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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Glass carboy or better bottle?
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
PalmBeachPaul
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Default Glass carboy or better bottle?

Hi, I'm pretty new on this, so I have some questions.

1. What type of secondary fermenter I should use? I read on my homebrewing book that plastic let oxigen pass through but I see a lot of guys here that use a better bottle.

2. What you guys use as a strainer when you go from the kettle to the primary fermenter? Should I use a nylon hops bag?

3. Is it better to buy a cooler with a drain plug on it for my MLT or is it better to drill the hole myself?

4. On my book it says that I should use returnable dark glass (amber) new bottles, but reading this forum I see that some of you guys use bottles like those of Sam Adams and other non-twist brands. I'm confused, I don't want to spend $35 on bottles but at the same time I don't want bottle-bombs in my house.

Well, these are some of the questions I have, I hope you don't mind my rookie questions. This forum is awsome, I can't stop reading it, I gathered a lot of important data already.

Thanks a lot for your time.

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Old 06-10-2008, 11:11 PM   #2
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plastic is a generic term. better bottle is a specific item.

in general, cheap plastic is very oxygen permeable and doesn't make a great secondary.

but a better bottle is PET plastic, a much stronger, higher grade stuff. it shouldn't pose problems.

I don't strain. I just avoid dumping too much trub into the primary.

get a cooler WITH the drain spout. its soooooo much simpler that way and not really any more expensive.


any pop-top bottles will work. twist offs are a thinner walled glass. bottle bombs are not that common. I use Sam Adam's, New Belgium, and Guiness draught bottles, among the old deposit bottles I bought for a dime each at the local bottling company years ago.

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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Check out your local recycling center for pop top bottles. You might feel like a bum pawing through a bunch of used beer bottles, but you can't beat free.

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Old 06-11-2008, 01:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmBeachPaul View Post
4. On my book it says that I should use returnable dark glass (amber) new bottles, but reading this forum I see that some of you guys use bottles like those of Sam Adams and other non-twist brands. I'm confused, I don't want to spend $35 on bottles but at the same time I don't want bottle-bombs in my house.
Well....I'd say that Bottles in general are pretty strong. I use twist top BMC Bottles, and I actually have a batch that I'm pretty sure would have broken them if they were going to break. It is WAY over carbed, and I've had no problems.

When you get your cooler....make sure the drain goes STRAIT in not at an upward angle. You can deal with the angle inside, but you'll have your valve below table level on the outside.

Go to Wally world and check them out. You'll see what I mean.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:45 AM   #5
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The best way to get a bunch of crown-top bottles is to buy high-quality beer and drink it, or if you're in a hurry throw a big party.

I couldn't see myself paying for full cases of empty bottles, so I drank a lot of beer and also did what the other posters said - hit up recycle centers. In states that have bottle deposits, you can go to liquor stores and probably buy cases of returnable bottles for 10 cents per bottle.

Regarding glass vs. better bottles as a secondary, that is a very popular debate, along with stainless vs. aluminum brew kettles, what sanitizer is better, etc. I use better bottles because they are lighter, clean up very easily, and are unlikely to sever an artery or ligament if dropped. But many people prefer glass.

Regarding straining your hops, take a look at this... http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=40738 Some of the pictures in the first posts are gone, but scroll down for more. This setup gives the hops plenty of room to float around during the boil, and you can easily remove them at the end of the boil.

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Old 06-11-2008, 01:47 AM   #6
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Is it that time again?

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Old 06-11-2008, 01:49 AM   #7
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Just don't do this with your glass carboy.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post
Just don't do this with your glass carboy.
Reasons why you shouldn't:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/articl...encarboys.html
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:05 AM   #9
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I use glass and others have used it for years. If I did not have glass, I would buy better bottles though. I would think that a regular 5 gallon plastic water bottle would work also. It is the same material. The top is wide on some of them though. I thought of asking a local distributor about their old ones that are scratched on the outside.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosierbrewer View Post
I would think that a regular 5 gallon plastic water bottle would work also. It is the same material.
At the risk of opening this whole debate again...not necessarily. Depends on the recycling code on the bottle. IIRC, BB are #1 (PET). Water bottles can be other codes; I won't get into the relative merits of each as they've been discussed here endlessly. Some people use them; do a search and you'll see all the possible pros and cons.
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