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Old 03-09-2007, 01:52 PM   #1
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Default Better Bottle question

I'm looking to buy two Better Bottles, but can't seem to find any conclusive information about exactly what else I need to complete the setup. Can anyone provide a little guidance on what accessories I need with these bottles to set up a primary and secondary? Assume for the moment that I have no other accessories.



P.S. Please don't make this a discussion about glass vs plastic. I'm interested in setting up what I want. Thank you!

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Old 03-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #2
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your going to need to get a couple airlocks and bungs. you should also get some hose to transfer between the two. Also, a racking cane and auto syphon make a world of difference.

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Old 03-09-2007, 03:57 PM   #4
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Since the largest size of a better bottle is 6 gallons you should also make sure you set up a blow tube system. You will likely need it for the first couple days. I drilled one of the #10 bungs to fit my blow off tube.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:11 PM   #5
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I use the orange carboy caps on my better bottles instead of bungs. A 5/8" ID tube fits over the larger outlet for a blowoff tube. If you have really violet blowoffs, you may prefer a larger tube shoved directly into the neck.
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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Depends on how much you want to spend.
At a minimum, I would get the unported bottle and the two nipple orange cap. This shouldn't put you out more than a couple bucks more than a glass carboy. You can attach either a blowoff tube or an airlock to the orange cap. The cool racking trick with these is to insert the racking cane through one of the nipples and blow air through a sterile filter to start a siphon like this setup: http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=18873
I'm using the full BB setup with the racking ports on both bottles and the BB closures. A little more money, but I plan to use these for a long time. These will allow you to do things like a fully closed loop, no oxygen contact racking operation. See the "How-To-Tips" page on their website: http://www.better-bottle.com/products_master.html
I totally love these bottles and cant imagine ever putting up with the glass ones.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Here are my thoughts on the subject if you are interested. This is a pm that I sent to someone who asked me about Better-Bottles. I love them and using all the accessories that Better-Bottle makes, while expensive initially, makes the process of transferring your beer around ridiculously easy.

All my B.B's are the ported ones with the racking adapters and high flow valves. The bottles themselves are about the same cost as glass carboys, but the PET accessories can be quite costly initially. Once you use the system of accessories you won't believe how you got along with out them!

My recommendations to start would be to get a ported 6 gallon and a ported 5 gallon. Two racking adapters w/high flow valves. Two ported closures, one dry airlock, and a 90˚ barbed fitting for the closure. You will also need to get the racking adapter installation tool, which is just a piece of rigid tubing that you insert the racking adapter onto and then it allows you to insert it into the bottle and through the hole in the bottle. You then screw on the outside portion onto the threaded part that was installed from inside. The instructions are on B.B's website.

You will need a length of 1/2" ID tubing and a length of 1/4" ID tubing to use the oxygen free transfer procedure outlined on B.B's website.

I know that I sound like a paid advertisement for Better-Bottle, but my experiences with them have been so positive that I can't help myself. If I can keep one person from not severing a tendon and nerve in their hand from a shattered glass carboy, as happened to a good friend of mine, then I have fulfilled my purpose.

The best source I have found for Better-Bottles, by far, is Quality Wine and Ale Supply. Their prices are so far below any one else it isn't even funny. The only product that they don't have is a blow off tube that fits the Better-Bottle. I have found a source for one from Hearts Homebrew. I know that it is only 1/2" tubing, but I have not had any problems with the tube plugging up, and I have done over a dozen batches in them so far. Due to the size of the primary being only 6 gal, I like to use the Foam Control Drops to keep the blow off to a minimum.

I have not experienced any leaks whatsoever and clean up could not be easier. Due to the hydrophobic nature of PET plastic, there is no scrubbing necessary, and in fact they recommend not using any kind of brush at all. I just fill half way with a PBW and hot water solution, insert a washcloth, put on the closure and shake the crap out of it for a minute or two. The cloth rubbing on the interior is enough to remove even the most stubborn krausen stains I have encountered. I then fill it the rest of the way to the top, let it sit over night, dump, and rinse. Before I dump the cleaner I allow it to drain for several minutes through the racking adapter and valve and then flush the valve with water. I sanitize with about a gallon of Star-San solution. I gently swirl it around to make sure that the entire interior surface has been wetted. I let it drain out of the valve to sanitize it.

The only thing to be aware of in the use of Better-Bottles that could ruin them, is when you are cleaning them with hot water, make sure to not keep them tightly sealed as they cool. When the hot water inside them cools, it contracts and creates a vacuum that will crush the bottle if it is tightly sealed.
With the accessories and some 1/4" ID tubing you can use the CO2 produced during the primary fermentation to purge the air out of the secondary. With a connection change and the addition of a length of 1/2" ID tubing you can now perform a completely oxygen free transfer of your beer from primary to secondary.

Here is a couple of photos of the set up. Pm me with your email address if you want a detailed description of the procedure (with pics).

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