View Full Version : Question for Brewers
I have brewed a little in the past using kits, but it was a long time ago in the States. As far as I know it isn't really legal here in Japan, but you can buy the equipment and the fixings for both beer and wine.
Back when I was a kid I brewed a nettle beer from a recipe I got from a Euell Gibbons book. I must have used baker's yeast. It wasn't an alcoholic beer though there would have to be some, as would a homemade root beer. I think he said around one half percent. I bottled in screw cap PET bottles. Well, one of the bottles blew up. I ran down in a panic and took the cap off a bottle to relieve the pressure. Not smart. It blew the cap off in my hand. I wasn't hurt, but the room was a sticky mess and smelled of nettle beer for six months or more.
So, here is my question, Have you got any exploding bottle stories?
Of Course I have exploding bottle stories.
In college, I put a case of newly capped bottles in my wardrobe unit. I had some extra beer and not enough bottles, so I put the remainder in screw cap quart glass bottles. During the night, I heard a pop, followed by a series of pops. One quart exploded and the shrapnel took out bottles near it, starting a chain reaction.
The "beer" ran out into the carpet and into my shoes and clothes. No injuries. Its really hard to get that smell out of carpet.
Another time, the blow off tube on my fermenter got pinched and blew the stopper and all the Krauzen onto the ceiling. Oops. Had to paint the ceiling to get rid of the stain.
I've actually never had a bottle explode. I did cause an explosion of a 7-gallon "bottle."
I dropped a 7-gallon carboy with a batch of ESB in it. I had just pitched the yeast in the fermenter. I was carrying it into the guest bathroom where I ferment most of my beers (I love telling people I make beer in the bathtub), my hand slipped, and the tile floor did the rest. I wasn't hurt, but since the beer was unfermented, it was just sugar water, sticky and resinous with hops and all over the walls, floor, and me. It was several days before I felt I'd comfortably cleaned everything.
Plus, no beer. :cry:
Years ago I reserved a little yeast to try fermenting different fruit juices and fruit purees (fermented banana mash anyone?). I ran out of containers for the mini-experiments so I started using empty glass soft-drink bottles for fermenting, using loose plastic wrap over the top. One 20oz. bottle I was fermenting in started to puke the fermenting puree all over the counter so I quickly screwed the bottle cap back on then backed it off loose enough that I could still hear the CO2 escaping. Then I set it in the fridge to slow the yeast down a bit.
Next morning I removed the bottle, set it on the counter and started making breakfast. A minute later BANG! Sounded like a shotgun being fired next to my head. I was stunned. In my (temporary) partial deafness, the whole thing seemed surreal. There was glass shrapnel all over the place and an arc of fruit pulp across the floor and on the textured ceiling. I assessed the damage and saw that one of the shards hit a window 20ft. away and made a bullet-hole-like puncture through the vertical blind and the glass. (I'm glad the landlord never asked me why there was a bullet-hole in the glass that clearly came from the Inside and not the Outside). A few pieces of glass were embedded in the sheetrock near where the bottle was. Another big piece of glass penetrated a Quaker Oats cylinder I had out on the counter next to the bottle. The Oats were directly in the line of fire and prevented me from getting hit by that piece of glass (thank you Mr. Quaker!). I never found any pieces that looked like the metal bottle cap.
Needless to say I was a bit more cautious from that point on.
When we moved to a new parsih and met a member of our church. He asked if I/we drank beer. "Oh yes!" was my reply. When we were invited for tea, we were given two bottles of a home-brewed alcoholic Ginger beer to take home at the end of the night.
Told to put thenm down for a few weeks longer, I took them out to the laundry and put them in a plastic carton; and 'forgot about them."
Our almost-two-year-old-in-nappies (diapers) toddled out to the laundryu and we heard a little tinkling of bottles, called to him and back he came.
We were eating lunch and just as we were finishing heard KA-BOOOOOM ...Booooommm!
Walking out to the laundry we were amazed to see bits of glass the about a centimeter in size imbedded on the wall, ceiling and in everything else above the line of the top of the box - not to mention ginger beer everywhere. Not much fun cleaning up the glass.
Thanking God for our little boy again, I promised myself that if I needed a ginger beer, commercially produced was fine. :)
The same fellow got me started with my brewing of beer and was a good mentor! No hard feelings and no homebrewed ginger beer!
sorry parsih = parish
I once pitched a high grav beer ontop of a full yeast cake which was a very active and hard fermenter in the prevous batch. It went hard and fast and made a HUGE mess. Krausen everywhere. Thankfully I was fermenting in a plastic Mini-Brew conical and not a carboy.
Another time I had a Stone growler, they have the grolish flip-top lids. Well it had smoked porter in it, maybe an inch left that I forgot about. I went to clean it out some months later and when I popped the lid it went off like a gunshot. Would have broken my nose had I been standing in front of it, the top blew through the ceiling (i live in a warehouse with a thick cardboard type paper ceiling) and is still u pthere.
Never had my own homebrew bottles explode...
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