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Old 10-06-2012, 04:57 PM   #11
DeafSmith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
Thanks for the tips. Wow DeafSmith that's a very interesting article you linked. It's very detailed. I didn't notice if they had any suggestions for what to use to clean glass carboys? Do you think they suggest the Seventh Generation Free and Clear detergent for that? That would be perfect since I already happen to have a container of it. I am or was using Carlson Straight A, I didn't realize that is actually classified as caustic, it contains percarbonates, silicates, and something else. Know I know why my fingers feel soapy when it touches my skin, I'm guessing is saponifying my skin.
I think the main things to remember if using a caustic cleaner are:
* Don't use too strong a concentration
* Don't leave the cleaning solution in the carboy for a long period of time (days)
* Always pre-mix the powder into some water before putting it into the carboy

I have one 5 gallon glass carboy and I've always used OxiClean Free (a caustic) to clean it, and still do, but I now follow the guidelines above. I'm sure the Seventh Generation stuff would be fine to use, if it works for you. I've never tried it, but might if it's not $$$$.

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Old 10-06-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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Great thanks, yes usually with the cleaner I just slosh a little bit of it around in there. I need to start premixing it though, usually I put a little warm water in then I sprinkle in some powder without premixing, I can see that probably isn't the best approach.

I've been using Carlson Straight A, I would like to continue using it because it seems to work very well, I haven't had to use my scrub brush at all since I started using it. I use it with one of those spray wand things you stick up in there.

I'd rather not use the Free and Clear, because that's a soap, and my experience with soaps is they are pain in the butt to get it all out of the container, like it takes a ton of rinsing.

 
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:26 PM   #13
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I think i'm going to switch over to better bottles after reading this thread. I have been doing all my fermenting in glass forever and havn't had a disaster yet. But a couple of my carboys are ancient. I hate fermenting in buckets though because then you can't see whats goin on without taking the lids off. I am usually pretty buzzed when I brew also.

 
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:50 PM   #14
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Good post. Well I admit better bottles are tempting. But I doubt I will use them; I just do not trust the food safety of plastic no matter what is claimed about it. The way I look at it, there is risk in everything we do. So the more the risk, the more prudent it is to take precuations. Is it possible to brew safely, at least as in prevent personal injury, when using glass carboys? I would argue yes absolutely. There do seem to be many people who never have in issue with them. I think just by having the right procedures in place such as wearing maybe boots and protective clothing and gloves then if one does break, at the minimum you won't get hurt or will be hurt minimally.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:33 PM   #15
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Didn't someone do a test by taping some jugs up and breaking them? Seems they were looking to find out if taping up carboys could help against catastrophic failure and the personal safety risk that goes with it.

I still use my glass carboy, but it either has a milk crate to go in, or I use a brew hauler to carry it. The only time it's not using one of those is when I'm washing it, which is probably the most hazardous time! Oh well. I'd buy better bottles if I needed more containers like that.

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:22 PM   #16
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I'll be using my glass for a long time. Not to be righteous about it, I understand the safety concerns, but I built my fermentation chamber (water bath, custom, flexiglass tank-in-tank, insulated, glycol cooling...) and it is sized to my carboys. A keg would sit too tall. If I ever break one, I'll look into a better bottle, but at this point I can control my temps within a degree. Milk crates for moving them around, though!

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:01 PM   #17
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Gotta remember that this article is put out by better bottle as a way to convince you to get their fermentation equipment... I haven't been brewing for a super long time but I haven't heard very much concern with this argument about glass carboys and them slowly dissolving over time. It also doesn't lay out how long it would take for these cleaning products to dissolve the glass over time. You could be talking about years before some of these micro cracks start to make a difference.

I personally use percarb and usually use about half the normal concentration. I let it soak and foam out all of the organic material for a couple hours. Seems to have worked fine for me so far (knock on wood).

So I was trying to find out what type of glass these carboys are made out of... is it really Soda Lime Glass?

I'm wondering what they would say about what this might do to a corny keg too...? I have heard over time since percarb and PBW and such are an oxidizer that can rust stainless steel. Wonder if it's because their caustic...?

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #18
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I ferment in adapted/converted sanke kegs now and plan to never use glass carboys ever again. I still have a couple of PET/Better Bottle carboys, but rarely even think about using them. I used a bucket fermenter for all of two batches and swore to never do that again. I use tall/slim 1/4bbl kegs for beer, plus a 50L keg for larger batches. I have several 1/6bbl kegs for my batches of mead, and other things.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #19
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I like the 6.5 gallon brew buckets. Very affordable, easy to clean and move. I have two glass carboys that clinked against each other once and have star cracks, now they sit on a shelf looking pretty and empty. For the same amount of $$$$$ I can get 3 or 4 buckets. I do however have a bad history with glass. In every instance where I have worked with glass the results are shards and blood and I have plenty of scars to prove it, so I am just plain afraid of glass.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #20
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Correct, when you touch a base and it feel slippery - you're turning into soap.

I still like glass for it's long term stability - but I have better bottles and buckets for most of my work horse fermenters.

 
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