How to repair a glass carboy???

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fettersp

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I have a 6 gal carboy that has a hole near the bottom on the side about half an inch big. It was caused by a defect in the glass and was paper thin in that spot. Northernbrewer.com was nice and replaced it for free a couple months after purchase. Just wondering if there a possibility of repair? like liquid acrylic or the sort that would be safe.
 

InspectorJon

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I have one that’s been around since the 70s. An old Alhambra bottle. They will break if you drop one on a hard surfaces. I guess it depends on your personal tolerance for risk. There are plenty of folks on here that would call us foolish. Don’t take it personally.

I can’t think of any way to repair it. You would have to make it very smooth on the inside.
 

hopkincr

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This works great on TV.
C59C20D3-7DEB-4428-B32C-099A33F71C70.jpeg
 

mongoose33

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There's a thread on HBT somewhere about people who have sustained serious injuries from carboys that broke. I cannot imagine any scenario short of having to age a beer for months or years that would tempt me to use a glass carboy.

This is especially the case given the cheaper and lighter and easier-to-clean plastic carboys that are out there such as the Fermonster and the Bigmouth Bubbler. Get one with a spigot and you'll put your siphon away for good.
 
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There's a thread on HBT somewhere about people who have sustained serious injuries from carboys that broke. I cannot imagine any scenario short of having to age a beer for months or years that would tempt me to use a glass carboy.

This is especially the case given the cheaper and lighter and easier-to-clean plastic carboys that are out there such as the Fermonster and the Bigmouth Bubbler. Get one with a spigot and you'll put your siphon away for good.

It's posted above in #6.

Trying to use a broken glass carboy is Darwin award material. Run away.
 

fun4stuff

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Throw it away or sell it to some noob. Use the money to buy a nice bucket fermenter or PET carboy. Glass carboys are ticking time bombs- not worth the risk. Heavy and inconvenient.
 

Dave Sarber

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I have 6 of the d*"+# things. One I bought in a homebrew starter kit years ago, and 5 that were given to me by (smart) brewbuddies. I don't use them, they are just gathering dust and taking up space. Get a big mouth bubbler or something similar.
 

kevink

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I have 6 of the d*"+# things. One I bought in a homebrew starter kit years ago, and 5 that were given to me by (smart) brewbuddies. I don't use them, they are just gathering dust and taking up space. Get a big mouth bubbler or something similar.

I have three right now and can't give them away! I have tried. They are just about worthless these days.
 

balrog

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I had two, both inherited, one developed a crack but we parted on good terms without loss of blood. The other one sits menacingly in the corner, mocking my shrewd caution, as I use buckets, Poland Spring bottles, big mouth bubbler and now kegs to ferment. There may be a need one day to bring forth the mighty silica sultan. Or the wife may finally make me throw out all the basement crap I never touch anymore. Time alone will tell. Stay tuned...
 

Nate R

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I have a 6 gal carboy that has a hole near the bottom on the side about half an inch big. It was caused by a defect in the glass and was paper thin in that spot. Northernbrewer.com was nice and replaced it for free a couple months after purchase. Just wondering if there a possibility of repair? like liquid acrylic or the sort that would be safe.
In a controlled environment, where no animals, kids, or people can get hurt, and where you can easily clean it all up...
Use that fancy super slo-mo feature on your cell phone, and film it while you drop it from a good height.
Then post that film here for us to enjoy.
Bonus points if you add some cool music too it- you know, that classical one that people always use when stuff blows up?

Maybe- also- fill it full of water first- those splashes may look super awesome in slo-mow!!

AND... @hopkincr GREAT call-out on the Flex Seal!
 

jrgtr42

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If it already has a hole, I can't think of anything that would fix the hole that I would trust to be food safe, be it holding plain water or beer.
Toss it.
 

day_trippr

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haha! Screw "food safe", that's a distant concern with a holed glass carboy that has already been diagnosed with "paper thin" walls :eek:
Yes, the OP needs to safely destroy the glassy beast before someone gets carved up...

Cheers!
 

Nate R

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haha! Screw "food safe", that's a distant concern with a holed glass carboy that has already been diagnosed with "paper thin" walls :eek:
Yes, the OP needs to safely destroy the glassy beast before someone gets carved up...

Cheers!

Emphasis on "safely"....
But that does not mean he can't have some fun that we can enjoy! (See post #17!!)
 

artichoke

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I agree with the others, get rid of it you run a risk of serious injury.

After many successful fermentations without any mishaps, I started phasing out all my glass carboys about 2 years ago and switched to SS brew buckets. I did this because a 6th sense told me it was just a matter of time before my luck would run out and I’d have a terrible accident like the pictures in that gruesome thread.

