Carboy VS. Thumb

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Jroy

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Just another horror tale about exploding carboys.
I was carrying a 6.5 gallon down into my basement, when about 3 steps to go the bottom gave way and it basically exploded in my hand. I treat my carboys like they're my children..so I have no explanation to what happened. I ended up in the ER all night resulting in 10 stitches and no felling at all in my thumb, which very well could be permanent. I've been brewing almost 10 years and haven't even broke as much a hydrometer..so be careful out there..
Time to pick a few more better bottles!

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NoRoom4Error

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Damn! Makes me glad I uses the plastic jugs. Hope the feeling in your thumb comes back. Drink the pain away I guess. :)
 

dbrewski

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Ouch that is nasty! Makes me paranoid. I just picked up a 6.5 gallon from a guy that was not 'ribbed' like my other ones, just plain glass. Makes me think it is not as strong. It has a batch in it right now. I wish I could find some milk crates to use to carry it. The ones you see in stores any more are just cheap flimsy knockoffs for dorm room use.

Hope that heals up for you though.
 

Evets

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Those nylon web carriers work really well. I like my glass carboys, but I won't pick a full one up without the carrier.
 
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That sucks man.

I've got 5 better bottles and 2 glass. The glass ones I use for sours, but when I bottle my current sours I'm giving them away. I got them for free anyway so no loss there. I have ZERO love for the glass carboys. I've done sours in plastic and they came out perfect.

Hope that heals up well for you.
 
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Jroy

Jroy

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Thanks guys. No love for glass here (anymore) either. I have six other 6.5g and 4 5g glass though. I carry the 5's in milk crates, but the 6.5's don't fit so well. I have 3 better bottles that I love and will be replacing all my glass with them very soon.
 

Homercidal

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Yikes! You really might want to go see a specialist for a second opinion on the loss of feeling. They *may* be able to do more for you than the ER doc.

I hope you don't play guitar...
 

thepartsmancometh

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Homercidal said:
Yikes! You really might want to go see a specialist for a second opinion on the loss of feeling. They *may* be able to do more for you than the ER doc.

I hope you don't play guitar...

+1000

I cut the pad off my index finger with a filet knife 2-3 years ago and still have no feeling. Definitely get it checked out! I never went to the specialist and I wish I had.

And yes, I was a (bass) guitar player

Best wishes on the injury
 
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I smashed my left thumb with a sledge hammer (concrete blocks were the other surface :( It was numb for a long time, much of the finger, but each week the feeling slowly came back. It's still dead just at the tip, but otherwise totally usable. Looks normal now, too!
 

Dan

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This thread should be renamed - "Things that make you say ouch!"

Hope all heals well for you.
 
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Jroy

Jroy

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About 6 years ago I actually cut about a 1/4" of my fingertip off of the very same thumb. Maybe I'm not supposed to have that thumb? It is very swollen right now so I am hoping much of the feeling loss is because of that. I see my general physician on Monday to remove the stitches so I should know more then.
 

snccoulter

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Ouch. I hate them also I have given every one I have away then I found another hiding. I may just toss it in the recycle bin. I hope you get better soon...
 

mbauer013

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I'm kinda new here but had to comment, I cut my finger very similarly last year and severed the tendons and all, after 2 surgeries it is fully useable again. I would highly reccomend seing a specialist. one of my tendons was full severed and the other one just about half way, the specialist told me that he had to repair both, as the stress of using my hand could in the future cause the partially severed tendon to snap. I use my hand for some pretty forceful things though (no comments please:D) like A LOT of shooting and rockclimbing, so that had to be considered at the time, but a thumb is probably used a lot more than my little finger.
 

david_42

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Glass is a weird material. Had a pitcher explode on me when I was a kid. It had been around for years and all I was doing was filling in from the tap to make Kool-aid. The pitcher was a room temperature and since it was summer, the water was about the same. Boom! Very glad I was holding it by the handle, which didn't break.
 

brrman

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I have been putting of buying a Brew Hauler for so long. But after seeing this I just ordered one. I carry full carboys down to my basement all the time.
 

Dan

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Glass is a weird material. Had a pitcher explode on me when I was a kid. It had been around for years and all I was doing was filling in from the tap to make Kool-aid. The pitcher was a room temperature and since it was summer, the water was about the same. Boom! Very glad I was holding it by the handle, which didn't break.


Ain't that the truth. I had a similar experience with a coffee mug when I was a kid. It had hot chocalate in it and I picked it up from the counter. The bottom stayed on the counter.
 

JJL

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Stories like this are enough to make me want to sell my carboys. I primary in a bucket, and now that I've got kegs, I really have no reason to lager in carboys.
 

Proboscidea

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Hm, being a skinflint, I had been putting off converting from glass carboys to plastic, because I'd already invested in the glass ones and they're working perfectly fine.

