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Posted: 3/26/2009 12:29:49 PM EDT
Are plastic "Better Bottles" preferred over traditional glass carboys? Are they really "better"?
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:31:42 PM EDT
No.

The glass is easier to sterilize, and won't get 'funky'.

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:33:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rangermonroe:
No.

The glass is easier to sterilize, and won't get 'funky'.



You stick with the glass, but I'll take the plastic. Lots lighter and not as prone to breakage, like the last 2 I had.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:33:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 12:34:15 PM EDT by slanky]
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Are plastic "Better Bottles" preferred over traditional glass carboys? Are they really "better"?


Plastic is preferred by nobody that I've ever talked to. Glass carboys are what I have always used. If you wanna be fancy and have tons of money, then one of those big stainless fermentation tanks is the way to go... but at around $600+ I'll stick with glass carboys :-) Glass is totally impermeable which is what makes it good and sanitary - you can clean pretty much any crud off glass and there's no leftover 'flavoring' in the carboy.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:33:55 PM EDT
Just make sure you have a lifting handle for the glass carboy. But what was said before is true, glass is much better.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:35:07 PM EDT
both work, but glass is better
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:56:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 12:56:43 PM EDT by slanky]
mt...
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:00:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:37:22 PM EDT by Blue_Monkey]
I haven't brewed in over 12yrs. I just starting getting together some equipment to start again and I noticed some places selling these plastic carboys as an alternative. The "Better Bottle" website states:


Better-Bottle® fermentation carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash. The special PET from which they are made is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easy to clean and sanitize. Optional, Better-Bottle racking adapters, SimpleFlo™ valves, and DryTrap™ air locks make oxygen-free racking and dispensing simple – no siphoning is necessary. Optional closures that use O-rings to make tighter seals are more easily cleaned and sanitized than conventional stoppers. In short, Better-Bottle fermentation equipment is better – ideal for home winemaking and home brewing.




My thought is they would be more prone to scratching during cleaning.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:43:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Are plastic "Better Bottles" preferred over traditional glass carboys? Are they really "better"?


NO! Glass is king. Plastics can pick up things that you can't wash off. Not true of glass.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:46:36 PM EDT
I use glass carboys also.
I thought about getting a plastic one for primary then rack to glass for secondary but I've abandoned that idea also...
I use the plastic bucket for primary then rack to my glass carboy.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:51:36 PM EDT
alll glass here
heavy but better in my opinon
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 3:23:55 PM EDT
Glass.... Glass... Glass....

Oh and I think you should use Glass.

Plaztic is de debbil!!!
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 3:39:51 PM EDT
Plastic can work. I've made some good batches in plastic. Glass is better in my opinion. My beef with glass is two fold. First, it requires careful handling to avoid scratching. Scratches are hard to sanitize. Two, it's not always impermiable to oxygen. Some plastic containers can allow for oxygen to stale the beer during long term storage (like high gravity beers or during lagering).

Glass carboys make great beer, and the stainless conicals are damn nice (but overpriced). If you want a top shelf fermenter, get your hands on an old stainless steel 10 gallon corny keg. They can be hard to come by, and they can get pricey (paid almost $200). This is an absolute no brainer if you already keg but still worth while if you don't. You cut your dip tube a hair short so when fermentation is complete you can transfer the beer from the fermenter to you serving containers or secondary fermenter under CO2 pressure. No oxygen contamination, no exosure to unsanitary conditions, simple and clean.

If you already keg it's even easier. You rig up a jumper to transfer from fermenter, to keg, under CO2 pressure. The beer is never exposed to air let alone other equipment. I went to this process and will never go back. On a typical batch of ale I pitch yeast and seal up the fermenter. Ferment in a thermostatically controled fridge for 7-10 days at the desired fermentation temp, then drop the temp to about 35 degrees for one week. This week at cooler temps takes the place of a secondary fermentation. The cold temps cause the beer to settle out and clear up quite nicely. Then on kegging day I sanitize one keg and one tube (the jumper) and just pump it to the serving keg. I then hook up CO2 to the serving, store at serving temp for a few days and it's ready to drink. The beer is essentially seeled in a sanitized container from the point I pitch yeast till I serve it with no exposure to unneeded equipment or air that may contaminate.

Anyway, sorry for being longwinded and not foucing on your question, just a suggestion worth considering. PM me for a source on the 10 gallon corny kegs if interested.

Adrock1
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 3:40:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AZ_Sky:
I use glass carboys also.
I thought about getting a plastic one for primary then rack to glass for secondary but I've abandoned that idea also...
I use the plastic bucket for primary then rack to my glass carboy.


So a plastic bucket is OK but a plastic carboy is not OK for a primary.

You should teach logic. You're a natural.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 3:54:38 PM EDT
I have used glass from the start, the only time I use plastic is my bottling bucket.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:01:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
I haven't brewed in over 12yrs. I just starting getting together some equipment to start again and I noticed some places selling these plastic carboys as an alternative. The "Better Bottle" website states:


Better-Bottle® fermentation carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash. The special PET from which they are made is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easy to clean and sanitize. Optional, Better-Bottle racking adapters, SimpleFlo™ valves, and DryTrap™ air locks make oxygen-free racking and dispensing simple – no siphoning is necessary. Optional closures that use O-rings to make tighter seals are more easily cleaned and sanitized than conventional stoppers. In short, Better-Bottle fermentation equipment is better – ideal for home winemaking and home brewing.



My thought is they would be more prone to scratching during cleaning.


