Glass or PET Carboy

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z-bob

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I like my old glass carboys but I seldom use them. I'm afraid of the new ones because a lot of glass producers don't anneal them properly (because annealing is expensive) I use food-grade white plastic buckets, and lightweight 4-gallon plastic water bottles.
 

MaxStout

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I suggest you move quickly on that before someone else gets rich off your idea. Come to think of it, they've already been invented. They use them for colonoscopies. :oops: Prices for used ones on eBay are probably pretty good, and I bet hospitals can only use them one time.
A GoPro with fiber optic probe and a couple LEDs to illuminate. Make it WIFI-enabled with an app so you can watch your krausen while screwing off at work. Call it "BrewView" or "FermCam" or some such.

There, I just gave someone an idea. You heard it here first.

You're welcome.
 

superiorsat

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I suggest you move quickly on that before someone else gets rich off your idea. Come to think of it, they've already been invented. They use them for colonoscopies. :oops: Prices for used ones on eBay are probably pretty good, and I bet hospitals can only use them one time.
Gives a whole new meaning to bung hole! 🤣
 

day_trippr

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A GoPro with fiber optic probe and a couple LEDs to illuminate. Make it WIFI-enabled with an app so you can watch your krausen while screwing off at work. Call it "BrewView" or "FermCam" or some such.[...]
Premium model :D

I literally solved this with an $8 ESP32-CAM module and a $2 5vdc wall wart. The board has on board wifi, camera, and a big honking white led I can turn on when desired, lives inside my primary ferm chamber, and lets me peek at my carboys.

I will say after a couple of years the novelty has mostly dropped down to entertaining friends :)

Cheers!

[edit] Finished up dinner and did a grab from that "chamber cam". It's loaded with (6) kegs right now and two of the keg tops are right up against the door where the camera module is perched. Normally it looks out and down and can catch two carboys' krausen nicely...

1635380492717.png
 
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Cameronl

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If you insist on glass carboys, at least keep them in plastic milk crates.
This is probably the only reason I haven't moved "replace glass carboys with plastic" further up my to-do list. I have to do my brewing outside and have sketchy stairs down to the basement that would be impossible without having the carboy in a milk crate. Someone suggested i get a long-ass tube and fill the carboy through the basement window.
Once it's down in the basement, I'm usually moving them around on wheeled dollies. Not too much lifting.
 

Brewer Mike

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I watched a Youtube video ranting about glass carboys because they can break. I thought "Eh, I haven't had one ever break." Wouldn't you know it? Within 2 weeks, I was cleaning one. I have the handles that clamp around the neck. The PBW (clone) made it slick enough to slip off with a gallon or so of the solution inside. What a mess! Luckily, it was in the garage near the shop vac. I do still keep a couple for wine.

I use a food-grade bucket for primary. Although there are drawbacks, I use my FastFerment for secondary. I bought a Mason jar adapter so I'm not stuck dumping that 24 oz ball every time. That allows me to see the fermenting yeast (if it's not full of spent yeast. It came with a hose barb attachment that make bottling easy. Easy to clean, and fairly cheap at about $80 https://www.amazon.com/FastFerment.
 

bwible

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I watched a Youtube video ranting about glass carboys because they can break. I thought "Eh, I haven't had one ever break." Wouldn't you know it? Within 2 weeks, I was cleaning one. I have the handles that clamp around the neck. The PBW (clone) made it slick enough to slip off with a gallon or so of the solution inside. What a mess! Luckily, it was in the garage near the shop vac. I do still keep a couple for wine.

I use a food-grade bucket for primary. Although there are drawbacks, I use my FastFerment for secondary. I bought a Mason jar adapter so I'm not stuck dumping that 24 oz ball every time. That allows me to see the fermenting yeast (if it's not full of spent yeast. It came with a hose barb attachment that make bottling easy. Easy to clean, and fairly cheap at about $80 https://www.amazon.com/FastFerment.
Those orange carboy handles are junk and dangerous. I used to own a homebrew shop and I refused to sell them. Anybody who has one should take it from wherever it is and put it in the nearest trash can.
 

MaxStout

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Those orange carboy handles are junk and dangerous. I used to own a homebrew shop and I refused to sell them. Anybody who has one should take it from wherever it is and put it in the nearest trash can.
Too much side-loading. I would be nervous enough carrying an empty glass carboy with that, let alone one with 40 lbs of liquid.

Cleaning is the scariest part. Ever try to pick up a wet glass carboy covered in PBW solution? Keep the damn carboy in a plastic crate, even when washing.
 

