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My First Bottle Bomb

I’d been told about the dangers of bottle bombs when making homebrew.  I’ve always used kits, so I’ve had pretty consistent results, which would make sense with pre-measured priming sugar.  My recent Mr. Beer Blonde Ale was a different deal, though.  Usually with Mr. Beer kits, I had been using the plastic bottles, but for the Blonde kit I had those bottles being used for my Cider, Doppel Bock, and American Lager.

This was the first time I was going to prime actual glass bottles using the table sugar method that Mr. Beer uses.  I followed directions for measurements as close as I could.  I’m not going to lie and say I pay GREAT attention to what I am doing when scooping sugar in to bottles.  There is a definite chance that I over-primed.

Anyway, I stuck the bottles in my dark beer closet, just like normal.  After they’d been there a week or two, I noticed what looked like wet floor outside of my closet.  Sure enough, a growler (on almost the top shelf, of course) had exploded.  Now when people talk about bottle bombs, I had assumed that was an exaggeration.  Nope, it’s not.

As you can see from the pictures, there was almost nothing left of the growler.  A small pile of glass remained where the growler had been.  Then there were tiny shards of glass everywhere.  Not only were they tiny and sharp, but sticky.  I had three bloody fingers before I was smart enough to go grab rubber gloves.  It’s wroth noting that sticky pieces of glass will stick to other objects and not lift right up – you’re more likely to slice your finger open.  Trust me on that one…

{ 2 comments }
  • Bobcat Sig September 15, 2010, 8:26 am

    Here’s a novice question for you; would using a brown bottle help any with that?

  • Jeremy September 15, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Oddly enough… I’ve had a second bottle explode recently, and it was just a regular brown bottle. I don’t think the color of the bottle affects much more than length of storage. I think the brown bottles are said to keep the beer good longer. Not really sure how accurate that is for homebrew, though.

    I’m moving over to kegs now! Should see the days of my bottle bombs disappear.

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