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mmmmBeeeer

Plastic or Glass Carboy...Does it matter?

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thining of moving up to 5 gallon batches. Is it really worth spending the extra $60 for glass and a lot of extra weight and risk of breakage? what are the advantages of glass over pastic?

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Cleaning the glass is easy. The plastic is not as heavy. The buckets are not heavy and easy to clean, but you can't perv.

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packerduf wrote:

Cleaning the glass is easy. The plastic is not as heavy. The buckets are not heavy and easy to clean, but you can't perv.

What is perving?

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alb wrote:

What is perving?

1. To obsessively watch or view. 2. To keep tabs over with a perverted obsession. 3.To view a forbidden sight. :ohmy:

Simply put to watch your beer ferment! :woohoo:

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alb wrote:


What is perving?

Repeatedly and obsessively going to take a look at your beer.

It's like peeking in someone's window, watching them undress. Or staring at a couple kissing passionately in the park.

Acting like a pervert = perving.


edit: LMG beat me to the punch! :blush:

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I've had glass, plastic and now a bucket. The glass was a pain moving around. Even with the glass handle holders it's very heavy. If you get one, buy or build a small cart to wheel it around.
The plastic was much easier but after a year of use, I started finding hairline cracks.
The buckets all the homebrew shops sell are the best for me but your taste, $$$$ and experience should decide for you.
If you're new to 5 gallon batches, maybe starting with the 6.5 gallon buckets is the least expensive way to start.

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I have a 5 gallon "carboy" that i bought at walmart for like $7 that i use for my fish tank. i was thinkning about buying another one of those. I bought it from the water filtration section so i know its food grade.

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alb wrote:

packerduf wrote:

Cleaning the glass is easy. The plastic is not as heavy. The buckets are not heavy and easy to clean, but you can't perv.

What is perving?

Sneaking into your brew closet in the wee hours of the night and watchin' the yeasty doin' their thing. Oh crap! Now ya got me all worked up. :blush:

Edit: Damn! Late to the party again. :(

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Beer-lord wrote:

I've had glass, plastic and now a bucket. The glass was a pain moving around. Even with the glass handle holders it's very heavy. If you get one, buy or build a small cart to wheel it around.
The plastic was much easier but after a year of use, I started finding hairline cracks.
The buckets all the homebrew shops sell are the best for me but your taste, $$$$ and experience should decide for you.
If you're new to 5 gallon batches, maybe starting with the 6.5 gallon buckets is the least expensive way to start.

I was actually wondering about the glass vs plastic carboys myself. I haven't used it yet but I have the Brewer's Best set up with the Fermenting bucket and the bottling bucket but the LHBS has told me that I should really have a carboy for the secondary fermentation. So I would ferment in the bucket, rack it to the carboy then when it's bottling time rack it to the bottling bucket. Would that be the correct process? Or do not need a carboy based on what you said?

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alb wrote:

packerduf wrote:

Cleaning the glass is easy. The plastic is not as heavy. The buckets are not heavy and easy to clean, but you can't perv.

What is perving?

De-ranke-kettle.jpg

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packerduf wrote:

alb wrote:

packerduf wrote:


Edit: Damn! Late to the party again. :(


Never to late for a party, Let go perv somebodies fermenter.
My carboys are glass, yes heavy and breakable, don't know about the plastic ones but MB LBK's are good. I also have a pail, but its so much more exciting to WATCH the action in a carboy.

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mmmmBeeeer wrote:

I have a 5 gallon "carboy" that i bought at walmart for like $7 that i use for my fish tank. i was thinkning about buying another one of those. I bought it from the water filtration section so i know its food grade.

It's food grade, but it's made for holding water, not for fermenting beer. I've read posts from people who have tried that and said it worked once or twice, then best while full of beer.

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I love the LBK's, lightweight, work well, good design with low hydrostatic pressure which eases the stress on the yeast...

I also use glass 5 gallon and 3 gallon carboys, basically because I had them from my wine making adventures... They are heavy, but it's pretty easy to clean them, and with carboy handles, I can move them around ok... Especially the 3 gallon one... ( the 3 has my Rye ale in it now, the 5's a cream ale)... They are very slippery when wet and if you drop them they... Well they... You don't want to know.

I looked at a 3 gallon better bottle but passed on it because the design was rectangular, and I just envisioned trub stuck in the corners... Probably not an issue, just sayin'.

