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Had my first bottle bomb last night which made a pretty good mess in the closet and now I am nervous about the rest of the bottles from that batch.

Should I open all the bottles from that batch to remove the risk of more exploding?

Bottle Bomb

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I Think it was actually the brown bottle in the front (you can see the top still capped) that exploded and took the green one with it. –  corymathews Oct 14 '11 at 13:49
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I personally would not open all the bottles. But I would:

  • If you have the space I would get them into the fridge ASAP. This will slow the yeast down so you wont get much more pressure than you have now.
  • I would also plan to drink them soon. Time to throw a home brew party!
  • Be careful opening them as they will likely foam up and out of the bottle. Open the cap just a bit and let it vent, then a little more. I did this with root beer one time, opened them quickly, and almost had it on the ceiling.
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Chill and drink quick is perfect advice. I'll add that the brewer wants to figure out too if the overcarbing is a function of contamination or process (under-fermented prior to bottling). –  brewchez Oct 14 '11 at 17:50
    
This is exactly what I did, luckily there were only about 10 bottles left in the batch. Every one that I opened shot about half the bottle out in foam. Some shot up to 3 inches above the opening! –  corymathews Oct 17 '11 at 14:12
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I would open another one from the same batch, and if it's a gusher, then I would conclude that action is necessary for all bottles:

  • Cold crash them in the fridge overnight.
  • Gently/carefully loosen (don't remove) each cap. It will foam up and gush for a while.
  • Re-crimp the cap.

You may find that after a few days, the bottles are still gushers when chilled, and you would need to repeat the cap loosening process.

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First.. you need to know why you these are bottle bombs. This probably happened because of one of three reasons.

  • Early bottling before fermenation is finished
  • Infection.. something has gone South with the recipe.
  • Overpriming

You can tell is the fermentation kicked back up by checking the suspected final gravity, to what the current specific gravity is. If it is is infected, it should have off tastes/smells. If neither of those, it's probably over primed.

Regardless of the reason, you need to be VERY careful. Wear safety goggles, a heavy shirt(s), and work gloves while handling these. I agree with the other posts in here, cold crash these. After they have been kept cold for 24-48 hours, slowly open each bottle.

If you believe the bottle bomb is because of early bottling, put it back into a fermentor.. allow fermentation to finish out. Reprime & bottle when you are ready.

If it's because it's over primed, pour the beer back into the bottling bucket, allow it to become flat, reprime, and rebottle.

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