How To Make Beer And Avoid Bottle Bombs

From rich, full lagers, to light beers that accentuate the unmistakable taste of smooth hops, beer is one of the world’s great pleasures. Savoring the taste of an exceptional beer is always enjoyable, but there is something remarkably unique about sipping a homemade beer. Making beer at home can be a fun pastime, with home brewers able to easily experiment with different flavor profiles and aromas. Of course, it is essential to pay close attention to detail, in order to produce great-tasting beers and avoid accidents like bottle bombs. Fortunately, by observing a few simple principles, home brewers can keep the process relatively safe.

Sanitary Requirements: Keeping Things Clean
When brewing beer at home, it is always important to start with clean containers and equipment. Anything left behind could potentially contaminate the alcohol, while also encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria. A dishwasher is one great way to make certain bottles are piping clean. Remember, it is essential to refrain from using anything to scrub the bottles, as grooves left behind can harbor pathogens.

Once the dishwasher cycle has run, brewers should further sanitize with either a diluted bleach solution or one that uses iodine. A bleach solution, combined with vinegar, is the easiest method, but bottles will need to be rinsed further before use. Iodine sanitation removes the need for a rinse process, meaning pathogens won’t be introduced to the bottles. Regardless of what method is used, it is absolutely vital to make certain the bottles and related equipment are entirely clean before proceeding.

Brewing the Beer
After bottles have been sanitized, it is time to make the beer. Recipes vary greatly, but all require the malt and grains to be boiled. The hops are added at different times during the process, according to what taste the brewer is looking for in his final product. Once it has been boiled, the beer needs to be cooled quickly. This can easily be done by placing the container used to heat the beer in an ice bath.

Once the liquid has cooled, the alcohol can be poured into a fermenter. Additional water will be added to the product, according to the ratios defined in the recipe. The yeast will also be added at this moment. The airlock will allow the pressure to be released. After a set period of time has passed, the brew will be passed into bottles.

Avoiding ‘Bottle Bombs”
A bottle bomb occurs when the pressure inside of a beer bottle builds up and causes the bottle to explode. Fortunately, the beer should already be fermented by the time it is placed in a bottle, which greatly reduces the chance of bottle bombs. Nevertheless, there are a few issues that could result in bottle bombs, so it is important to recognize what could cause these explosions.

The most common cause of bottle bombs is early bottling, before the beer has fermented fully. Brewers can make certain their beer has fermented by taking a final gravity reading before bottling. Another problem that some brewers encounter is the addition of too much sugar, which can spur further fermentation. Furthermore, a bottle that contains unwanted bacteria could cause unwanted results to occur within the beer.

By carefully sanitizing beer bottles and making certain the recipe is followed correctly, brewers can make certain their alcohol is not only delicious, but no dangerous bottle bombs are created. Brewing beer at home can be an extremely rewarding process, and one that will quickly bring friends knocking at one’s door. Investing a bit of time making certain recipes are followed correctly and all of the equipment is cleaned properly will go far in allowing the beer to be brewed correctly.