Have you ever opened a home brewed beer and it just gushed out like a pent up volcano that just had to blow its load?
It's hugely disappointing.
You've put in all that effort to may you brew and then it literally just splashes all over the kitchen sink or worse in front of your mates you're having some beers and BBQ with.
So what can you do about bottle gushers or 'bottle bombs' ?
There's a couple of ways to prevent gushers and they are pretty simple.
Clean your brewing equipment to prevent gushers
The first one, which isn't a solution but a warning, is to ensure that you have maintained excellent santization practices with your brewing.
There is nothing more disappointing than realizing your brew has been contaminated with infection when you open bottle after bottle and be confronted with a mass off foam that gives Old Faithful in Yellowstone park a run for it's money.
You've set off a beer bomb!
So the lesson here is clean your brewing equipment!
The second way to prevent beer gushers is dead easy:
Don't put so much sugar in your bottles!
I've learnt this one personally the hard way. If you place too much sugar into your bottles, the yeast will go to town on it as part of the secondary fermentation and produce an excess of CO2.
When that happens, you're on a trip to gusher town.
So, it doesn't matter if you are placing sugar in the individual bottles or priming the whole brew, cut down on that sugar.
My personal rule of thumb is that for a 750 mls bottle, a FLAT tea spoon of sugar is more than enough to get a great level of carbonation.
If you want to employ a quicker method, you could try using carbonation drops. If using those, put two in a 750 mls bottle and one for a 500 mls bottle.
You can also try jelly beans if you're feeling adventurous...
You were not a patient grass hopper
If this is the case, you can simply vent your beer by opening the beer cap very slightly letting the CO2 escape. You can then re cap the bottle.
It's getting hot in here...
I also have a theory about gushers but I don't have any proof or evidence that I'm right but I think that if you open 'warm' beer, it is more likely to gush. When I say warm beer, I simply mean beer that hasn't spent a day in a fridge chilling out.
I did an accidental experiment the other week when I noticed I had a couple of gushers in a recent brew. It was the first opening of a new batch so I was a bit disappointed. The next night I put two bottles in the fridge and had a cracked one open the after work the next day.
And no gusher!
I suspect warm beer temperature allows the carbon dioxide gas to escape quicker than cold beer.
So it's hardly scientific proof but I'd be open to discussion on it!
Several brews ago I walked into my 'man shed' where I keep my beer and I thought a nuclear 'beer bomb' had been set off. There was green and brown glass every where and the smell of beer in the air.
What had happened was my beer had actually become infected and the CO2 build up from a run away yeast had caused a beer to explode.
I suspect that the explosion caused a minor chain reaction of sorts and the bottles closest to the the original exploding bottle blew up due to the fragments of glass that flew their way at presumably very hostile speeds!