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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > plastic and glass
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default plastic and glass

i use homebrew HDPE plastic buckets to brew in and after a while of joyous experimenting in the brew arts this afternoon i find myself researching buying more cheap HDPE plastic buckets on the internet, because all of the ones I own are in use. Should I spend my money on a load of buckets like i've been using for the last 8 months or start buying glass carboys when i can afford to? thanks

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Old 07-16-2009, 03:42 AM   #2
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I like buckets. They are easy to clean and easy to store. I stack buckets together and you can't do that very well with carboys or better bottles. Its also a helluva lot easier to clean a bucket.

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Old 07-16-2009, 03:47 AM   #3
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A lot of people will tell you to steer clear of glass...others will tell you it's OK to use glass. I personally love the glass carboys but you have to be really careful with them.

I have had no problem to date with my glass but I go really overboard in safe-handling and don't take any chances at all. Hope that helps...

-Tripod

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Old 07-16-2009, 03:56 AM   #4
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It's kind of funny because my first 3 years of brewing I only used glass. The last 2 years I changed to buckets and love them. I also have purchased several Better Bottles.

Glass works great but the extra weight of glass plus 5 to 6 gallons of beer or wine is very hard for me to move. Hard to move equals an accident waiting to happen for a women with limited upper body strength.

If I knew then what I know now I would have passed on the dozen or so glass carboys and kept to buckets and Better Bottles. There is absolutely nothing wrong with glass carboys but you can buy 3 buckets for the price of a carboy and triple your brewing capacity.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:03 AM   #5
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You can certainly save $$$ going with buckets, no doubt! Here is how I handle the moving issues...
dsc04236.jpg

The milk crate has handles so I only move it that way. Keeps me safe but, as Nurmey stated, it is really heavy so even a milk crate won't help you there.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:03 AM   #6
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+1 to all above , i use both ... i like the buckets for ales and glass for lagers ... they all work ... but if you haven't see a live action fermentation in glass your in for a treat , the buckets hide whats going on in there.

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Old 07-16-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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I used a bucket a few days ago for the 1st time and I already do not like using them.
For the simple fact that I cant see my beer. Maybe its the noob in me, but I like to sit and stare at it, watch it move, and look at the krausen. With a bucket, I have no idea whats going on in there and what it looks like.
Co$t between the two is a big issue.

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Old 07-16-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Seems like the only downside with a bucket is not being able to watch the fermentation. Due to the cost of glass carboys i'll probably keep using buckets to save some cheese. I thought maybe the plastic could eventually leach into my beer, but maybe not. is this possible? those who use buckets: how often do you discard and buy a new one? i know that cleaning them with abrasive pads can cause scatches, giving bacteria a place hang out. any other issues or advise?

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Old 07-16-2009, 05:52 PM   #9
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The potential problem with buckets is that they scratch. The scratches can provide bacteria, wild yeast and other critters a place to hide from the sanitizer. Sooner or later, scratched plastic will yield an infection. Glass doesn't scratch normally and the Better Bottles are made from a very scratch resistant plastic.

This means that you will likely have to replace your plastic buckets as they get older, whereas the glass carboys and the BB will last as long as you brew or you break the glass, which ever comes first

I prefer the buckets. As others have said, they are much easier to clean. I find them much easier to rack from as well. I don't stack anything in my fermeneters for fear of scratching them. I also make sure I only ever clean the buckets with a sponge -- no scrub pads.

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