Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Carboys Glass vs Plastic
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
Richardb22
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Default Carboys Glass vs Plastic

I am a new brewer and read up on this.

Glass: Easy to clean, lasts forever, heavy, no possibility of plastic tainting your brew.
Plastic: Light, easier to store, degrades, could get scratched and harbour bacteria.

I got a deal on a 23lt glass carboy which is full of betterbrew export lager where it is ageing.

Organising the large cupboard which I have taken over for brewing i nocked over a pile of empty 33cl bottles one of which bounced off the fridge and pinged in a graceful arc onto the carboy.

My carboy looks like it has beens shot. A tiny crack and beer leaking. An emergency application of plasterers sickytape has stopped the leak but it is finished I think.

Back in the day my parents made wine and the carboys were all in metal wire baskets surrounded by straw and cloth.

I think it is plastic for me from now on. Accidents happen. Gutted. Will bottle next weekend and say goodbye to my glass carboy. I hoped we would be together for many years but it was not to be.


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Old 06-17-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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I like glass for the simple fact that I can watch what's going on inside. It's kind of fun to see the reaction going on.


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Old 06-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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Ive also read of people converting SS Corny kegs for fermentation. Or SS boil kettles that ALSO seal up and double as a fermenter.

I've been looking around cuz im getting weary of better bottles and i think im gonna try a modified corny keg next.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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I like glass for the simple fact that I can watch what's going on inside. It's kind of fun to see the reaction going on.
And you can't do that with a Better Bottle?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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I like glass for the simple fact that I can watch what's going on inside. It's kind of fun to see the reaction going on.
You can do the same thing with a Better Bottle...
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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I have always used glass but now I have both. We had a plumber in our basement a couple weeks back and he shattered my 6.5 gallon. With all the broken carboy stories I've read about and people getting injured, I thought it be a good time to try plastic. I'm gonna brew up an American Dark Lager this week in it. Hopefully I like it.

Not sure if you knew this (I didn't) but the guy at my LHBS said I shouldn't use a brush in it to clean. Just a good soak in PBW and rinse well.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJames
I like glass for the simple fact that I can watch what's going on inside. It's kind of fun to see the reaction going on.
Plastic better bottles allow the same thing.

I prefer glass solely for the fact that it bothers me to have a plastic carboy deform when I pick it up, off gas, and then suck air in after I set it down again
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Plastic better bottles allow the same thing.

I prefer glass solely for the fact that it bothers me to have a plastic carboy deform when I pick it up, off gas, and then suck air in after I set it down again
Ahh the infamous noob post titled "HELP! SANITIZER SUCKED BACK INTO CARBOY". Ive been there, done that.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by aryoung1980 View Post
I have always used glass but now I have both. We had a plumber in our basement a couple weeks back and he shattered my 6.5 gallon. With all the broken carboy stories I've read about and people getting injured, I thought it be a good time to try plastic. I'm gonna brew up an American Dark Lager this week in it. Hopefully I like it.

Not sure if you knew this (I didn't) but the guy at my LHBS said I shouldn't use a brush in it to clean. Just a good soak in PBW and rinse well.
That's how I clean my better bottles. I fill them with hot PBW overnight, rinse, and sanitize. It does a much better job than trying to scrub it with the carboy brush and is much easier.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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That's how I clean my better bottles. I fill them with hot PBW overnight, rinse, and sanitize. It does a much better job than trying to scrub it with the carboy brush and is much easier.
After speaking to Better Bottle customer support, they do not recommend PBW for prolonged soaks. They say it weakens the plastic and can cause cracking.

I started with Better Bottles. Both Better Bottles lasted less than a year before the bottoms formed a crack and leaked. I would say both of them never saw more than 5-8 batches each. When I contacted Better Bottle customer support they told me to go pound sand so I decided to move away from their product. I have since moved to 6.5G plastic bucket primary and 5G glass carboy secondary.


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