Just had my first explosion last night. Very disheartening to discover a 22oz bottle spread all over the basement floor with little tiny shards of glass splattered everywhere. I remember overfilling one of them, so I think that's the culprit and don't expect another from this batch. The milk crate I had them in was covered so the spray pattern was only in one direction, but that was by sheer luck.
Anyway, I'm now on tiptoes around my bottles since they could go off at any moment and make another large mess. I've got the crate wrapped in towels for the remaining week of conditioning, but I'm trying to come up with a way of storing the bottles that are conditioning to make it easy to clean up the mess.... What do you do? Store them all in plastic tubs?
Details about bottling this batch of Irish Red extract kit:
- 5 gallon batch (I messed up the OG reading, the instructions said it should be ~1.044)
- bottled after 12 days in the primary
- gravity had stabilized at 1.015 for several days (the instructions expected FG: 1.010-1.012)
- added 5oz of dissolved corn sugar (a Brewer's Best priming packet ) to the bottling bucket
- racked the beer onto the priming sugar (to mix it)
- filled the bottles: about half in 12oz bottles, half in 22oz bottles, and one flip top growler
The day it exploded we had a heat wave move in so my basement increased from 64F to 72F and the barometric pressure dropped quite a bit.
I've consumed several of the 12oz bottles and nothing seemed weird about them except they were still green. In fact, they didn't have much head, so I was actually worried about undercarbination.
I took @Jeff's suggestion and opened and recapped every bottle. Turns out that I had three time bombs waiting to go off that foamed all over the place. I had missed those four bottles with the bottle brush and sent them straight to the sanitizer solution, apparently without looking too closely. Those three gushers had nasty crud caked on the bottom, things floating in the beer, and they smelled bad. Based on what I've read, sounds like an infection. The rest looked fine when I held them up to the sun with a thin white film on the bottom. The bottles were from several cases of 22oz bottles I had inherited from a friend that were really cruddy since they'd been sitting with sediment in a garage for several years. I was checking them pretty closely before moving them to the sanitizer to make sure they were clean, but it looks like four of them skipped a step in that process.
Results: My compost pile got three beers and I got a good lesson in the importance of cleaning and sanitizing. And no one was hurt.