Gallon marks on a carboy

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RichBrewer

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I've put marks on my carboys for years showing where each gallon comes to. I have never been able to get them to stay. I don't want to etch the glass for fear of weakening the carboy and I don't want tape on them.

I was marking a 6 1/2G carboy today and it hit me. This time I marked the carboy and then I got a piece of wood, stood it up next to the carboy and transferred the marks to it. Now I gave a gallon gage for my 6 1/2G carboys. I never have to mark them again!
Why on earth didn't I think of this sooner?
 

Yooper

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That's one of those "why didn't I think of that" things that I will have to do. I've tried tape, and grease pencil. I used nail polish on the outside of my old brewpot, which was very tacky looking!
 
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RichBrewer said:
I was marking a 6 1/2G carboy today and it hit me. This time I marked the carboy and then I got a piece of wood, stood it up next to the carboy and transferred the marks to it. Now I gave a gallon gage for my 6 1/2G carboys. I never have to mark them again!
Why on earth didn't I think of this sooner?
Your a fart smeller, I mean a smart fellar. :p Good Idea Rich.
 

Funkenjaeger

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Seems like you'd be able to use some sort of scribe to scratch the lines into the glass - or maybe one of those little glass cutting wheels with which you score the glass?

Still, using a separate piece of wood is not a bad alternative.
 
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RichBrewer

RichBrewer

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Funkenjaeger said:
Seems like you'd be able to use some sort of scribe to scratch the lines into the glass - or maybe one of those little glass cutting wheels with which you score the glass?

Still, using a separate piece of wood is not a bad alternative.
To me scribing or scoring lines on a carboy isn't a good idea. It will weaken the glass.
 

rabidgerbil

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What you created is something called a story stick. You can actually do some fairly complex woodworking, etc, with out ever using a measuring tape, just using a story stick. Anyway, my one question is this: from the way you talked about it, it sounds like you have more than one carboy that size. Are they all exactly the same? If they are not the same brand, etc, then your measurements from one may not be accurate for another. It will probably be "close enough for government work" as my grandfather used to say, but it may not be exact.
 

tentacles

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My 5(+) gallon carboy came with a few lines pre-etched, in liters, but I managed to score a pyrex lab carboy, made of borosilicate glass, rather than the cheap soda glass that most are made from. After reading some of the broken carboy stories, I plan on any new ones being plastic.
 

Jim Karr

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I made a dipstick-type measuring stick out of 1/2" CPVC pipe for my keggle. Along with marking it with a sharpie marker, I also drilled small holes through it to indicate various gallonage.
 

JacktheKnife

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Yup.

3" - 4" of electrical tape,
{in two places in case one falls off}
and mine has been on years.


Bottling up a batch of 8Lbs D.M.E.
with speciality grains steeped in, I call it:
'Briess Crystal Bisquet'

http://jacksknifeshop.tripod.com/
'Knife'
 

Zymurgrafi

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Hey Rich,

Good idea, but...

I have one thing to add for your consideration. I have a wooden spoon I use in my brew kettle. I marked it with depths to be able to tell the volume of the wort as it boiled. Worked great for a while. Suddenly my volumes started not adding up. I finally realized why. Wood likes to expand and contract depending on temperature and especially humidity. Okay, so a spoon placed in boiling wort is going to warp more than your stick, but still. Something to consider.
 
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RichBrewer

RichBrewer

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zero said:
Hey Rich,

Good idea, but...

I have one thing to add for your consideration. I have a wooden spoon I use in my brew kettle. I marked it with depths to be able to tell the volume of the wort as it boiled. Worked great for a while. Suddenly my volumes started not adding up. I finally realized why. Wood likes to expand and contract depending on temperature and especially humidity. Okay, so a spoon placed in boiling wort is going to warp more than your stick, but still. Something to consider.
I'll have to remember that. Maybe I can find something metal.
 

Special Ed

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capcrnch said:
Silver paint pen works well..

I would imagine acid etch would work well too..