While I would never go back to glass, and I can’t stomach the idea of fermenting in plastic, I really do miss the show when the yeast kicks into high gear

safety first,

- AC
 

Cavpilot2000

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Step 1: Put it in the recycling bin
Step 2: Get a stainless steel replacement. Buy once, cry once.
Step 3: Enjoy a lifetime of trouble-free, low-maintenance, non-fragile fermenter
 

IslandLizard

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Get a stainless steel replacement. Buy once, cry once.
I tend to agree, especially when they know they will be brewing for the rest of their life. Now a $12-15 plastic brew bucket (with lid) can last a long time too, at least 10-15 years. PET (plastic) carboys should too when handled correctly.
 

Nate R

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I tend to agree, especially when they know they will be brewing for the rest of their life. Now a $12-15 plastic brew bucket (with lid) can last a long time too, at least 10-15 years. PET (plastic) carboys should too when handled correctly.
Wal-mart has food-grade 5 gallon plastic buckets for $2.50 to $2.95. And a lid for $1.95 or so. I assume they come out of the same factory. Not as much headroom as a 6 gallon bucket, but a 1/3rd the cost!
 

IslandLizard

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Wal-mart has food-grade 5 gallon plastic buckets for $2.50 to $2.95. And a lid for $1.95 or so. I assume they come out of the same factory. Not as much headroom as a 6 gallon bucket, but a 1/3rd the cost!
Yeah, that's a much better option for someone to test the brewing hobby. Now most kits are 5 gallons, which leaves one with 1/5 of the kit ingredients left over. They could fill a gallon jug and co-ferment it with the bucket. Or brew a 20% stronger beer.

How do those lids seal? Are they basically Homer buckets in white?

Please note: "Brew buckets" (Ale pails) are 6.5 gallons.
 
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VikeMan

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Wal-mart has food-grade 5 gallon plastic buckets for $2.50 to $2.95. And a lid for $1.95 or so. I assume they come out of the same factory. Not as much headroom as a 6 gallon bucket, but a 1/3rd the cost!

A 5 gallon bucket would be a tight fit for even a 4 gallon batch.
 

w8av

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I want to weigh in on this thread about the dangers of glass carboys. If you get the smallest crack, throw it away, as others have said.
I have a number of them here that I use from time to time as brite vessels (a.k.a secondary fermenters, although I do not like to refer to them that way) and only for beers that I dry hop since the hops tend to clog the racking arm and valve in my conical fermenter. With great care, carboys will last for a number of years.

I also transfer to the keg from the carboys by pushing he beer with CO2. (Full disclosure. If you don't know what you are doing here, please do not attempt this!) This allows me to have a totally closed system to transfer to avoid picking up oxygen that will stale the beer. I use NO MORE THAN 2.5 PSI when I do this. Carboys are not pressure vessels and the amount of CO2 pressure that I use is only enough to displace the head space created by the beer running off into the keg. I would hate to hear a post about someone who had to be run to the hospital to stitch up a gash made by an exploding carboy and know someone who had this happen when he turned up the pressure to about 20 PSI. Using an auto-syphon to transfer the beer is the safest way to do with a glass carboy but you run the risk of introducing oxygen into the beer. (I won't go into Dalton's Law of partial pressures here).

As I mentioned above, I only do this for beers that I dry hop since the dry hops tend to clog the racking arm and valve on my conical fermenter. All other beers are transferred directly from the conical to the keg. I am working my way to evaluating how to alleviate the clogging problem so that I can stop using glass carboys entirely.

PET carboys, like Big Mouth Bubblers are a lot safer to use, although great care needs to be taken to avoid scratching the inside when cleaning them so as not to create places where bacteria and other nasties might hide.
 

Nate R

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Yeah, that's a much better option for someone to test the brewing hobby. Now most kits are 5 gallons, which leaves one with 1/5 of the kit ingredients left over. They could fill a gallon jug and co-ferment it with the bucket. Or brew a 20% stronger beer.

How do those lids seal? Are they basically Homer buckets in white?

Please note: "Brew buckets" (Ale pails) are 6.5 gallons.
They fit like a $3.00 bucket.
Yew, very similar to a homedepot Homer bucket, except they come labeled specifically as food safe. Sold in paint department.
I use them for pbw, star san, and grain (mixing after measuring, grinding into, etc).
Even a homer bucket is a few bucks more after lid.
I would use two of these for a 5 gallon maybe?
But $15 for a fermentor is a great deal compared to what my spike cost me!!
 

Brooothru

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I agree with the others, get rid of it you run a risk of serious injury.

After many successful fermentations without any mishaps, I started phasing out all my glass carboys about 2 years ago and switched to SS brew buckets. I did this because a 6th sense told me it was just a matter of time before my luck would run out and I’d have a terrible accident like the pictures in that gruesome thread.

