Better bottle really better?

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benzy4010

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Who uses what to ferment? I use buckets but I just started and they are both full so I'm thinking about using a better bottle next. Y do y'all like them or not like them
 
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benzy4010

benzy4010

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Also the one with the spigot is it useful?
 

A4J

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Better bottles are only better than glass carboys IMHO.

I prefer using better bottles to ferment just because I like to see what's going on.
 

stevo155

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Better Bottle, non-ported 6 gallon. Add an orange carboy cap and 1/2" vinyl tubing for blowoff tube and you can definately get 5 gallons when finished.

I like them because they are light and will not slice you to bits if dropped. Cleaning is a snap too...just fill with oxiclean and soak for a day ( or week or month if I forget ), rinse and they're ready to go.
 

glenn514

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I use Better Bottles for primary [6 gallon BB] and secondary [two 5 gallon BB's]. I have not had any problem with any of them. I even dropped the full 6 gallon and it suffered NO damage! But...BB's vs. glass carboys vs. buckets...each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Whatever works for you is just fine.

glenn514:mug:
 

jpc

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Also the one with the spigot is it useful?
I don't find their spigots to be useful, especially for the price. They work OK, but given the thin walls of the bottle, I always felt that I needed to be extra-careful with them. I prefer to use my stainless racking cane, even on the ones with the spigots.

I do, however, like their dry airlocks, especially because they are low-profile. This helps me fit them into my fermentation chamber, since I don't have roof for a standard airlock on the bottom shelf.
 
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I have ported and non-ported BBs. I won't get one with a port on it. 1) I lost the small spring-pin that holds it on, now it's held together with a tie-wrap, 2) diffiicult to remove and clean, 3) strangely slow flow thorugh the thing, 4) adds a weak spot / thing sticking out of a otherwise sturdy container, 5) expensive.

I do love the Better Bottles. I would only buy the 6 gallon versions.
 

Seven

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I love my glass carboys but I decided to switch over to better bottles this year because I'm worried about breaking one and possibly getting hurt.

The better bottles are lighter too so it's easier for me to lift them into and out of the ferm-chamber.
 
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benzy4010

benzy4010

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They fit in mini fridge and how many probably just one?
 

Marlowefire

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I have two 6 gallon ported BB. I love the racking adapters and don't think they are weakening the structure. I find it much easier to wash yeast in the better bottle and pull directly from the yeast layer with the racking adapter.

Takes about 5 minutes to transfer 5 gallons to my kegs.

I think the racking adapter is really expensive and any future carboys I get might be nonported. I'll still have two to wash yeast from.
 

iparks81

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just traded my last glass carboy for another 6 gal Better bottle, I love em, light and durable. I ferment in buckets and dry hop/age in the BB.
 

QuaffableQuips

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If I secondary (which is rare unless I am lagering), then I exclusively use non-ported 5-gallon Better Bottles for that purpose. I love them and will never go back to glass carboys.

I occasionally primary in a 6-gallon Better Bottle, but I do so only if I'm out of buckets because the fermentation detritus can be hard to clean. A nice, long soak in Oxiclean gets most of it, but I've had to occasionally resort to a carboy brush wrapped in a soft cloth to dislodge the really stubborn bits. I prefer to ferment in buckets because they're easy to clean, and they have a handle.

Like stevo said, if you choose to primary in a 6-gallon better bottle, be sure to rig up a blowoff. They're just a tad shy on headspace for a 5 gallon batch.
 

johnsma22

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I love my Better-Bottles. I've been a proponent of them for years. Had a friend literally almost die when a carboy broke in his arms, came crashing to the ground, ripping through his femoral artery! I gave away every glass carboy I had the next day. I haven't found one negative thing associated with their use. I use only ported ones and have found them very easy to use and clean. When I lost one of the clips, one email to Better-bottle and they sent me three clips in the mail for free! I also lost one of the little balls used in the dry tap air lock. Another email and they sent me several of them.

