Common Causes & Remedies of Exploding Bottles in Homebrewing

What to do when your beer bottles start exploding? Broken beer bottles are a real possibility, and they can be dangerous. You can risk losing your beer. Why does it happen? We have investigated and created a list of the most common reasons why your bottles might start exploding. Follow us down this article to find all the answers.

When you find the best bottle that suits your beer you want to make sure you have the right glass also so check our new article Beer Glass – Why good glasses matter.

Common causes of exploding bottles

Exploding glass bottle

1. Using the wrong type of bottle

Often the most common cause of exploding beer bottles is when the brewer has done nothing wrong. They brewed the beer exactly as they should. They have used the right amount of priming sugars. But using the wrong type of beer bottle can end up losing your beer.

This can happen if you recycle bottles and end up using the wrong type of beer bottle for the wrong type of beer. Some beers are under higher levels of pressure due to their levels of carbonation. If you use the wrong beer bottle, it might not be strong enough, which means your bottle may explode.

Always make sure that you match the beer bottle to the right beer.

As a general rule stay clear of screw-top bottles. They are not ideal for reuse for homebrewing.

Extra Advice: Don’t use plastic bottles, they are not really strong, especially for some of the beers under higher pressure.

2. Over priming your beer

Small mound of sugar

Another cause of broken bottles has actually nothing to do with beer bottles themselves. Sometimes beginner brewers will over prime their beer or they will bottle their beer when it’s not finished fermentation.

The best way to avoid it is to take gravity readings of your beer towards the end of the fermentation. And then wait for 24 to 72 hours just to make sure that the final gravity doesn’t change.

Extra Advice: Make sure you are using a good online priming sugar calculator or an app. That way you are not going to overprime your beer. Overpriming leads to over carbonation, and that is deadly for your beer bottles.

3. Wild yeast infections can cause explosions

Often over carbonation in the beer bottles has nothing to do with a brewer. It’s down to bacterial infection. If there is wild yeast present in your beer, it might be fermenting some of those fermentable sugars that regular yeast doesn’t.

Over fermentation will lead to a build-up of carbon dioxide making your beer bottles head for the skies.

Use only cleaned and sanitized equipment after the boil.

Extra Advice: Use a no-rinse sanitizer for all the equipment that comes in contact with your wort before fermentation and you should be fine.

Wild yeast starter

4. Heat can make or break a bottle

When you store beer in direct sunlight, or in a very hot place, this can agitate both the liquid and the gas in the bottle. Pressure will start to build up and it might end with a boom.

We recommend that you go in and open the beer.

Place the cap on top of the beer for about 3 to 5 minutes.

This action will allow the carbon dioxide to escape and limit exposure to bacteria.

Recap the bottle using fresh bottle caps.

When liquid heats up it needs to expand, as does gas. And both these elements are in the same space. If you have left your beer out in the sun or in a hot space, make sure to chill that beer and store it in a dark place.

Extra Advice: If you store your beer in a dark place and reduce the temperature for a couple of days. You shouldn’t have a problem with your bottles crashing anymore.

Different beer bottles

The process to create a great-tasting beer requires a lot of effort and time. Each brewer is looking forward to the final result. Prize for all his work and the time he dedicated to brewing. Don’t let that effort be wasted by something as simple as a beer bottle.

Hope these tips will help you to deal with any future situations of your beer bottles misbehaving. Cheers.

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