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Old 04-26-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
Blotto
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Default Glass Carboy with a hole

I'm new to home brewing, I just purchased a bunch of used equipment and have cleaned it a couple of times and I was going to brew my first batch on Saturday and realized that one of my carboys aquired a hole about half way up the side. It wasn't there on last Wednesday when I was cleaning it in preparation of my first brew. I haven't tested it yet to see if it will still hold liquid or if it is going to be a sprinkler coming out the side.
Is this common of carboys to "wear out" and aquire holes or is it more likely that something happened to put a hole in the side. The mark itself is less than a 1/4" on the inside and the hole is about 1 mm diameter on the outside.
Has anybody experienced anything like this with their carboys?

Thanks for your responses.

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Old 04-26-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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Nopes.

Its glass right? or is it a betterbottle?

Eitherway a hole there is either a fracture, or something you can nolonger effectively sanitise.

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Old 04-26-2011, 09:57 PM   #3
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I wouldn't use it. The hole creates a weak spot in the glass- it could end up coming apart once stressed (ie, once it's full, and you're carrying it).

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Old 04-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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The poster above is right. Sanitation is the real issue, but I think there's even more to be concerned about.

Plastic fermentors pretty much become useless when you scrub them with an abrasive brush, because all the tiny scratches (even if you can't see them) harbor bacteria and it becomes nearly impossible to effectively sanitize. If some micro-scratches are able to turn a fermentor into junk, I'm pretty sure a rough, glass hole/crack will to. The beers you make in it are very likely to go bad - it's the one piece of your equipment that beer in its most vulnerable stages stays in contact with for an extended period of time.

Also, I think it's extremely important to mention that you NEVER buy plastic equipment used - stainless steel and glass are (usually) fine, as they can generally be sanitized very well (unless they have serious flaws like this carboy), but once the plastic stuff gets any significant amount of bacteria, you should throw it out (or use it to brew sour beers). I say this because it's a pretty safe assumption you got a bunch of plastic stuff off the same guy.

That being said, this kind of wear and tear is NOT normal, and I've never seen or even heard about it. In fact, I imagine I'd probably have thrown it out long before it could get even close to that bad, as it seems for a hole to develop, it's probably far from immaculate in the first place. In fact, it sounds like the equipment must have been SERIOUSLY abused.

I would try to get my money back, but even if that's impossible, I would NOT brew beer with that equipment - anything that touches your beer AFTER it's been boiled can easily infect it, and when you're dealing with used plastic equipment, it's impossible to tell what is and what isn't infected. Especially with the way it's apparently been treated, I wouldn't even take a chance - the beer will in all likelihood be wasted, costing not just the money for the ingredients, but your time and effort. And believe me, it will suck to wait 6-8 weeks only to find out the beer is undrinkable and that making another batch will take another 6-8 weeks!

If you can't return anything, I would throw out all the plastic equipment that touches your beer after it's been boiled (that MIGHT leave you with a spoon if it's just extract equipment lol) and buy new stuff to replace it. I know it really sucks, and obviously you were hoping to save money, but if you take a chance here and brew with it anyways, you will in all likelihood just end up wasting even more money (on ingredients, bottle caps, etc) - as well as all that time and effort I mentioned - only to have to throw it all out two months from now and buy new stuff anyways, which sucks even more, ESPECIALLY when you were just trying to save some money.

On a more positive note though (I think) - welcome to the addiction.

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #5
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It is glass.

The hole wasn't there on Wednesday when I was cleaning and scrubbing. Then I looked at it Saturday and there it was.

Seems weird to me, I haven't been able to ask my roommate about it yet to see if it is something that he can tell me to explain it. Everything was solid on Wednesday.

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:26 PM   #6
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Don't use it.

If you do, don't forget to take pictures of the lacerations when they happen. Those pictures make pretty good warnings for the new brewers around here. Glass carboys can hurt you.

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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Do you mean a hole, or a bubble in the glass?

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:52 AM   #8
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That sounds like a BB gun hole. Does your roommate have a BB gun perchance?

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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Actually, I went home and tested the vessel with water to see if it would hold fluid expecting to see water spouting out and found that what was thought to be a hole is an external chip. There is no crack in the glass that translates to the inside of the carboy. Now I'm wondering if it may still be a weak spot and if there is a way to possibly repair it. I'm thinking of windshield repair.
During inspection last night I was looking for a line or crack that would have been visible from all angles and there is none.

I don't believe my room mate has a bb gun. The chip is more vertical than round, but that would have been a good guess, I didn't think of that.

Thanks again for your responses, very helpful to me.

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Old 04-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #10
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I wouldn't use a carboy with a crack/chip. Too much of a mess if the worst case scenario happens.

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