leave them in the cooler.

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Oh yeah...sorry for the loss, and the mess that you had to clean up.

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The FG was 1.010 when I bottled it and I did use 'er someone's priming calculator but I noticed even the PET bottled beer was really way over carbonated too. The other 1/2 gallon glass bottle is fine and I released some pressure from it this morning just in case.

Is it possible some wild yeast got in there and started eating some sugars that good yeast would never touch, I'm not sure? I've written this brew off as a total loss, it's kind of scary just how awful it turned out.

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tywinter wrote:

Did you have any hint of an idea that this would happen or was it a surpise?

I have a batch that I bottled that I just feel unsure of because the FG was higher then I wanted/expected. I have all of the bottles stacked in a cooler...just in case. I have no idea how long to leave them in the cooler.

There is no real set time frame for bottle bombs but i would consider the first full month the highest possibility. I've had bombs as far away as 6 - 8 months.

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Are you sure you cleaned all the gunk out of your fermentor before you brewed this batch? :laugh: Just kidding!

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Sucks to hear that. Hopefully I don't have one for a long time. I think SWMBO would force me to take a hiatus if I did. Here's knocking on wood that yours are done, and mine are far away!

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What was the formula for "Da Bomb" batch? I agree, it's always Ugly when one blows. I've lost some after a years time. it was sad. first one popped, then shortly after, there was a sympathetic detonation, and right after the 3rd, all were rushed to the emergency chill room.

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If I wasn't a superstitious man, I would comment that over 30ish batches, I've never had a "bottle bomb."

But I am a superstitious man, so I won't say that. :dry:

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VTGroff wrote:

If I wasn't a superstitious man, I would comment that over 30ish batches, I've never had a "bottle bomb."

But I am a superstitious man, so I won't say that. :dry:


Wow, Screwy, that's really a drag. Were you using growlers? Just curious 'cause I've got several and am going to be bottling in the one that Mr. Beer sells today.

With over 210 gallons bottled over the past year and a half, and around 18 cases in bottles, I'm very much knocking on wood after hearing so many tales of bombs. Could be time to invest in some containment vessels.

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FedoraDave wrote:

You can find a priming calculator at ScrewyBrewer's website. Maybe you should check it out.

:dry: Oh.... :unsure: um....

Never mind.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

That made my morning FD

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Haven't had any bombs yet, but I thought about that last night when I opened a 12oz bottle next to my kitchen sink, and it foamed/spewed all the contents out as I was moving the bottle over the sink. A reminder to myself of why my bottles stay in a plastic container (or enclosed by a plastic garbage bag) for at least a month.

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oly wrote:

VTGroff wrote:

If I wasn't a superstitious man, I would comment that over 30ish batches, I've never had a "bottle bomb."

But I am a superstitious man, so I won't say that. :dry:


Wow, Screwy, that's really a drag. Were you using growlers? Just curious 'cause I've got several and am going to be bottling in the one that Mr. Beer sells today.

With over 210 gallons bottled over the past year and a half, and around 18 cases in bottles, I'm very much knocking on wood after hearing so many tales of bombs. Could be time to invest in some containment vessels.

I haven't had any grenades yet (thank the Benevolent Ninkasi), but I always put my bottled batches in plastic garbage bags for the duration of the carbing/conditioning interim. At least any explosions will be contained in the garbage bags.

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You either bottled too soon or you used too much priming sugar, or both.

I've been doing this for 6 years, and have made hundreds of batches. Never had a single bottle explode.

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Sorry SB for the loss and the mess. :(

From comments, I see that maybe I should be bagging, or putting my bottles in cooler for the first month. Right now they 80 bottles on the top shelf of the pantry. I just bottled from a CC this afternoon so am thinking of going to the pantry and bag.

For those who have experienced "bottle bombs", were any of these from a cold crash? Just woncering if there is a relationship. If CC helps to curb the bombs or not.

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Last night I was cracking open a beer that I knew was overcarbed. Not only did I pop the cap off, but the top of the bottle flew off as well. It scared the crap out of me. Cut my finger as well. Brewed a Lager with fruit and bottled too soon. I'm scared to open the rest lol. Although this was the first of about 6 of the ones I've opened to give me any trouble.

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So sorry to hear about your loss.I have been at this for close to 3 years and I have had only one "bottle bomb" but I think that it may have been due to a "weak bottle" and nothing more.The rest of that batch was fine and 1 out of a batch is not bad.

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Sorry to hear about the bad batch and the bomb.

Since I've got back into it, I've not had any issues yet with overcarb or bombs. But I'm not brewing any high gravity stuff and I tend to prime on the low side. (and using PETs which are somewhat more bomb proof).

