Author Topic: Just bottled my first batch and I am in fear of bottle bombs, Help Please.  (Read 1143 times)

Offline BrewNOOB

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Ok so my friend and I made an IPA and used a whole grain jai alai cigar city clone. The OG was off the charts as we used a refractometer to take the reading, it was upwards of 1.08 approx. I let it Ferment in the primary carboy for 2 weeks and then transferred to a secondary carboy and dry hopped it. It fermented in the secondary for 5 weeks and there were no signs of bubbles this past week in the blow off. So today I decided to bottled the batch. My friend (who has done this before is out of town, and I haven't been able to contact him) I am brand new to all of this.
 The recipes FG is 1.016 however I believe the reading I got from a hydrometer was almost 1.04
My question is Did I create bottle bombs and if so how long do I have before they explode or am I just freaking out for no reason and everything should be fine. I have the bottles conditioning at the moment inside of a plastic cooler at room temp in the closet. Please help asap, thank you so much.

Offline JT

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1.040 is a very high number for a finishing gravity.  It is very likely that, even if the yeast was finished for some reason,  you won't enjoy this beer.  Questions:
Extract or all grain? 
What size batch? 
What yeast did you use and how much?
What temperature did you ferment?

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Offline BrewNOOB

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I did sample after I got the hydrometer reading and it smells really good and taste amazing its like a cross between jai alai and a lagunitas. Anyways

Its an all grain recipe.
It was a 5 gallon batch we actually finished with 4 gallons
I'm not sure of the yeast my friend did that part.
it fermented at room temperature
for little over 7 weeks total.

Offline mainebrewer

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Was the OG hydrometer sample taken after the two weeks in primary?
If so, it's best to leave the beer on the yeast until it's done.
That said, after two weeks in primary at room temp (assuming ~70 degrees), the beer should have been done.
Best way to determine if a beer is done is to take hydrometer readings over two or three days. If they remain the same, the beer has stopped fermenting.
At this point, you can put the bottles somewhere warm to carbonate and in something or somewhere that if you do have "bottle bombs", the damage can be contained.
Bottle bombs are not a myth but are not that common.
More likely, if the beer was not finished, the bottles will be over carbonated and will "gush" when you open them.
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Offline BrewNOOB

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The OG was taken Before the two week period, it was day one when we put it in the primary. Thank you for your reply

Offline joelv

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If it's at 1.040, it seems to be stuck. I would guess there is fermentable sugar left, and the yeast are just refusing to finish.

If you added corn sugar during bottling, you just put a little more fermentables on top of what was already there.

So... you may have really sluggish yeast + a lot of potentially fermentable sugar.

If the yeast suddenly take on new vitality (doubtful) or you added fresh yeast (not sure if you did), then you could have bottle bombs in the making.

However, it is more likely that the sluggish yeast will not do much even with more sugar added.


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Offline reverseapachemaster

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A little aeration and agitation from bottling may be enough to reactivate sluggish yeast. If gravity is truly at 1.040 then bottle bombs are certainly possible.

If both readings are correct then you ended up with about 50% attenuation which means you had some awful yeast. Or at least one reading is wrong.

It is an issue that you ended up short twenty percent of the expected volume but that is not a fatal issue, if your OG was really 1.080. Maybe the refractometer reading was wrong and you were higher due to the lower volume. In that case underpitching yeast for that gravity might result in poor fermentation that cut out at 1.040 and that's just all the yeast will do with that beer.

Definitely keep the bottles in a shielded area.
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Offline mainebrewer

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Was the OG hydrometer sample taken after the two weeks in primary?
If so, it's best to leave the beer on the yeast until it's done.
That said, after two weeks in primary at room temp (assuming ~70 degrees), the beer should have been done.
Best way to determine if a beer is done is to take hydrometer readings over two or three days. If they remain the same, the beer has stopped fermenting.
At this point, you can put the bottles somewhere warm to carbonate and in something or somewhere that if you do have "bottle bombs", the damage can be contained.
Bottle bombs are not a myth but are not that common.

Sorry, I meant to say "was the FG reading taken at the end of the 2 weeks of primary fermentation?"
More likely, if the beer was not finished, the bottles will be over carbonated and will "gush" when you open them.
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Offline old.va.brewer

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The yeast you used can be the answer. It's called attenuation. Or how much the yeast can eat.
Let say you used a white lab 001 or a W1056. They attenuate at about 80%.  So a 1.080 SG should finish with the best conditions at 1.022. If the Wort finished with a bit of sweetness then the yeast did not complete its task. I didn't see where you took a hydrometer reading when you transferred to the secondary (always do this). If you finish with a high final gravity, check a few things. Percentage of non fermentable's, wort temp can shock yeast. Lack of aeration, and yeast cell count. (The amount of yeast needed to ferment high gravity beers)
Also remember that the longer you let the beer set in secondary the yeast will settle out and drop to the bottom of your fermenter. This will be a result of very slow carbonating beer. From excessive low yeast count. If you suspect a to high of FG and you still have a 10% of fermentables left. Back off on the bottling sugar. You will see barley wines with very little or no primer due to the fact that the high fermentable still in the bottle will be eaten by the yeast over the aging process.
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Offline morticaixavier

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You say it tastes good. I suspect measurement error.

any change the hydrometer was resting on the bottom of the sample vessel?

1.040 will taste sweet and worty still. not good.
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Offline BrewNOOB

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Here is a photo of the reading right before bottling which was a little over  7 weeks of fermentation. And the expected results on the recipe

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« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 01:10:14 AM by BrewNOOB »

Offline coolman26

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I think there is a measurement error in the 040. If you tasted it and thought it was good, then I say error. Especially when transferring to a secondary. You would have put yeast back into suspension. I'm sure you saw CO2 in the airlock during the 5 week dryhop. If your worried about it, then take a few bottles and add them to a plastic pop bottle. Squeeze the sides a little and screw the cap on. It is an easy way to see the carb level. When I used to bottle, I would always do one 16oz plastic bottle. I could feel the sides and know when the beer was carbed.


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Offline BrewNOOB

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I think there is a measurement error in the 040. If you tasted it and thought it was good, then I say error. Especially when transferring to a secondary. You would have put yeast back into suspension. I'm sure you saw CO2 in the airlock during the 5 week dryhop. If your worried about it, then take a few bottles and add them to a plastic pop bottle. Squeeze the sides a little and screw the cap on. It is an easy way to see the carb level. When I used to bottle, I would always do one 16oz plastic bottle. I could feel the sides and know when the beer was carbed.


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Thanks for all the feedback and advice. They have been bottled since Sunday and so far so good. Is there a round about  number of days it would take for bottle bombs to happen? I was thinking about popping one open in a few days to see how carbonated it is.Is this a good idea. Thanks

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Offline mainebrewer

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When I bottle conditioned, I found that it took 2-3 weeks at around 70 degrees for the beer to be fully carbonated.
It certainly won't hurt anything to open a bottle after a week.
As far as how long it would take for a potential bottle bomb to develop, I don't have any experience.
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Offline morticaixavier

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if the gravity really is that high then something happened to your yeast. which means there is no saying when it will be a problem. I don't think it really will though. test one after 1 week and see how it is.
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