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Pyrex Carboy?

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anh6513

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Hey guys, total n00b here, and first time poster, so forgive me if this has already been answered elsewhere. I tried my first batch over the weekend (extract, IPA), and the wort was obviously still way too hot when I put it in my new carboy, as the bottom completely broke apart... Great start! :eek:

Anyway, I need a new carboy, and this time around I think I'll buy something sturdier than an average carboy. Looked at plastic ones (better bottle?), but I think I want to stick with glass. Found this pyrex carboy on ebay, looks nice, seems new, and it's cheap (well, at least right now :ban:):
NEW Carboy 2.5 Gallons (9 Liters) CORNING PYREX - Borosilicate Glass Bottle | eBay

I don't need a 5 gallon carboy, 2.5 gallon is plenty for me, and this should handle temperature changes much better. Thoughts?
 

JayWeezie

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Well you don't wanna transfer your wort until its cool anyways. Stick your brew pot with the wort in it in the sink in an ice bath, cool it down then transfer.
 

lowtones84

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I would think that a pyrex carboy would handle that kind of heat just fine, but there is a simpler answer. And that answer is: cool your wort to a reasonable temperature before pouring it into any fermentation vessel. This can be done by simply sitting the pot, covered, in a sink of cold water, with ice if you'd like. Change the water out frequently, it gets hot quick!

If you're going to be brewing a lot, an immersion chiller is a valuable piece of equipment to have. You don't have to cool wort to pitching temperature before putting it in a glass carboy, but just after boiling is way too hot. I usually wait until around 120F or less before pouring into my carboy, and just the action of pouring it into another vessel actually cools the liquid quite a bit.

That said, you can brew great beer in plastic better bottles or buckets.

Good luck whatever you do!
 
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anh6513

anh6513

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Jay - I actually cooled it down quite a bit, it was in the low 80s when I transferred it. I think my carboy was a pos, I'm looking for something nicer that wouldn't have the same problem. What do you think about this carboy, esp. at the current price? I need to buy a new one anyway...
 

samc

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Probably be pretty expensive at the end of bidding. It's small enough that it is easier to handle compared to a 5-6 gallon glass carboy. That said, BB's are so much easier to deal with that I gave away my one carboy after almost losing it when wet. Don't need to be repairing ligament damage or worse for the sake of a beer batch.
 
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anh6513

anh6513

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samc - I'm also kinda worried the price will be high at the end of bidding, but I'll keep this one on my watch list, you never know, I might end up with a neat carboy for not much more than a low quality one. I forgot to mention my broken carboy came straight from the garage, it's pretty cold outside right now, the carboy clearly didn't like the sudden temperature change... Oh well, except a huge mess to clean up, nobody got hurt!
 

eanmcnulty

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samc said:
Probably be pretty expensive at the end of bidding.
I agree. I found that exact glass Pyrex bottle on Amazon for $697+$53 shipping. Yikes!
 

joeybeer

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Get a 7 gallon ale pail, it'll handle boiling wort, and I guarantee the bottom won't fall out !
 
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anh6513

anh6513

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Thanks for the suggestion ya'll! As I said earlier I would rather stick with glass: it is virtually 100% recyclable, it does not release any fumes/chemicals in the atmosphere when melted/recycled, and it doesn't leach chemicals in the liquid it contains-- concerned about my health and mother Earth here, plus I would be shocked to hear that some breweries brew in plastic containers!

Despite what most plastic manufacturers say, plastic is not 100% safe, and will no matter what release some level of chemicals, up to you to decide what you think your body can tolerate.

Some examples:

