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Old 07-06-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
Brian-d
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Default Glass vs Better Bottle

Just wondering what makes a better fermentor...Glass or better bottle car boy and why? To take it one step further, would a plastic bucket style fermentor work just as well or better? Thanks.

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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I prefer my stainless sanke keg in the horizontal position for a primary and glass secondaries. I just prefer knowing that the glass is hard enough to not get scratched too much from a carboy brush. I used to use the plastic water jugs as primaries, and they are a different plastic than BB, but I like the glass ones.

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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The advantage of the better bottle is weight mostly, and the fact that it won't shatter and possible injure you. Buckets are a good choice too but I think the oxygen permeability of better boys might be better then the buckets. If you are going to long term age a batch like say a sour that sits in the fermenter for 6 months+ then you want to go glass just from an oxygen permeability standpoint.

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:31 AM   #4
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A glass carboy will shatter at the worst time. I have the scar on my hand to prove it. I also have a buddy who bumped one with his ankle and it shattered. And another who set his down at the wrong angle and it shattered.

Better Bottles are supposed to be the same quality as a glass carboy. As in being impenetrable to oxygen. I switched to these for lagering and dry hopping.

For plastic buckets, supposedly these let in more Oxygen than other fermenters. I do quick fermenting beers in these that will not hit a secondary; Wit, ESB, APA.

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:41 AM   #5
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Ive used the same glass for 8 yrs. w/ no chips, cracks or breaks. A lot of that depends on how careful and to a lesser extent how strong you are.

SS is best, but quite expensive.

Glass is great - inert, no O2 issues and easy to clean.

Plastic is good - plastic vessels will eventually have to be replaced, can harbor bacteria in microscopic scratches and are O2 permeable.

For me, glass wins hands down.

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:43 AM   #6
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Yup, all three (four if you start counting stainless kegs/cornies) will ferment beer just fine, and there are pros and cons to each. There's a real good write-up in the Beginner's forum that goes over the pros and cons of each. For what its worth, I use glass but am also very careful about moving them (milk crates, carboy haulers, etc.). But any of them will work, its just up to you to decide what's more important .

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:46 AM   #7
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I agree with Musick. Plastic will need to be replaced because it can harbor bacteria. I personally just switch these to sour beers only.

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:58 AM   #8
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glass it is. If you have a carboy handle and fit to move one around, there is no issues with these bad boys, they ferment/secondary/condition/age etc. All in one package. And they beautiful

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Old 07-07-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musick View Post
Ive used the same glass for 8 yrs. w/ no chips, cracks or breaks. A lot of that depends on how careful and to a lesser extent how strong you are.

SS is best, but quite expensive.

Glass is great - inert, no O2 issues and easy to clean.

Plastic is good - plastic vessels will eventually have to be replaced, can harbor bacteria in microscopic scratches and are O2 permeable.

For me, glass wins hands down.
Musick is correct in my opinion. I have used glass for 10 years without incident. I just recently broke a 6.5 gallon carboy when I backed into it as it was draining. That experience alone has made me switch to Better Bottles. I am willing to pay the price to replace them every couple of years for the benefits of:
  • Much less heavy
  • Won't shatter
  • Wider neck (this could be a con from a sanitation perspective)

I'm planning on building the sump-pump in a 5 gallon bucket, carboy cleaner to run PBW through so that I don't have to use the carboy brush on the plastic. I'm hoping that this extends the life of the plastic. We'll see. Glass is "better" for the reasons listed. Impermeable to O2 and micro-organisms, transparent (see what's going on in there), small opening to reduce risk of contaimination if you have to remove the airlock.

Circles and squares, man. Circles and squares.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #10
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BB win. I have 5 of them and 2 glass carboys.

I've been using the better bottles for a long time. I haven't seen any reason to replace them.

I also seriously doubt the significance of O2 permeability on the Better Bottles.

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