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Old 05-15-2009, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default The ethics of 5 gallon water cooler bottles...

So, since we had soooo much fun with my Sanke keg thread, let's see how the community feels about this one.

The collective knowledge of the HBT community has made it clear the 5 gallon water bottles available for water coolers (as long as they are made from #1 or #2 polymer and not the dreaded #7) are perfectly fine for fermenters and are pretty comparable to Better Bottles. Here's the issue:

When I walk into Home Depot and see the rack of water bottles for water coolers, the price is $6.99. The fine print, however, reads that an additional $6 deposit on the bottle is required. So:

1. Who owns the bottle?
2. If I bring the water bottle back, am I going to get a refund for my $6 plus tax, or will they only give me a refilled bottle in exchange?

I don't want to steal Culligan's / Arrowhead's / whoever's water bottle just so I can have a cheap fermenter.

Discuss if you dare....
-jkpq45

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Old 05-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Eh...just use the spring water for brewing and take the carboy back dirty and get a new one. They sell more water, you get a shiny new, clean carboy for each batch. Problem solved

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Old 05-15-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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I've two I trade out. One I use to make 5G batches of StarSan solution and one for secondary if I need to. I'll rinse the secondary out after use and return to get a fresh 5G of distilled water and mix up some more StarSan. Then, the emptied StarSan carboy gets used for a secondary or returned for the deposit.

I don't really use then for fermenters because of the possibility of scratches and infection vectors from the reused bottles. *shrug*

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Old 05-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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MMW's suggestion is actually quite amusing If the bottles were 6.5 gallons that would be even better.

I think it is a matter of cost in the end. With the Sanke debate the cost of the deposit does not cover the cost of the keg. I would think that a large company can get 5 gallon plastic bottles for less than $6 so the deposit covers the replacement cost.

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Old 05-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #5
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I finally found a local grocery store, stocking Culligan #1 PETE bottles, that would "sell" the bottle, not just require a deposit. Both the sign by the bottles and the cashier confirmed I was purchasing the bottle for my own use--I could keep it or return it to get a deposit credit on a new bottle. Sunny times, huh? $6 5 gallon primary FTW!

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMW View Post
Eh...just use the spring water for brewing and take the carboy back dirty and get a new one. They sell more water, you get a shiny new, clean carboy for each batch. Problem solved
That.

is.

AWESOME.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
I finally found a local grocery store, stocking Culligan #1 PETE bottles, that would "sell" the bottle, not just require a deposit. Both the sign by the bottles and the cashier confirmend I was purchasing the bottle for my own use--I could keep it or return it to get a deposit credit on a new bottle. Sunny times, huh? $6 5 gallon primary FTW!
How do we KNOW the cashier was athorized to OK you stealin-er buying the bottles? He/She could possibly even have made the sign themselves. 6$ for a 5 gal. jug seems pretty suspicious to me. We should alert the Moral Police. - Dwain
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:22 PM   #8
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I get 4 gallon ones for $3.98 at Sam's they are #1 with no deposit I use them for Apfelwein. I have about 10 of them now need to start recycling some of them .

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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"The dreaded #7????" What sort of media boooshwa are you talking about? I drink from a #7 polycarbonate bottle all the time. So do several other family members. If we do, multitudes of other people do......nobody gettin' sick here, nobody droppin' over dead. There is endless hype & hysteria on a thousand thousand topics being peddled in this country 24/7/365, and I submit this is just another.

Twenty years ago, eggs were deemed to be BAD. Then, 15 years ago, only the yolks were BAD. Ten years ago, in a humorous flip-flop, yolks GOOD, whites BAD. For the last 5 years or so, the ferkin' egg is restored to its traditional status of bleedin' WUNDERBAR! And nowhere -NOWHERE- will you find a single incontrovertible scientific study proving ANY of the above four mutually contradictory statements.

Do you want me to go into artificial sweeteners, pardner? I didn't think so.

This country is goin' nuts.

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwain View Post
How do we KNOW the cashier was athorized to OK you stealin-er buying the bottles? He/She could possibly even have made the sign themselves. 6$ for a 5 gal. jug seems pretty suspicious to me. We should alert the Moral Police. - Dwain
I emailed the local Culligan distributor to make sure. Joke all you want, morality is actually pretty important to me.
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