Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bottle Bombs.....a salutory lesson!

Last week, "erindoors" made some chutney (green tomato....) Part of the recipe included some root ginger.

Initially, she was gonna use a recipe from Mrs Beeton, but ended up using a James Martin recipe.

Anyway, there was some root ginger left over, so I collared it to make some ginger beer. I got the recipe from the net (one that I've used before) and it turned out that I had enough ginger for 10 litres.

So I mixed it up i.e. 2 x 2 litre bottles and 2 x 3 litre bottles. I then put it on top of the kitchen cupboards so I wouldn't get nagged about it taking up room in the kitchen.

Now normally, you'd wait about 24 hours for it to get to the stage where the bottles can't be pressed in and the plastic stays firm/hard, then you'd put it in the fridge. Whereas, because I'd put it on top of the cupboards, I remembered it at about 0600 on Wednesday morning.

Actually I noticed that the 2 x 2 litre bottles were starting to stretch under the internal pressure...... so I took the bottles down from the cupboards and put them on the floor in front of the fridge..... as I was picking up on 3 litre bottle, I knocked the other one over and it exploded.

So apart from some grazes and bruising on 1 hand and 1 shin, plus ginger beer all over the inside of the fridge, the outhouse (where the fridge is) and over both the cats that were eating their breakfast biscuits behind me (no injury or harm.... fortunately), oh and having been dazed by the explosion a bit, no harm was done.

I realise that I was lucky to be making the ginger beer in plastic bottles, because I'd have probably have suffered harm if it had been glass. But it also points out that to have exploded a plastic bottle like that, there must have been a hell of a lot of pressure built up inside.

I mean, the whole point of making ginger beer like this and then chilling it, is because you want to stop an active ferment with the cold of the fridge so that it carbonates the ginger beer, but doesn't ferment all the sugar so there's still plenty of sweetness left. But caution must be observed as this method has fundamental hazards to it, especially, if like me, you forget to get the bottles into the fridge soon enough.....

Apart from that, it makes a nice drink.......


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