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I think it was a combination of things that caused the bottle to explode, not to say I have any real proof but I've got more than just a gut feeling about this.

The 2 half gallon jugs come from a brewery in Lake Placid NY where they were filled with a nice Stout, capped and then given to me to drink. I figured they would make a nice alternative to the PETs I've been using.

Apparently the glass wasn't strong enough to hold as much pressure as was developed during carbonation of that nasty beer, that's a given.

I used the priming calculator and set it up with a fermentation temperature of 70F, 2.5 volumes of Co2, 0.5 gallon bottle and pure cane sugar. The results showed and I added a bit less than 3 teaspoons to each of the 2 half gallon jugs.

Here's the recipe and brewing steps I used which I've used many times before. This beer was awful, tasted like sucking on a tea bag soaked in paint remover.

It's a good thing I had put those bottles inside a shower in spare bathroom with the doors closed. It made the beer and broken glass cleanup much easier.

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If you have picked up a wild yeast that's eating otherwise unfermentable sugars, you should be able to get a pretty good indication of it by taking some gravity samples.

The one beer I've had an astringency problem with, I figured was due to an overly long sparge, but that is obviously not your problem. As it happens, it tasted badly oxidized after seven months in the bottle. I've since read that oxidation can produce astringent character as well, before the more noxious aspects of it come to the fore. Never have been able to determine the source of the problem conclusively, and not a clue from my notes how I oxygenated it.

As an aside, SNPA is 5.6% ABV and 37 IBU's. Are you sure that recipe wasn't for another of their beers?

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Explosions in the laboratory :ohmy:

Screwy I read somewhere, possibly in my "How to Brew" book, that the maximum Co2 a growler can hold is 2.5. So you had those growlers maxed out. If you had slightly more sugar than calculated KABOOM!

I keep all of my new beer in totes for containment for 2 weeks. Possibly I should buy more totes so I can contain my entire inventory?

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Screwy Brewer wrote:

I think it was a combination of things that caused the bottle to explode, not to say I have any real proof but I've got more than just a gut feeling about this.

The 2 half gallon jugs come from a brewery in Lake Placid NY where they were filled with a nice Stout, capped and then given to me to drink. I figured they would make a nice alternative to the PETs I've been using.

Apparently the glass wasn't strong enough to hold as much pressure as was developed during carbonation of that nasty beer, that's a given.

I used the priming calculator and set it up with a fermentation temperature of 70F, 2.5 volumes of Co2, 0.5 gallon bottle and pure cane sugar. The results showed and I added a bit less than 3 teaspoons to each of the 2 half gallon jugs.

Here's the recipe and brewing steps I used which I've used many times before. This beer was awful, tasted like sucking on a tea bag soaked in paint remover.

It's a good thing I had put those bottles inside a shower in spare bathroom with the doors closed. It made the beer and broken glass cleanup much easier.

I have a half gallon growler just like those that I got from a brewery filled with beer. I wanted to use it for bottling a bewitched red ale, but my gut guided me against it since I had a full set of PETs. Although since it was only a basic recipe, it might have held better than the beer you made

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Hmmm

Noticed this thread and the site advertisement...at about the same time...
brewhaha175.jpg


coincidence???? :laugh:

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Well, that's a lesson learned, Screwy Brewer. If the beer was nasty anyway, it's not a big loss. Imagine if it was one of the best batches you'd ever made! :ohmy:

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Haven't had a bomb yet, but recently had my first "beercano". Trub bottle of an IPA upon opening launched contents skyward. Looked like diet Coke/Mentos.

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Screwy

I have a 2L flip top growler from the same Lake Placid Brewery that I am about to use. The growler itself seems to be the same as the Mr. Beer 2L Flip Top (minus the exact handle, and that its green instead of brown)

The growler itself seems legit, the beer, nothing better than I've made, and It needs a new gasket. Looks like mine has been used a few times.

I plan on putting my apple pie ale in it so ill let you know how it goes.

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Ok, for anyone still interested I'm brewing the all grain IIPA again today, following my exact same process as the last one that produced the stanky beer. It's up there in ABV, it's closer to an Imperial IPA, so I'll just call it Screwy's Pale Ale or SPA for short.

Size 5.00 gallons
Estimated IBU=59, SRM=14, OG=1.062, FG=1.015, ABV= 6.0%

9.0 pounds Marris Otter Malt (UK)
1.75 pounds Crystal 40L
0.25 pounds Biscuit Malt (Belgium)

1 ounce Yakima Magnum (pellets) @ 60 minutes
2 ounces Kent Golding (UK) (pellets) @ 20 minutes
1 ounce Cascade (pellets) @ 7 minutes

1 - Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast (instead of Safale S-05)

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Does Crystal produce fermentable wort? I am just curious because I have been getting 1.050ish from 10 pounds of fermentable grain.

