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Bottle exploded, why?

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Regmata

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I made a batch of petit sirah from a kit. It went into a carboy for 3 months after fermentation, was re-racked into another carboy for 3 more months. I then re-racked it a 3rd time, added K-met and let it sit for 4 days before re-racking into a big mouth bubbler with a spigot at the bottom for bottling. It was bottled within an hour of being placed into the BMB. I corked the wine and took it upstairs from the basement to put on the PVC capsules. Before doing so, one of the bottles in the box broke creating quite the mess.

What do we think happened? My father topped off the bottles and may not have left quite enough room in the top of each. The upstairs was perhaps a few degrees warmer than my basement, but I doubt the temperature would cause the explosion and the air should be compressible. I can't imagine there was any re-fermentation. Perhaps a defect in the bottle?

I am obviously worried about the other 55 bottles...
 

Regmata

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Ironically, this is the only kit that I didn't write it down for. There is just a note stating I was sick at the time of re-racking into the secondary. It did go for 25 days in the primary fermenter. If I recall, it was steady for a bit prior to going into the secondary. I think I was on vacation for a bit, during which time a friend watched it, and when I got back I was ill for awhile...but I am not 100%.

Only 1 bottle of 55 or so broke. I am just worried the rest will as well.
 

Regmata

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That was my guess as well. Especially since it happened so quickly after corking. Even if refermentation occurred for some reason, I would think it would take more than an hour to generate the pressure to break a bottle. I am a novice though and want to make sure I cover all my bases before I risk my carpets...
 

Chuck E

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I made a batch of petit sirah from a kit. It went into a carboy for 3 months after fermentation, was re-racked into another carboy for 3 more months. I then re-racked it a 3rd time, added K-met and let it sit for 4 days before re-racking into a big mouth bubbler with a spigot at the bottom for bottling. It was bottled within an hour of being placed into the BMB. I corked the wine and took it upstairs from the basement to put on the PVC capsules. Before doing so, one of the bottles in the box broke creating quite the mess.
...
Did the bottle just break, or did it explode? If it just cracked, I would say it's a bad bottle.
 

winemaker81

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If the bottle broke in lieu of popping the cork -- it was most likely the bottle. Early in my wine making career I bottled before the wine was fully done -- it popped corks. IF you had screw caps I'd be worried, but you said you corked the wine so a build up of pressure would blow the corks before breaking the bottle.

Unless you used a cage (like for champagne) on the bottle.
 

Regmata

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It was a normal old cork and it was in a box, so I am not quite sure the extent of the explosion. There was a fairly linear horizontal line a bit more than half way down the bottle and the bottom half was in the box. The cork and top half of the bottle was intact.
 

Scooter68

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Not likely an exploding bottle just a bottle that was weak/damaged and broke. Glass can do that on you - once compromised it can take seemingly nothing to break.
 

jgmillr1

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took it upstairs from the basement to put on the PVC capsules. Before doing so, one of the bottles in the box broke creating quite the mess
I've had that happen once before with a couple new wine bottles during a bottling session. The bottom of the bottle cracked off the base and leaked all over the wine cases stacked up. I chalked it up to a defect in the cheap bottle and bought better bottles next time. Have not had a similar problem since (it's been 3+ years)
 

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