There’s Been an Explosion!

May 27, 2014 · 12 comments

kefir-soda-mess

When you read the title I’m curious what first came to your mind, because I’m wondering how many of you real foodies have had this happen before?

What a weekend…

We switched the boys’ rooms around (so I can have my own OFFICE!!!) and I’d never done so many loads of laundry all at once before.  It was at least 12 loads.  I’ve also never done so much vacuuming — I’m here to tell you that kids’ bedrooms can get disgusting under all that stuff they don’t like to put away.  And sorting through every little piece of junk that they like to hang onto, plus moving furniture, switching dressers, etc., it was a ton of work!

However, the worst job of the weekend BY FAR was cleaning up ‘the explosion’.

I’ve told you before how powerful kefir soda is (click here for how to make Homemade Soda Pop, a.k.a. kefir soda!), but I was talking about the benefits to our gut from the probiotics, and especially the benefits of NOT drinking the nasty soda from the store, but this time it was powerful in a different way…

My kefir soda exploded, not one, but TWO bottles.  All.  Over.  The fridge. 

kefir-explosion

Every nook and cranny had big and teeny tiny pieces of glass.  It was in our downstairs frig, so I filled up the sink with hot soapy water and went at it.  It took almost 2 hours and by the time I was done I’d thrown away gads of bottles of old salad dressings and other unrecognizables.

I learned something:

I found what must have been a really old bottle of kefir soda hiding in the back, and I learned that if you leave it around long enough, it forms a scoby-looking thing just like kombucha does.  I guess this makes sense since they’re kind of similar.  (Read here why I like kefir soda better, though:  5 Reasons Why I Love Kefir Soda More than Kombucha Tea.)

The big question…

When I was done I had to figure out a way to contain any future explosions, because if it happened to two bottles, obviously it can happen again; I must have let my latest batch go too long on the counter for the second ferment and it got a liiiiiiittle too fizzy.

Kent came up with a good solution.

First I found a little tub that I was going to snap shut and keep in the fridge to store the bottles in, but Kent had a better idea:  to just put them in one of the fridge drawers and cover it with a towel.  Now if it happens again, hopefully it’ll only be a mess inside the drawer.  (Pictured below with the rubberband are my kefir grains — I store them like that in between when I’m making it.  You can get kefir grains here.)kefir soda explosion

kefir explosion

Has this happened to you before, with either kefir soda, kombucha, or some other overly volatile real food?

UPDATE:  It happened AGAIN!  Find out here if the towel kept the mess contained…

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  • { 11 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Sarah May 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Though the term summer may be a bit too strong of a word for where we live (very northern California average temperature of 63), I want to pull out my water kefir grains and give this a try again.

    Reply

    2 Amy May 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I had a bottle explode on the counter. We found a huge (about 6 inches long x 4 inches wide) piece about 15 feet from where it expoloded. That scared the heck out of me! I am not sure if I let it go too long, or it was too warm. Now I put them in a cupboard AND cover with a towel during that last ferment.

    Reply

    3 KitchenKop May 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

    That’s a good idea. Cleaning the mess out of the fridge was bad enough, can’t imagine finding it all over the kitchen!

    Reply

    4 Jill May 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Yes! It has happened with both kombucha and water kefir at my house, though more with water kefir–it ferments more quickly and with more “enthusiasm”. (And when it happens, it is VERY startling!) Here is how I have pretty much (fingers crossed) fixed the problem:

    With water kefir, I now only bottle it in re-purposed raw apple cider vinegar bottles (Braggs or Tree of Life brands–just save your vinegar bottles when the vinegar’s gone). Those bottles are made of thick, strong glass that can take the pressure. I’ve had many other types of bottles explode before, but never a re-used vinegar bottle.

    With Kombucha, I just use less fruit in my second ferment (bottled). If I put in too much fruit (more than a few berries, for example), it gives just too much extra sugar for the microbes to eat, which means more gasses created, and under the tightly capped pressure, it can be more than the bottle or cap can handle.

    Reply

    5 Jill May 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I’ll add that some friends of ours, who are kombucha masters if there ever was one, allow their kombucha to ferment in the bottles (2nd ferment) for a minimum of 3 weeks before drinking it because of how awesomely the flavor and carbonation develops (just don’t bottle it very sour and don’t add very much fruit). They place the bottles in coolers–at room temp, not with ice–because of the potential of explosions. It contains the mess if it happens. On a related note, with any naturally carbonated beverage, it helps immensely to refrigerate till very cold before opening the bottle to reduce pressure and spill over.

    Reply

    6 Kristin May 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I’ve been lucky so far. Mostly I’m chiming in to say we did some kid’s room cleaning this weekend too. I actually uttered the words, “Could someone please vacuum the fish food from the sock drawer?”

    Reply

    7 KitchenKop May 28, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Haaaaaaaa

    Reply

    8 Lynne May 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Yup, killed two bottles on separate occasions, in the fridge. Now I’m always under-fermenting. :-( I need to dedicate a towel to wrapping the bottles. I have also started burbing my bottles every morning in the fridge.

    Reply

    9 gogardengirl May 28, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Oh yeah! This week I had my second ferment with frozen raspberries on the counter for a couple of days. Saw that the raspberries had all floated to the top of the narrow bottle and tried to slosh them out of there. Well that set up for an exciting opening–raspberries everywhere!! On the ceiling, walls, floor and all over me-just as I was heading out to work. Not a great way to start the day.

    The remaining soda was nice an bubbly though!

    Reply

    10 Nancy May 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Are you using swing top bottles? I have never had them explode. I have had a few geysers when I opened them if the orange pulp rose to the top.

    Reply

    11 KitchenKop May 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Nope, mine are bottle caps that I put on with a capper tool.
    Kel

    Reply

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