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Old 06-17-2010, 04:45 AM   #1
zombiebrew
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Default glass carboy or plastic bucket?

Hi guys. I just siphoned my first batch of home brew, an english pale ale, into my 2nd carboy tonight. It looks, smells, and even tastes great at this point! I suppose there isn't much reason to really transfer it, other than to learn some technique, and I'm not quite sure when I'll be able to bottle it.

The question I have is;

is there any advantage to using glass carboys as opposed to plastic buckets as your primary and secondary fermenters?
ease of use?
quality?
Seems like carboys require a little bit more work than a bucket with a spigot on the bottom would. I did enjoy being able to see the yeast storm, but at the same time, I also had to keep it covered with a towel when I wasn't peaking.
Maybe less chance of contamination with a glass carboy?
Thanks in advance for the help everyone.

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Old 06-17-2010, 04:56 AM   #2
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Hey zombie,
Glass carboys are nice because they aren't as susceptible to contamination as plastic and you can watch your beer ferment . Buckets are nice because they are cheaper and can hold more liquid. BOTH are effective. I typically use a carboy for primary and if I do use a secondary I'll use a bucket

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
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Sreidy12,
Using a bucket for secondary, do you need to be concerned with all the oxygen head space? Also, seems like these days the only reason people are moving to a secondary is for long term conditioning. If this is the case, is there air penetration issues with the plastic buckets?

Zombie,
I have always used glass carboys, but did my first batch in a bucket a few weeks ago. When I was cleaning up, all I could think about is the potential for all the little tiny scratches contaminating my future batches. Also, it seems like all the fermentation 'crud' that you typically have to scrape off the top sides of the carboy was missing in the bucket. Did it fall back into the beer??? Will probably stick to glass carboys. Like Sreidy12 said, fun to watch.

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Old 06-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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i love glass carboys because i can scrub the crap out of them. some say they are hard to manage and move around but i just put mine in a milk crate, works great and is more stable while carrying.

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Old 06-17-2010, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kable View Post
Sreidy12,
Using a bucket for secondary, do you need to be concerned with all the oxygen head space? Also, seems like these days the only reason people are moving to a secondary is for long term conditioning. If this is the case, is there air penetration issues with the plastic buckets?

Zombie,
I have always used glass carboys, but did my first batch in a bucket a few weeks ago. When I was cleaning up, all I could think about is the potential for all the little tiny scratches contaminating my future batches. Also, it seems like all the fermentation 'crud' that you typically have to scrape off the top sides of the carboy was missing in the bucket. Did it fall back into the beer??? Will probably stick to glass carboys. Like Sreidy12 said, fun to watch.
for the first question, there really isn't a need for a secondary unless you are dry hopping or adding fruit.

and for the second question- there is a potential risk for scratches/infections in plastic, but a good bleach soak after 4-5 batches takes good care of that. just remember to wash all the bleach out and keep up with good sanitation practices. and the crud or krausen ring doesn't always stick to the sides, but plastic is certainly not immune to it.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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this thread has some good info for the plastic vs glass debate:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-p...alysis-109318/

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Old 06-17-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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It doesn't matter what you use. The glass vs plastic "debate" is pointless, it doesn't matter they all work perfectly fine. One's not better than any other.

There is little "absolutes" in brewing, glass vs plastic, Stainless vs Aluminum, Batch vs fly- they all work fine.

In brewing all that matters is what you prefer. It's up to you to make that decision. But it's not about what's better or worse, just what's better for YOU.

As to the secondary or not issue, there's 10,000,000 or more threads already on here, just look around.

Start with this thread... http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/

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Old 06-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
It doesn't matter what you use. The glass vs plastic "debate" is pointless, it doesn't matter they all work perfectly fine. One's not better than any other.

There is little "absolutes" in brewing, glass vs plastic, Stainless vs Aluminum, Batch vs fly- they all work fine.

In brewing all that matters is what you prefer. It's up to you to make that decision. But it's not about what's better or worse, just what's better for YOU.

As to the secondary or not issue, there's 10,000,000 or more threads already on here, just look around.

Start with this thread... http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/
+1. If anything, my preference is that a bucket is much easier to clean than a carboy.

I have yet to get any scratches on my bucket and I have not dropped my glass carboy...

If you do use a bucket and you clean it right after use with bleach it will get rid of all the odors and be ready for the next batch...
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:32 PM   #9
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both are great...sometimes you have to use the one thats available... if it's clean your good to brew.

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Old 06-17-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echotraveler View Post
both are great...sometimes you have to use the one thats available... if it's clean your good to brew.
+1 I use whichever is empty at the time. Dump it in and ferment away.
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