Okay, so I made a mental error tonight when I was bottling and put 5 gallons worth of dried malt extract into 2 gallons of wort. I didn't realize the mistake until I had everything bottled. So now what do I do? Do I have to worry about the beers exploding? If not, when I think they're ready to be opened, if I chill them down quite a bit will I be alright opening them?

Such a dumb move. I thought maybe it was just under-attenuated, but then I realized my mistake.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


You will have bottle bombs.

Luckily for you it's not too late, but you're in for some careful work.

  1. Sanitize a fermenter and airlock.
  2. Fill a bucket or tub with sanitizer.
  3. Put the bottles in the bucket to sanitize the outside. Sanitize your bottle opener.
  4. Uncap them and carefully pour their contents into the fermenter. Do not splash. Sanitize your bottle opener frequently.
  5. Measure the gravity.
  6. Seal up the fermenter & stick an airlock in it.
  7. Let it sit until the gravity drops back around the desired final gravity (possibly 2 weeks).
  8. Bottle again.

The biggest risk with this procedure is infection. Be very thorough with your sanitary technique. A secondary concern should be introducing too much oxygen to the beer. Be gentle when you pour, avoid splashing and do not run the beer down the side of the bucket too far.

  • Thanks for the advice. I was afraid someone would say I had bottle bombs on my hands. Was hoping that I could let them go and then just chill them down really far before opening. No dice I guess. That'll teach me a valuable lesson I suppose. Can doing this wait until I get home from work today? Feb 4, 2010 at 12:44
  • Yeah, it will take a least a few days before they become dangerous. Feb 4, 2010 at 13:25
  • I'd add that maybe it would be wise to find a friend with a kegging CO2 set up and get them to come over and purge the fermentor with CO2 as well in between step 3 and 4.
    – brewchez
    Feb 5, 2010 at 19:42
  • There was a lot of CO2 in the beer even after 24 hours, so I think that CO2 coming out probably pushed out a lot of the oxygen. Feb 5, 2010 at 21:01

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