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If the bottle is only half full then it would have to produce a lot of gas to reach a dangerous pressure since there is more volume to fill. Proper refrigeration should stop fermentation virtually completely and opening the bottle releases the pressure - it might gush everywhere but exploding is very unlikely. You might cover the bottle with a damp tea-towel/...


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Simple answer is that you can't know when or if they'd explode. If you had taken a gravity reading before bottling you could have calculated how much sugar was left and deferred to the many guides that help you determine how much sugar to add for bottle carbonation When the bottles are in the fridge you are right that they never truly stop fermenting, but ...


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First of all, most brews will probably do just fine if you just clean your equipment the best you can. That was how they used to do it and it does work quite okay. I am sure they also found clever ways to optimize the cleaning, like eg scolding their stuff with boiling water. Spoiled brews are not really a danger since you can almost always see or smell it ...


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