Better Bottles vs. glass carboys

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dpt222

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Besides their light weight, are there any advantages to using Better Bottles over glass? Anyone have any problems with the Better Bottles for primary fermentation? They seem like a pretty good choice for homebrewing.
 

mrfocus

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Both my carboys (1 glass, 1 Better bottle, both 6 gallons) were empty yesterday, so I wanted to weigh them to see what the difference is. The better bottle weighs 1.5 pounds. The glass carboy weighs more than 11lbs, and I don't even know by how much cause my kitchen scale can't go any higher. That's quite a bit heavier for the same use. Better bottles have the advantage of being quite safe if they break, whereas glass, well you can guess what happens when a glass carboy shatters...
 

sirsloop

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I personally like buckets... I've got a pair of 7.9 gallon buckets, 3 more 6.5 gallon buckets, and a 6.5 gallon bucket with the spicket for bottling.
 

Rick_R

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I'm swapping out my glass for better bottles to avoid the busted-glass scenario. Never dropped one of the glass, but I worry every time I pick it up. Latest order (due in today) has three better bottles in it; picked up one on my last trip to Memphis (closest homebrew store - about 70 miles away).

I waffled about getting the one with the spigot or not, but I've always worried that I'd come home to an empty carboy and a leaky spigot. Didn't want that, so skipped the spigot version.

Rick
 

SuperiorBrew

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The spigots are great but they cost more than the bottles :(
 

Joker

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I really need to swap my equipment. I have one bucket with a spigot that I let pull double duty as a bottling and priming bucket a 7 gallon glass carboy and (5) 5 gallon glass carboys. Just for safety I should change over to better bottles or get a primary bucket to reduce the chance of spigot leak.
 

budbo

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As I gaze at the scars on my shins and right hand, I can, from experience, tell you Better Bottles are the way to go. The stupid thing was when I shattered the trub filled Carboy I was completely sober, and it hurt like hell having to sanitize the slurry filled cuts.

On the Con side on the Wiki
Will not hold negative pressure which is important if you use a Wort Wizard
There is a simple work around to this, the bottles will squeeze in but releasing the pressure is easy and generally needs to be done 2-3 times for 5 gallons (So you can't walk away from it, but it is only a minor inconvenience)

Note: I still use glass for lagering
 

ColoradoXJ13

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one more plus is that if you leave your carboys filled with oxyclean on the porch over a long weekend when you leave town and the weather unexpectedly drops well below freezing, you don't destroy your carboys.
 
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dpt222

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the bottles will squeeze in but releasing the pressure is easy and generally needs to be done 2-3 times for 5 gallons (So you can't walk away from it, but it is only a minor inconvenience)
Budbo, what exactly do you mean by this? I am not familiar with a wort wizard.
 

Jekster

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I vote better bottles all the way simply for safety. When I first got into this hobby that was my primary reason for choosing BB's and I can honestly say each brew day that I feel safer because of my choice.
 

lustreking

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I use better bottles.

Here is a collection of carboy breakage horror stories that I collected over a lunch break from the major forums. Some food for thought!
 

EdWort

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lustreking said:
I use better bottles.

Here is a collection of carboy breakage horror stories that I collected over a lunch break from the major forums. Some food for thought!
Great reference point! Thanks.
 

kaptain_karma

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I broke two glass carboys before I decided to switch to better bottles. I decided that never bleeding and swearing while cleaning up a billion shards of glass would totally make up for any of the better bottle's possible shortcomes. If you're not as clumsy/drunk as me, I think you'll be happy with either.
 

budbo

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dpt222 said:
Budbo, what exactly do you mean by this? I am not familiar with a wort wizard.
The Wort wizard creates negative pressure in the carboy sucking the wort through the CFC, Better Bottles will squeeze in under the pressure you have to lift the lip of the cap or loosen the stopper to equalize every now and again. It chills and aerates the wort in one step. I average well under an hour from flame out to pitching the yeast in the winter
 

Brew-boy

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I dont think I could ever use those plastic water bottles, I just prefer good Ol glass. I have never broke one and I cannot scratch the glass from my brush. I did make and upgrade this year to a conical so I do not use the carboy as much now.
 

cowgo

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I picked my 6.5 gallon Better Bottle up from the LHBS last weekend and it's a beautiful thing sitting there in my brew closet full of star san waiting patiently to be filled with a new batch this weekend. Got 4 ounces of Amarillo thawing in my cupboard just itching to impart their goodness.

I love my 6.5 gallon Minibrew conical and the fact that I have an endless supply of $10 glass carboys from the local water cooler distributer....but there's something about that BB.
 

DUCCCC

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My opinion on pails Is well documented, but I'm stuck on glass, because of the sanitary reasons. IMO it's easier to sanitze for wort. Of course, I just got my wife a BB for her wine...
 