I thought about getting one of those kits to etch your car window and using it on my carboys.
 

capcrnch

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Special Ed said:
I thought about getting one of those kits to etch your car window and using it on my carboys.
Yup.
This is what I was talking about..


We etched a few glasses with our brewery logo and it worked great.

I think SWMBO picked it up at Michael's or JoAnn's.. Any craft store should carry it.
 

kmlavoy

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That is a good idea. If you did it on a square piece, you could mark one side for your 6 gallon carboy, one for the 5 gallon, one for a 3 gallon (if you use them), and one for the brew pot.
 

freyguy

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Great idear. I'll prob make one up myself. Could get a small piece of angle iron or some other metal from Lowes and mark it up too.

For now I used automotive pinstriping on my carboy. I just have 5gal and 5.5gal marked all the way around. It's held on for a good while, but is chipping off a bit.
 

RegionalChaos

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If you are going to use metal, I would recommend getting some stainless and not using random angle iron. Most steel suppliers could sell you a piece of stainless about 50% cheaper then a box store will like Lowes. Steel suppliers tend to have scraps laying around they will part with extra cheap as well.
 

rdwj

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I have painter's tape on mine. I've had the same piece of tape on there for over a year with no problems. I don't see any reason to use anything else.
 

Alemental

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RichBrewer said:
This time I marked the carboy and then I got a piece of wood, stood it up next to the carboy and transferred the marks to it.
I have a similar idea going on. I measured the increments on a carboy, and wrote them down. Then I cut some wood scraps on the band saw to match the curves of the carboy. Now, all I have to do is match the curved pieces and the measurements on a piece of plywood and cut it out with the band saw. I'm debating putting the profile of a 5 gallon carboy on the other side of the template, or just make separate units.
 

Plan9

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I etched marks on mine tonight.

I obviously used painters tape to mask off the liines.
I picked up some number stickers to mask off the gallon numbers.

Masked off...


Marked on two sides...


Being filled and hopped...


I used a paste I picked up at the craft store.
It came out more faint than the flash shows.
 

PintOfBitter

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I wouldn't mechanically scratch the glass. That's asking for trouble.

I used some of the decorative chemical etch that you can get at a craft store - I think the active ingredient is hydrofluoric acid or formic acid or something.

I bought the stuff to etch a set of pilsner glasses with my initial (what can I say, I was new to homebrewing and was turbo excited). It just creates a permanent frost look like the frosted glass you see in some windows. Shouldn't create much of a stress riser in the glass.

The bottle was about $10, and the etch happens in less than a minute. Having the marks is really handy!

_____________________

Oops, looks like Plan9 beat me to the punch. Oh well.
 
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RichBrewer

RichBrewer

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Plan9 said:
I etched marks on mine tonight.

I obviously used painters tape to mask off the liines.
I picked up some number stickers to mask off the gallon numbers.

Masked off...


Marked on two sides...


Being filled and hopped...


I used a paste I picked up at the craft store.
It came out more faint than the flash shows.
Now that is just flat out awesome! :mug:
 

DuPuma

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zero said:
Hey Rich,

Good idea, but...

I have one thing to add for your consideration. I have a wooden spoon I use in my brew kettle. I marked it with depths to be able to tell the volume of the wort as it boiled. Worked great for a while. Suddenly my volumes started not adding up. I finally realized why. Wood likes to expand and contract depending on temperature and especially humidity. Okay, so a spoon placed in boiling wort is going to warp more than your stick, but still. Something to consider.
I did this with my plastic brew spoon. I etched out notches for each gallon, and then one at 5.5 gallons for the finished volume. This actually caused some confusion last time I brewed, because I filled to the wrong pre-boil mark, and the volume was all messed up. I blame my own idiocity, but I don't think I'm going to use the spoon's marks for anything more than a rough ball park anymore.

I've put duct tape on the carboy and marked off 4 - 6 gallons, each mark at 1/2 a gallon. Works great (better than the spoon...).
 
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