View Full Version : Woo hoo... Bottle Bombs! What next?

03-02-2012, 04:59 PM
This is in reference to this batch:


Okay, so while doing some stuff in my pantry, I noticed that the bottle cap on one of the capped beer-sized bottles of this batch was bulging outward. Uh-oh. Not good. It was a bottle with a fair bit of sediment in it, so, I was pretty sure that it was trouble.

Anyway, I shielded up, stepped outside, and opened up that sucker. And watched 2/3 of it run out of the bottle. Then I found another 12 oz with a small bulge. Same thing (I did drink what was left and it was a delightfully fizzy and boozy cherry vanilla soda type thingy).

Anyway, most of the sediment went into the last few bottles in the batch, which were the 12 oz bottles. The vast majority of this batch was bottled in wine bottles.

I found one wine bottle with a little bit of sediment in it. I opened it and there was a nice little 'pop' when I pulled the cork, but no fizz or spillage. Still, I'm a little worried as this is a wedding gift for a wedding this summer. And I'd hate to maim the bride or groom a few weeks after the fact.

So, what's next? Do I open everything back up and dump it back into a bucket/caroy just to be safe? What are the hazards with that? Besides the normal increase in chance of oxidation or just general risks with any kind of transfer.

If you read the brewlog, this spent close to two months in the bucket without a move from a gravity of 1.004. So, I'm a bit surprised by this. Although, I guess I did put some cherries in maybe 1/3 the way through that, but at the end of the second month, before bottling the gravity was back at 1.004.

Thanks in advance for the input/help.

Chevette Girl
03-02-2012, 06:16 PM
If it was supposed to have been a still mead, yeah, I'd definitely pop all of them into a carboy (perhaps over a bucket first after sanitizing the outside of the bottles) and hit it with stabilizers at this point, the level of sweetness sounds like you don't need to backsweeten, but I'd definitely pop them all, chemical it and degas before re-bottling. The wedding's not till summer so you have plenty of time to let it settle out before rebottling, and if you're careful with pouring you might not have to re-label everything... The ones with sediment tend to build more pressure sooner but it's more than likely the rest of the batch will probably do the same thing but at a much slower rate.

I had the same thing happen with my first mead, it sat around for 6 months at around 1.005 and a month after I bottled it, it was fizzy. I had one bottle that popped its cork and most of its contents across my kitchen but the rest of the bottles wouldn't fizz when the corks were popped either, but I learned the hard way that giving it nucleation sites was a very messy idea (tried to stir it with a sanitized chopstick).

Safest to re-carboy the whole batch, stabilize, and re-bottle when degassed.

03-02-2012, 06:20 PM
Crap. That's what I thought... Or something along those lines. Fortunately I hadn't labeled anything yet so I don't have to worry about that.

Okay, thankfully I've got space.

First time this has happened. Kind of surprised.... but figured eventually I would screw something up despite being quasi-anal.

Chevette Girl
03-02-2012, 06:25 PM
Damn good thing the caps bulged or you'd never have noticed until something more exciting happened, eh?

This is why ANY TIME I bottle anything that has residual sugar that I haven't stabilized OR let sit in carboy for at least a year, I always make sure the last bottle (most likely to contain sediment) has a removable lid so I can check on it in a couple weeks to see if it's carbing up. Had one JAO batch do it, one red currant wine, my lime mel, and that first mead... that's my particular brand of quasi-anal... :p

03-02-2012, 07:18 PM
Live and learn.

And still make mistakes.

Chevette Girl
03-02-2012, 08:25 PM
Live and learn.

And still make mistakes.

Bah. As long as you learn something and everyone's still got all their fingers and toes (and eyes), it's all good!

03-02-2012, 10:48 PM
Stick them in the fridge or outside and chill them before opening. It might help limit your loses when you open the bottles.

03-04-2012, 03:33 PM
All of this went back into a bucket today. Only 2 bottles actually fizzed over (although, as CG suggested, several others were clearly on track to make it there eventually).

Had almost zero loss though... save for the shrinkwraps and the synthetic corks. Opps. But better safe than sorry.

BBBF, this probably adds some time to our trade. Hope that's cool.

03-04-2012, 04:49 PM
Good things come to those that wait.