Besides the ease of racking, the racking adapter, ported closure and the other fittings allow for oxygen free transfers from primary to secondary. The primary has a ported closure with a 90˚ barb fitting installed. A length of 1/4" ID tubing from the barb fitting connects to the ID of the inlet of the high flow valve on the secondary. The secondary also has a ported closure, but this is where the dry trap air lock is installed. I put a short length of tubing on the barb of the airlock and insert it into a sandwich bag with sanitizer in it so that I can see the bubble rate.

The CO2 produced during the primary phase is used to purge the air out of the secondary. When it is time to rack, the 1/4" ID tubing simply gets removed from the valve on the secondary to the outlet barb of the air lock. This will allow for equalization during the transfer. Next, I connect a length of 1/2 ID tubing to the OD of both high flow valves. Now the secondary is placed on the floor while the primary is elevated, both valves are opened, and gravity does the rest. No introduction of O2 whatsoever. I even purge the air out of the tubing with CO2 from my tank before connecting it up. Sanitizing the valves and fittings is easy with a spray bottle of Star-San.

I know it seems like a lot of fuss after reading my description, but it really couldn't be simpler once you have done it once. As for the cost, yes it is expensive to purchase all of the Better-Bottle accessories. The racking adapter and high flow valve assembly costs more than the Better-Bottle itself, but I'm OK with that. The convenience far outweighs the cost for me. I didn't get into this hobby because I wanted to save money. As most of you know, the exact opposite is true of this hobby. You can spend a butt load of money in a hurry!

The first photo is a diagram from Better-Bottles website showing the oxygen free transfer procedure. The second photo are mine in action, and the third is the blow off tube setup for Better-Bottles that I found at Hearts Homebrew.





 

elvestinkle

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The minimal weight, and lack of that $#^!ing lid that always kills my hands when trying to peel it off, are the best aspects of the BB for me. If I got a carboy somehow for free I wouldn't turn my nose up at it, but dollar for dollar I'd pick the BB over a carboy any day--too much risk, and they're just heavy. (I have a bucket that I can use for fermentation in a pinch, but that lid really kills it for me.)
 

kh54s10

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I opted for Better Bottles when I got my deluxe kit from Northern Brewer. I did not want the weight of the glass (or the danger) I got a second 6 gallon BB then a bucket. I missed seeing the action on the one I have done in the bucket.

I would not even consider glass unless it was free, and even then I might fill them but would plan ahead and never move them when filled.

BTW don't use the handles when the BB is filled! It can damage the neck.
 

dmfa200

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One thing to note is that they will suck fluid through the airlock if you pick the bottle up with the airlock still installed.
I would pull out the airlock and cover with foil before moving them.
 

johnsma22

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BTW don't use the handles when the BB is filled! It can damage the neck.
The Better-Bottles pictured in my previous post are going on 6 years old and have had countless batches fermented in them. I've used the handles to carry them full from day one and I can assure you that the necks have not been damaged at all. You certainly would never use these handles to carry a full glass carboy though.

One thing to note is that they will suck fluid through the airlock if you pick the bottle up with the airlock still installed.
I would pull out the airlock and cover with foil before moving them.
The dry tap air locks that Better-bottle make have a ball check valve in them. As soon as you lift it up the ball check sucks shut and no air will get in. In addition, the ported closures made by Better-bottle come with a plug that inserts into the o-ring in the center to seal it up tight if needed.
 

ingchr1

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johnsma22 said:
Sanitizing the valves and fittings is easy with a spray bottle of Star-San.
Question: do you remove the valve between batches to clean and sanitize? I just used my ported bb for the first time and was wondering since bb says it isn't necessary.
 

johnsma22

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Question: do you remove the valve between batches to clean and sanitize? I just used my ported bb for the first time and was wondering since bb says it isn't necessary.

I take the valve apart, but I don't remove the ports that insert and secure to the Better-Bottles . In the dozens upon dozens of batches that have been through these fermenters I've never taken one of the ports apart.

They did include a tool that (ie. long pvc rod) that inserts into the bottle to hold the racking adapter from the inside so you can thread the outside portion on, so removing them would be a snap if I felt compelled to.

An overnight soak in hot PBW solution gets them squeaky clean without the need to scrub, followed by a rinse and a sanitizing with Star-San before storing them. No issues what so ever after 6 faithful years of service.
 
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