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CARBOYS

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CARBOYS

Postby FullySilenced » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:44 am

Plastic and glass carboys are available... do they work equally well? Is one better than the other and is so why?

Is sanitation an issue with either one? Are there better options than carboys?

What about the plastic 5 to 6.5 gallon water carboys? anything negative with using them?
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:07 am

I have both, but love the glass, besides being heavy. I've found less infection with glass than plastic. I like to use the plastic ones for racking.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby FullySilenced » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:11 am

Do you think your having issues with the plastic because of sanitizing problem? or maybe plastic permeability? Open pores in the plastic?

I know there are tons of plastic buckets being used... is why i asked....
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:16 am

It seems plastic is on par with glass at first but with a few cleanings they get scratched, a tiny bit, allowing a place for bacteria to hide. The glass isn't as friendly of a place for bacteria to adhere to.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Kapea » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:56 am

If you're going to drink the finished beverage after fermentation is complete, then glass is the way to go. Plastic is OK but prone to infection and off-flavors as it gets older.

If you plan to distill the fermented wash/mash then plastic is fine for fermenting. Off-flavors are left behind in the boiler.

However, I would not store distilled liquids in plastic. I put my low wines in glass carboys and cornelius kegs. Finished distilled products go into corked glass bottles.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby MitchyBourbon » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:24 am

I have 3 plastic better bottles and I love them. They hold 6 gallons and have a ported spigot at the bottom. I bought them about a year ago when I accidentally dropped one of my glass carboys. I didn't get hurt but it looked pretty dangerous. Makes me nervous just thinking about it. I know I got 2 arms and 2 legs but I don't consider any of them to be spares.

You do have to use a little extra care when cleaning as they will lose their shape if you put 140 f water in them. They also don't like certain chemicals.

As for the durability of the plastic... This summer I set my 3 better bottles on the floor of my wife's garage stall in preparation to fill my boiler when the phone rang. I went inside to answer. Mean while my wife came home. She ran over all 3 bottles. I don't know how but they were fine hardly a scratch on any of them. I only lost a few drops through the air locks. Best of all was that the rum turned out great. ;)
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Bushman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:13 pm

I've picked up my 5 gallon carboys at garage sales for around $5.00 USD each. Currently I have 4 carboys and 3 fermenting buckets. The buckets work better for stirring your wash but the carboys being glass give you a better idea of what's happening during fermentation. I haven't noticed any difference in the taste after distilling.
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Hawk » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:54 am

Kapea wrote:If you're going to drink the finished beverage after fermentation is complete, then glass is the way to go. Plastic is OK but prone to infection and off-flavors as it gets older.

If you plan to distill the fermented wash/mash then plastic is fine for fermenting. Off-flavors are left behind in the boiler.

However, I would not store distilled liquids in plastic. I put my low wines in glass carboys and cornelius kegs. Finished distilled products go into corked glass bottles.


+1. Same here
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:50 pm

I've got maybe 8 glass carboys, two of which are 6-gallon (~23L) and the rest 5-gallon (19L) that I use for low wines, feints, or aging spirits. I've also got a couple of 6-gallon better bottles that I use for secondary fermenters making wine or beer. My small primary fermenters are polypails in 6.5? gallon (25? L) and 7.5? gallon (~29?L), 2x11 gallon (43L) polyethylene buckets, 1x20 gallon (76L) and 1x32 gallon (122L) Rubbermaid Brutes, and a 55 gallon (209L) blue plastic malt syrup barrel.

Since some here are uncomfortable our odd collection of unit systems, I'm giving both US and SI from now on.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Kapea » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:35 pm

Zymurgy Bob wrote:Since some here are uncomfortable our odd collection of unit systems, I'm giving both US and SI from now on.


What? No shengs?! :shock:

:lol:
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:27 am

I have a 5 gal and 6 gal glass and two 5 gal plastic. And a shite tun of 1 gal. Only ever used the glass ones. I use the 1 gallon ones for feints and low wines. And secondary fermenters for small wine batches. I've used the 5 gal a couple times for sweetfeed secondary ferment and clearing. The 6 gal is still in the box. I bought it for a secondary for my beer. The two plastic 5 gal ones came with the house. And I haven't had a need to use them. But I am partial to glass anyway.