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Gymrat wrote:

Does Crystal produce fermentable wort? I am just curious because I have been getting 1.050ish from 10 pounds of fermentable grain.


My understanding is yes, although just how fermentable it is seems to be matter of some debate (I've seen figures of under 10%, but that is also contradicted by some who've brewed beer using nothing but crystal malt as an experiment). The caramelization process does render much of the sugar in crystal malts unfermentable, but not all, and from what I've read, the lighter the SRM, the more fermentable sugars remain with the exception of Dextrin malt, which is largely infermentable. Even this has caveats though, as crystal malts including dextrin can have some of their unfermentable sugars converted to fermentable sugars by the beta amylase enzymes if mashed with base malts. Since crystal malts have no diastatic power of their own though, those unfermentable sugars will remain so if the specialty malt is steeped on it's own.

In any event, the fermentability of the wort won't influence its original gravity, only it's final gravity. Even so, it shouldn't make a big difference because there are relatively little specialty malts used in proportion to base malt or extract. As an example, I just bottled my first brown ale, which had an apparent attenuation of 73%, using a yeast and fermentation temperature which usually give me 75% to 76% apparent attenuation. I can't say for sure that the lower attenuation is due to the darker specialty malts because so many other factors can come into play, but that is my guess; and only because by now my procedures are pretty formalized.

In Screwy's case, with the large amount of crystal he's using, I'd be very interested in hearing the attenuation he gets.

As to gravity related to amount of malt used, I think the biggest factor is your efficiency. We all become comfortable using the mashing techniques that suit us best. Some have greater efficiency than others. I generally figure about 61 gravity points or more for ten pounds of malt, simply because that is what my method usually gives me. I suspect that when I switch from kettle mashing to mashing in a cooler/lauter tun (my current five gallon cooler is okay for sparging as much as 14 lbs of grain, but can't hold enough grain and water to mash more than about 8 pounds) that I'll see a reduction in my efficiency, at least until I can adjust to the new technique.

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oly wrote:

Gymrat wrote:

Does Crystal produce fermentable wort? I am just curious because I have been getting 1.050ish from 10 pounds of fermentable grain.

In Screwy's case, with the large amount of crystal he's using, I'd be very interested in hearing the attenuation he gets.

Hotdamn oly! What an awesome post, dude thank you so much for sharing this information I read through the entire post and it was a great read. Today I brewed the SPA recipe and this time took great pains to record my process steps.

I can comfortable fit 11 pounds of grain in my 5 gallon mash tun using a braided filter hose and no false bottom, I found this out by calculating a 1.25 mash thickness and 11 pounds of grain, it takes up 4.3 gallons of volume in the tun. This leave me enough room available to adjust my mash temperature up or down as and if needed.

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Thanks Screwy.

I get a little set in my ways. I like a thinner mash generally when I'm doing a single infusion, and if step mashing start thicker but don't have enough capacity to add hot water to bump up the temp. It's a bit of a nuisance having to take the extra step of transferring my mash to a tun, but that's what I've gotten used to.

I read just today that as a rough rule of thumb, you can expect to lose a percentage point of attenuation per pound of specialty malt.

Sorry to get so off topic. Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! :chug:

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oly wrote:

Gymrat wrote:

Does Crystal produce fermentable wort? I am just curious because I have been getting 1.050ish from 10 pounds of fermentable grain.


My understanding is yes, although just how fermentable it is seems to be matter of some debate (I've seen figures of under 10%, but that is also contradicted by some who've brewed beer using nothing but crystal malt as an experiment).

Here is a link to one of those experiments for folks that like to read such things:

Testing Fermentability of Crystal Malt

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Now this is what is great about this community, and the folks who contribute to it. A thread is started about how a batch exploded on a guy. Hey, it happens, and it's a bummer, and we share the good and the bad.

And then, throughout the life of the thread, the discussion turns to mashing and efficiency, and people impart information, and stuff gets learned, and people benefit.

How can you not love this stuff? What an awesome community we have here.

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Better late than never. I was reading through some posts made a few months back and realized I had an update for this one.


It seems that the second shot I took at brewing my SPA it turned a final gravity of 1.016 about 1 point lower than qBrew had estimated in the original recipe. And it also turned out tasting a whole lot better too.

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I had a growler explode too. And i was told not to carb/condition in a growler because they are not strong enough, by Scott Vaccaro owner of Capt Lawrence. So I figure he should know.
Plus when you think of it, any bottle can crack, leak pressure or explode, so why rack to such a big container? Rather lose a 12 oz than a 64oz.
My max size bottle is now the 22oz "bomber", then a couple of 16oz flips & the rest 12's. Cheers :party:

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