While I would never go back to glass, and I can’t stomach the idea of fermenting in plastic, I really do miss the show when the yeast kicks into high gear

safety first,

- AC

All true. I've got a 'lucky' 13 glass carboys of various sizes. Used to be 14 glass carboys. Had a 6.5 gallon one implode while doing a vacuum transfer/degassing of a chardonnay wine. No blood involved but lesson learned. I went full-on plastic vessels after that near disaster and now have at least 16 fermenters that I dislike and seldom use. So, stainless became my mainstay, at least for beer.

Currently I make wine (primary ferment) in a ss Brew Bucket and clarify/bulk age in glass. The carboy only gets moved once in the 6 to 12 month process, so my risk exposure is minimal. Beer gets brewed in one of two ss conical fermenters before transferring into an ss keg for clarification, carbonation, conditioning and serving. No glass in beer brewing except for the occasional bottle for contest entries. Glass only for wine aging, and I guess bottles there as well.

Plastic just isn't good enough for wine aging so it's hard to get rid of the carboys I have. Four of them I've had since the mid 70s when I first started making wine. I'm extremely cautious and mindful of the risks when I use them. That said I'd be hard pressed to recommend them to someone just starting out in this hobby.

After 70 years I've accumulated a few scars. Don't want any more. Still have all my limbs and digits. Not wanting to loose any of them. And if I want to decrease my amount of blood, I'll visit the Blood Bank.

Be safe out there.

Brooo Brother
 

NitrogenWidget

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I have a few 5 gallon ones.
I had no idea they can shatter the way they do so I stopped using the neck handle that came with the one I bought 20 plus yrs ago.
because apparently that can break them if carried full by it.
I put them in a milk crate if I think i'll be moving them full.

jeez i'm thinking i've been lucky in my ignorance.
I've done some beers in them when my buckets were full but they were all high gravity beers where a gallon less in the keg will matter.
But, mostly I use them for cider and wine and now hard seltzer because they are clear.
 

IslandLizard

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jeez i'm thinking i've been lucky in my ignorance.
#MeToo.
I used to straddle them in my lap for a good shaking to aerate. :tank:

At least those carboys were from Italian or Mexican origin, before the Mexican carboy market imploded suddenly.

The Chinese ones that skipped proper QC are of our main concern. Often hard to tell which is which...
 

NitrogenWidget

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#MeToo.
I used to straddle them in my lap for a good shaking to aerate. :tank:

At least those carboys were from Italian or Mexican origin, before the Mexican carboy market imploded suddenly.

The Chinese ones that skipped proper QC are of our main concern. Often hard to tell which is which...

one of mine is from the mid 90's.
another was originally a bottle water jug.
the last one my dad had when he made wine again, in the early 90's so they have been around.

those horror stories I wonder how new the carboys were.
 

Brooothru

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I tend to agree, especially when they know they will be brewing for the rest of their life. Now a $12-15 plastic brew bucket (with lid) can last a long time too, at least 10-15 years. PET (plastic) carboys should too when handled correctly.

Those features auger in favor of plastic, but the elephant in the room is sanitation, or more correctly, infection.

I had happily (and successfully) brewed beer and made wine for more than 25 years in glass carboys and later, plastic jugs and brew buckets. A little over two years ago I was unmercifully hammered in a brewing competition even though I've generally scored well and frequently placed high previously. Four of 9 entries were judged to have flaws consistent with infectious causes. What followed was a complete top to bottom re-examination of ALL my processes.

Thorough scrub down and bleaching of my brewing area (concrete block and cement floor basement corner). Getting rid of all my old plastic gear and multi step cleaning and sanitation of the few newer plastic vessels I kept. Eliminated siphon rods in favor of diaphragm and centrifugal pumps. Investment in three stainless steel fermenters. ($$$$. OUCH!).

Don't know what step did the trick, but my entries went from "slaughtered" to 6 of 7 medalling and one winning Best of Show. Increasingly I think a lot of my previous problems might be traced to oxidation, but don't tell SWMBO'd. I convinced her it was all because of the shiny SS gear!

Brooo Brother
 

seatazzz

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I recently got two 7g fermonsters from a friend, all he wants in return is my 7.5g glass that he gave me a few years ago. I can't get rid of that thing fast enough; yes it's great for beers I want to age longer, but every time I move or clean it I'm scared to death. Especially since I sometimes have druk brewdays. Get rid of it quickly. Smashing it dramatically (and safely) would also prevent some clueless garbage sifter/searcher from encountering a horrible fate. I'd hate to see a random teenager or someone in search of something to make into a still coming across one of those things.
 
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