The one thing I have heard bad about the better bottles. Is you don't want to fill them with hot wort. Supposedly the heat will make them deformed? Don't know for sure. Don't have one.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Bushman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:26 am

Zymurgy Bob wrote:I've got maybe 8 glass carboys, two of which are 6-gallon (~23L) and the rest 5-gallon (19L) that I use for low wines, feints, or aging spirits. I've also got a couple of 6-gallon better bottles that I use for secondary fermenters making wine or beer. My small primary fermenters are polypails in 6.5? gallon (25? L) and 7.5? gallon (~29?L), 2x11 gallon (43L) polyethylene buckets, 1x20 gallon (76L) and 1x32 gallon (122L) Rubbermaid Brutes, and a 55 gallon (209L) blue plastic malt syrup barrel.

Since some here are uncomfortable our odd collection of unit systems, I'm giving both US and SI from now on.

When did you add on to your house :grin:

Note: had to use the smiley face as we don't yet have a wink!
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Kapea » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:51 am

Bushman wrote:
Zymurgy Bob wrote:I've got maybe 8 glass carboys, two of which are 6-gallon (~23L) and the rest 5-gallon (19L) that I use for low wines, feints, or aging spirits. I've also got a couple of 6-gallon better bottles that I use for secondary fermenters making wine or beer. My small primary fermenters are polypails in 6.5? gallon (25? L) and 7.5? gallon (~29?L), 2x11 gallon (43L) polyethylene buckets, 1x20 gallon (76L) and 1x32 gallon (122L) Rubbermaid Brutes, and a 55 gallon (209L) blue plastic malt syrup barrel.

Since some here are uncomfortable our odd collection of unit systems, I'm giving both US and SI from now on.

When did you add on to your house :grin:

Note: had to use the smiley face as we don't yet have a wink!


I have a 6' x 20' room temp controlled to 20C that has racks full of carboys. ;-) ;-) ;-)

I make a LOT of mead.
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:58 pm

Bushman wrote:
Zymurgy Bob wrote:I've got maybe 8 glass carboys, two of which are 6-gallon (~23L) and the rest 5-gallon (19L) that I use for low wines, feints, or aging spirits. I've also got a couple of 6-gallon better bottles that I use for secondary fermenters making wine or beer. My small primary fermenters are polypails in 6.5? gallon (25? L) and 7.5? gallon (~29?L), 2x11 gallon (43L) polyethylene buckets, 1x20 gallon (76L) and 1x32 gallon (122L) Rubbermaid Brutes, and a 55 gallon (209L) blue plastic malt syrup barrel.

Since some here are uncomfortable our odd collection of unit systems, I'm giving both US and SI from now on.

When did you add on to your house :grin:

Note: had to use the smiley face as we don't yet have a wink!

Actually, no addition to the house, but the garage is completely impassable. :lol:
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Bushman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:56 am

Zymurgy Bob wrote:Actually, no addition to the house, but the garage is completely impassable. :lol:

I have a 30' x 24' outbuilding with a loft that is the same way. The only time it seems like a get things picked up is when I am making a run.
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: CARBOYS

Postby Stinger » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:15 am

Cooperville wrote:fellas in the states are only paying 30 shengs for a glass carboy cant go wrong with that!!! 8-)

I only pay $23 for a glass carboy here in Canada. :grin:

These work better than "Better Bottles" because the ridges on the side do not trap particles when settling:

http://stores.essenciana.com/-strse-80/ ... Detail.bok

I've stored racked cider in them for up to a year with no problems. They cost me maybe $21. They are "stain resistant" and they always clean up perfectly when using one-step cleaner after use. I use StarSan before use. I NEVER clean them with my "Carboy Cleaner".

I prefer glass, but the plastic ones have some definite advantages - weight, almost-unbreakability, reduced size, stain resistance. BUT I always use glass for low-wines, feints, bulk storage and aging.
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