The Gusher Bug


Lord save us all. When I opened up the latest batch of Roundhouse Pale Ale, the thing let loose like a geyser, probably shooting beer a good six inches above the top of the bottle. If I’m processing through everything I’ve read correctly, we’ve caught a gusher bug, which is essentially an aggressive wild yeast strain that eats through the sugars that would under normal circumstances remain unfermented. The outcome is essentially hyper-carbonated alcohol water (mmm…), and undoubtedly due to some sanitation glitch.

Right now, we are using plastic buckets for our fermentation. They’ve now probably been through about 10-15 batches of beer apiece. Are there any homebrewers out there who can give me perspective on whether this may be the cause of my gusher bug? Do I need to get new buckets, clean them better, or just switch to glass carboys? Any insight much appreciated. And if you were brewing with us a couple weeks ago and took home a Roundhouse Pale Ale, go ahead and open it before it becomes an alcoholic hand grenade.

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