#1 PETE: Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene used for soft drink, juice, water, detergent, cleaner and peanut butter containers. It was considered the safest and is the most common plastic and easy to recycle. However, a recent study found traces of DEHP in bottled water stored in a PET bottle for more than 9 months.
#2 HDPE: High density polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent and shampoo bottles and some plastic bags. It is considered safe and easy to recycle but many HDPE containers sold as "pails" use non-FDA approved resins.
#3 PVC or V or DEHA : Polyvinyl chloride or di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate used for cling wrap, some plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner bottles. PVC is well known to be associated with liver cancer. DEHA is linked to negative effects on the liver, kidney, spleen, bone formation and body weight. It is the least recyclable.
#4 LDPE: Low density polyethylene, used in grocery store bags, most plastic wraps and some bottles. It is considered safe but hard to recycle.
#5 PP: Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, deli soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles. It is considered safe but hard to recycle. (See Update as of Nov 14 2008)
#6 PS: Polystyrene, used in Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery. Styrene can leach from polystyrene and is toxic to the brain and nervous system. It also has been found to affect red blood cells, liver, kid*neys and stomach in animal studies. It is hard to recycle.
#7 Other: Usually polycarbonate, used in most plastic baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” water bottles, metal food can liners, clear plastic “sippy” cups and some clear plastic cutlery. New bio-based plastics may also be labeled #7. Polycarbonate can leach Bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen. It was found to stimulate prostate cancer, produce ovarian dysfunction, genetic damage, etc. (see Baby Bottles free of BPA).
I initially believed that HDPE was the best, as it's the most stable and recyclable, but food grade HDPE is expensive, so I tracked a bunch of manufacturers to see if their pails made with HDPE went thru FDA approval, and here's the kind of answer that what I got:

This is to verify that all items noted below are in conformance with the Purchase Order Contract, drawings, specifications, and other applicable documentation: that all process certifications, material certifications, are on file at this or other facility and are available for review by the customer and or Government Representatives upon request.
Date: September 20, 2011
Description: Pail
Material: High Density Polyethylene
Resins used are not FDA Grade
Yikes, what does "resins used are not FDA grade" actually mean?! Also looked at "better bottle", they use #1 (PET), no thanks, maybe they're proud about the fact that there's no BPA in there, but PET is famous for leaching DEHP (aka bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate), I don't want that in my beer! Long story short, I'll stick with glass, it's healthier, and it's good for the environment. I know I'm a newbie, but I know enough about plastic to stay away from it as much as I can. Hopefully I'll end up with a great deal on eBay, right now that carboy is still at $18 ;)

Thanks again all for your suggestions, I'll keep you updated once I get my new equipment.
 

joeybeer

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Ok, so plastic's out :)
How about a 7.5g stainless steel Sankey keg (the short fat one) or a 15.5 gallon one ??
 
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anh6513

anh6513

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Lol, nice suggestion, but that's way too much beer for me! I love beer, but I need to keep my figure as well, not sure the boyfriend will like it if I gain 10 lbs :p
 

joeybeer

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The 7.5 is fine for a 5 gallon batch & they're pretty cheap & you won't lose the bottom :). If the short fat one
doesn't sound good, how about a tall slender
5 gallon sanke ? (a bit harder to find)
 

david_42

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Just a note, since Corning sold the Pyrex name-brand, the new company has been selling items that are labeled Pyrex, but are not borosilicate. Not saying that the seller is pulling a fast one, but if the carboy only says Pyrex, it may be tempered glass.
 
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anh6513

anh6513

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Yeah, I heard that, but as far as I can tell it's more or less an urban legend, as it's been that way for over 50 years anyway, and it's the same for all consumer cookware brands, not just Pyrex.
snopes.com: Exploding Pyrex
Pyrex® Products – Making Cooking a Little Easier

Looks like it only applies to their consumer cookware brand (world kitchen brand), not the Corning Pyrex lab brand (which still belongs to Corning). The carboy is clearly listed as borosilicate 7740 on Corning's website:
Corning Life Sciences Catalog

Look at the price by the way, yikes!

According to Wikipedia:
According to glass supplier Pulles and Hannique, borosilicate Pyrex is made of Corning 7740 glass, and is equivalent in formulation to Schott Glass 8830 glass sold under the "Duran" brand name. The composition of both Corning 7740 and Schott 8830 is given as 80.6% SiO2, 12.6% B2O3, 4.2% Na2O, 2.2% Al2O3, 0.04% Fe2O3, 0.1% CaO, 0.05% MgO, and 0.1% Cl.
 

OneHoppyGuy

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News Flash! I'm going to die someday.

Corney kegs work fine as fermenters and can be had for close to the same price.
 

joeybeer

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You could use a $40 stainless corny keg from your LHBS or kegconnection there are tons of places to buy them - but you can only do a 4-4.5 gallon batch in one. To do a full 5 gallons, the short fat 7.5 sanke would be best, you can find them decommissioned at scrapyards, or maybe a friend has one in his backyard that can't be returned
 

Spartan1979

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Get a 7 gallon ale pail, it'll handle boiling wort, and I guarantee the bottom won't fall out !
I wouldn't guarantee that if I were you. There was a recent problem with some buckets failing around the bottom. There was a thread here, but I'm too lay to search for it.
 
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