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Old 04-16-2008, 10:24 PM   #1
Tankard
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Default Tempted by the better bottles....

Ever since I found those scratches on the bottom of my primary carboy (so much for "you can't scratch glass carboys", I've been considering the purchase of ported Better bottle carboys. I am also getting tired of lifting the full carboys and having to sanitize the autosiphon. I think the elimination of siphoning is a great idea. It also seems like a better bottle will protect against oxygen better than a glass carboy will, because taking off the rubber stopper to rack or to perform a hydrometer reading will introduce way more oxygen to the wort than the permeability of the better bottle will.

I have a few questions about the operation of the better bottles. I read on the BB website that you can do a no oxygen transfer from carboy to carboy, and it requires CO2 gas. So, basically, you attach a tube from the top of the primary (while it's fermenting) to the valve of the secondary, which sends CO2 from the primary to the secondary, which pushes all the oxygen out of the secondary and it escapes through the airlock. Then, when it comes time to rack, you close the valve of the secondary, attach the CO2 hose to the top of the secondary's airlock, and then begin the transfer of the wort from the primary to the secondary. Is this correct?

Also, considering the better bottles are 6 gallons instead of 6.5, is a blowoff tube absolutely essential or will a airlock still work? What is the hose barb fitting used for ?

Also, where's the cheapest place to buy the better bottle products? I'd be interested in buying all the stupid and expensive little adapters for the bottles, but my homebrew shop nearby only sells the bottles (for some reason) and the prices seem to vary depending on where you go online. thanks

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Old 04-16-2008, 10:45 PM   #2
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buckets are awesome....

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Old 04-16-2008, 10:52 PM   #3
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I have two ported BB's, a five and a six. You'll want a blowoff for sure for the sixer if you plan on primary ferm in it. I love them. It's very easy to rack using the port(you can slip 1/2" tubing OVER the BB spigot and very quickly transfer the entire volume. I've never done the CO2 transfer because gravity is so easy.

They are VERY easy to clean, usually just a few rinses with soap and water does it, this is also aided by the larger neck. Also, if you're into dry hopping, the larger neck really helps when you're trying to get the wet muslin bag of hops out.

I've purchased mine from Austin Homebrew(b/c of their shipping deal). I'd say go for it, although be warned, you're near $50 by the time you buy all of the various gadgets involved.

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:00 PM   #4
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Its hard to beat a 6.5 gallon glass carboy that wont scratch for
$21.00 as long as you don't drop it.....

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Old 04-17-2008, 12:27 AM   #5
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I got my bottles from Hops and Dreams: http://brewbyu.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merc...y_Code=PETCARB
and the accessories from Midwest: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...etter%20bottle

I use a 1/2 inch OD hose fitted into the o-ring on the standard closure as a blowoff. I've heard recent sucess stories of greatly reducing the krauesen "head" using Fermcap, but my only attempt at using a conventional airlock and an orange carboy cap on my primary resulted in popping off the cap and putting the airlock into orbit. I haven't tried the fermentation CO2 purge of the secondary. (Too much hassle moving the whole setup around for me) I now use my kegging CO2 to do the purges. I used to use one of the bicycle tire CO2 inflators to purge the setup. You can use the large tubing over the racking port, but I could never get rid of the bubbles in the tubing during racking. Using the smaller diameter tubing inside the racking port slows down the flow, but immediately purges all bubbles out of the line.

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Old 04-17-2008, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw
buckets are awesome....
+1 I use buckets as primaries, but I don't secondary my beer.

I would recommend buckets with spigots as primaries and 5 gallon Better Bottles as secondaries. No siphoning needed to the secondary and no blow off tubes needed for the primary. Much cheaper system too.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
Its hard to beat a 6.5 gallon glass carboy that wont scratch for
$21.00 as long as you don't drop it.....
They DO scratch.



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Old 04-17-2008, 02:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Dude
They DO scratch.



I would think that is more of a defect in the glass. How can a soft brush scratch glass?
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:39 AM   #9
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The better bottles rock, I love the racking arm and valve set up.
Buy them soon, they are in the process of a new price increase "mid April" I was told.

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Old 04-17-2008, 07:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort
+1 I use buckets as primaries, but I don't secondary my beer.

I would recommend buckets with spigots as primaries and 5 gallon Better Bottles as secondaries. No siphoning needed to the secondary and no blow off tubes needed for the primary. Much cheaper system too.
+1 To Ed. I'm really moving in this direction. I'm terrified by moving full glass carboys......even siphoning them down to reduce weight/risk is a PITA. I have glass and BB's. The betterbottles are great. I used my carboy brush on them hardcore before reading about the risk of infection from scratches on this forum. I've never had an infection after using an oxyclean soak and light brushing on the krausen ring in a BB.....but the neck is a PITA to get past when cleaning. Now, I'm realizing that buckets are half the price, have an awesome handle, and are easy to drain with a spigot.Way easier to clean too. I usually bulk ferment for a full month before racking to keg, and I see nothing wrong with doing this in a bucket. Don't be intimidated by what others say is the "best" method....I bet you could make championship beer in buckets.....
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