:)

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If I decided to go back to carboys over my 4 LBKs, instead of buying more LBKs, I'd probably go to a 5 gallon plastic better bottles. I'd probably only buy a glass carboy again if I was going to brew sours that needed to age for a year or got heavy into mead brewing again.

But for now I'm pretty happy splitting bigger batches across multiple LBKs, so I don't see this happening soonish.

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BigPapaG wrote:

I looked at a 3 gallon better bottle but passed on it because the design was rectangular, and I just envisioned trub stuck in the corners... Probably not an issue, just sayin'.

Used my 3 gallon BB for the first time on a barley wine. No issues w/ the trub getting stuck. Cleaned just as easy as the round ones. Oxyclean Free, H2O and time.

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Yeah I find the design of the BB kind of annoying with all its straight lines and ridges for trub to collect on. It doesn't affect fermentation at all but I do find it slightly harder to clean if I'm trying to do it quickly. But Oxyclean and time work like a charm every time.

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I've only ever used 6gal better bottles to ferment my big batches in. I've never been presented with a reason to change from that to glass or buckets, so I haven't.

Cleaning has never been a problem with them for me. Oxyclean and the sprayer on my kitchen sink combined with shaking the crap out of it and or time like Sr.Pepe suggests have worked every time.

I also use a Brew Hauler to transport my full carboys. Those of you who are having transportation problems might want to check it out. They're very effective.

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I'd definitely go with the better bottle. You can find them for under $30, and with an auto-siphon it makes brewing a breeze. I'm looking t getting the ported one with the spigot. I also have the better-bottle stopper which is expensive, but works great for oxygenating and mixing the wort before pitching the yeast.

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"My name is Rick, and I'm a perv."


Funny....the first thing I did when walking into the house after work was going to look at my keg.

I'm not sure if I'd choose glass over plastic or the other way around, but ease of cleaning would definitely rank high among the factors.


Rick

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When I went to brewing fivers, I didn't hesitate. Plastic all the way. What influenced my decision was partly the weight of a full glass carboy, but mostly the fact that I ferment and store the empty containers in my basement, which has a cement slab. The risk of breakage was too high, so I went with plastic, and I don't regret it. I'm sure I would have suffered a smash by now had I gone with glass.

The choice is yours, of course, but you have to weigh all the pros and cons and prioritize.

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I recently purchased a 6-gal plastic fermenting bucket, and I've used it for two brews thus far. It doesn't seem to seal well, as I get almost no action in the airlock. I might try some Lubri Film on the seal to see if that helps some. I think the total volume is closer to 7 gallons, so there is plenty of room for an active fermentation, but not so much for aeration when using my mix-stir. But I must say, the bucket is very easy to clean and sanitize, and easy to move around. I should also mention that I use a 7.9-gal bucket to make wine, and it seems to seal just fine. Another advantage to the plastic bucket is the ability to incorporate spigots for bottling or transferring to a secondary, although extra caution should be used to ensure a proper seal around the spigot. All things considered, the plastic bucket is an economical option, with more pros than cons.

Yesterday, I brewed an American Light. It is currently tucked away in the fermenting fridge, bubbling away like crazy in my 6 1/2-gal glass carboy. If you like to perv, this is a good way to go. I love the fact that glass cleans up so well, rinses very nicely, and is scratch proof (for the most part). I assume they last forever if properly maintained. But I can't deny the thought of shattering glass every time I use it. I use extreme caution while handling, ensuring both my hands and the carboy are completely dry - to prevent potential slippage. Once filled, it is definitely difficult and cumbersome to carry from point A to point B, despite the use of an attached handle. I'm thinking about buying a dolly to make transport easier.

That leaves the plastic carboy (Better Bottle). I have no experience with these, but I may order one soon and give it a try. It seems to me the best of both worlds. Light enough to safely move around, with the "pervability" of the glass carboy. I suppose the only downsides would be the susceptibility for scratching, and maybe gas permeability. I know this; I use a 5-gal plastic Primo water bottle to treat my city water with campden tablets, and it's a breeze to pick up and carry around when full - as compared to the glass carboy.

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Packerduf, how far are you transporting your carboy? After washing mine in the kitchen, I bring it down to the basement to sanitize and transfer wort. Then I just dead-lift it onto the bench where it sits fermenting.

I noticed in the videos the handle attachment for the carboys, but they look kinda dicey to me. I bought a brew hauler.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/the-brew-hauler.html

I haven't used it at all, so if you think you'd like it, shoot me a PM and maybe we can work something out.

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