Nagorg

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LOL I probably should have read the entire thread before quoting @day_trippr and saying "Or SS!".

But I'll add that I started with PET and it works great. But since I started using Stainless, nothing else will do for me. The benefits far outweigh the entertainment I used to get from being able to see active fermentation's through the clear fermenter walls.

So yes, PET over glass from a safety perspective. But if you can swing it, SS is superior IMO.
 

IslandLizard

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Too much side-loading. I would be nervous enough carrying an empty glass carboy with that, let alone one with 40 lbs of liquid.
Those neck handles are not meant to lift a filled carboy, only empty ones.

But yeah, carrying a full one like that is a very scary scenario. One in each hand could have done well in an old horror movie, or in The Shining, shot at a low Steadicam viewpoint.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I fermented in glass carboys for many years. I did not have any break (one of them is very solid with a 1924 date!) but I am glad that I moved to PET based Fermonsters. The less weight and wide opening for dry hopping/cleaning are bonuses and I love having spigots. I have used the glass ones a few times over the years for imperial stouts, and I am just extra careful when moving or cleaning them. Some gripper pads or gloves help a lot when trying to clean a wet glass carboy.

The advice from a good friend of mine was something like "Stainless steel fermenters are expensive, but a lot less expensive than my ER bill after a broken glass carboy and I could live without having this scar."

I do feel like I get a lot of information from being able to see fermentation through a clear fermenter, so I am not quite ready to move from PET to stainless...though I did recently acquire a secondhand 3.5 gallon brew bucket that I plan to put to use for the first time this weekend.
 
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I like plastic. After all this time, I do like to take a look at the fermentation and see how it's going. For that reason, I was never interested in SS. So, I recommend the Big Mouth Bubbler plastic fermemtors, or the Fermonster (which I've never used, but looks great).

I had glass carboy a long time ago. Broke one. Kinda freaked me out, and then was done with glass.
 

bracconiere

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Maybe they could add a camera to the Tilt

nah, it's wifi.....a vibrating message pad you can like strap to your ankle or something....can really get the feel of how the ferment is going! and at work look really creapy at work, when you start saying Oh, baby, do it like that! lol (and yes i'm assuming this thread is over, OP settled on PET...and i'm getting my SS milk pail tomorrow! we're both winners!)
 
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nah, it's wifi.....a vibrating message pad you can like strap to your ankle or something....can really get the feel of how the ferment is going! and at work look really creapy at work, when you start saying Oh, baby, do it like that! lol (and yes i'm assuming this thread is over, OP settled on PET...and i'm getting my SS milk pail tomorrow! we're both winners!)
No thread is ever "done" on a forum.

(And some people are always off topic, and couldn't care less, because they are selfish)
 

bracconiere

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because they are selfish)

i guess? i've been using HDPE fermentors....and i learned from this thread, a stainless steel milk can with what i'm hoping replaceable silicon o-ring...isn't too expensive!

i looked into SS before, but before this thread, never thought about CHEAP SS....all the stuff i saw before was like $600!

and there are definatly threads that ARE done!
 
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I like my old glass carboys but I seldom use them. I'm afraid of the new ones because a lot of glass producers don't anneal them properly (because annealing is expensive) I use food-grade white plastic buckets, and lightweight 4-gallon plastic water bottles.
The glass carboys are great for watching fermentation but are a pain to clean and move. With plastic, I worried about sanitation. The Chapman SS fermentors are affordable and easily cleaned. The SS bucket fermentors can be sanitized more by boiling a little water in it and are super easy to clean after fermentation.
 

bracconiere

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just for a follow up....yeah baby not REALLY that much more then a glass carboy, can't wait to see how it performs!

1635558306571.png


and thank you thread, for inspiring me to buy this thing! silicone oring, clamps....think i'm going to love it!....and i know this was about Glass or plastic, but Shiny Shiz deserves a mention, and a picture!
 

superiorsat

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i know this was about Glass or plastic, but Shiny Shiz deserves a mention, and a picture!
If you have any way to pressure test that lid would be help full info about this milk can if some one else wanted to go that same route. Even a basic test like does it leak when upside down with the lid clamped on an if if does leak what fill level that happens. A picture of that lid with gasket would be nice also. Thanks.
 

bracconiere

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If you have any way to pressure test that lid would be help full info about this milk can if some one else wanted to go that same route. Even a basic test like does it leak when upside down with the lid clamped on an if if does leak what fill level that happens. A picture of that lid with gasket would be nice also. Thanks.

hmmm, i'm going to be drilling a hole in the lid here in a bit....but i can post a pic of it, and fill it with water, flip it over before hand....well my hose is frozen, so i only leak tested it with about 1/2 gallon of water, but not a drip...the lid clamps on pretty tightly..

