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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Should I toss a glass carboy with a chip on it?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Should I toss a glass carboy with a chip on it?

I bought a few used glass carboys which I've already used for a few batches. I was washing one off and noticed a small chip around what looks like the spot where the maker cut off the material (not sure what to call it when blowing bottles). Anyways, a chip is in the center of what I assume is the weakest point mid way up the wall of the bottle.

I accidentally wacked it against a steel door this morning, and I'm wondering if the chip has always been there of it it's new. And since it's a small chip, and not a hole, , I'm thinking of tossing it just to be safe.

Any I overly cautious?

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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That is a tough one, can you post a pic?

I would say if you never moved it, it would be fine but that is not possible. Why don't you try filling it with water and let it sit inside a big box of some kind and see how it does.

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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I have a carboy with a small chip from me washing it. I use it as a secondary and don't move it much. I'm going to start using milk crates for all my carboys soon.

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #4
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My fear is that I'll fill it up, age something for a few months and then on bottling day I'll pick it up and dump 6 gallons of beer on my wife's kitchen floor. Maybe I'll use the milk crate trick for this carboy one more time or until I can buy a replacement. I'll sleep better knowing it's not going to result in a tidal wave of sticky matter.

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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There are guys on this board, which have been brewing for 10-15 years and just moving a glass carboy and have it break. Where is the chip at?

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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Same thing happened to me - I bought 4 used carboys for $20 each. They had some dirt and grime on them, but all looked good to me. After I got home and cleaned them up, I found one with a chip/small crack near the top shoulder, and another had a small nick near the neck, where it would be easy to cut your hand while moving, washing, aerating, etc.

I just threw out the 2, and put it up to lessons learned, so I'll be more judicious when looking at used carboys.

There are plenty of threads on here about broken carboys, and some with the photos of the cuts and stiches on hands -

I think of it like a chip or a crack in the windshield. It's fine for months, and then, for no reason at all, it just decides to expand across the whole glass. Problem with carboys is that there's no sheet of plastic, and it's not tempered. They could break at any time - and most likely when you've got 40-50 pounds of beer in it.

A lot of people on here won't use glass carboys at all for fermenting. I like 'em, but I'd never use a glass carboy with a visible fault in it.

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Actually, I'm thinking the chip is a flaw in manufacture, however I've since then noticed a crack (3/16 of an inch) developing on the inside at the base of the bottle. This thing's going to the recycling facility. I'm just going to assume I was lucky the thing didn't dump it's load during the last 5 batches. And I'll have to vet all my bottles and use the milk crate trick from now on when full of fluid.

Thanks for that tip BTW.

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:04 AM   #8
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I would be more concerned that material would come off around the chipped area and end up in my beer without me knowing about it. I think it is a small loss to reduce the risk of drinking glass.

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:17 AM   #9
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You just need to take some precautions. The safest route for personnel safety is to treat the carboy as though it is going to break when you handle it. So dress appropriately; my choice would be maybe textile motorcycle riding gear. And not carrying or moving full carboys if at all possible.

Yes there are people who have used x carboys for y years and never had a problem. And there are also people who have had them break and pret near cut their arms off. Don't get me wrong, I am all for glass and stainless and I will not use plastic. But there is a risk here, and it is fairly easily mitigated so let's just handle them safely. If we lose a one carboy batch because it breaks we make a mess and are out money, but if we don't cut ourselves doing it then it's no big deal. Personal injury is terrible though.

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