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Old 01-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Plastic Carboy

I've been brewing since the early nineties. Initially I used a plastic bucket for my primary then racked to a glass carboy for clearing. One time I decided to do a single stage fermentation all in my glass carboy. I thought I did the cold break okay, adding chilled water first then my cooled wort, but when I picked up the carboy it split in half literally slashing my wrist (Fifteen years later I still have a visible scar). After telling this story a few times, I've found that I'm not the only person this has happened to. Needless to say, I went back to my old way: bucket then glass. I was in my homebrew store yesterday and noticed plastic carboys for sale. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on using them. Specifically, are they okay for primary fermentation or only to be used in the secondary phase? I like the idea of a clear fermenter so I can visibly monitor the fermentation process, but am concerned that a plastic carboy might impart flavors or not tolerate warm/hot wort.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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They're just as good as a glass carboy or anything else these days. The whole glass vs plastic argument is just not much of a deal these days, and only something that noobs worry about. It's all about preference in the 21st century, nothing more.

There's literally THOUSANDS of threads discussing this, but it all comes to opinion and preferences anymore. You can look at some of the threads on the similar threads box below....but really just used what you like....

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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You're kidding right? You joined the forum in 2008, and haven't seen the numerous plastic vs glass wars?

Plastic carboys are fine.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, and sorry about the redundant post. Admittedly I took the easy way and didn't search the topic first because I was on a ten minute break at work and didn't have time. I was hoping to get feedback before I leave work today so that I could stop by the store and purchase the carboy if the reviews were favorable.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Plastic buckets and/or carboys are just fine. People been making great beer with them for years.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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Plastic buckets and/or carboys are just fine. People been making great beer with them for years.
Yes, I've been using plastic buckets for years myself. My main concern with a plastic carboy is that it couldn't withstand the heat of the wort and/or would impart a plastic flavor in the beer if used as a primary simply because the material is obviously flimsier than a bucket. I normally strain my wort into a plastic bucket filled with a couple of gallons of chilled water then submerse that in an ice bath for twenty minutes or so before I pitch the yeast. I hoped to be able to do the same with a plastic carboy, but read on Better Bottle's site that you're not to use liquids higher than 120 degrees. Maybe I chill the wort in the kettle after boil and strain that to the carboy. Yeah, I should probably invest in a wort chiller too.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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Better bottles are great. I use them all the time. Much easier and safer to carry around than a glass carboy..

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:49 AM   #8
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I have found that it is easier to have a blowoff on a glass carboy (thick tube), while the plastic has a much wider mouth so we tend to keep those for mainly secondary. Plus gotta be careful about not scratching plastic inside because of chance for harboring bacteria.

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Old 01-05-2013, 02:28 AM   #9
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I have found that it is easier to have a blowoff on a glass carboy (thick tube), while the plastic has a much wider mouth so we tend to keep those for mainly secondary. Plus gotta be careful about not scratching plastic inside because of chance for harboring bacteria.
With PBW and Oxi Clean there is no reason to get scratches on the inside of a plastic carboy.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydad View Post
Yes, I've been using plastic buckets for years myself. My main concern with a plastic carboy is that it couldn't withstand the heat of the wort and/or would impart a plastic flavor in the beer if used as a primary simply because the material is obviously flimsier than a bucket. I normally strain my wort into a plastic bucket filled with a couple of gallons of chilled water then submerse that in an ice bath for twenty minutes or so before I pitch the yeast. I hoped to be able to do the same with a plastic carboy, but read on Better Bottle's site that you're not to use liquids higher than 120 degrees. Maybe I chill the wort in the kettle after boil and strain that to the carboy. Yeah, I should probably invest in a wort chiller too.
What I used to do before I purchased a wort chiller, I would put my kettle in a plastic tub with ice and water. It cooled the wort down pretty fast.
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