1635601980296.png


my cameras batteries went dead after that, but the top, is pretty much the same with a handle on it....

(BTW, anyone know what a recessed silicone o-ring like that is called, if i need to replace it?)

and i measured the lid, and opening in the pail...lid has a diameter of 10-3/4"..open in pail is 9-3/4"....plenty big enough for me get my hand into for cleaning....

and scooping out yeast cakes for a repitch.....

edit: after much effort, my buddy managed to actually drill a hole in the lid for my blow off tube...this thing ain't thin...and i blew into it as hard as i could, with it full of 10 gallons of apple juice....it built pressure enough to where when i took my mouth off, i could hear the air coming out of the tube? whatever psi that is....
 
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bracconiere

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Where did you pick up that item?

I am not quite sure I want to know what you are weighing with those kitchen scales! :oops:

ebay, it was $150 to my door...and i've never had luck keeping scales clean. usually i just buy new ones every so often....maybe inkbird will make a waterproof one someday, like this instant read thermometer.....
 

Brewdog80

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I have used plastic food storage containers forever as a previous employer made them and I could acquire seconds for zip. But I want to go SS conical. Soon. Just because I want to. but I'd NEVER use glass carboy. NEVER. just too many way better options. It isn't if glass will break, it is WHEN.
 

BrewZer

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I would say the only problem I've had with my fermonsters is a couple of lid failures. Both times the material split right where the top surface meets the sides, making the oring visible from the outside. I might have caused it by screwing them on too tight, but I only use my hands. For a while I was wiping the oring with a bit of keg lube but stopped doing that, still it seems like the star san makes the oring slippery enough to tighten it too far.
Isn't Starsan notorious for making plastics brittle? That might be your culprit right there...
 

BrewZer

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Go glass or stainless for anything that will be sitting in contact for an extended time with foods, especially liquids, which can more easily absorb chemicals. Personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry with my health, since most of the messaging casting doubt on this science is from big-money oil/plastics industry funding:

"PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) is the plastic most commonly used in single-use plastic water bottles. It is BPA free, but PET is also associated with many of the same health risks such as stunted growth, reproduction issues, low energy levels, body balance issues, and inability to process stress."

I ferment in a big, PET Mr Beer rig from Texas Plastics. I like being able to watch the fermentation process.

My question: how would I be able to tell whether those symptoms (low energy, body balance and stress coping) are from the PET or the beer I'm fermenting in it?
 

BrewZer

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I suggest you move quickly on that before someone else gets rich off your idea. Come to think of it, they've already been invented. They use them for colonoscopies. :oops: Prices for used ones on eBay are probably pretty good, and I bet hospitals can only use them one time.
Used colonoscopy endoscopes are pretty expensive ($900-3,000) but there are other endoscopes that run from $9 - 50 that might serve the function just as well.
 
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I dropped a glass carboy once, in the driveway. The shrapnel cut my foot pretty well, but no stitches. I am still finding the occasional shard two years later. Now I am extra careful, wrap them in towels when cleaning, but I only use them for long-term aging so they don't get moved more than once a year. Stainless for the quick fermentations and oak barrels for the unique stuff. I think I may move to using 5G kegs for long-term aging at some point, but I am not quite ready to jump yet. Some crappy-looking kegs may just do the trick!
 
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Despite my strong feelings on the subject, I have been tempted to use glass for long-term aging projects. I've seen glass jugs for laboratory use in handling dangerous reagents that are coated with a clear rubber material that prevents them shattering if damaged, and I wondered if a glass carboy could similarly be sprayed with truck bed liner or coated with glass cloth and epoxy to create a similar 'safety cage' of sorts.
 
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bracconiere

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Despite my strong feelings on the subject, I have been tempted to use glass for long-term aging projects. I've seen glass jugs for laboratory use in handling dangerous reagents that are coated with a clear rubber material that prevents them shattering if damaged, and I wondered if a glass carboy could similarly be sprayed with truck bed liner or coated with glass cloth and epoxy to create a similar 'safety cage' of sorts.

that's why i posted the demi-johns a bit back with the basket cases.....but i'm going REALLY against my grain, the milk can is working good so far...and for a five gallon batch they don't cost much more then a glass carboy...
 

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