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Old 04-18-2014, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Better bottles?

Who has used them and do you recommend? I am thinking of picking one up nearby off Craig's list for $10. Claims there are no scratches

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Old 04-18-2014, 06:43 PM   #2
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The best thing I ever did was trade some 45 Cooper's PET bottles to another member for his 6 gallon BB. That thing is great for a secondary. I don't use it often for that,save for oaking or something. I also use it to get spring water from White House Artisian Springs @ 25c per gallon. Definitely handy to have & safer than glass carboys. They clean easy too.

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Old 04-18-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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i own 3 3 gallons and using a friends 6 gallon...love em

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Old 04-18-2014, 08:37 PM   #4
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Love my PET carboys. BB or otherwise.

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Old 04-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #5
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Unlike glass, you can't scrub them with a brush inside to get rid of that krausen ring...but you can swish around a bit of water and a paper towel and do just as well. Also unlike glass, they'll flex and cause some suckback from a 3-piece airlock if you move them around or crash-cool in them...but you can swap in a mini-rubber bung in the center hole of the big bung in place of the airlock in those instances. I have heard they are more porous than glass and that can cause oxidation problems on very long secondary, but I can't verify that.

In all other ways, IMO, they are vastly superior to glass. Lighter and easier to move around. Bigger opening easier to add hops, pull out hop bags, siphon from, etc. Little "bump" in the bottom is great as a resting spot for the siphon (above the trub). I especially like the fact that a Better Bottle isn't going to break into deadly shards and send my ass to the ER or the morgue!

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Old 04-18-2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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I advise fermenting in a 6gal and racking to a 5gal; This gives you room for the kraeusen and then minimizes headspace when CO2 emission is much reduced.
You can clean the kraeusen off with a Swiffer wand with a sponge attached by a rubber band. For cleaning the shoulder I attach a sponge to a scuba snorkel's mouthpiece.
One way to prevent suckback problems: don't put crap in the bubbler, only something you won't mind in your beer; add a cotton filter tube after the bubbler to filter out airborne crud; put the whole assembly in a poly bag, held on with two large rubber bands.
You let the CO2 fill the bag, purge it a few times, and let the CO2 form a buffer volume if you should get suckback.
I did experiment with exposing some beer to air, and it was AWFUL.
I always have some compressed inert gas on hand; It's not worth spoiling a batch for lack of cheap gas like CO2.

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Old 04-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #7
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I use a 6 gallon with spigot for iodophor solution. I use it as needed for sanitizing anything that needs sanitizing. I also keep a spray bottle full for counters, etc. It is great just in that aspect.

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Old 04-19-2014, 12:24 AM   #8
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I have two 5 gal carboys, one glass and one PET. I use the plastic one a lot. When making a light beer such as a cream ale, APA, etc. I rack the beer to the plastic carboy and chill it to 40F which is perfect for gelatin fining. 2-3 days and it's ready for the keg. Much lighter and easier to handle than a glass carboy. And let it soak a half hour with some warm PBW water and it is clean...no scrubbing needed.

The only drawback to PET (other than the concern over scratches) is that it is fairly permeable to o2. For short periods (less than a few weeks) this is probably of little concern. But over several weeks or months the possibility of oxidization of the beer increases. So the glass carboy comes to the rescue. For long-term aged beers such as imperial stouts, etc. the glass carboy is the tool of choice.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

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Old 04-19-2014, 12:33 AM   #9
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if y'all don't throw your full 6.5 gallon glass carboys around, yer doin' it wrong! I recently started fermenting my beer in Goliath's skull. but I tend to get nervous when that little Hobbit starts swingin' that sling in my basement.

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Old 04-19-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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I have 5 3-gal better bottles for fermenting. Love them, as i have to cart the full carboy from the kitchen down to the basement where I have my fermenting room. The one question I would ask before buying a used one is "how did you clean the carboy?" If he says he used a brush, walk away. It doesn't mean that care was not taken, but you cannot see fine scratches which will harbor bacteria.

I clean mine with a 30 minute soak with PBW and a rinse with warm (110F to 120F) water. Any dried material rinses right away!

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