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Thread: Help! Plastic bottle bomb imminent!

  1. #1

    Default Help! Plastic bottle bomb imminent!

    Been away for a couple of weeks, and discovered a one gallon PET carboy is swelling considerably. It had been stabilised and then backsweetened - should have kept it under airlock to be safe but instead attacked a screw cap. Any advise on how I can safely defuse it?

  2. #2


    Nevermind - crisis averted.

    I did some cautious probing and determined it wasn't as high pressure as it looked - it had gone from a cuboid to almost a sphere. Managed to release the top without an explosion. I think these must be much softer than soda bottles, so a comparatively low amount of pressure caused a huge distortion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida


    If future situations develop, if you chill it in a fridge, the pressure will drop allowing things to be opened safely.

    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    If future situations develop, if you chill it in a fridge, the pressure will drop allowing things to be opened safely.
    And don't shake. After you open it, allow it to warm to ambient temp with an airlock if you want to get as much gas out as possible, then close and refrigerate to prevent a repeat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    UK - South Coast.


    Had a 2 litre pop bottle ginger beer explode on me before now.

    It only stings a bit if you get hit by the plastic, but you do see a bit of a flash with the energy release.

    The biggest issue would be the mess, which is proportional to the batch size and the difficulty of getting bits of ginger out of the fur of 5 very frightened cats.......
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  6. #6


    Well, that 'future situation' developed rather sooner than I'd have liked. Five 500ml PET bottles of blueberry hydromel were found to be rather swollen. Carefully transfered them to the freezer for half an hour, before slowly opening then inside a carrier bag over the sink. They had been stabilized and in the bottles, showing no signs of any activity, for over a month - not sure what caused them to start up again. I think the lesson here is to keep things under airlock for much longer after backsweetening.

    And to top it off, a braggot I had rather high hopes for appears to acquired some sort of infection - lots of white flecks on the surface, and producing gas despite having been fermented dry.

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