Jesse17

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I've never used a BB, but I'm all for glass:

I don't worry about scratching glass,

It's easy to get clean, and remove odors (ale pales are PITA to remove odors, not sure about BB's),

I don't like my carboy to flex when lifted (full),

I don't worry about what's in glass, because it can ALWAYS be cleaned,

It will last 10 lifetimes if taken care of,

It won't break down, or cloud if left in the sun,

It looks more professional/sanitary,

And I don't like plastics. I will by food products in a glass jar, over plastic every time. There's too many articles about all the chemicals that can be imparted into food from plastic containers.
 

Brew Runner

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Jesse17 said:
And I don't like plastics. I will by food products in a glass jar, over plastic every time. There's too many articles about all the chemicals that can be imparted into food from plastic containers.
Yeah, especially when they are exposed to heat like hot water or microwaving. Ok, no one is going to microwave their BB, but fairly hot water is a possibility. Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) can also give off acetaldehydes when it breaks down which is a chemical responsible for that oh-so-familiar hangover.
 

blacklab

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I saw them in Ed's Apfelkjfs;ldkjfsjfsd;lkjdslkfjwein thread(pictured above) and investigated. Now my 2 old glass 'boys are strictly for the a-wein, or in retirement.

The spigot version is especially rocking.
 

Chip

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So where is a good place to pick these up? My local shops are both listed on their web site and neither sells them.
 

tentacles

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homebrewer_99 said:
I have over 20 glass carboys. I've never experienced a cracked or broken one yet. I also carry them in milk crates. ;)
Good call! I will be putting my pyrex carboy in a milk crate tommorow. I'll wven wrap it in black canvas, to block light(I brew in the living room) and it would go far to hold shards in if I did drop it. At least I don't have to worry about thermal shock with this retired lab equipment. Any future carboys will ne 'family' or plastic.
 

slnies

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Brew-boy said:
I dont think I could ever use those plastic water bottles, I just prefer good Ol glass. I have never broke one and I cannot scratch the glass from my brush. I did make and upgrade this year to a conical so I do not use the carboy as much now.
You don't need a brush in a better bottle. The great part is that the mouth is wide enough to slide a wash cloth inside, then you swirl, baby swirl! When its clean you tip it over and pull the cloth out. No brush, and the cloth has more surface area. Not that that matters.
 

paranode

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Better Bottles seem like a good idea, I just can't bring myself to get rid of the glass carboys I already have. I don't use glass for primary fermentation and never raise a glass carboy above waist's height (like on a counter or anything) so I mitigated most of the risk I suppose. They are damn heavy though.
 

Jumbo82

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Jesse17 said:
I've never used a BB, but I'm all for glass:

I don't worry about scratching glass,

It's easy to get clean, and remove odors (ale pales are PITA to remove odors, not sure about BB's),

I don't like my carboy to flex when lifted (full),

I don't worry about what's in glass, because it can ALWAYS be cleaned,

It will last 10 lifetimes if taken care of,

It won't break down, or cloud if left in the sun,

It looks more professional/sanitary,

And I don't like plastics. I will by food products in a glass jar, over plastic every time. There's too many articles about all the chemicals that can be imparted into food from plastic containers.
+1 we appear to be in the minority, but I use glass for all the same reasons
 

SomedumbJerk

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i just bought two better bottles because they had free shipping, and the carboys didn't. i made Edworts apfelwien in it last week, and i didn't even need a funnel, which was nice, and it was easier to pick up and swirl around. my girlfriend (who is rediculously supportive about my brewing habit) was busting my balls:
"didn't we just get rid of the buckets you bought becuase they where plastic?"
"yeah, but these ones are better!"
"dumbass! it's still plastic! i could have gotten you empty water bottles for nothing!"
i go on to explain the difference, and she goes on to ignore me.
but the wieght thing is a huge benefit, i ferment in a coset in an unused room, and it has shelving just above my waist, and the less 10+ lbs is huge when you're exhausted after riding a bike all day, or drinking all day...
 

Bytor1100

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I have 7 carboys, but imagine I will migrate to BB's if i need more(unless I go bigger all together). I love my carboys, but do worry sometimes. I'm always extra carful when working with them.
 

GrantK

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I've gone from glass to B.B.'s myself and couldn't be happier. Don't get me wrong, I liked glass when I was using it but once I had the chance to go to the B.B's I jumped at it. After fermentation of my last glass batch I noticed a small crack on the bottom of the carboy, don't know how it came to be but I couldn't use it again, that was on the 24 liter carboy. Now I still have a couple of 40 liter, that's right, 40 liter GLASS carboys that I'd like to unload in the IL/WI area if anyone’s interested, check out the classifieds section.
 

Kevin Dean

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I'm sure everyone has or will give pros and con's for each.

I use a SINGLE glass carboy (because it was given to me), a half dozen BB's and two plastic plaes.

Glass is a no-no in Newspeak Brewery. Everything else is fair game.
 

sause

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Started with glass and then bought a better bottle and will from now on use glass again. I don't like the idea of not being able to fully clean the inside(i.e. soaking with oxi-clean...). Also you don't have to worry if you made a sour beer in it or not(which I do). And weight is not really a huge thing when the liquid inside of it is ~8 times heavier than the carboy.
 
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