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Old 06-07-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Swap out buckets for a carboy?

Complete noob here. I did my first batch (which has been greatly enjoyed) under the watchful supervision of my good friend. I have a Witbeir planned to cook this weekend. Right now all I have is the 6.5 gallon bucket. I liked how you could watch the process better in my friends carboy, but is there any real advantage to switching to carboys for a primary?

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Old 06-07-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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The yeast don't care what they do their job in....In reality a fermenter is a fermenter is a fermenter.....glass, plastic, carboy, bucket, jerry can, keg, milk jug, ceramic crock, glass hurricane jar, stainless steel or plastic conicals, pet food storage vessels (vittle vaults), HD or Lowe's buckets, frosting buckets, water jugs, the old Mr Beer jug...All of those and anything you can think of, all work perfectly fine, and have been used by hundreds if not thousands of brewers...

No one type is better or worse than any other...good beer or crappy beer can be made in all of them, dependant onthe brewer, NOT what it's fermented in...

It's really just a matter of preference, nothing more....

It really isn't rocket science, it's really about using what works for you.

It won't have an "impact" on the beer one bit.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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We have 2 plastic buckets & 1 6.5 gal glass carboy for fermentors.
The glass is cool so you can watch (which is why we got it) but they are more fragile.
They are more expensive than buckets, but I'd say get one so you can watch.

The "downsides" of glass in my opinion: Fragile, Clear (lets light in, so you need to be aware & address that... easy enough to do)

We tend to use the buckets first. Stuff goes in, seal it up, open it up in 3 or 4 weeks...
like magic... there's beer in there!!!

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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I use glass carboys because that is what I have and what I have always used. But they definitely have down sides. They are a PITA to clean compared to a bucket, are heavier than plastic, and can break with some brewers reporting serious injuries from them. They are also more expensive than buckets and potentially could leach lead into your brew, but that is probably not an issue unless you are using an antique demijohn or something.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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I like glass because it's highly reusable, long lasting, non-porous, and easy to clean and sanitize.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewit2it View Post
potentially could leach lead into your brew, but that is probably not an issue unless you are using an antique demijohn or something.

Definitely not an issue. Lead glass is extremely rare and I doubt it was ever used for making a big old clumsy carboy.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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The number of "I think my beer is ruined" threads on this forums is directly proportional to the number of clear fermenting vessels in use. Fermentation is not a spectator sport. There have never been any blockbuster movies starring fermenting wort. There's nothing here to see. Move along and let the yeast formicate in peace.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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There's nothing here to see. Move along and let the yeast formicate in peace.
Some of my yeast are exhibitionists. In an effort to keep them happy and insure they make good beer, i always put those in the glass carboy. The shy ones go in the buckets.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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I like using carboys as primary fermenters strictly because I like seeing the beer go through the process which is impossible with a non-clear fermenter. Buckets are easier to move around and clean.

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Old 06-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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Definitely not an issue. Lead glass is extremely rare and I doubt it was ever used for making a big old clumsy carboy.
I wouldn't be so dogmatic about it. Like I said, it is probably only potentially an issue if you are using old or antique glassware. But many glass carboys used in brewing are old water bottles made before all the companies switched to plastic bottles. Many of these were made in mexico and it would be very difficult to track down if and how much lead they used in the manufacturing. Lead can definitely be found in glassware that does not have a percentage high enough to call it Lead Glass or crystal. From a glass expert I found the following:

"Lead is used not only to lower the melting point of the glass, but it makes it less susceptable to fractures. It does this by altereing the physical crystalline structure of the matrix, filling in gaps, etc. Glass is almost never pure silica. It would be fragible beyond any usefulness. Manufacturers utilize up to 50% or more metallic oxides (calcium, lead, lithium, etc) in making glassware. The ratios determine susceptablity to leaching as different materials can add "hardness" to the final product. In theory, one could create glassware with lead which would not leach metals. However, historically this has not been done with any kind of consistency and hasn't been a concern until about 30 years ago."

Water doesn't leach lead out of glass however long exposure to acidic liquids (like what we do in brewing and wine making) certainly has the potential to.

Again, I'm not particularly worried about it but it is not as simple as "Lead glass is extremely rare and I doubt it was ever used for making a big old clumsy carboy". Lead's not rare. China and Mexico are two of the leading producers and also happen to be some of the leading glass producing countries. I would expect due to current understanding and policical pressure they wouldn't use lead intentionally (you never know with china), although it would definitely be present in trace amounts, hell, candy from china and mexico has lead in it.

Anyway, I think I'll RDWHA lunch break LOL.
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