I'm thinking, however, based on this post, that an economic argument could be made in favor of plastic carboys costing less than a trip to the emergency room. Yay, shoppin' for beer gear!

(note to self: please ignore the fact that an economic argument could also be made in favor of stopping brewing altogether to avoid the same tragedy ... that is crazy talk)
 

tgreene7

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I have recently started using my corny kegs to secondary, and it's loads easier than messing with the glass carboys. I highly recommend using the Cornies.

Sorry you got hurt, hope it heals quickly.
 

DeafSmith

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One possible explanation of why these glass carboys sometimes fail for no apparent reason may be in this article on the Better Bottle web site:

http://www.better-bottle.com/pdf/WashingSanitizingStudy.pdf

Note particularly the section titled "An Important Warning"

"Glass, soft glass in particular, is slightly soluble in water and more soluble if the water contains caustics, which are common ingredients in washing agents. As glass dissolves from the surface of glass objects, micro cracks form and the strength of the object becomes increasingly compromised. Thus a mode of handling that you may have executed many times with a given carboy can result in an unexpected breakage. Never carry glass carboys by their necks and be aware that even lifting a full glass carboy off a counter by placing your hands around its base can cause it to crack wide open."
 

cl330b

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Glass carboys shouldn't be moved unless inside of a milk crate or equivalent, empty or full. Period. I have a toddler, all my glass is gone. Vintage shop PET carboys work great.

Hope you heal up soon. Turpentine will help clean that wound.
 

gratus fermentatio

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Nasty looking wound, hope you heal up OK. Maybe I'll have to start buying Better Bottles. I'm rather heavily invested in glass though; I just can't afford to replace 20 glass carbouys at once, (that's not even counting 3 gallon sizes) much less with the more expensive plastic. You should look into selling you story & pics to the makers of Better Bottles; it would make a great testimonial.
Regards, GF.
 

TrainSafe

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Ouch.

+1 for the specialist. It may be numb due to the swelling or it may be more damage. Only one way to know...

I'm also making the move to better bottles away from glass. I only have one glad carboy left.
 

Homercidal

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Of course there are alternatives to carrying glass around by the hands, but they make it somewhat difficult to use while cleaning.

I have a brewhauler, which is a device that wraps around and under the carboy with handles to make carrying easier and safer. It's made from heavy duty nylon webbing.

I also use a milk crate for carrying.

I'm not getting rid of my glass carboys, but I'm not likely to buy any more. I use mine mostly for wine, which requires a longer period of fermentation.

Better Bottles are fine for the length of time most any beer needs to be bulk conditioned.
 

Proboscidea

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How's your thumb doing?

We should have a "Post Pics Of Your Brewing Injuries" thread. I bet you'd win. :mug:
 
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Jroy

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I am going to see my doctor this afternoon to remove the stitches. Some of the feeling has returned, but it is still pretty swollen and i can barley move it. I hope for everyone at HBT's sake that I win the worst injury! You just don't realize how much you use your thumb.
 

Dr1nkBeer

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Man, so is leaving sanitizing solution in the carboy for an extended period of time not recommended? I have carried mine and moved it around so much... I feel fortunate now that i haven't had this happen to me... I have one better bottle and two old "mexican" ribbed glass carboys... Geez-us i may just never use them again.. I recently rinsed one out and left some water in it in my slop sink... The wife picked it up and emptied it to use the slop sink... Man if it would have busted on her hand i wouldn't be able to live with myself...

Anyone else have this happen? Is this happening due to recent corner cutting of production? Are the older ones safer and less prone to spontaneous "severing"...

Thank you for this posting! And really hope you get that hand back to normal... You may have just single handedly (no pun intended) saved me from a similar disaster!!
 

Proboscidea

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Good luck, Jroy!!!!! We're pulling for ya.

About glass carboys: I think, with the number of people who have been using glass carboys over many years, that they can be considered "safe" BUT prone to random & extremely rare failures (other than dropping them, which is another issue). There are safe handling procedures, such as using a crate, never picking them up by the neck (guilty as charged), etc. Statistically, a carboy is unlikely to break on its own. But clearly, from this thread, it does happen once in a blue moon. I guess it's like driving vs. flying; car crashes are far more common but flying is still a source of anxiety to many, and when you see a plane crash on the news, it's scary as hell. This thread has suddenly made glass carboys seem unsafe to me.

I'm thinking, at the very least, it would be wise to start transporting them in milk crates at all times, and possibly convert to Better Bottles.

Although irony dictates that soon there will be a thread showing some kind of horrible injury from a Better Bottle, ha ha.
 

Dr1nkBeer

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still thinking about this as i walked by the carboy next to my slop sink that my wife moved around last night...
I suppose then this contraption is hight not recomended? You've all seen these that wrap the neck of the carboy?...

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