They make special, coated brushes.

I used to do 3-4 batches on a saturday. I used a wort chiller, 50 feet of 3/8" copper. The water going through the chiller would get very hot, usually in the 170 F range and that would become the next batch of sparging water, saving energy BIG TIME. I used carboys for collecting that water, don't know if plastic would withstand that temp.

Yes, when you brew 4 batches on a weekend, it is a LOT of work. Imagine going through a 50 pound sack of malt in one weekend? Yes, LOTS of spent grain.

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:04:14 PM EDT
After having to replace two plastic primaries due to being funky, I bought a 6.5 gallon glass carboy for the primary. Works great.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:04:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
I haven't brewed in over 12yrs. I just starting getting together some equipment to start again and I noticed some places selling these plastic carboys as an alternative. The "Better Bottle" website states:


Better-Bottle® fermentation carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash. The special PET from which they are made is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easy to clean and sanitize. Optional, Better-Bottle racking adapters, SimpleFlo™ valves, and DryTrap™ air locks make oxygen-free racking and dispensing simple – no siphoning is necessary. Optional closures that use O-rings to make tighter seals are more easily cleaned and sanitized than conventional stoppers. In short, Better-Bottle fermentation equipment is better – ideal for home winemaking and home brewing.



My thought is they would be more prone to scratching during cleaning.


They make special, coated brushes.

I used to do 3-4 batches on a saturday. I used a wort chiller, 50 feet of 3/8" copper. The water going through the chiller would get very hot, usually in the 170 F range and that would become the next batch of sparging water, saving energy BIG TIME. I used carboys for collecting that water, don't know if plastic would withstand that temp.

Yes, when you brew 4 batches on a weekend, it is a LOT of work. Imagine going through a 50 pound sack of malt in one weekend? Yes, LOTS of spent grain.



You don't even need those. Just put a wash rag inside the carboy along with about a gallon of water and some oxyclean, then agitate. If you haven't scrubbed on it and scratched it, it will clean up fast. It's a lot easier than scrubbing out a glass carboy with a brush.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:09:02 PM EDT
Glass is good, I never had any trouble with the plastic buckets, though. If you use the glass carboys, I would try to get a plastic milk crate to carry them around with. You don't want to grab the neck of a full glass carboy.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:36:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
I haven't brewed in over 12yrs. I just starting getting together some equipment to start again and I noticed some places selling these plastic carboys as an alternative. The "Better Bottle" website states:


Better-Bottle® fermentation carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash. The special PET from which they are made is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easy to clean and sanitize. Optional, Better-Bottle racking adapters, SimpleFlo™ valves, and DryTrap™ air locks make oxygen-free racking and dispensing simple – no siphoning is necessary. Optional closures that use O-rings to make tighter seals are more easily cleaned and sanitized than conventional stoppers. In short, Better-Bottle fermentation equipment is better – ideal for home winemaking and home brewing.



My thought is they would be more prone to scratching during cleaning.


They make special, coated brushes.

I used to do 3-4 batches on a saturday. I used a wort chiller, 50 feet of 3/8" copper. The water going through the chiller would get very hot, usually in the 170 F range and that would become the next batch of sparging water, saving energy BIG TIME. I used carboys for collecting that water, don't know if plastic would withstand that temp.

Yes, when you brew 4 batches on a weekend, it is a LOT of work. Imagine going through a 50 pound sack of malt in one weekend? Yes, LOTS of spent grain.



You used malt and grain? Did you just steep the grain before adding malt or were you actually sparging the grain and still adding malt?
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:42:02 PM EDT
The handle that goes around the neck of a glass carboy isnt for vertical lifting, its so you can get an angle on it so you can get your hands under it. I'd get one of the nylon webbing cradles for it, that way you're not trying to move a carboy by its weakest point.

Kharn
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:45:25 PM EDT
Most of the dedicated brewers I know use and like the Better Bottles - like 338 was saying.

I use glass but I have alot of carboys. If I break five or so, I will start augmenting with the plastic ones.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:46:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gaspain:
both work, but glass is better


Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:25:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 338winmag:
Originally Posted By AZ_Sky:
I use glass carboys also.
I thought about getting a plastic one for primary then rack to glass for secondary but I've abandoned that idea also...
I use the plastic bucket for primary then rack to my glass carboy.


So a plastic bucket is OK but a plastic carboy is not OK for a primary.

You should teach logic. You're a natural.
brew some beer, then retract, or STFU.

For you that don't know... the hot boiling wort is put in the plastic bucket for a week or so to 'get started'. After that time, it is allowed to finish in another fermenter. I prefer glass.

the reaction is considerably slowed as it finishes.

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:34:52 PM EDT
+1 here. I will say I have never used the plastic "Better Bottle". What I do know is my Arfcom of home brewing site www.Homebrewtalk.com that most of the experienced brewers there use the plastic better bottles.

I too will be switching out. the glass ones are an extreme hazard. I have had them break and the shards of glass it produces are terrifying. I invision near death accidents possible while using them. Instead of 1- 6.5 gallon glass carboy Im thinking 2 - 3gal better bottles. Life will be sooo much easier.
Originally Posted By Fingerpicker:
Most of the dedicated brewers I know use and like the Better Bottles - like 338 was saying.

I use glass but I have alot of carboys. If I break five or so, I will start augmenting with the plastic ones.


Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:38:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By heffelfinger007:
I have used glass from the start, the only time I use plastic is my bottling bucket.


This.
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