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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Whats the point in ising a carboy?
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
Southern_Junior
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Default Whats the point in ising a carboy?

I understand that transferring the beer helps to clarify the brew, but is there any advantage to using a carboy over another bucket?

I thought the glass was the important part, but people are having great results with those better bottles. So why bother with a carboy at all?

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Exactly...why bother? I started brewing woth carboys. About 10+ years and several hundred batches ago I switched to buckets. I far prefer them and haven't used a carboy since.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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Not this again...

Buckets
Cheap, east to replace, much easier to clean. Can scratch, can't see anything.

Carboys
More expensive, heavy, fragile and potentially dangerous. Can see through, very oxygen tight.

Better Bottles
Light, not too expensive, can see through, safe. Can be scratched, harder to clean.

I prefer BBs only because I like to watch fermentation. I spend every day in a lab on a microscope. I love seeing things. If you don't care to see things, it's hard to beat buckets.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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The clarifying part of racking to a second vessel is an often discussed topic. IME, it's 100% not needed if you're patient. I don't transfer a brew to clarify it, I'll move it to an aging vessel when adding something like oak/wood to it for several months. Otherwise, a long primary will do just as good a job of getting it to clear. Using the right yeast does even more. Picking one that flocculates better is one way.

Personally, I've stopped using buckets long ago (used for two batches and that was it) and carboys over a year ago. I use adapted sanke kegs now and have no worries. I don't feel a need to see inside the vessel anymore, so it's no issue. Besides, there's too many benefits from using the converted/adapted kegs for me to stop using them.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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In my opinion its all about preference. I like my glass carboys.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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I use glass primary and secondary carboys because:

- Glass is neutral when it comes to food
- Glass is antiseptic because the inside of the carboy is difficult to scratch so it won't harbor bacteria
- Glass is easy to clean well (you might have to use a carboy brush)
- Glass allows me to see the wort/krausen/yeast cake/dry hops
- Glass allows me to see the wort level when siphoning
- Easy to attach a large blowoff hose directly in the mouth of the carboy
- If I use amalyse enzyme in the secondary I can see if it's working (using a flashlight and millions of little bubbles).
- I like to watch the aeration bubbles when using my oxygen tank.
- I haven't found a suitable glass container other than a carboy.

Having said that you can use anything you want. Don't really need a carboy, could use a food grade plastic bucket, ale pale, stainless steel fermenter, etc...

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:54 PM   #7
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I use pails with Gamma Seal lids. The lid has 2 holes, one for the airlock and one for my thermowell since I temp control each fermentor. I found it too cumbersome to try to get the airlock and thermwell in the carboy...I have 10 carboys (2 glass, 8 BB) that I use for my wine since it sits for at least a year.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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why is a rainbow good? why is Dubbel good?

I don't like fermenting in plastic, the chances of scratches & bacteria, and I like the ease of cleaning. I've been using glass for almost 14 years with no breakage. it's just personal preference. using one over the other will not make your beer any better or worse.

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