Thursday, September 20, 2007

Exploding Beer Bottles

One of the bottles of home-made beer exploded in the kitchen, and made a hell of a mess. I hope it was just a one-off. Maybe we did something wrong (added too much sugar at the bottling stage, for example) which will cause more of them to go. I'm moving them out of the kitchen and into the shed, anyway.

14 comments:

Steph in Roker said...

What kind of jam was it Mel? I made 9 bottles of hedgerow jelly last weekend with pickings from Penshaw Monument, and I'm hoping to exchange some with a friend who I know has a glut of strawberry and rasberry jam, when a local fruit farm was almost giving away the fruit after the rains & lack of summer visitors.

Steph in Roker said...

Oops, I meant to post that on the 'porridge' post.

Gid said...

Hmmm.. perhaps getting a pressure barrel would be a good idea then.. exploding beer is not a good thing to have about in general.. :-)

Joanna said...

That used to happen when my parents first started making beer, and it was generally a few grains too much sugar. Now they don't bottle it, but they don't use a pressure barrel either. I'll investigate next time I visit and let you know.

Joanna
joannasfood.blogspot.com

welsh girls allotment said...

My mother had a demi john of something purple explode - in my bedroom - whilst I wa away on holidays - it got everywhere - at the moment I have a demi-john of coffee wine that is reaching for the sky it has already escaped through the bung twice today !!

Gordon M said...

I once made ginger beer in a screwtop lemonade bottle and forgot about it. When I remembered, the metal top had domed up and the whole thing was ready to blow. Very gingerly (sorry!) I wrapped it in a blanket and carried out to the dustbin, feeling all the while that I was carrying an unexploded bomb. Lowered it gently into the bin and removed the blanket. Then retired to a safe distance and threw a hammer at it. KA-BOOM. Never made it again!

Melanie Rimmer said...

WG - there are a couple of things you can do about overexcitable demijohns. One is to stand them on a tray to catch the overflow before it ruins your carpet. The other is to dispense with the airlock temporarily, and instead stretch a balloon over the neck of the demijohn (is there such a thing as a full john, I wonder? It would be a sort of two-gallon carboy, I suppose, but I digress). The ballon can expand as much as needed to catch any overflow, and can be removed an replaced with a regular airlock when the initial fermentation slows.

Doc said...

Hi Mel

Found this as I was researching my wine and cider making:

The bottling instruction which came with your brewery tell you to add sugar directly to each bottle, then to fill the bottles from the spigot on the fermentation vessel. This is the old prohibition beer making method, and it is very out dated. Adding sugar to each bottle is not an exact science and is the number one cause of exploding bottles. Especially if table sugar is used. This method allows bacteria to enter the beer because the sugar has not been sanitized. Filling the bottles directly from the spigot will cause the beer to splash into the bottle and pickup oxygen. This injection of air will begin the spoiling process before you even get the cap on the bottle.

I can't find the reference but I do remember seeing something like it in my Winemaking for Idiots book!

Regards, Doc;-)

Melanie Rimmer said...

Thanks, Doc, that's really helpful

benjymous said...

My Grandfather used to brew his own wine (mostly damson as he had a nice damson tree in his garden)

One warm afternoon, he parked his car in the garage, and got pelted with high speed corks that all decided (rather improbably) to pop simultaneously!

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