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Topics - tushfestival

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I bottled my very first batch of beer two days ago, brewed using a 1-gallon kit and following the instructions from the vendor before I started reading more about homebrewing, so I'm sure there are a ton of things that could have gone wrong!  When I started I didn't think I would buy a capper right away, and thought instead I would gather some swing-top bottles, plus I bought a few airtight rubber stoppers kind of like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V4NW96.  Then I ended up buying a capper anyway, and when I bottled, I used two 750 ml bottles with the rubber stoppers and put the rest in five 12-oz bottles with regular caps.

The next day I found one of the large bottles was only half full, without a stopper, and surrounded by a pool of beer.  On the other large bottle the stopper had moved up about a centimeter.  I cleaned up the mess and was debating whether I should leave the second large bottle alone or readjust the stopper.  I decided to readjust.  Mistake! I got to see a recreation of what happened to the other bottle in the middle of the night.  Beer foam erupted everywhere till the bottle was a little less than half full.  This was after only one night of being bottled.  So I'm wondering...is there any hope for the remaining 12-oz bottles, which so far have not exploded?  I will know soon enough, and I'm not getting my hopes up.  I plan on opening them in a couple weeks, over a sink with my head turned away, hoping not to shoot anyone's eyes out with a flying bottle cap.  :'(

My other question is, of course, how do I avoid this in my next batch??  Here are a few things I think might have gone wrong:
- It got pretty hot in my apartment the day I bottled.
- Maybe too much yeast from the beginning?
- I used honey for priming and maybe didn't stir it in enough...the big bottles were the first two I filled, so they may have gotten too much sugar from the bottom of the pot.  I also did not heat the honey at all first; the directions didn't say to, but now I'm wondering if it could have contaminated the beer.
- It took me several, several frustrating tries to get a good siphon going.  I kept having to refill the tube with water to restart the flow of beer.  I was very careful about sanitizing all the equipment, but if anything became unsanitary, it might have happened at that point.
- Is there any reason not to use large bottles?  Either way I'm not planning on using them again, but just wondering if that could have been a problem.

Any of your expert insight would be much appreciated!  Thanks!




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